Those people who use massage as an adjunct to other therapies often include Thai massage in their treatment. Thai yoga massage is a combination of massage, yoga and acupressure that helps to allow free-flow of energy throughout the body. It can help to relieve pain, strengthen muscles and reduce stress.
Thai yoga massage is a system of healing and rejuvenation developed thousands of years ago in Thailand. The system incorporates yoga positions into the massage. While in these positions, the patient is given a series of rhythmic or static pressure techniques that are designed to align and open energy channels within the body. Stretching the body helps to open up the channels and increase the flow of energy.
Thai yoga massage originated 2,500 years ago by Buddhist monks in Thailand where it was called “nuad bor-an,” or “ancient pressure.” The system was developed as a holistic health system to balance the subtle energy forces in the human body. These forces flow along “sen lines,” or channels. The knowledge of this technique was preserved through the ages in monasteries in Thailand, particularly in Wat Po monastery in Bangkok, Thailand.
What is thai yoga massage?
In Thai massage, the practitioner stretches the body to open up these energy lines and applies pressure to specific meridians to increase energy flow. Unlike other types of massage, the recipient is fully clothed in loose, comfortable garments as the massage is done. No oils or other lubricants are used in the technique. The practitioner may use his hands, forearms, elbows, knees or feet to apply pressure to the body or affect the stretching techniques. The massage can last up to 2 hours or more.
Maria Mercati from BODYHARMONICS® Centre explaines very well what happens with the body during a thai massage
What does it do?
Thais have long recognized that most musculo-skeletal pain and lack of mobility of the joints is the result of muscles shortening under the influence of repetitive strain.
The pressing techniques of Thai massage prepare muscles for stretching by increasing their permeability to the flow of Sen energies. The manipulations are designed to stretch the muscles a little more than would be possible unaided.
Even advanced yoga cannot compete with the stretching capabilities of Thai massage when applied by an expert.
Tension and spasm in a muscle are the result of a vicious circle of events involving the muscle and its sense organs; those muscles that are antagonistic to it and the brain.
The more tense the muscle the shorter it gets, and the brain interprets this as contraction, so inhibiting the function of the antagonistic muscles which weaken as a result.
Regular Thai massage stretches the muscles back to their normal resting length, which deceives the brain into ‘thinking’ that all is well and it stops inhibiting the antagonists. Before long, tension disappears and joint mobility is restored.
Thai yoga massage can offer a number of benefits to recipients. It increases blood flow throughout the body and boosts immune function. It relaxes muscles and increases flexibility. It can also help to improve athletic performance. Thai massage helps to strengthen joints and improve posture, balance and alignment. Thai yoga massage also has emotional benefits, such as increased mental acuity, greater concentration, and a more positive outlook. The psychological effects of Thai massage include less stress and anxiety, better energy, increased stamina and a greater sense of confidence.
From my point of view thai massage is a unique treatment. You can choose to do separately yoga and massage or you can try thai massage and benefit of both. The positions you see applied in thai massage may look scary, but they help a lot in stretching the joints. Thai massage should make the body feel younger. This is the form of massage I would definitely try on.
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