Thai reflexology is often referred to as the “marriage of India and Asia”, because it incorporates elements of India’s Ayurvedic medicine (which are its origin), Japanese shiatsu and Chinese reflexology.
When asked how Thai reflexology compares to our western model of reflexology, Thais will respond with “same same”, meaning “similar and not the same”. Here’s what they mean by that colloquialism:
Although both models work to reestablish homeostasis in the body, the focus in Traditional Thai Reflexology is not on reflex points, as it is in conventional western reflexology. Thai reflexology seeks to restore balance within the body’s 72,000 sen (energy lines), by removing energy blockages and strengthening the flow of energy within the sen, rather than stimulating the optimal functioning of organs through the stimulation of reflex points. With energy balance reinstated, the body is then free to correct whatever imbalances are present.
Although the session can be offered on the floor, in the west a massage table or reclining reflexology chair and stool are more often used to accommodate the physical needs and preferences of a western society.
One aspect of Thai reflexology’s development that I really admire is how the protocol manages to avoid repetitive strain injuries. Utilizing stretching and a variety of manual techniques applied to the feet, lower legs and knees, very little stress is put on the digits or vulnerable joints of the hands.
People receiving Thai reflexology always report feeling relaxed afterwards; the treatment is also more often described as refreshing and revitalizing, as opposed to sedating.
If this interests you, please join me for an upcoming workshop to learn how to give this lovely session. It only takes three days to learn the protocol!