History of Thai Massage

Thai massage is an ancient healing art and is one of the five primary branches of Thai traditional medicine.

The earliest roots of Thai massage date back about 2000 years to the practices of the Reusi of Thailand. The Reusi were cave dwelling ascetics who studied and practiced the natural sciences such as astronomy, mathematics, herbalism, medicine, yoga, and meditation. These hermits developed a self care regimen that is now known as Reusi Dat Ton and is the Thai branch of yoga. These practices are the earliest true origins of Thai massage and Thai medicine. 

For more information on the Reusi, or to take Reusi Dat Ton; Thai yoga classes, please consult teacher and author David Wells

What to Expect in Session

Within the modality there are therapists who specialize in relaxation Thai massage (นวกผ่อนคลาย,) and those who use it more as physical therapy (นวกรักษา) to address problems in the body. I tend towards the latter. I specialize in helping people with chronic pain and injuries, range of motion limitations, freeing up tight dense tissue, and postural improvement. 

Usually a combination of techniques will be incorporated in each session. These techniques include deep compressions, Thai acupressure or point work (นวดกดจุด), sen work (แก้เส้น), passive stretching, nerve plucking (จับเส้น), wind gate work (เปิดประตูลม), tok sen (ตอกเส้น), hot herbal compresses (ลูกประคบ), cupping and scraping (ครอบแก้ว การขุด), and balms & liniments (นวดทานำมันสมุนไพร). I use thumbs, hands, arms, elbows, knees and feet where they will be most effective. Sometimes I apply my full body weight in sitting, kneeling and standing techniques. Each session is customized to address your current needs.

Thai massage is performed on a mat on the floor. You will remain clothed in your loose, comfortable, or stretchy clothing. You are also welcome to wear the clothing that I provide.

As a recipient, you will experience the benefits of Thai Massage in a number of ways. Increased flexibility and joint mobility, improved circulation, relaxation, injury recovery, pain reduction, elemental balancing, grounding and detoxifying, are just some of the expressions used to describe Thai Massage’s effects.


About Jess

I was first introduced to Thai Massage at East West College in Portland, OR in 2009.  I have since completed the course work offerings at The Naga Center and apprenticeship with Nephyr Jacobsen. I have studied extensively in Thailand with various teachers, and will continue to visit to keep a strong connection to the practice and the culture.