About Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massage (nuad phaen boran in Thai language) is a unique and powerful healing art that combines physical, energetic, and spiritual healing techniques and concepts. It is the skilful combination of applying both broad and targeted acupressure, finding and dissolving blockages, stimulating energy lines (sen), opening and toning the body with yoga-like stretches, and allowing and encouraging the receiver to engage in a process of self healing, relaxation, and renewal.
In Thailand, massage belongs to one of the branches of traditional Thai medicine, and it incorporates Buddhist healing principles. Masterful Thai massage therapists facilitate and encourage healing in others through their sensitive touch, their application of metta (loving-kindness), and the atmosphere of safety, trust and confidence that they establish and maintain in their practice. Thai massage, at its essence, is a spiritual healing art, not simply a physical therapy.
Good body mechanics and correct breathing play extremely important roles in Thai massage. An experienced Thai therapist works only within his immediate reach, and positions his body directly ahead of, or on top of, the area where he is working. The hara, the core area located slightly below the navel, is where all movement should originate. A therapist’s back should be straight, the shoulders relaxed, the chest open, and in most cases, arms should be straight and locked at the elbows when applying pressure. Masterful Thai therapists utilize correct breathing patterns as they work, they remain observant of their client’s breathing throughout each session, and they adjust their breathing to work most effectively with that of their client.
One of the most wonderful things about Thai massage is that it is not static, and that it will continue to evolve and expand as a healing art well into the future. Despite this wonderful capacity to expand and grow, however, it is important to study and practice Thai massage within the contexts of Thai healing traditions, Thai Buddhist spirituality, and Thai culture.