Yoga Massage comes from the technique of the Traditional Thai Massage,
which I have learned at the Traditional Old Hospital in Chiang Mai,
north Thailand and have been practicing for the last 10 years.
It is an deep body work which reinforce and balance the energy
flow in the different meridians (ida, pingala, etc..) traditionally
called "Sen" in Thailand.
Acupressure points are stimulated thus the related organs within
the body are gently activated and can recover a full potential and
Yoga Massage relieves tension, stress, injuries within the body.
As my teacher Mr. Sutat was used to say, it can even cure someone
who is paralysed.
Even healthy people deeply enjoy Thai Yoga Massage, it is definitely
a deep body stretch and a stimulating touch which stays with you
for a few days.
History of Traditional Thai Yoga massage
Thai Yoga massage can look back at a long history of therapeutic
healing. If one traces the evolution of the techniques of healing-massage
practiced in Thailand, one discovers the astonishing fact that the
earliest roots of Thai massage lie not in Thailand but in India.
The legendary founder of the art is believed to have been a doctor
from northern India, known as Jivaka Kumar, he was a contemporary
of the Buddha and personal physician to the Magadha King Bimbisara
over 2,500 years ago. The teachings of Jivaka Kumar probably reached
what is now Thailand at the same time as Buddhism - as early as
the 3rd or 2nd century B.C.
Foundation of Thai Massage
theoretical foundation of Thai massage is based on the concept of
invisible energy lines running through the body. The Indian origin
and influence is obvious here since the background of this theory
clearly lies in Yoga philosophy. Yoga philosophy states that life
energy (called Prana) is absorbed with the air we breathe and with
the food we eat. Along a network of energy lines, the Prana Nadis,
the human being is then supplied with this vital energy.
Out of these energy lines Thai massage has selected 10 mainlines
on which there are especially important acupressure points. Massaging
these lines and points makes it possible to treat a whole range
of diseases or to relieve pain. The 10 mainlines are sufficient
to conduct practical treatment for the whole body and its internal
organs. Disturbances in the flow of energy result in an insufficient
supply of Prana, which will in turn lead to sickness. Working on
the energy lines with massage can break the blockades, stimulates
the free flow of Prana, and help to restore general well-being.
Giving a Massage
back at the tradition of Thai massage it is very clear that it was
never seen as a mere job. Massage was always considered to be a
spiritual practice closely connected with the teachings of the Buddha.
Until fairly recently it was the Buddhist temple, where massage
was taught and practiced. The giving of massage was understood to
be a physical application of Metta, the Pali word used in Theravada
Buddhism to denote "loving kindness" - and devoted masseurs
still work in such a spirit today. A truly good masseur
performs his art in a meditative mood.
He starts with a Puja, a meditative prayer, to fully center himself
on the work, on the healing he is about to perform. And he works
with full awareness, mindfulness and concentration. There is a world
of difference between a a massage performed in a meditative mood
and a massage just done as a job.
Only a masseur working in a meditative mood can develop
an intuition for the energy flow in the body and for the Prana lines.