Basel-The History of Thai Massage
Traditional Thai Massage, also known in the West as Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage has its roots in India, in the Indian Yoga tradition and in Buddhism. It combines Hatha Yoga techniques and the spiritual commitment of working with “Loving Kindness”. These ancient arts have a close relationship with traditional Chinese medicine and Japanese Shiatsu. The practices that grew into Thai massage travelled to Thailand from India over 2,000 years ago. Indian Buddhist monks and Ayurvedic practitioners who had been invited brought them to northern Thailand by the Mon rulers of that region.
A complete Thai massage incorporates a traditional combination of Acupressure, energy meridian work and Yoga-like stretching. Acupressure is achieved through the use of the therapist’s hands, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees. In combination with this the therapist manipulates, adjusts and stretches muscles to provide a comprehensive bodywork experience designed to improve overall health and wellbeing. Energy pathways are cleared, muscles are elongated, joints are mobilized, internal organs and all bodily functions are supported to move towards a more balanced state. It stimulates and balances the flow of healing energy within the body, opening the areas which are blocked bringing the person deeper into balance and harmony by relieving muscular tension, improving circulation, boosting the immune system and replenishing the body’s energy.
Thai massage is different from many Western forms of massage in that there is no oil used, the therapist uses a mattress on the floor (instead of a massage table), and the client remains completely clothed throughout the session. In fact, it is so different from what we typically mean by “massage” that it is often instead described as having someone “do Yoga to you”.
Thai Yoga massage takes place on the floor on a padded futon mattress. During the treatment you remain fully clothed and unlike oil massage, no oil is applied. It involves passive Yoga stretches and Acupressure work using palm and thumb pressure to stimulate the energy flow along the body’s Meridians. The effects on the flow of energy are similar to that achieved by Acupuncture. This massage has been termed the ‘lazy person’s’ Yoga. Just like Yoga, the body is used as a gateway to access something deeper. Unlike Yoga, somebody else is taking all the physical strain and you have the opportunity to tell your therapist how far you feel comfortable to go. It is often possible to achieve a deeper stretch with the aid of a therapist and you will feel more relaxed which also aids the process. All you have to do is lie back and breathe deeply as the music soothes you and your muscles are stretched and relieved of tension. Joints are opened and made more mobile and energy lines are cleared of blockages leaving you feeling light, open and energized. These benefits may be felt for days afterwards, until the next time you return!
An estimated 60,000,000 people worldwide enjoy Thai Yoga Therapy. Like the Yoga postures, it works deeply on the skeletal, muscular, lymphatic, circulatory, digestive, and endocrine and nervous systems.
A skilled and intuitive Thai Yoga Therapist can bring a client into an extremely deep state of relaxation, or “Yoga Nidra” (Yogic sleep), while restoring balance and harmony on a physical and energetic level. While the postures are universal, the practitioner’s touch, pace and sequencing is unique, and ideally suited to the client’s needs.
Muscles and connective tissue are deeply stretched, providing a deep sense of relaxation and relief on the emotional and physical levels.
As the bodily systems are toned and balanced, the mind moves into deep states of relaxation (“parasympathetic response”) commonly associated with lower heart rate and blood pressure, improved digestion, restfulness and enhanced immunity.
Thai Massage for Sports and Injuries
It is also an effective sports injury treatment and excellent for sports enhancement, providing a full stretching program as part of a fitness program. A flexible body is necessary for performance and fitness. The slow, deep, unhurried massage and stimulation of acupressure points speeds repair of injured muscles and soft tissues and restores normal function. All sports enthusiasts can benefit from this type of massage. Thai bodywork received regularly will significantly reduce the risk of injury, allowing sportsmen and women to train safely and effectively.
This therapy treats many conditions from back pain, shoulder and neck stiffness and pain, sciatica or sports injuries to stress, anxiety and depression, treating the whole body on a physical and emotional level.
Immediate and lasting benefits.
Eliminates soreness and pain
Improves cardio and pulmonary circulation
Enhances range-of-motion [ROM] and mobility
Transforms cellular memories
Removes muscular adhesions
Cleanses old interstitial fluids
Oxygenates the blood
Encourages positive postural alignments
Stimulates and balances glandular configuration
Activates inert Marma centres
Opens Nadi blockages
Purifies chakra functions
Tranquilizes the nervous system
Refreshes the skin assemblies
Tonifies and strengthens overall physical countenance
Rejuvenates Doshas and Koshas
Supports spinal construct
Creates a greater sense of foundation and stability
Inspires and exhilarates the soul
Produces profound rest and relaxation
Induces mental clarity
Releases antiquated and non-serving thoughts
Develops more emotional fluidity
Establishes purpose and spiritual goals
Increases determination and commitment.