This all-encompassing, ancient art dates
back over 2500 years to the temples and traditions of Buddhism and even
Thai Massage is considered by some to be
the mother (or father) of all bodyworks but to describe it simply in these
terms does it a grave injustice. Unlike most therapies which focus in on a
certain aspect of the body or mind, Thai Massage encompasses our whole
being by working on our muscles, skeleton and the internal energy within
our body, considered so important in Eastern philosophies. With deep
stretches (often assisted with yoga-like postures), compression of muscles
by palm pressure, joint mobilisation and acupressure along sen (energy)
lines and on acupressure points, Thai Massage is the total workout and
reconnection our body, mind and soul are so often seeking.
The unhurried gentle rocking and
rhythmical style of Thai Massage, together with the moves and postures
designed to open up the energy channels, can often induce a meditative
state, where all sense of time is lost (it is not unusual for this state
to be reached within just 10 minutes!). This 'state' enhances our body's
ability to heal itself and restore inner balance by instilling complete
relaxation and calm.
What does it do
Traditionally, a Thai Massage can take
up to 4 hours but here in the West a massage is normally 1½ - 2 hours
long, with the longer massage always being recommended if time and money
During a massage, the practitioner works
systematically through the entire body, literally from the tips of the
toes to the crown of the head. The effect is to increase energy levels,
melt away stress and tension, improve flexibility and bring balance to the
body, mind and spirit. Not surprisingly for a therapy that originates from
the 'Land of Smiles', this wonderful art also brings a great happiness
within and a big smile without.
People who have experienced Thai Massage
express feelings of absolute calm, a lightness of being, feeling taller or
ironed out, more energised, alive and carefree.
What to expect
Thai Massage is practiced on the floor
on a mat or blanket and you remain dressed in loose and comfortable
clothing throughout the session (great news for the more inhibited among
As you lie on your back, the
practitioner starts working on your feet with a gentle rocking motion from
one to the other using palm pressure. The massage continues up your body,
working on the entire musculo-skeletal system to release tension and
opening the energy channels as it goes. The practitioner may use their
elbows, forearms, feet, knees etc. as they work on your body too.
You may be asked to lie on your side or
front, to give the practitioner the best possible access to the area of
your body being worked on. The massage nears its conclusion with a mini
head massage (similar to an Indian Head Massage). Then, as you adopt a
sitting position, further work into your upper body is carried out
followed by a gentle 'chopping' to your shoulders to bring your focus back
to the here and now.
Thai Massage is used as a remedial and
preventative therapy. It is excellent for backache, neck ache, shoulder
pain, numbness in limbs, tired legs, headaches, stress, emotional upset
and mental fatigue. It also encourages healthier sleep patterns, which
gives our nervous system the fighting chance it needs to promote self
healing and restore balance.
There is no age limit for a Thai Massage
but it is not recommended for those who have had recent surgery, are
pregnant, or suffer from heart disease.
Gill Douglas BSc. Dip. Sen
Therapy, Reiki IIIA