Thai Bodywork

What is Thai Bodywork?


Thai Bodywork, Thai Massage, Thai Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga Massage... all are western names for a practice that is known as "nuat phaen boran" (tradtional style massage) or "nuat thai" (Thai massage) in its home language.  Thai Bodywork shares elements of Indian traditions (like yoga), Chinese massage techniques (like shiatsu and reflexology), and indigenous Thai medicinal and massage traditions with a focus on clearing the energy lines of the body and to promote the body's self regulating and natural healing processes. 



A full Thai Bodywork session is performed on a client/receiver who lies on a mat or pad on the floor, barefoot or socked, but fully clothed, and with no oils, lotions, or special equipment. The therapist/giver is also usually barefoot but fully clothed, and performs three distinct techniques on the receiver: 1) compressions , 2) stretching, and 3) acupressure. 


  1. Compressions include pressure from very gentle to fairly deep on the major tissues to increase blood flow. 

  2. Stretching refers to the yoga-like positions that the giver will guide the passive receiver into and out of. It is like having yoga done to you. Stretching also uses distractions that create space in the joints. 

  3. Acupressure is used along the sen, or energy lines, to promote the flow of lom, or energy/life force.  


The list of benefits of Thai Bodywork is long and western medical scientific research is becoming increasingly supportive of the claims of long time practitioners. Benefits may include

  • relaxation and stress reduction

  • better sleep

  • relief of soreness and tiredness in muscles due to overwork or underuse

  • increased mobility and range of motion

  • reduction in arthritis pain, back pain, and joint stiffness

  • improved circulation

  • improved strength and muscle tone

  • reduced recovery time for athletes

  • prevention of bone degeneration

  • improved psychological and emotional well-being.


Modern Thai Bodywork is the fastest growing massage modality in the West.  Watch the following video for a glimpse of a Thai Bodywork session:


Frequently asked questions

What should I wear for Thai Bodywork?

Comfortable clothes like you might wear to a yoga class: t-shirt, sweat pants or yoga pants, and maybe bring a long sleeved shirt for resting afterwards or for leaving - your body temperature will drop while receving bodywork.

How is Thai Bodywork different from a Swedish massage?

We will not use any oils or lotions, both receiver and giver are fully dressed, and we will not be on a table. We will be on a mat or pad on the floor. Also, Thai Bodywork includes stretching, along with the more familiar compressions and acupressure, so your body will be in different positions and relationships to gravity.

How should I prepare for Thai Bodywork?

It is best for your comfort if you do not eat for 2-3 hours before receiving Thai Bodywork. It is also best for you and your giver if you can wash your hands and feet before the session. If it is a one-on-one session, you will be asked some questions in a short interview before beginning - please be honest with your giver about medical or body issues (soreness, joints problems, etc.), your intentions for the session (why are you here?), and any anxieties you feel. If you are joining a Thai Bodywork exchange class, it is best to come with a sense of "a willingness and ability to give," whatever that means or requies from you.

What can I expect during a Thai Bodywork session?

Expect to be touched on most parts of your body. You are always encouraged to speak up if something doesn't feel comfortable (fx, too much or too little pressure, approaching a sensitive area of your body that you would rather not have touched, a feeling of being rushed or pushed beyond your comfort zone, etc.) Expect to be handled. You are encouraged to remain passive for the most part and let your giver move, turn, rotate, and manipulate your body. It can be extremely healing just to surrender your body into someone else's control. If you are participating in a Thai Bodywork exchange class, expect to do some physical lifting and manipulating of another person's body as well as touching their hands, feet, torso, and head. Expect to become very relaxed and calm, grounded and rejuvenated, possibly cold or warm and maybe fall asleep. You might feel involuntary emotional, physical, or energetic reactions to the work. Expect to have a wonderful experience!

What should I do after a Thai Bodywork session?

It is best if you can rest for a few moments after your session and re-enter the external world slowly. Maybe plan a few minutes of sitting quietly, napping, or just hanging out before you must move on to something else. Drink water! Your body will be re-organizing and flushing toxins. Drinking water will support the elimination process and also reduce any soreness from tight muscles and joints. It is also best if you can wait 2-3 hours before eating or showering again as these actions might distort the energetic changes still happening after your massage. For the next few days, may be interesting to take note of changes in your posture, mobility, flexibility, co-ordination, mental state, sleep patterns, patterns of pain, mood, or other areas of your physical, mental, and emotional being. Journaling or just noting these changes can be a powerful tool in establishing and maintaining long-term health plans.

What's the difference between a private session and a Thai Bodywork exchange class?

We offer both private (one-on-one) sessions and group exchange classes. In a private session, you will only be receiving Thai Bodywork. We are certified Thai Bodywork practitioners who will give you a 60 minute session that works your entire physical and energetic body but targets areas specific to your needs. This is usually a very quiet and meditative time where you can basically "check out" while we "do yoga to you!" In a group exchange, you will be both receiving and giving Thai Bodywork. We usually come to your location for this. You may come with a partner, or we will match you with a partner. We provide both visual demonstrations and verbal directions to guide you in a Thai Bodywork routine, twice. The partners switch roles half way through so that everyone give and receives the same routine. We design routines based on the needs of te group, so this is a less personally targeted routine, but a more social way of connecting through bodywork. This is a great option for team building days for businesses, schools, sports and recreational groups, associations, family gatherings, bachelor/ette parties, birthday parties, and special occations.



Contact us to discuss pricing and to schedule a private Thai Bodywork session or a group Thai Bodywork exchange class.

Thanks! Message sent.