Traditional Thai Massage, sometimes referred to as Thai Yoga Therapy or Nuad Boran, is a form of massage that has been practiced since at least the 13th century and possibly as early as the 9th century. The precise origins of this form of massage have been lost to time but many practitioners trace their lineage back to Jivaka Komarabhacca, a friend and Ayurvedic physician of the Buddha.
Traditional Thai massage works the entire body to stretch joints and muscles and to apply physical pressure to Sen Sib lines, a technique similar to acupuncture. Thai Massage has been practiced in concert with other forms of traditional medicine in Thailand for many centuries, most notably by Buddhist monks who have passed down and preserved traditional techniques through many generations.
More rigorous than many Western forms of massage, Thai massage is also called Thai yoga massage, because practitioners utilize hands, knees, and feet to move recipient through a series of stretches similar to yoga poses.
While Thai Massage predates contemporary western styles of massage therapy, certain techniques such as Trigger Point Treatments, neuro-muscular therapy, and myofascial manipulation have been adopted in the west where they are practiced in a more limited and isolated fashion.
A traditional Thai massage is a deep holistic treatment that begins at the lower extremities and progresses upwards to the head using a series of flowing moments to stretch and loosen the recipient’s body in order to promote healing and wellness
Alleviation of Muscular Tension – In Thai massage, the practitioner applies pressure to specific points of the recipient’s body to positioning and assisting them through a series of stretching motions. These techniques are used to stretch and compress myofascial tissue and innervate both muscles and fascia as well as the neurological and proprioceptive pathways which allows for a release of muscular tension.
Mental and Emotional Balance – Like other schools of massage therapy, Thai yoga massage promotes the release of mental and emotional stress through manipulation of the muscle tissue in order to achieve an optimal state of mental and emotional balance. This form of massage therapy often incorporated mediation in order to promote more effective stress management and to achieve a deeper state of relaxation.
Improved Circulation – The cardiovascular benefits and improved circulation a Thai massage can provide are very similar to the benefits enjoyed by yoga practitioners. By stretching and holding the body in a certain position, blood flow to targeted areas slows. Release of the pose allows fresh blood to circulate within the affected area which can improve lymphatic drainage, increase blood flow to the heart and even aid in digestion.
Improved Immune System Function – According to the American Massage Therapy Association, there have been several studies that support the claim that Thai massage may be of benefit to the body’s immune system by stimulating the nervous system and improving the circulation needed to rid the body of naturally occurring cellular wasts that are certainly not toxins, and should never be called toxins, because that would be bad.
What to Expect During a Thai Massage:
Unlike other forms of massage that utilize a table, Traditional Thai massage is usually performed on a padded mat on the floor. No oil is applied, and recipients remain fully dressed throughout the session. Comfortable loose-fitting clothing is often the best option, and recipients should avoid larger meals and heavier foods before attending a session.