What is Thai Massage?
Thai massage is like a thousand gentle waves washing over the body
Traditional ThaiMassage is a beautifully structured whole-body massage. Thai Massage blends styles from Asian neighbors passed down through the generations. Unlike the scooping and continuous strokes of Western massage, the Thai method uses point pressure, muscle (Yoga) stretching and compression, often done in a rhythmic movement of gentle rocking. The goal of Thai Traditional Medicine, of which Thai Massage is one part, is to maintain or restore balance to the body/mind spirit.
The Thai massage consists of pressure applied along the energy lines (in Thai called Sen) to activate them, followed by yoga-like stretches and postures. Thai Massage, sometimes referred to as having yoga done to you, uses physical routines to activate and balance the energy systems of the body, similar to the intent of Chinese acupuncture and Shiatsu.
The combination of energetic and physical aspects is what makes Thai Massage unique and so effective. A full-body treatment, starts at the feet and progresses up to the head. Using a sequence of gentle, flowing exercise movements, in which the recipient's body is moved, loosened and stretched. This unique type of massage influences the energetic side by restoring the flow of energy throughout the body, so your body will be harmonized and energized. In our Thai Massage course we will both concentrate on applying pressure and stretching
Background of Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massage is dating back to ancient times over 2,500 years ago. Like the origins of the Thai People themselves, the history of traditional Thai Massage is obscure. Thailand was at the crossroads of ancient migration routes which saw many waves of different civilization and cultures passing through. The combination of Thailand’s close proximity to China and its position on one of the main trade routes from India has resulted in many interesting cultural and religious influences. The same seems to be the case with Thai Medicine of which Thai Massage is a part. It seems to be influenced by both Chinese and Ayurverdic (Indian) medicine.
Folk traditions credit Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha in Thailand known as "Father Doctor Shivago Komarpahj" (or Doctor Shivago). Doctor Shivago was a friend and the personal physician to the Buddha. His name is mentioned in the traditional writings of Theravada Buddhism which views him as “the father of medicine”.
Through the centuries the monks, who were the practitioners of medicine, transmitted to Thailand both Buddhist practices and Ayurvedic medicine which eventually became an integral part of Thai culture. The generations of experience and knowledge learnt and passed down, through feeling and intuition has made Thai Massage one of the four principal components of traditional Thai medicine, along with nutrition, herbal medicine and spiritual practice. Thai Massage, in fact, traditionally incorporates two kinds of meditations: a metta meditation of loving kindness and compassion and a vipassana meditation of insight, which focuses on the client's body. During teh Thai Massage course you will be learning meditation
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Secret of Thai Massage
Thai Massage enables you to press muscles and to balance energy levels. This is what affects flexibility and equalizes the effect of muscles on both sides of the body. The amount of movement a muscle can produce at a joint is determined by the difference between its length when relaxed and when fully contracted. When muscles are tensed, they become shorter, even when you are not consciously contracting them. This can happen through overworking them, by not using them enough or it could be due to emotional tension. Whatever the cause may be, the end result is progressively more restricted movement and the onset of stiffness, aches and pains which are all characteristics of the ageing process.
Muscles that shorten and become tense can create uneven force on the spine, the very important container of the spinal cord. This, in turn, creates the back pain, neck pain and headaches that can easily become a regular feature of daily life. With ability to stretch all the most important muscles in the body systematically, Thai Manipulations enable you to achieve effects which are unlike those of any other bodywork. Thai Massage surpasses western massages and is much more then a mere physical experience. The giving and receiving of Thai Massage is an ideal way of providing for the subtle, yet powerful interchange of intrinsic energy between two individuals
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Energy lines Thai Massage
The theoretical foundation of Thai Massage is based on the concept that a life force (also known as prana, chi or energy flow) circulates throughout the body maintaining health and vitality. In Thai medical theory this energy flow is called Sen. This life force or energy powers all the physical, mental and emotional processes which will only function normally when energy supply matches demand. When the system is working well and energy distribution is balanced, you feel happy, relaxed, energetic and free from stiffness and pain. When this energy flow is blocked or restricted, it creates sickness, pain or disease.
To clear these blockages Thai Massage combines the application of pressure (produced with hands, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees) with manipulation, adjustment and muscle stretching in full bodywork which improves overall health and well-being. Energy pathways are cleared, muscles are elongated, joints are freed, internal organs and all bodily functions are stimulated into moving towards a more balanced state.
In Thai Massage there are a total of 10 main energy lines; in Thai they are called Sen (energy) Sib (10). They run through the whole body and there are similarities between them and the meridians of Chinese acupuncture and to the Ayurvedic channels.
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