Thai massage (also known as Thai Yoga massage for the applied yoga stretches) is a jewel from the Orient – a wonderfully therapeutic, dynamic and liberating form of massage and bodywork that engages with you deeply. It is a meditative dance of relationship between two bodies in which we explore how we relate to ourselves, to our bodies and through that to others – so we learn about relationship through the body of another.
It is not a passive massage like many forms of oil based table massage where you may disengage and fall asleep. It requires a degree of presence and attention, to your body and to your breath. The more you engage with your breath during a Thai massage the more responsive your body will be in opening and letting go of tension.
Being a dynamic massage, Thai massage can often highlight areas of your body that are contracted, limited and painful. Rather than meeting these painful areas in yourself (and your life) with habitual avoidance and resistance, you are encouraged to truly meet them, with your breath. This meeting creates the possibility of change.
Thai massage is given on the floor, on a futon mat, with the recipient fully clothed in loose comfortable clothing. Through the use of movement – rocking, manipulations and stretches (as well as compressions) you are called on to surrender your body (namely your mind’s control of it) to another. This is an art form that takes practice, but Thai Yoga massage is a superb way to learn this.
Thai massage bodywork can show us how we control our lives through controlling our bodies, in terms of the postural/emotional shapes we assume in childhood and maintain in adulthood. This becomes particularly evident with our limbs when we are called on to give them up to another during bodywork. Thai massage brings awareness, attention and mindfulness to aspects of our body and mind that for most of us are unknown. It brings light to how you are living in your body.
Though Thai massage is very physical, traditionally it works more with the energy channels of the body (called ‘Sen’ in Thailand), very much like Shiatsu. This approach is common to most, if not all of Oriental medicine, and balancing and harmonising the flow of energy within the channels is the principal intention.
The acupressure of traditional Thai massage penetrates deeply into energy of the body, as well as the physical tissues. It can have a profoundly beneficial affect on the body, whatever your ailment or disorder may be. It is wonderful for relieving all muscular conditions, but can have an equally uplifting affect on your emotions, mind and spirit too.
Thai Massage is given always in the spirit of Buddhist loving compassion, working for the best of the client. Every session is considered a sacred act of healing. Extended sessions, up to 3 hours, of Thai massage are available. Traditionally in Thailand, it was not uncommon to give or receive a 7 hour massage!
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