the massage technique
A Thai massage lasts between 1 and 2 hours. One hour is very beneficial, two hours is even better! The practitioner will use pressure to relax and heal the entire body.
This pressure can range from very gentle to very deep and firm pressure depending on how far the client wishes to take it.
Sometimes the client may fall into a very relaxing sleep during the massage and wake feeling refreshed and full of energy.
The various massage techniques can be performed using the palm of the hand, the thumbs, the elbows, or the feet, depending on the depth of pressure required.
The practitioner moves in a highly skilled way, using their body weight rather than mere strength, enabling them to apply whatever pressure the client needs.
The massage is to the energy points of the body, working to release trapped energy so that it may flow wherever it needs to heal you.
The practitioner also applies stretching movements to relax, energise and open up your body. These movements are not exercises; you remain passive while the stretches are done for you.
This is a highly enjoyable experience, which is very different from the hard work of stretching on your own or in an exercise class. The stretches will increase your flexibility and release body tension. The bones and joints are never directly worked on as they are vulnerable and considered sacred in Thai massage.
The area around the bones is worked on instead. You must tell your practitioner of any serious injuries, conditions or illnesses which you have. They can then avoid any pressure to these areas, which might be harmful, and focus on areas that will help to heal you.
History of Thai Massage
Thai massage originated many thousand of years ago, and its roots are in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurvedic medicine.
The stretching movements of Thai massage can be seen to be closely related to yoga. The pressure points and energy lines of Thai massages known as "Sen" follow the flow of energy through the body's form and are similar to the energy channels of Chinese Acupuncture and Japanese Shiatsu. However Thai massage, which is called "Traditional massage", in Thailand is a unique and very effective type of healing, different from other types of massage.
The legendary founder of the art of Thai massage is Jivaka Kumarabhacca. He was a physician for the first Buddhist priests and a close friend of Buddha. The original texts of ancient Thai massage were recorded in the sacred pali language of ancient Buddhism.
Most of the ancient medical texts were destroyed in 1776 in the Burmese invasion.King Rama III had the surviving traditional knowledge carved into stone inscriptions in 1832 which were set into walls of the temple in Bangkok called Wat Poh. By this means he hoped to preserve the knowledge against future disasters, for the benefit of future generations.
Until recently the art was taught mainly to monks in the Wats (Buddhist temples) of Thailand.Now it is generally taught at special Thai massage institutes.