“When you touch a body, you touch the whole person,
the intellect, the spirit, and the emotions.”
– Jane Harrington
Thai Yoga massage is a form of massage that was initially created in India and brought to Thailand about two thousand years ago where it was practised extensively in Buddhist temples. It has recently become more popular for its healing benefits in the Western world. This type of massage is unique in that it uses a combination of yoga postures and is also based on Ayurveda or traditional Indian medicine principles. Meditation and herbal remedies can also be used as part of the treatment.
During Thai Yoga massage, the registered massage therapist will massage the body using his or her palms, thumbs, elbows, knees and feet whilst stretching it into yoga-like positions. By using his or her weight the therapist can move the patient’s body into a variety of positions in a flowing movement, which is often compared to a dance.
There are two different types of Thai Yoga massage; the Northern style and the Southern style. The Northern style focuses on stretching whilst the Southern style emphasises the massaging of acupressure points. Both types of yoga massage will aim to prevent any illness from occurring by attempting to get the body, mind and spirit in harmony with each other.
Thai yoga massage is a 2500 year old powerful and unique therapeutic healing art form steeply rooted in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga and Buddhist meditation. Thai massage sees and treats the human being as ever changing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual interweaving fields of energy. The aim is to restore and balance a person using a combination of techniques, postures, and adjustments.
While posture, breathing, digestion, circulation and flexibility are improved, muscles are stretched, organs are restored and the CNS is calmed through the techniques and adjustments it is the state of Metta where the practitioner vibrates the frequencies of being centered, still, peaceful and receptive that amplifies the benefits to the body and brings a sense of rejuvenation and peace to both the client and the practitioner. Because of this Thai yoga has never been seen as just massage, but also a spiritual practice. This sacred dance to restore balance and peace to the body, mind and spirit is what makes this massage powerful, therapeutic and a work of art.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THAI YOGA MASSAGE
Thai massage is traditionally performed on the floor — you lie on a padded mat as the masseuse guides you through partner yoga poses and manipulates your body into stretches. Some traditional massage techniques, such as acupressure, compression and joint mobilization, are also used, but no lotions or oils are applied and you remain fully clothed for the session.
BENEFITS OF THAI YOGA MASSAGE
Thai yoga massage brings together the benefits of yoga and meditation as well as the healing power of touch associated with a professionally administered massage. The main benefit of Thai Yoga massage is that it helps to release any blockages in the body, which helps to improve posture, breathing and flexibility as well as creating a greater sense of well-being. It can help with many health problems such as headaches, neck and shoulder tension and digestive discomfort. Stretching muscles also helps to ease joint tension.
Thai Yoga massage also has a wide range of emotional benefits and helps to ease depression and anxiety as well as improve sleep patterns if practised regularly. The mind will be stilled as in meditation, and a deep sense of well-being is often experienced after the treatment.
Enhanced Energy Flow
Thai massage works off the belief that tightened muscles lead to the diminished flow of energy in your body. When energy can’t flow freely, you become inflexible, suffer pain and feel stiff. Overtime, this leads to shortened muscles and connective tissue that affects your posture, immunity and organ function — all of which speed up aging and disability.
The pressing techniques used in Thai massage are designed to increase blood circulation to facilitate the better flow of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. It also helps your body naturally get rid of waste, such as metabolic byproducts and carbon dioxide, more efficiently.
Adding stretching to the massage process helps relax the muscles further, so they naturally regain natural flexibility and tone. You’ll relieve chronic stiffness and experience improved mobility.
Thai massage is an alternative way for people to deal with chronic pain, and can be quite effective for temporary relief showed a review of the research published in 2015 in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. In the six studies reviewed, people reported a 25 to 80 percent reduction of pain that lasted up to 15 weeks following a Thai massage protocol.
Thai massage has been particularly effective as an intervention for people with scapulocostal syndrome, a painful condition that strikes the back of the shoulder blade. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in 2012 showed that people with the condition who participated in a total of nine 30-minute Thai massage sessions over three weeks, improved in terms of pain intensity, pain threshold and muscle tension. The Thai massage participants reported better pain relief outcomes than a group that underwent more traditional physical therapy treatments.
A specific type of Thai massage that involves applying pressure against specific meridians in the body, called court-type Thai massage, was shown as an effective treatment for people suffering from chronic tension headaches. The study, published in a 2015 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains that the relief may be attributed to how Thai massage stimulates blood and lymph circulation and relaxes the sympathetic nervous system.
More traditional therapeutic massage is often prescribed as a way to reduce stress and induce relaxation. Thai massage affords these same benefits. A study published in Medical Science Monitor Basic Research in 2015 tested the ability of Thai massage to reduce enzymatic markers of stress and, thus, a person’s overall stress level. Researchers found that Thai massage was slightly more effective than simply resting in reducing psychological stress.
“When you allow Love to arise from within you and emerge through you,
a spark of creation is born.
This Love can only be felt or sensed, no words can describe it.
It is the Stillness that pulses strong; the Silence that is loud.
When you allow Love to emerge through you
and you give It expression through the physical senses,
you become the miracle.”
– Pamyla Love, Master of Vibrational Medicine.