What Is Thai Massage?
Developed more than 2,000 years ago in Thailand, Thai massage remains a popular technique that incorporates aspects of yoga, acupressure, energy balancing, and massage. Considered one of the ancient healing arts of traditional Thai medicine which historically also included herbal practice, nutrition, and spiritual meditation. Today, Thai massage continues to be a mainstay in Thai medicine, while quickly gaining a new audience in the Western world.
Also known as yoga massage, assisted yoga, or ancient massage, Thai massage respects the body’s limits, while encouraging clients to reach their edge of flexibility—but never beyond. Thai massage uses acupressure, massage and passive assisted stretching, where therapists help clients move into their stretch. The work is purposely slow as the therapist guides clients through the movements, being ever mindful of their physical limitations. Breath work is an integral part of Thai Massage. Oxygen is the most vital nutrient for our bodies-I will guide you on breath work to coincide with the massage to enhance release, relaxation and energy.
The Energy Component
Thai massage is based on an energetic paradigm of the human body and mind. In this tradition, energy is thought to travel
on pathways, called sen, throughout the body. Through the movement and massage components, the goal in Thai massage is to ensure energy is flowing freely along these pathways as a means for wellness.
The Yoga Component
Recipients of Thai massage can also capture the well-established benefits of yoga without actually doing yoga. As the practitioner gently moves clients into yoga like poses, tight joints are opened, energy flows freely, and breathing is enhanced. A meditative state becomes part of the process, as both client and practitioner focus on breath and intention. Through the assisted stretches, clients’ muscles become less prone to injury, their joints have a greater range of motion, and their whole body enjoys greater flexibility. Many yoga enthusiasts are finding Thai massage adds a whole new dimension to their practice.
The Warm Herbal Therapy
Herbal compresses (as pictured above) provide an extra depth to the mind, body and spirit well being. The compresses are a complex combination of herbs that are steamed and through aromatherapy and heat therapy provide antioxidants, anti infammatory, calming effects for headaches, insomnia, arthritis, nervous system and many other therapeutic purposes.
It is thought that energy holds the mind, body and heart together. The hot compresses are used to increase energy, improve circulation, relax muscles and stimulate nerves. Hot compresses to specific acupressure areas can treat specific ailments: some examples:
Apply to abdomen and back for stomachache, indigestion and constipation
Apply along LL4, sacrum, back lines and along scapula for lower back pain.
Apply along neck, top of head and on foot and hand pressure points for headache, migraine, tension, stress, insomnia and general relaxation.
How Is It Administered?
Thai massage is performed on a soft floor mat, with clients fully clothed in loose, comfortable attire suitable for the deep
stretching that can be part of the session. Pillows and bolsters may be used for better client support. Little oil is used during the session.
compliments of ABMP
Whew! that was a lot :) but well worth the read to learn about this amazing massage option. Connie
Thai Yoga Massage