One of the newest forms of recognized massage treatments out there is called Ashi-Thai. Ashi-Thai is an amazing marriage of Ashiatsu Massage and traditional Thai Massage. It takes the yoga like stretching and compressing of Thai Massages, puts the fully clothed client on the massage table, and with the therapist using their feet in the “Ashi” or “foot” way (just like in Ashiatsu Massages) to deliver the deeply relaxing and revitalizing way to decrease pain and increase flexibility.
You may wonder what happens during an Ashi-Thai massage and what you should expect from the session. In an Ashi-Thai session, the client lays on a comfortable massage table, fully clothed in loose fitting, movable clothes, such as yoga or work out attire. Lotions or oils are not used during this session. The therapist will be standing on the table, using the overhead Ashi bars for balance and stability as they use their feet to do slow, rhythmic compression work, starting at your feet and slowing working their way up your body. As the therapist works their way up the body with compression work to warm up the muscles, they will then gently place your body into nice, deep, yoga-like stretches with their body, letting their body weight and gravity do all the work to give you a really deep stretch to increase your range of motion and flexibility. The therapist will work their way upward, from your feet, legs, hips, low back, hands, arms, shoulders, and chest before asking you to turn over onto your stomach for the second half of the session. During the second half, the therapist will continue to do the same slow, rhythmic compression work with the deep stretches, working your feet, legs, hips, psoas, back, arms, and shoulders. The therapist will continually check in with the client on pressure, amount of stretch, and will always adjust to give you more or less based on your comfort level to give you the most deeply relaxing and revitalizing experience. Remember, your comfort and safety is the therapists’ number one priority. If anything feels out of sorts, painful, or if you are prone to dislocations, please let your therapist know immediately.
Just like with all other types of massages, there are several benefits to receiving Ashi-Thai.
This deep, yet gentle, therapeutic treatment that helps increase your flexibility is great for all types of people. Young, old, physically fit or not, it does not matter. Everyone could use a good stretch, some relaxation, and walk away feeling more fluid with their movements and a sense of revitalization to carry with them throughout the rest of their day. Please note that Ashi-Thai is not recommended if you are pregnant or have had a surgery within the past 6 weeks. If you have any health related issues or concerns, please tell your therapist and consult with your doctor before you receive any deep, direct compression work. As mentioned before, your safety and comfort is the number one priority. Also, please make sure that the therapist is a certified and trained Ashi-Thai practitioner, before you let them walk on you. Once you find a certified practitioner, give Ashi-Thai a try! It will be the best 2 hours well spent. Your body, mind, and spirit will benefit and appreciate the session.
Below is a slide show of an Ashi-Thai session to give you more of a visual of what it entails. Enjoy!
Ashi-Thai is a combination of deep compression work and lengthening, yoga-like stretches to promote relaxation, increase flexibility, and leaves you feeling more mobile and revitalized.
If you have a set exercise routine, do frequent workouts, are an athlete and training, or a weekend warrior crusader, you will notice some very sore and tight muscles after a workout or event. This feeling of being sore and tight may even last for several days afterwards, hindering you from moving freely about your day or through your next training or workout session. If you exercise frequently or are an athlete, you know that these sore muscles hold you back from pushing yourself further to making progress in your workout and training goals.
Most people know that after exercising and training, that they should drink plenty of water and eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Proper hydration and nutrition will help your body recover and rebuild muscle by providing your body with the fuel that it needs. As with what you put inside your body, what you do externally plays are large roll too. Adding massage therapy into your workout and training routines will help aid you in feeling less sore and help increase your overall performance.
Massage therapy not only feels good, but it is good for you, especially if you exercise regularly or are an athlete. Receiving regular massages for exercisers and athletes will help with recovery and performance by allowing your body to rest, heal, and rebuild. Here are some of the key benefits to adding massage therapy into your workout routines.
For someone who regularly exercises or is an athlete, receiving frequent and regular massages is a key component in reaping the benefits. Just like your workouts, the more often and frequently you work out, the greater and quicker the results become. Massage therapy is the same way. The more often and consistently you receive massages, the greater and faster you will see improvements and the longer lasting these effects will have on the body. Ideally, if you are doing intense training, that involves working out about 5 days a week, you should get massages once or twice a week, preferably on your rest and recovery days. If you are just working out consistently 3 or 4 days a week with mid to high intensity workouts, once a week or every other week may help you reach your goals faster. If your workouts are more focused on health and fitness and vary between low to high intensity levels about 3 times a week, you may be fine with a monthly or bi-monthly maintenance massage. Everybody’s body is different. Learn to listen to your body. If it is telling you that it is sore and tired, take the time for recovery and allow it to heal through massage therapy. You will see better results in the long run and you will see an increase in your overall health and wellness as a result too.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.