The massage recipient changes into loose, comfortable clothing and lies on a massage table, mat, or firm mattress on the floor. The receiver may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, but deep static and rhythmic pressures form the core of the massage.
The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows designated lines ("sen") in the body. The legs and feet of the giver can be used to position the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fix the body, while the feet do the massaging.
A full Thai massage session includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. This may include walking on the recipient's back and moving the recipient's body into many different positions. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the practitioner will adjust to fit each individual client.