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What is Lanna Thai Massage?

Traditional Thai Lanna Massage from Northern Thailand offers unique healing techniques like Tok Massage, focusing on relaxation and healing.

If you have travelled in Northern Thailand, you might have seen the phrase Traditional Thai Lanna Massage used commercially in massage spas and parlours. Lanna Thai Massage and the Lanna Healing Arts have contributed significantly to Thailand’s wealth and diversity of massage styles and other healing modalities. Without the rich cultural input of the Lanna region, Thailand as a whole would have been way less exuberant.

The Uniqueness of Lanna Thai Massage

The primary goal of Thai Lanna Massage is to manipulate Lom Pran, the vital energy that flows through the sen, and free up the passageways rather than releasing tight muscles. This work will relieve tension and stiffness using slower, softer, and more gentle techniques than Southern Thai Massage, incorporating more stretches. Lanna Thai Massage includes more techniques for relaxing and loosening up the feet, legs, and lower back muscles, which reflects its origins as therapy for people who work in the mountainous area of Northern Thailand.

Unlike traditional Southern Thai massages, Lanna Thai massage often has no fixed patterns or sequences of techniques. Lanna Massage is much less protocol-based, and the treatment is not necessarily a complete full-body massage. Session durations can vary between fifteen minutes to two or more hours, very much depending on the specific health issues of the receiver.

Additionally, Lanna Massage is applied to heal the internal organs like the stomach, the intestines, testicles, uterus, ovaries, and prostate. Traditional healers often use herbs, notably herbal compresses or tools like Tok Sen.

Another significant characteristic that sets Thai Lanna healing apart from “common” Thai Traditional Medicine practices is that the Lanna therapists are usually more involved with ancient beliefs in animism and rituals. Practitioners view incantations, chants, religious ceremonies and the spiritual maturity of the healer as essential aspects of healing work.

Lanna Thai Massage Modalities

In addition to its unique form of traditional Thai massage, Lanna Thai massage includes many modalities that originate from and are unique to the northern region around Chiang Mai.

Tok Sen

Thai Tok Sen is a typical Lanna Thai Folk healing practice that uses a small hammer and a wedge of wood, bone or ivory to tap along the body’s sen lines. The type of material depends on the treatment goal and the teaching lineage of the Tok Sen techniques.

Traditionally, a monk must perform certain spiritual rituals on the tools to grant them healing powers. A practitioner must recite chants, incantations or invocations to promote patient healing and protect the receiver and themselves against negative energies.

Herbal Compress Massage (Luk Pra Kob)

Technically, Herbal Compress massage is not unique to the Lanna region. However, the Thai Lanna modality uses herbs from Northern Thailand and combines hot and cold herbal compresses and packs with a full body massage.

Thai Barefoot Massage (Walking Massage)

Specifically in north Thailand and among certain Hill Tribes, Walking Massage or Thai Barefoot Massage is a popular form of Thai Massage application. Treatments given with the feet have a total other — more earthy and grounded — quality than when applied with the hands or other parts of the body. In general, a practitioner can apply more pressure. Sometimes, the Barefoot Massage practitioners and therapists use a stick, rod, or rope to keep their balance while “walking” over the patient.

Thai Lanna Detox (Ched Haek)

Ched Hak Thai Massage is an ancient Lanna detox technique that traditionally uses claws of animals (that died naturally and without suffering) during treatment procedures. Blessed and considered powerful, the practitioner wipes or scrapes the instrument on the receiver’s body. At the same time, the therapist gives prayers and chants of empowerment, purifying and cleaning the receiver and bringing vitality and universal forces to the receiver.

Thai Fire Therapy (Yam Khang)

Yam Khang, also called Thai Fire Therapy or Thai Thermal Massage Therapy, is a Barefoot Massage that uses heat, oils, and the feet to treat the patient’s body. The goal of the treatment is to help relieve the patient from muscle, tendon, joint and bone pains, as well as numbness and paralysis.

Thai Amatarot Massage

Amatarot is a relatively young Lanna therapy (about 100 years old). A practitioner treats a patient using a wooden stick or rod with various appliances (depending on the application) stuck to the end of the rod. The tool penetrates deeply into tendons and fascia, relieving or curing sciatica, postural imbalances, joint issues, physical pains, low energy, and tensions, among other conditions.

Thai Abdominal Massage (Chi Nei Tsang)

Chi Nei Tsang is a hybrid of ancient Lanna Abdominal Massage, Thai Abdominal Massage, and Chinese influences, newly (re)developed by Mantak Chia at Tao Garden.

Thai Abdominal massage aims to recycle and transform negative energies that obstruct the abdominal area and internal organs to restore the body’s energy flow, balance, and healthy functioning. Deep abdominal work is also beneficial in healing emotional and psychological issues.

Thai Genital Detox Massage (Karsai Nei Tsang)

Karsai Nei Tsang is a specialization of Chi Nei Tsang, and a hybrid of ancient Lanna Genital Massage, Thai Genital Massage and Chinese influences, newly (re)developed by Mantak Chia (Tao Garden, Chiang Mai).

The treatment aims to heal and stimulate the genital system by removing blockages and toxins in the genital area. The modality strongly focuses on issues and difficulties with the sexual organs, urination, fertility, impotence, painful menstruation, painful scar tissue after giving birth, low sexual libido and painful intercourse.

Thai Womblifting

Thai Womblifting involves hot sea salt crystals in a clay pot wrapped in medicinal leaves and applied as a compress pack. The process likewise manipulates acupressure points on the abdominal area, legs, buttocks and back. During a treatment, the Thai healer directly manipulates the uterus (womb) with their hands on the abdomen. The therapy serves post-natal health and relief for fertility problems, as well as overall health and well-being.

Thai Uterus Massage

Thai Uterus massage is a modality that varies depending on the lineage of the practitioner. In general, one can trace influences, parallels and combinations of Thai Womb Lifting, Karsai Nei Tsang, Thai Abdominal Massage, and Yok Thong.

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