Welcome To A Caring Touch By Tai

Description of Thai Yoga Massage

Thai yoga massage is a system of massage and assisted stretching developed in Thailand, and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia.

This form of bodywork is often performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used in Thai yoga massage.

Thai yoga massage is unique among massage therapies in combining both physical and energetic aspects. It is a deep, full-body massage progressing from the feet up, and focusing on energy lines throughout the body, with the aim of clearing blockages in these lines, and thus stimulating the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body. By the end, one feels both relaxed and energized, in an almost dreamlike state, and typically without pain.

Practice

For this type of massage the massage recipient changes into loose, comfortable clothes and lies on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. It can be done solo or in a group of a dozen or so patients in the same large room. The receiver may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, but deep static and rhythmic pressures form the core of the massage. The body will be energized and rejuvenated after the massage.

The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows the meridians on the body. Legs and feet of the giver can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. A full Thai yoga massage session typically lasts one hour or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back, and arching the recipient into or cobra position. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the practitioner will adjust to fit each individual client.

The true practice of the art of healing in traditional Thai yoga massage is the compassionate intent of the healer. The spiritual practices associated with Thai yoga massage cultivate humility, awareness, and concentration in the healer designed to bring the practitioner to a deeper level of awareness of herself and the client.

Thai culture is the wellspring of modern massage therapies, and is much more than what is typically considered massage in the West, which accounts for its appeal and attraction to visitors. It combines many different techniques into one all-encompassing system, drawing particularly on acupressure, reflexology, and assisted yoga postures.

Typically, a deep calm ensues as the massage progresses, as the recipient enters a meditative state and bonds with the massage therapist. The body relaxes, the joints loosen, the muscles stretch, and done properly, the body undergoes a transformation as the healing begins. Regular sessions are important if one is to maximize the benefits of this technique.

History

The founder of Thai yoga massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj, who is said in the Pāli Buddhist Canon to have been the Buddha's physician over 2,500 years ago. In fact, the history of Thai massage is more complex than this legend of a single founder would suggest. Thai massage, like Traditional Thai Medicine more generally, is a combination of influences from Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian cultural spheres and traditions of medicine. The art as it is practiced today is likely to be the product of a 19th-century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over the kingdom. Even today, there is considerable variation from region to region across Thailand, and no single routine or theoretical framework that is universally accepted among healers.

Prevalence

In Thailand, Thai massage is one of the branches of Thai traditional medicine (TTM), now recognized and regulated by the government, and is widely considered to be a medical discipline used for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. On the other hand, Thai massage is also practiced and taught by a number of non-medical massage technicians in the spa and tourism industries. In North America and Europe, an increasing number of practitioners and teachers of Thai massage have emerged since the 1990s. In Europe and the United States, Thai massage is a growing modality among clients of massage clinics and massage therapists seeking continuing education.

Benefits

The benefits are many, including relief from multiple, diverse ailments ranging from asthma and migraines to sprains, bruises, and anxiety. Thai massage improves circulation, strengthens the immune system, stimulates the internal organs, and relieves stress. Given this, the range of benefits extends to a wide range of mental and physical complaints and ailments.

Physical Benefits
  • Aid detoxification of the body and boost the immune system
  • Increase blood circulation, help to lower blood pressure
  • Increase muscle flexibility and mobility
  • Improve breathing and respiration
  • Improves posture, balance, and body alignment
  • Dissolves energy blockages
  • Help arthritis and back pain
  • Help strengthen joints, including chronic joint problems
  • Combats illness and alleviates degenerative diseases
Mental Benefits
  • Help with concentration and creativity/ Mind and body concentration
  • Clears and calms your mind
  • Help you gain mental clarity
  • Reduces and relieves stress and anxiety
  • Help boost inner energy levels
  • Develops discipline and self-control
  • Increases overall health and vitality

Training

Tai Smith, owner of A Caring Touch By Tai, trained under Ko Tan at the The Academy of Radiant Health in Atlanta, Georgia.