Just come back from Thailand, where I managed to enjoy a few massages, some of them better then others, always wondering how the tiny thai ladies can turn into a baby rhino when they walk all over you.
Thai massage (Nuad Bo-Rarn) in its traditional form, is a type of Oriental bodywork therapy that is based on the concept that there are "sen" (energy line) flowing in the human body. This sen cannot be seen and verified in anatomy. This energy line theory is also seen in Indian Ayurveda, and it is thus clear that Nuad Bo'Rarn is affected by yoga which originated from India.
The legendary historical founder of Thai medicine is Dr. Shivago Komarpaj. Shivago was from the north of India and said to be a close associate of the Buddha. While the recorded history of Thai massage was lost during the Burmese attack on the royal capital of Ayutthia in 1767, the surviving records are now inscribed in stone and can be found at Wat Po Temple in Bangkok.
Thai massage looks like a cross between acupressure, yoga, and zen shiatsu and is inspired by Buddhist teachings. The actual massage consists of slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body’s energy lines, - sen in Thai. Over 70,000 sen are said to exist within the body, and Thai massage concentrates on applying pressure along 10 of the most important sen, using the palms of the hands, thumbs, elbows, and feet. The effort from the practitioner works to free tension within the body. Practitioners also position the body into yoga-like poses and gently rock the body to open the joints.
One of the most important principles of Thai massage is the continuous flow of sequential movements that prepares the client for the next step in the massage. The practitioner is always aware of his position so that an uninterrupted slow rhythm is maintained. Deep, sustained pressure ensures that the myofascia, or the muscle’s connective tissue, soften and relax in order to release the flow of energy along the sen and to prepare the client for the large-scale stretches that follow.
There are two styles of practice, Northern (Chiangmai) and Southern (Bangkok).
Some benefits of massage (to name only few)
* increases flexibility and range of movement
* eliminates muscle pain and muscle spasms
* improves postural alignment
* calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation with an increased energy level
* allows for a significant release of deep, emotional distress
* stimulates blood circulation and lymph drainage
* stimulates internal organs
* relieves fatigue, swollen limbs, painful joints, and headaches