What is Thai massage?

See also:
» Frequently Asked Questions
» About Stephanie Golden

When receiving a Thai Massage (Nuad Boran), you remain completely passive as your therapist moves you through yoga postures while massaging (compressions) along your body’s energy lines (“Sen”) and pressure points (marma). A Thai massage is performed on a mat on the floor, the participants comfortably dressed. No oils nor cream are used.

It’s a full-body treatment that relieves muscular tension and pain, improves circulation, mobility & flexibility, relaxes *and* re-energizes you at the same time!
 

The Ayurvedic Link

The word ayurveda derives from two Sanskrit words: ayur, meaning “life” and veda, meaning “knowledge” – the science of living. According to Ayurveda, individuals are composed of any or a combination of the three doshas (body types): vata (air&ether), pitta (fire&water) and/or kapha (earth&water).

Each yoga (and Thai massage) posture affects our energy in different ways: they can have a grounding effect, or enhance circulation, they can help focus and center our energy, or raise it up. Every time a person is brought into a yoga posture one or all of the doshas is activated. In a Thai massage, a recipient’s energy can be balanced by applying postures of the opposite nature, in order to strengthen the weaker dosha(s). For example, for the fast-paced, nervous vata type the practitioner would apply soothing postures at a slow pace, while an invigorating and dynamic massage will help the slow-moving kapha to beat that sluggish feeling.
 

History

The founding father of Thai Massage, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, was a celebrated yogi and a doctor in the healing tradition of Ayurveda who treated, among others, the Buddha.

Traditional Thai massage developed over millennia within the environment of Buddhist temples. It flourished as a way for spiritual people to share the benefits of meditation and compassion in a physical form. It is a respected form of healing practiced today in hospitals and temples throughout Thailand.

This meditative practice is also known as the physical application of “metta” (loving kindness).