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.
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.