Oriental Stretch, otherwise known as Thai Massage, is a combination of yoga-like postures and body massage based on team work.
Oriental Stretch, popularly known as Thai massage, is a form of vigorous massage that dates back to thousands of years. Unlike other massages where one needs to disrobe, this is done by sporting comfortable cotton clothes. Moreover, there is no application of oil in this therapy.
The guest is positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, combined with deep static and rhythmic pressure applications. The massage generally follows designated lines (Sen) in the body.
Oriental stretch therapy sessions may last for 60 minutes or 90 minutes and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. This may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking knuckles, kneading back and moving the body in different positions, making it a team effort. It takes two people to help out each other for each step.
The therapy reduces individual stress levels and improves the overall blood circulation, helping the person to feel relaxed. The de-stressed muscles enhance the circulation system, which, in turn, increases the oxygen supply to the brain. The therapy results in bringing down migraine bouts and increases physical flexibility, which especially benefits sports practitioners.
Both soles of the assistant (in yellow) are placed on the lower back of the practitioner (in white) as the two hold hands for dynamic stretching.
The assistant places her knees on the hips of the practitioner as the former pulls her arms towards her body, raising the upper body from the ground. The back gets bent and is held for a few seconds. The practitioner goes face down again and pressure is applied on the lower back.
Pigeon Pose stretching
An easy and effective posture for releasing the hip flexors as the assistant helps the practitioner lift her knee towards her body and roll out hamstrings.
Plough Pose Stretch
The assistant helps the person to stretch her neck and hamstrings (posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee) as the arms are firmly placed on the ground.
Manual lymph drainage
Gentle, circular movements all over the body that helps stimulate the flow of lymph (fluid that transports white blood cells, oxygen and nutrients to the tissues).
(K. Damodaran is SPA Manager at a star hotel in, Kochi )