I trained in Chiang Mai in Thailand, at ITM, an internationally recognized school that trains students in Traditional northern-style Thai massage, which differs from the Bangkok / southern-style in that it focuses a bit more on stretches. The Thais believe the treatment works on clearing blocked energy pathways, and it is good for both improving flexibility and easing tension. There are various remedial techniques used to tackle issues such as shoulder pain, back pain, knee problems, digestion problems, etc. The treatment can also be more relaxing with a focus on neck, face and head massage. In the Thai view, it is seen as an almost meditative experience, so clearing the mind and focusing on the breath are important. The teachers where I trained called Thai massage ‘yoga for lazy people’, and you feel like you’ve had a good stretch after a session! But also (as with yoga), it helps you to ground yourself and connect spiritually, if you are that way inclined – as many of us are so much ‘in our heads’ / prone to stress these days. Quite a lot of work is done on the feet and legs first, and this really does help you to feel ‘grounded’.