Improve your #desklife: Thai yoga massage gives the modern worker a mind-body boost

Practitioner Brian Festa says Thai yoga massage is “beautifully synonymous with the needs of everyday working people.” Photo: Sanjay Suchak Practitioner Brian Festa says Thai yoga massage is “beautifully synonymous with the needs of everyday working people.” Photo: Sanjay Suchak

Humans were not designed to sit for eight hours a day, much less be hunched over a computer. A potential cure for this modern malady? Thai yoga massage. Licensed massage therapist Brian Festa believes this type of healing art is “beautifully synonymous with the needs of everyday working people.”

Thai yoga massage is a therapeutic bodywork with roots in India, says Festa, who offers the treatment to small and large businesses throughout Charlottesville, including Vault Virginia. Practitioners move clients into various yoga positions to stretch the body, and also incorporate massage and compression techniques.

“The stretching and the massage and the other techniques involved really encourage the body to open up in a different way than most massage modalities,” he says. “What we see in the end is a far more comprehensive and holistic result.” Festa will come to your office, bringing with him all of the accoutrements needed–primarily a mat and pillows. Clients don’t need to get undressed, and no oils are applied, unlike Western massage.

Festa offers $20, 15-minute sessions “that are just long enough for people to drop in, to relax, to be moved, to just let go,” he says, and at the same time, have an experience that allows them to be “refreshed and focused” enough to go back to work and alleviate discomfort related to repetitive motion, long desk hours, or other contemporary office demands.

“Afterwards, I give them ergonomic and postural recommendations in order to counteract what may be contributing towards their specific aches and pains during the work day,” Festa says. Even if a client isn’t experiencing a specific body pain issue, they still walk away with tips for improving their “desk life.”

One quick tip? “I actually recommend to everybody that they stand as much as possible, because standing helps complete the kinetic chain all the way from the feet to the top of the head. And the moment that we sit, we take out our potential buoyancy as creatures,” he says. Sitting all day is “a functional result of the society that we live in, that structurally, humans were not designed to do. So, I think it’s all the more important to not just massage people and provide this work, but to provide exercises and homework and recommendations that will bring them lasting effects after the session.”