Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Don't fancy yoga? Have a thai massage....

This morning I opened my emails to find the regular newsletter from Mudita School of Thai Massage ( and this made me instantly tune into my body and think how much time I will have spent fixed and concentrating on a computer this week, both finishing assignments and at work in an office!  And I am sure most of us are probably the same....

Thai massage has so many negative connotations but in fact it is another type of therapy that has been around for thousands of years and it is said to have been developed by the Buddha's physician.  It was originally taught by monks within monasteries where only men could enter and then passed down to families and communities verbally.  Thai massage was developed over 2500 years ago and is made up of a combination of Yoga, Chinese meridians theory, Buddhism, Indian Ayurveda and also Thai indigenous healing practices.  The massage is performed fully clothed, with no oil and on a thick mat on the floor.  It is a spiritual dance by the practitioner using their hands, feet, knees, arms and legs to massage; by rocking, applying pressure to acupressure points, energy lines, myofascial release points and full stretches that could be seen as 'assisted yoga'.

It is another healing technique working with qi, or energy.  It helps to relieve stresses in the body that is reflected in tight muscles and tendons and general tension with low sense of well-being.  It helps to mobilise joints and also compress tissues to facilitate new blood and oxygen to deficient areas of the body.  It is both energising and relaxing and is much more dynamic than a Swedish massage.  It is sometimes called 'lazy persons yoga' as your body gets just as much benefit for being stretched and compressed even if it is with the help of someone else!  Thai massage has been overlaid with western anatomy and physiology but has its roots in eastern therapeutics and it is this history and combination of traditions that makes it such an effective and holistic treat for your body.

I was fortunate enough to have some time off over the summer and do a 90 hour course in Thai massage at Sunshine House in Greece (, having previously done a taster course with Mudita.  I am as intrigued by these techniques as I am with acupuncture and hope to be able to eventually bring them both together but for now will keep learning....

So if you are looking for a treat for this weekend, perhaps give your body a full MOT with a Thai massage... or even go on a taster course so you can share it with friends and family.

*always check the credentials of any therapist and there are the following governing bodies for Thai massage; Traditional Thai Yoga Massage Association (TTYMA) and British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA)*

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