Since the 1990s, Thai massage has been gaining reputation in Europe and Northern America as therapeutic bodywork that combines the benefits of yoga without actually requiring clients to do yoga. The term “Passive Yoga”, which is how it is sometimes described, summarizes it well. This bodywork commands a good reputation because of its excellence in elegantly combining muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure during the massage.
The practice of Thai massage bases itself on the theory that inhaled air (lom) permeates into the entire body through what are known as “sen” or pathways which, when manipulated methodically, stimulate c to move out of orifices where the sens end. The theory is better explained by its modern interpretation of sens and loms in which they are equated to “meridians” and “energies”. The meridians or sens are not to be confused with any of the physical organs or their connections, but are regarded as tangible conduits for driving out energies.
Thai massage is recognized by the Thai government as a branch of scientific medical discipline appropriate and effective in the treatment of a range of both long-term and recent ailments. However, the practice of Thai massage differs from the Japanese shiatsu and the Chinese rubbing principles of tui-na as it presents a distinctive technique involving established systems of holistic beliefs. Thai massage has significantly drawn from ancient Ayurvedic medical practices of India since 2,500 years giving it an unbelievable efficiency.
The beauty of Thai massage is that it doesn’t make use of oils and is performed with the client lying on the floor wearing loose fitting garbs for total freedom of movement. The massage starts from manipulating a few sens near the navel where they are believed to originate from before spreading all over the body and terminating at the orifices. The massage progresses in a way as to relieve sens of blockages of loms in order to facilitate systemic relaxation. The kind holistic approach Thai massage brings in, is in contrast to the western medical system, which emphasizes on the diseased organs or subsystems, and is refreshing even as different parts of the body uniquely coordinate with each other complementing their individual well-being.
Two styles of Thai massage are prominently practiced today of which the southern style is thought off as vigorous, while its counterpart, the northern style, as gentle. Practicing Thai massage requires formal training from a qualified tutor. Of late, its worldwide recognition has led to a sporadic number of non-medical workers practicing this technique in the gyms and tourism industries while in Europe and the USA, the emergence of this has been organic and seems to be under control.
With the popularity of Thai Massage growing over the last couple of decades you should be able to find a Massage therapist that practices Thai Massage and experience a session if you haven’t already.