The styles of massage have a number of benefits, from relaxation to increased circulation and flexibility. A massage should give you a better mood and in the longer run, better health. The benefits of healing via the hands have been known worldwide for centuries.

The benefits of the main styles, and our Signature combination, will be detailed in the posts that follow but a brief overview looks like this:

Traditional Thai Massage – a distinctive style, with a long history and ties to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Traditional Thai massage focuses on yoga-type stretching. The benefits are an increased flexibility, which allows the body to move more freely and naturally, and in the longer term to realign and unlock the flow of energy in the body for a rejuvenated feeling.

Swedish – this is the style most focused on relaxation through the application of gentle pressure, with attention to the main areas of tension. “Swedish” massage is usually only recognized in English and Dutch-speaking countries, the rest of the world refers to this style as “classic massage”. The primary benefit is the relaxing feeling of muscles being gently kneaded and pushed, almost stretched.

Deep Tissue – this style focuses on adhesions on muscles or restrictions and blockages to circulation. As the name implies the therapist will apply a greater level of pressure that goes deeper than the surface muscles to break down the adhesions. The primary benefit to breaking down adhesions is easier and more complete muscle movement, what clients refer to as “working out the kinks”.

Therapeutic – this is not a distinct style in the sense that the strokes are different or that there is less or more stretching. Therapeutic Massage is typically the most focused style of massage, it looks to alleviate or solve a problem in a particular muscle area or joint. The primary benefit is short-term relief of a specific problem or issue in a specific area.

Lymphatic Drainage – the lymphatic system is a body-wide network that moves cell-level waste to the liver. Blockages or insufficient movement of this waste leads to swelling and the gentle assistance of a Lymphatic Drainage massage is designed to get this body system moving again. The primary benefit is reduced swelling and the more rapid movement of waste toward the liver and out of the body.

Sanity Signature Massage – our combination massage will mirror a Traditional Thai massage to begin with and definitely incorporate the yoga-style stretching. From there it will borrow elements from the other styles and incorporate them into a continuing Thai-based massage. Whether it’s the gentle relaxation of Swedish, the probing power of Deep Tissue or the focused work of Therapeutic we add in what is necessary as we seek the maximum benefits for our clients.

At Sanity Thai Massage Los Gatos we are proud to carry on the tradition of massage, specifically traditional Thai massage, as a healing methodology and therapeutic treatment of the whole body. In doing so we carry on a tradition started over 2,500 years ago that maintains its relevancy because of the soothing and restorative powers it has. We truly hope that we can play a small role in the next centuries of the tradition by introducing our clients to the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of traditional Thai massage.

Chiwaka Komaraphat

The widely accepted story ( is that Thai Massage, and Thai traditional medicine in general, was founded by Chiwaka Komaraphat (or sometimes Shivago Komarpaj) from his position as physician to the Buddha. It is said that he was originally from India and there are definitely Ayurvedic principles incorporated into Thai massage. He was also extremely knowledgeable in regards to herbal medicine and aromatics (but not oils) are a frequent feature of Thai massage. Chiwaka laid the foundation for a melding of styles and influences from India, China, other areas of Southeast Asia and throughout the kingdom of Siam ( Today there are differences throughout Thailand in the specific approach taken and as Thai massage is increasingly global, more differences in detail are surely emerging but the principles remain intact.

Sen lines

The most important underlying principle in Thai massage is Sen lines ( These are pathways through the body for energy and they can become knotted, kinked and blocked by the stressors in life (true for any century!). Akin to the nadis lines central to yoga, the relief of blockages and the return to full function of these energy pathways is what explains the restorative benefits of Thai massage. The renewed flow of energy conveys a range of physical and mental benefits to the person being massaged, from basic relaxation through pain relief and increased mobility/range of motion to a mood boost and invigoration.

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Coming soon – Thai Massage Methodology