Thai Yoga Massage

What is it?

Thai Yoga Massage is one of the three main branches of the ancient Thai Medical system. The founder of this system is thought to have been Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, a doctor from North India, who was the personal physician to the Magadha King Bimbisara more than 2,500 years ago. The teachings of Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha are said to have reached Thailand from India along with Buddhism in the 2nd or 3rd century BC.

Traditional Thai Medicine is based on the concept of an energy system comprising 72,000 'sen' lines through which energy is transformed and distributed in the human body. This is similar to the system of 'nadhis' found in Ayurvedic medicine and yoga.

Thai Yoga Massage works to stimulate, open and balance the flow of energy through the sen lines to assist the body in its natural tendency towards self-healing. This is achieved through rhythmic manipulation of sen lines; mobilization of joints; passive stretches and applied Hatha Yoga asanas. In practice the massage unfolds like a continuous and rhythmic dance.

Thai Yoga Massage exemplifies the four divine states of mind described in Buddhist teachings. These are: loving kindness, compassion, vicarious joy and equanimity. Thai Yoga Massage is traditionally taught and practiced with the aim of embodying these states in action. For this reason the massage is sometimes referred to as 'meditation in movement'. During a good Thai Yoga Massage the receiver would experience this meditation as a state of clear, calm and vivified embodiment.

Thai Yoga Massage is practiced on the floor. There is no need for the use of oil. The receiver can remain lightly clothed.

Article written by Howard Evans

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