Thai Massage

By Christine Townley…Thai massage originated in India and many of the stretches it uses resemble Indian yoga postures. It also uses thumb pressure similar to acupressure, originally from China, as well as soothing massage techniques. This blend and fusion of Asian techniques create a powerful healing massage that can increase vitality, flexibility and tranquility. 
Thai Massage is known as Nuad Bo Rarn in Thailand. Nuad means to touch and Bo Rarn means ancient or sacred. It reflects the ‘Four Divine States of Mind’ of Buddhist teaching. These are loving kindness, compassion, vicarious joy and equanimity. In Buddhist philosophy, ‘Mettha’ – meaning loving kindness – is a core component of a Buddhist’s daily life. A Thai Massage should be given with loving kindness rather than in a mechanical or forceful way. The legendary founder of Thai Massage was Jivaka Kuma Bhacca, a doctor from Northern India and a friend of Buddha. He is respected and honoured by the people of Thailand as the ‘Father of Medicine’. With its origins deep within the traditions of Buddhist culture,another spiritual element to Thai Massage is a prayer known as Wai Khru ceremony. Students recite a prayer at the beginning and end of each day at many Thai Massage Schools in Pali (the ancient Buddhist language), to honour the Father Doctor (Jivaka Kuma Bhacca) and wish the client good health and release from all illnesses. Buddhist monks traditionally performed this dynamic massage in Temples as a means of invigorating the mind and body. Thai Massage is part of Traditional Thai medicine which can include herbal compresses, meditation and nutrition.
Thai massage can help to alleviate pain, relieve stress and stress related disorders, as well as being used for regular health maintenance as well as helping to release trapped energy, thereby unlocking tension and improving the energy flow throughout the body. Thai Massage aims to increase energy levels and induce deep relaxation. It works very deep on an emotional and physical level.
With Thai Massage being very closely linked with the Indian yoga tradition it is often referred to as Thai Yoga Massage. Many yoga postures are included in a Thai Massage treatment. Forward bends, backward bends, cobra, spinal twists, locust positions and plough are all used during a treatment. It is like a yoga dance the practitioner also benefiting and getting stretched whilst giving the massage. It is also referred to as yoga for lazy people but a Thai Massage treatment is more than passive yoga and has more ingredients than a yoga workout as it combines the soothing massage techniques and acupressure, which make this a very unique healing art and therapy. The amount of pressure and stretching is measured and matched to the client’s physical ability and needs. The session is a continuous flow of techniques carried out in a slow rhythmic pace. And with an experienced practitioner one movement will flow effortlessly onto the next creatinglovely flowing dynamic sequences.

Christine Townley runs the Sussex Thai Massage School teaching Thai Massage and is running introductory and diploma courses at Mistiyan Academy of Natural Therapies. Contact 951 311 216 or email:

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