What is Thai Yoga Massage?
Thai Yoga Massage has been around for over 2,600 years originating from India. With India’s rich culture and heritage in natural healing therapies, it’s no surprise that they founded one of the best massages you may ever experience. The massage is rumored to have gotten its beginnings from an actual physical to Siddhartha Gautama, or more commonly known as Buddha. During this time in history there was a lot of belief in the body as the center for complete healing. Just as today, we understand that our bodies truly have the capacity to heal themselves if properly cared for. Thai Yoga Massage was a beneficial treatment for the Buddha due to it being a wide combination of many elements that offered many advantages to an aging Siddhartha.
Elements of Thai Yoga Massage
The elements of a Thai Yoga Massage are many, ranging from Shiatsu, Yoga (stretching), and even at times Trigger Point Therapy. Unlike your traditional massages such as Swedish, Lomi Lomi, or Deep Tissue Massage, Thai Yoga Massage takes place on floor surface, generally accompanied with a special padded mat to help the body be supported properly and comfortably. During this unique therapy the therapists and client work very close together to become a team with a single focus on healing. As a practitioner, the practice involves slow applied pressure nearly the same as Shiatsu while working through the routine with many various stretches similar to our traditionally practiced Yoga. What this does is many things, but specifically it allows the body to work against itself with the support of a well trained therapist to increase the bodies range of motion and detoxifying properties.
Many people are often surprised at the tremendous benefits they receive when after a massage of this nature. There tends to be a common element in all of us and that element is that we tend to hold and harness a lot of stress in our bodies with very little thought going into how our bodies move in space. It’s a bit like watching people walk down a sidewalk, while never really pausing to take a look we don’t notice much but our direction and where we are going, but once we pause we tend to notice that everyone is going there in their own unique way. Each one of us walks with a separate stride shaped by our bodies natural tendency to protect itself from harm, which really tends to cause long increasing problems if our stride is always the same daily. What happens during this process is that, over the years, your body begins to tighten to a point that its nearly immobilized, such as the case with elderly people having very short steps while walking. Thai Yoga Massage addresses this issue because, although one could simply stretch themselves regularly to allow the body to continue to have a wide range of joint mobility, we generally do not. With a therapist aiding us through a wide range of movements our bodies are allowed to stretch and heal themselves in a safe and harm free manner.
Thai Yoga Massage is practiced very different than many other massages as well due to the very nature of the movements and close proximity in which one works with their client during the session. Due to this, during a Thai Massage the client is fully clothed in a pajama that is quite loose fitting which allows for a full range of motion through the entire session. The massage is also practiced on a mat rather than a table like many people who get massages are typically accustomed to. Once in a while, depending on the client, this may not be true for all cases, but most often is. Clients will generally lie on the mat face up to begin the session while the therapist will start the massage at the clients feet and work their way up through the different stretches and compression’s.
Each session typically lasts between 90 minutes and 12o minutes, but can often times run into much longer time frames dependent upon the client during the particular massage. Being unique, each client is going to have different needs during their massage and each need taking a different allotted amount of time. For instance, clients that tend to be active in things such as yoga, martial arts, and gymnastics tend to be more flexible and nimble so the time to stretch their muscles will be much shorter due to the bodies natural response system when it comes to the muscles being used to such work. Clients that tend to be more inflexible such as body builders, office workers, and various other labor/non-labor types of jobs tend to take much longer during the stretches for their bodies to begin to stretch. Our bodies have a natural mechanism in them that prevents us from moving beyond a normal range of motion so we don’t damage our tissue.
Thai Yoga Massage And It’s Practitioners
There is something very unique about Thai Yoga Yassage and it’s practitioners. The thing that tends to be most common of the therapists practicing this type of therapy is that they have been doing so since the earliest years in their lives. For many of the therapists that practice Thai Massage is that it’s been a family tradition and one that has been practiced in homes growing up since they were children. Unlike here in the Western parts of the world, families in the east, specifically Thailand, tend to see healing as a thing that should be shared in the home growing up. If you ever have the luxury of spending time with someone who practices Thai Massage you’ll quickly notice that they don’t speak of the massage as work, but as something they enjoy doing because of the healing aspects they get to share with their clients, which are the same things they were able to share with their families while at very early ages.
Many of the therapists have been practicing Thai Yoga since they were kids and to think about that here in the Western Part of the world almost seems as though it may have been an odd way for parents to get massage work without actually having to pay for it, but speaking with the therapist you’ll hear the joyful memories in their voices of how they used to walk on their mom and dad during family time, sometimes after a family meal or while watching television. I suppose, for those of us born in the West, it may be like going out to shoot basketball or play catch while talking with family. The greatest thing about this form of Thai Massage is that it really is one that is practiced from the heart and you certainly do experience that during the massages. Most people who practice this healing art form do so because they love it and as you think about all the different types of massages that are available, think about this type for a few more reasons…
Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage
- Improves muscle elasticity
- Improves joint mobility
- Improves circulation
- Improves detoxification of muscles
- Helps ease tension
- Tends to be very unique experience
As with all types of massage, it’s always best to consult a physician prior to your massage, but if you are a regular and looking to experience something truly wonderful and unique, be sure to try a Thai Yoga Massage!