Traditional Thai massage
Traditional Thai medicine has its roots in the ancient Indian medicine known as Ayurveda and is believed to have arrived in Thailand with the transmission of Buddhism from India and Sri Lanka 700-1000 year ago. Thai massage (also known as Traditional Thai massage, Thai Yoga massage or Ancient Thai massage) is one of the four disciplines of traditional Thai medicine, the others being herbalism, meditation and dietary control.
Traditional Thai massage is an ancient system of healing with its roots in Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhist spiritual practice. This unique and complete system of Yoga therapy combines rhythmic massage, acupressure, gentle twisting, deep stretching and meditation. Thai massage releases tension, increases vitality and creates wholeness of mind, body and spirit. Related to oriental practices of body work such as Chinese acupuncture, Indian Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga, Thai massage works on the principle of maintaining the condition and the flow of the bodies vital energy through a network of channels known as Sen. In acupressure this energy is called Chi and in Yoga Prana.
Thai massage focuses on the musculoskeletal system (the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue) and the way in which it inter-relate with the body as a whole. It combines modern scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology with oriental medical disciplines. Thai massage treatments generally fall into one of two categories; full body routines which can last from between 30 minutes to 2 hours and localised therapy. Traditional Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor. As there are no oils used the patient is dressed in any comfortable clothes suitable for the massage. A number of gentle techniques using the feet, elbows and thumbs are applied to release tension and allow energy to flow freely. Thai massage is a traditional treatment for relieving stress and tension, and for the treatment of back pain, stiff neck, shoulder pain, and sports injuries including muscle and tendon strain
Like other styles of massage, traditional Thai massage increases vascular activity, which breaks up and moves trapped toxins. But Thai massage is unique because it directs all the toxins out, both energetically and physiologically. Consequently, people don’t feel sedated after a session. On the contrary, clients feel centred and grounded when the massage is over. Another unique aspect of this massage form is that the stretches and acupressure are administered to the client’s limits.
Benefits of full body massage include:
- Alleviation of physical and emotional tension
- Deep relaxation
- Release and relaxation of muscles and improved flexibility
- Muscles are helped to rid themselves of toxic chemicals (release of lactic acid and other toxins from areas of accumulation)
- Relief from general muscular aches, pains and stiffness
- Good muscle tone is preserved; improved range of motion
- Musculoskeletal realignment
- Better resistance to injury
- Improves circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system
- The mind can be stimulated to a naturally mild euphoric state
- The body receives more oxygen and nutrients and the immune system becomes more efficient in fending off disease agents thus lessening the chances of becoming ill
- Internal organs are stimulated to function to best capacity
- Improvement occurs in digestion, absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste
by May Lucken-Ardjomande
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