2500 years ago, the Indian science of Ayurveda (literally “Life Study”) was prominent in the early Buddhist communities. As Buddhist monks traveled through Southeast Asia, carrying Buddhist meditation and philosophy, they also brought a simple system of health care that involved mindful, compassionate touch, pressure point massage, stretching techniques and herbs. The massage methods of the monks were enhanced and hybridized by the local healing traditions and acquired characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yoga, and special techniques with the feet, knees and elbows. In Thailand, this healing art was preserved in buddhist temples and also became the principle form of health care for the Thai Royal Court.
Today, Thai Massage is recognized around the world as a graceful, dynamic form of deeply relaxing and yet energizing bodywork. Contemporary orthopedic knowledge and principles of anatomy and physiology are incorporated into the old systems, allowing Thai Massage to be very modern while still grounded in centuries of wisdom.
In the session, the receiver is clothed and rested on a comfortable ground-level mat. They will be moved through a series of yoga-like positions with deep stretching and natural body movements in order to help fulfill the body’s potential for movement. Joints are mobilized, circulation is increased and the nervous system is calmed. In the tradition of Thai Massage, although specific concerns can be addressed, the entire body will receive some degree of work in order to ensure the system as a whole is balanced and healthy. For this reason, a 90 or 120 minute session is recommend, although 60 minutes may still be effective if time is limited.
Thai Massage can be either subtle and gentle or deep and vigorous according to the needs of the receiver. It can be safely practiced on those who have a wide variety of health conditions as well as during pregnancy, provided the practitioner is properly trained.