The History of Thai Massage
Thai Massage, also called Thai Yoga Massage, originated from an ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda dating back about 2,500 years ago (Grodner). Jivaka Khumar Bhacca, an Indian Ayurvedic doctor, is the "founding father of Thai Massage" (THAI). He was also a devout Buddhist, "whose body/mind/spirit/practice migrated to Thailand as a part of the spiritual practice of Buddhism" (Grodner). Therefore, Thai Massage was brought to Thailand by Ayurvedic doctors and Buddhist monks with "the passage of Buddhism across the Asian continent" (Asokananda; The School of Thai Yoga Massage). Traditional Thai massage developed "within the environment of Buddhist temples" and prospered "as a way for spiritual people to share the benefits of meditation and compassion in a physical form" (The School of Thai Yoga Massage).
Traditional Thai healing is based on the belief that "all forms of life are sustained by a vital force that is carried along invisible pathways that run through our bodies"(THAI). This force which is extracted from air, water and food, is believed to be able to clear out blockages that can occur along our pathways and therefore keep people away from disease and dysfunction. Thai Massage provides a way to "stimulate the natural flow of life-force, and maintain a general balance of wellness" (THAI).The practice of Thai Massage is also "a spiritual discipline" since it integrates "the Buddhist principles of mindfulness (breath awareness) and loving kindness (focused compassion)" (THAI).
Over the past fifteen years, traditional Thai massage has started to prosper outside of Thailand and become popular in the West. Other than representing the original Thai tradition, sometimes it has been incorporated with other types of therapies, mainly from the West (THAI).
What Is Thai Massage?
Today's Thai Massage is a healing system that combines "acupressure and energy balancing, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures"(THAI).
No oil or lotion is used and the recipient remains clothed (THAI). Thai Massage therapist will compress, pull, stretch and rock the recipient's body and use "thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, knees and feet to create a dance of movement" on the body in oder to clear energy blockages and relieve tension (THAI).
Ariela Grodner is an experienced Thai Massage therapist and she teaches a NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork) approved 5 level certification course in Thai Massage, at the Florida School of Massage and around the country (for more information about Ariela ). In this video, she introduces Thai Massage from her special perspective.
Thai Massage is an effective treatment for partial paralysis, neuropathy, parethesia, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome, chronic back pain (EquiLibrium Thai Massage & Yoga Therapy). It also provides benefits such as regaining fexibility and range of motion after injury or surgical procedure, easing pain from Arthritis, scar tissue, and multiple sclerosis (EquiLibrium Thai Massage & Yoga Therapy), and providing toning of internal organs, emotional calming and deep relaxation (Thai Bodywork School of Thai Massage).