Massage Therapy Canada

Features Research
Technique: December 2005

Thai Herbal Stem Massage is one of the oldest healing modalities in the world, developed thousands of years ago. It has been used in Thailand

September 28, 2009  By Lily beare & J. Alexandra Thompson

thai_stem_lady.jpg• Background History
Thai Herbal Stem Massage is one of the oldest healing modalities in the world, developed thousands of years ago. It has been used in Thailand for many centuries in their traditional forms of medicinal massage.

Thai people, recognizing that the human body, mind and spirit are one, have been using varieties of medicinal Herbal stems extensively for many different ailments. They have discovered the dynamic value of hot compress which relieves aches and pains of the body.

• Thai Stem Massage Benefits
The Thai Herbal Stems, as with other forms of massage, helps in the release of toxins, increase circulation, relax muscles, give relief to tendon problems and aid in working out painful knots. 

The Herbal Stem massage differs because of the combination of soothing moist heat with therapeutic natural herbs and their inherent essential oils. These heated oils and resins are absorbed into the blood stream through the epidermis and react with the body chemistry in a sympathetic and gentle way. They also help to restore the skin’s natural balance.


The benefits are twofold; the deeply penetrating moist heat, and the natural oils of the herbs that are released throughout the treatment.

thai_massage.jpg• Treatment Described
New to North America, this ther-apeutic treatment was designed in a way to incorporate elements of Thai massage pressure, Yoga-type movements, Lomi – Lomi stretching techniques and Swedish relaxation massage strokes; stretching, relaxing and energizing the receiver.

Palming, thumbing, stretching, joint mobilization and assisted yoga postures are incorporated throughout the treatment. Pressure will typically be toward the heart, encouraging lymph drainage. Using deeper pressure with the stems helps to release blocked energy, increasing client awareness and vitality. The full body treatment covers the supine and prone positions. The stems are initially moistened slightly and then steamed in
a vegetable steamer or rice cooker and applied hot on the body.

Another fairly new modality in our industry, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, is somewhat similar with regard to the heat aspect as well as using a “tool” to work on the body versus using hands only.

The motions vary, working with an Herbal stem, gently rolling over the targeted area, while the other Herbal stem is being re-heated in the steamer. As the Herbal Stem cools, it can be left on aching spots a little longer.
Instructors, Lily Beare and Alexandra Thompson, both of Relaxus Products, teach the courses in Vancouver as well as in other major cities Canada-wide.

• See Relaxus Product’s ad in this issue of Massage Therapy CANADA magazine for contact and course information in your area.

• See the next issue of Massage Therapy Canada Magazine for more information on the Thai Herbal Stem Massage treatment, when we describe more detailed aspects and share with you some testimonials from clients and therapists.

• Thai Herbal Stem Massage is the perfect adjunct to other various and related Body Treatments – or as a stand-alone, new and innovative, totally captivating treatment for the therapist as well as the client.

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