The traditional Thai Yoga Massage, which is known as Nuad Bo Rarn in Thailand, means ancient healing or sacred medicine. It is an Eastern form of therapy, which believes that to treat an illness, the whole body needs to be worked on, and not just a particular part. It has a deeply holistic approach and believes that in the human body, energies flow along a network of channels or lines also known as nadis in India or ‘meridians’ in China. Health in the Eastern philosophy is identified as a state of equilibrium between these energies, where the soul and the body work in accord with each other. Thus, any imbalance in the flow of energies is equated to ailments. According to Ayurveda, our body is made up of one or a combination of three doshas [body types]—vata, pitta and kapha. The practitioner customises the massage according to the recipients’ body type.
Thai yoga therapy is a healing art, prominently known as The traditional Thai Yoga Massage, that roots back to the days of Gautama Buddha—about 2,500 years ago. Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha [who was the physician to Buddha] was the founder of this therapeutic massage.
How does it work?
In India and Thailand, it is believed that there are 72,000 energy lines in our body and 10 out of these have been selected to be used during Thai massage. Thai Yoga Massage endeavours to channelise the flow of energies in the body, where the practitioner works along the recipient energy lines and pressure points.
Touch is a necessary part of our lives and is a key element in both our physical and mental health. In today’s fast paced life, we often tend to lose touch with our mind and body. Thai yoga therapy is graced by divine life force. The therapy not only provides relaxation and feel good factor, but also creates a great possibility in people to experience wellbeing and meditative state of body and mind. These therapy sessions are continuous ongoing learning process for the giver and a receiver—it is a exchange of energies. These sessions have great potential of bringing the mind in an absolute present moment, which can truly give glimpses of bliss.
What does it do?
Traditional Thai massage does not primarily work with the physical body, but with the energy body where energy points are pressed or general pressure is used.
It is a combination of acupressure, asanas, stretching, palming, thumbing and gentle twisting. This helps in ushering back the balance in the body, deepens the connection between mind, body and spirit, in the giver and receiver.
In Thai Yoga Massage, no oils or creams are used and both the practitioner and the recipient are dressed in comfortable clothing. It is performed on a mat on the floor and begins with the therapists chanting few holy shloka’s for creating a spiritual experience. This helps the masseur to fully centre himself on the work, and the healing he is about to perform. Working in a meditative mood develops an intuition for the energy flow in the body and for the prana lines.
Thai massage usually begins with work on the feet as they are the lowest part of the body [gravity wise] and ends with the face and head. By working thereon feet first, a person’s energy can be moved upward thus helping the circulation of energy. This is important as due to gravity our energy only flows downwards. Massage or inverted postures such as performed in yoga can therefore help to remedy this.
The feet are one of the four reflex areas in the body. The other three reflex areas are the hands, ears and the irises of the eyes. Reflex areas contain points that correspond with other body parts. When these points are stimulated, there is an effect on the corresponding body part.
What are the benefits?
Some therapeutic effects of Thai yoga massage are:
- Enhances your practice of yoga, pilates, and other physical modalities
- Balances the body’s energy pathways
- Increases resistance to injury
- Relieves pain due to arthritis, stress, and overworked muscles
- Improves range of motion
- Releases lactic acid and other toxins from areas of accumulation
- Tones internal organs
- Increases energy and peaceful alertness
- Enriches emotional calming and deep relaxation
- Deepens the connection between the mind and body.
This massage helps relax patients with blood pressure and even asthma. It’s a great way to relieve yourself from stress and even pregnant women with swelling on their body can benefit from it. Apart from feeling physically elated by releasing stress and tension, the recipients experience an inner peace and joy and a feeling of being elevated away from the anxieties that possibly encompass them.
How long does it take?
Thai Massage is based on the holistic point of view that any problem is not simply an illness of a particular part, but rather a disorder of the whole being. All the parts of the body are believed to have an organic relationship, which exists within an even greater whole—nature. Because of this holistic approach, treatments are usually about two hours long so that the entire body can be addressed. There are no known side-effects of same, unless the masseur does not follow the principal guidelines and right techniques.
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