Thai Yoga Massage is a very ancient holistic therapy, which has been in known practice for at least 2500 years throughout India and Thailand. It is a very unique art form consisting primarily of Indian Yoga stretches and great acupressure techniques.
Over the last 20 years in particular it has gradually increased in popularity throughout the western hemisphere. So today we are now blessed with a great tradition, sharing the spiritual essence of the oriental arts with modern western modalities of healing. It has a thorough understanding of the human anatomy shared by western medicine in working with the structures of the physical body and it also uses the ancient wisdom of the very subtle anatomy from the depths of oriental medicine.
Although tables are now used, traditional Thai Yoga Massage is normally performed on a mat on the floor. This enables a practitioner to work with gravity and achieve maximum benefit from using their body weight and applying a greater force if necessary whilst saving effort and energy at the same time. Working from the floor also helps a practitioner to be more effective by allowing the use of many more postures and stretches not possible on a raised table. In giving Thai Yoga Massage we usually transmit a pressure via thumbs, hands, forearms, elbows, knees and feet, but in time you will realise how you can use your entire body. Because of this unique style and the fact we don’t use oil, it’s easier and also traditional for the recipient to keep their clothes on during treatment. I find this very effective for applying the compression and stretching techniques in Thai Yoga Massage.
On the outer physical level the massage will especially increase flexibility, improve the mobility of joints, realign the spine and balance the muscular skeletal system. However the influence of Thai Massage goes deeper than this outer physical layer, because as in the practice of Indian Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are consciously manipulating the subtle pathways directing the vital life force throughout our body and enabling it to function. In Yoga these energy pathways are called nadis and in Chinese medicine they are called meridians. Thai Yoga Massage concentrates on 10 major energy pathways of the subtle energy body and calls them Sen Lines.
Our whole mind body energy system is fully integrated as one, with mind being the most subtle aspect of energy and the body being the most physical aspect of the same energy source. Understanding this holistic and inter-connected nature of being, we know that Thai Yoga Massage enables a fundamental healing process to take place at every level. It works primarily on our vital energy and with vital energy being the common source and basis for the functions of both body and mind, Thai Massage has a profound effect upon our mental and emotional states, and our physical vitality, function and well-being.
Once the vital energy (prana) has been purified and balanced, then the energy of body and mind will reflect this identically. Once the obstructions have been removed the vital energy can flow like water again and reach all the places it is supposed to and thereby reducing or even removing the manifested symptoms of a problem. Many of the common ailments associated with stress including high blood pressure, muscular pain, joint stiffness, anxiety, irritability, fatigue and depression, can be relieved through a regular Thai Yoga Massage treatment.
The giving of Thai Yoga Massage is a system of applying both general and point pressure along the muscles & Sen Lines. Acupressure techniques provide a local point pressure along the Sen lines and muscles, and the Yoga postures provide the general stretch along the entire energy pathway (Sen), and the larger muscle groups and joints of the body.
The receiver of Thai Yoga Massage usually tries to remain as relaxed and passive as possible, which is probably why its often nicknamed ‘lazy mans yoga’ because the Yoga is literally being done to us, which is great if we are fatigued and stressed and just want to completely let go into a yoga session without applying any effort. Remaining totally relaxed during posture work can be much more effective, because the softness and receptivity allows an easier and deeper release of toxins and tensions, with every layer of our being just opening up and letting go. I think I share a common belief that Thai Yoga Massage is the hidden gem for most body workers, who all seem amazed at its sheer effectiveness and pleasure factor, and equally amazed at how apparently unknown it is in the UK right now.