Massage Therapy & Healing Blog

07
Feb

Why I love Thai Massage

One of the things that I first fell in love with Thai massage was its dance like nature.  Although it is often referred to as ‘lazy man’s yoga’ because the client if facilitated through a series of yoga-like poses, most people who choose to receive Thai massage are hardly the lazy sort.  Thai massage is both meditative and dynamic.  At times it challenges the receiver to be present in their own body and at other times Thai massage can induce a deep sense of relaxation or altered state of consciousness.

As a practitioner, you guide your client through a series of gentle pressing, rocking, rhythmic acupressure and assisted range of motion techniques.  Unlike many western techniques which are focused primarily on the therapist using their hands, in Thai massage, the feet, elbows, forearms and knees get in on the action.  By using more parts of your body and by using gravity as an ally, you can conserve you own energy and actually benefit from the session as well as the client.  Because many of the techniques require the practitioner to rock, sway or lunge, often the therapist feels more limber or open at the end of a session.  While you guide your client through many of the yoga-like postures, you can receive many of the benefits of yoga within your own body.

In Thailand, massage or ‘nuad bo ‘ran” is traditionally done on a mat on the floor, and the receiver wears loose and comfortable clothing.  However as its popularity is growing in the West, more therapists are choosing to bring the benefit of Thai massage to their table sessions.  For clients who are more modest, the ability to perform Thai massage fully clothed is a real asset.  Such clients can keep their clothing on and a complete Thai flow could be performed on a table.  For other clients who like receiving with oil and lotions, but could benefit from more range of motion exercises, selecting specific Thai techniques can expand and compliment a western-focused session.

One of the main teachings of Thai massage is that it is a moving meditation, embodying the four “divine states of mind”: loving kindness, compassion, vicarious joy and equanimity.  Of all of these four states, I love and appreciate the loving and kind nature of this healing art.  Thai massage is loving and kind to my clients, and it is especially loving and kind to myself, my state of mind, and my own body as give a session.

Stephanie (Sheila) Shrum is a massage therapist has been doing bodywork professionally since 1998 and practicing Thai massage since 1999.  She has spent over 9 months of her life in Thailand deepening her knowledge of this ancient healing art.  She has taught in the US, Mexico, Thailand & Europe.   She currently resides in Ashland, OR and will be offering a series of massage continuing education classes in Ashland, Bend and Medford, OR entitled “Around the Table, Around the Word – Massage Techniques Inspired from Trips Around the Globe.”   Please see her “Classes” page for more information.


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