Thai Yoga Massage – The physical application of Loving Kindness.
Said to have existed for thousands of years but few sources remain prior to that found in the 1800’s.
There is a range of views as to its origins but almost certainly it has taken its influence from Buddhism, Yoga, Ayurveda, indigenous Thai medicine and Chinese medicine/culture.
They can all be said to have informed the practice that we know of as Thai yoga massage. The earliest major source of information dates back to the 1830’s. Sixty different diagrams etched into marble depicted energy lines and points within the body and can still be seen today in Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple.
It is understood that what is depicted on these marble tablets bears little relation to what is taught today in modern Thai Yoga Massage schools, we can take from this that there is no single discipline or historical timeline that we can categorically say is more authentic than another.
Thai massage remains today as a differing practice throughout different geographical areas of Thailand, we can include in this cultural differences also. A massage received in the North is likely to be more laid back and perhaps gentler in style from that received in the South where it is considered to be a more intense and faster paced massage. Of course this is a generalization and style is often considered to be one of personal choice combining techniques from varying teachers and traditions.
- Balances the bodies’ energy, providing a general sense of wellbeing & allowing the body to heal more effectively. This in turn can help to reduce heightened levels of anxiety/worry.
- Effectively a moving meditation allowing both practitioner and the receiver to exist fully in the present moment, overtime this can allow for a deepened sense of focus in everyday life and a deepened connection between the body and the mind.
- Relives pain in overworked or stressed muscles.
- Improves range of motion and generally flexibility.
- Incredibly relaxing, can help to alleviate insomnia or encourage a more restful nights sleep.
Thai yoga massage appeals to those of all ages, sexes. With its ability to help relax and soften the tissues it can be used as part of a recovery package for those who compete or play sports regularly to those who have a more sedentary lifestyle or perhaps have office jobs, where the body is not able to move through a great range of motion and perhaps injury or general stiffness may develop.
This is a particularly therapeutic massage for those whom suffer with lower back issues, due to the use of differing techniques and attention paid to the legs and hips, where perhaps other forms of massage pay less attention to these areas.
Another benefit is that it is a massage that can be received fully clothed which may appeal to some whom prefer not to undress for a massage but still want to receive the benefits of touch, stretch etc. This is also quite unique to the practice of Thai massage as is the fact that both practitioner and recipient can benefit simultaneously. Both by working with the breath and movement, which is not necessarily part of other massage concepts but also due to the importance placed on the practitioner’s wellbeing.