I love to practice traditional Thai Bodywork on the floor, yet over the years I have
adapted Thai Techniques for the table.
Because there are times when working on a table is more appropriate for a multi-faceted approach to treatments. I can combine therapeutic massage, myofascial release, deep tissue work and neuromuscular techniques with the dynamic mobilisations and stretches which come from the Thai massage discipline.
As a bodyworker, my practice contains a wealth of tools learnt over the years, which allows me to adapt each treatment to the individual.
If a client is presenting with lower back pain I will often begin the treatment in a supine.
Hamstring, adductor and abductor stretches, with hip flexor openings and
mobilisations for the lower back can gently ease out this area, whilst also offering the
opportunity to see the muscular imbalance. In this way, I can affect chains of muscles
with stretches and mobilisations rather than focusing on one area. In prone, I can
work along the back energy lines and fascial chains with palm presses and rocking.
Hip flexors and quad stretches are accessible in this position.
With side lying, we can offer a 3D approach to the body as we mobilise the shoulder
and open the thoracic spine and front of the chest. If it is appropriate to only work on
the side, a whole treatment can be offered here.
The principles of listening in and meeting people where they are, working within a
range of pain-free movement and encouraging self-awareness is integral to this
practice. We can encourage people to become more body aware and learn where
their holding patterns are through our touch, bringing conscious awareness to
particular areas. The Thai bodywork approach is not about ‘fixing’ a problem, it is
centred on whole-body integration and energy work. We can give and receive a lot of
information through this close contact and full body awareness.
Fundamentally it is the mutual benefits to both client and therapist that I love the
most. I feel more energised with less pressure on individual joints of my own body
and more whole-body awareness. I move around the table, shifting my weight,
leaning in, grounding my legs to gain balance, and receiving self-stretches as I offer
sustained traction through a limb, freeing my own spine and joints as I dance and
move around my client. I am sure they sense this flow of energy as my own body
also becomes freer and more mobile within this practice.
To see a video of Thai Table Techniques in supine and prone: