Traditional Thai Massage
The Benefits of Thai Massage
The purpose of Thai massage is to bring the body, mind, and spirit into a state of balance and harmony, providing an opportunity for self-healing. The practitioner always begins the session with “Puja”, a moment of centering and connection, paying attention to Promwihan Sii, the Four States of Mind: loving kindness, compassion, vicarious joy, and equanimity. This practice helps therapist and receiver to enter a state of meditation, to be mindful of prana (energy and breathing), creating an empty vessel to receive healing energy and to achieve freedom from attachment. The benefits enjoyed from a Thai massage session may include the following: relief from stress, deep relaxation, warmed and stretched muscles, healing energy flow, greater flexibility, increased and focused energy levels, prevention of injury, relief from sore and aching muscles and joints, detoxification, and a feeling of confidence and well-being. This massage is perfect preparation for anyone in training for an athletic event, performance or any kind of physical or mental test. It helps one focus energy and attention on the task at hand. It is highly therapeutic for those in pain from tension, injury, or illness.
Ancient History of Massage
In India,in the Fifth Century BC, the Buddha befriended Dr.Jivaka Kumarbhaccha, a famous Ayurvedic healer. Dr.Jivaka became the head physician for the original Sangha community of Buddhist monks and followers. This man is known as “The Father Doctor” of Traditional Thai Medicine. Dr. Jivaka traveled to Thailand, the crossroads for merchant trade between India and the Far East. Recognizing the value of China’s ancient medicine, he combined it with his Ayurvedic knowledge and created the four branches of Traditional Thai Medicine: herbal remedies, nutritional medicines, spiritual practices and Nuad Bo’Rarn or Thai Massage.
Massage as a Medicine
The word “Nuad” means “to touch with purpose of healing”and the “Bo’Rarn” is Sanskrit for something that is ancient and revered. An integral part of Thai Massage includes the practices of yoga and meditation. The knowledge and training of Thai massage has been handed down through centuries by the monks of the Buddhist monasteries, or Wats. One of the most famous learning institutions for Thai medicine is Wat Po in Bangkok where Thai massage is still taught today.
My Relationship with Thai Massage
Thai Traditional massage has been an important part of my life since I was a child. I first began to learn the technique from my grandparents and practiced everyday. Although I have completed the official course at Wat Po, massage is much more than a job for me – It is my way of life and a key part of my Thai culture.