The BlacThai experience will leave you feeling open, relaxed, and free. Inspired by the traditional Thai massage, Jamel Randall of Trap Yoga and Massage studio has taken the style and made it his own. He began his career in massage and yoga over 10 years ago, and, along the way, he has spent his time diving deep into the health and wellness world. Before he began giving Thai massages he spent weeks receiving Thai massages consistently himself. Thai massage opened up a new part of himself.
“I gained a better understanding of letting go, kind of like what yoga did for me. I didn’t realize I was holding tension over so many different places in the Thai session,” he says.
Thai massage is based on the principles of compassion and healing. It combines techniques of herbal medicine, acupressure, stretching, reflexology, prayer, and meditation. Traditionally, the massager uses their body weight with yours to tone muscle and increase the joints’ range of motion while also balancing the flow of energy throughout the body.
Randall became addicted to the feeling of freedom Thai massage gives.
“I realized that we hold pain in our pelvis. The low back pains, the shoulder pains and neck, even down to the feet, it all starts in the hip region. So if you can open those aspects of the body, everything else is more free and open,” he says.
After training with an expert masseuse from Thailand, he began crafting his own style and BlacThai was born. Now, he offers this bodywork at Trap Yoga and Massage Studio 7 days a week.
“We want to embrace the mindset of flow. If you can teach a person physically or take a person physically to a place where they’re letting go and not restricting themselves anymore they start to realize that they can do that with everything they do in life,” Randall says.
Take a look at our conversation below and book your BlacThai experience today.
BLAC: Researching about Thai massage, we saw that each masseuse takes the technique and makes it into its own. How was your learning process?
Randall: I learned the basics of the sen lines, which are these energetic lines that go throughout our bodies. Thai massage believes that restricted sen lines cause disease, aches, and ailments. To open that, we stretch, we pull, we pound, and we stand on parts of the body, which opens those lines and allows energy to flow freely. That’s why it’s all of the crazy maneuvers we do.
The idea is that you learn how to open them; learn how to isolate the lines. Once you learn how to isolate yourself, you need to figure out your own style to open them up. That’s what the BlacThai is. My unique style of opening up those energetic lines.
BLAC: What is the environment like during a BlacThai experience?
Randall: We use blindfolds in the BlacThai flow experience. We take away those visuals, and we don’t want you to speak. We want you to give gestures instead of talking. Some people come into sessions and they want to talk because they don’t want to feel. They just want the superficial aspect of the massage. We want your lip sealed and your eyes completely closed and just submerged at the moment.
BLAC: Why is massage important for Black people?
Randall: Black people look at their health and wellness as a luxury for so long. For many of us, we feel it’s an unattainable goal.
We look at a massage like it’s a birthday gift, which is a crime and a shame because your health should never just be a birthday, Valentine’s day, or mothers’ day gift. You should be getting massages. You should be getting bodywork on a day-to-day basis.
You carry so much weight on your shoulders every day. You need to release it. You need to let it go.
BLAC: We’ve learned that Thai massagers and their recipients have a special connection that other massage techniques do not emphasize. Tell us about that.
Randall: I believe typically just look at massage from a physical aspect, whereas we want to honestly look at the massage as a spiritual connection that you’re making with a person. You’re opening them up to a way, a new way of looking at their bodies. The physical can’t be ignored, but at least we want to give them a different viewpoint of it.
Giving that person that touch they need without the actual physical intercourse is another form of connection. It’s saying: yes, it’s possible to make a connection without going there. It is possible to feel someone physically without feeling odd and to open up without feeling like someone’s gonna take advantage of your vulnerability.
BLAC: Is there anything else that you would like to say about BlacThai?
Randall: BlacThai flow is here. It’s something I’ve been working on for years. I’ve been working in health and wellness for 12 years, but I had this in my mind for six years.
I’m happy about the opportunity.
Learn more about the BlacThai experience at www.thetrapstudio.com.