A Short Introduction to 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” (traditonal 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.

Giving Martin a lil Thai Bodywork love during our certification training


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! Martin and Sarah were certified in 2016 by Lion and Dragon Yoga and Massage in the USA. Now, in addition to trading a bit of bodywork with each other after most workouts and acro sessions, we incorporate it into our acroyoga classes and schedule private sessions. We also love to lead parties and guided exchanges where participants both give and receive bodywork from each other. It makes for a great team building experience or just a fun afternoon with friends. To schedule a private session or a group guided exchange, contact us!

Learn more in the FAQs section at our Thai Bodywork page here.

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