What is Thai Traditional Massage?
Thai Traditional Massage
It has been practiced for over 2500 years, is based on the Ayurvedic principles of balancing one's energy flow. In both Eastern and Western Integrative healing systems, maintaining equilibrium in the body is the key to good health.
Thai Massage is based on Sen, energy lines that run throughout the body, similar to the blood vessels carrying blood throughout the body. When the Sen become blocked, the energy stagnates and the body loses its balance, allowing disease.
Different Traditional Techniques
In Thai massage, stretching, Sen work, Tok Sen, Bamboo and acupressure are used to open energy channels, allowing the body to rebalance itself and heal. Applying pressure points along the energy lines, combined with gentle rocking, compression, and elongation of the muscles with yoga-like stretches, serves to relax muscles and open joints, thus allowing energy to flow.
Styles and Traditions
In general, You will hear about two mainstream styles of traditional Thai massage in Thailand. They are the "Royal Style' and the 'Northern/Rural Style'.
The Southern style is taught, along other styles, in State Schools and is mostly focused on adopting very polite postures, using precise acupressure pressure along the energy lines.
Strict etiquette must be observed. The distance between practitioner and recipient must be no closer than the stretched arm. No stretching positions are applied
and minimal body contact is maintained.
The Northern style is said to be taught mainly around Chiang Mai and has more stretching techniques and a slow and relaxing rhythm. Its main qualities come from the fact that it relies on cultivating a meditative state, nursing the ability to be present without Judgment, with the patient.
Different parts of the body (the forearms, elbows, knees and feet) are used to give the full body massage. One of the first schools to teach this style to foreigner was the Old Medicine Hospital in the late 80'
At the age of 17, Mac started studying and working in 1990 at the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, where his mother and famous other teachers were working.
Mac, then, in line with the traditional way has created his own massage style. Mac uses the traditional Northern massage style as a base and enriched it with his own experience. In the way Mac practice and teach, it is important that the practitioner feels comfortable when giving massages by feeling what the person receiving the massage needs.