Thai foot massage is the therapeutic massage of particular areas of the soles of the feet, and to a lesser extent the lower legs. The aim is to stimulate reflex points or lines – sen in Thai – that are believed to correspond to other parts of the body.
Thai Foot Massage is an alternative medicine practiced in Thailand. Although the technique draws from the practices of reflexology, Chinese tuina, Japanese Shiatsu and Indian Ayurvedic yoga, Thai Foot Massage as practiced today is a distinctly Thai healing therapy.
When Buddhism reached Thailand in the 2nd or 3rd Century BC, the larger temple complexes often included dispensaries, medical and massage schools, the most famous by far being Wat Pho in Bangkok. For many centuries, much of this medical knowledge was the province of the Buddhist monks connected to the Thai Royal Palace.
Thai Foot Massage is based on the belief that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet which correspond to all glands, organs, senses and systems of the body. The act of reading signs on the feet, of understanding the client as much as possible, and of applying pressure using the thumb, finger and hand techniques through specialized combinations of pressure is the art at the foundation of this 2,000-year old massage technique.
The benefits of foot massage are reported to include the following:
- Improved circulation, especially in feet and legs
- Improved lymphatic drainage
- Booster immune system
- Increased flexibility of feet and joints
- Greater concentration and clarity
- Stress reduction and relaxation
- Improved mood and better sleep