Thai Massage Intro -04 Objectives
1) Understand the origin of Thai massage
There are many origins, but the most important of them is the intersection of Buddhism and medicine.
2) Identify the main elements of Thai Medicine theory
Thai Element theory has its roots in the Pāli Buddhist tradition. Like many other forms of traditional medicine in Europe and Asia, this tradition holds that all things are made up of the Elements and that the relative balance between these is responsible for the variance of the universe. Everything is to be understood by studying these essential elements, from the things we use to make our buildings to the petals of a flower—even the content and the nature of our thoughts.
TTM holds that the body, too, is made up of Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind. Although a Thai medicine practitioner’s work is informed with these Four Elements, a total of six are recognized: the standard four, plus Space and Consciousness.) While the underlying foundational system of TTM is similar to other traditions (such as Chinese, Greek, Indian, and Arabic medicine), each culture has understood and explained the Elements differently. No one medical system can be substituted for another, and the Elements in Thai medicine must be understood within the Thai context.
3) Cite what makes the practice distinct from other modalities
Thai massage applies a wide range of stretching techniques by placing the recipient’s body in various positions and postures, which help to open and release the blocked energy within the being.
Often referred to as the “Thai Yoga Massage” or the “Yoga for lazy people” since the recipient’s body is manipulated in ways that are pretty similar to the customary ‘yoga’ positions. The difference is that the recipient does not need to put in the same kind of labor. The person needs to focus inward, relax, and let the therapist make the effort.
The therapist supplies a unique array of rhythmic compression techniques, creating a relaxing and energizing effect on the body.
Thai massage is performed on the floor, and the recipient remains entirely clothed.
A traditional Thai massage does not require much equipment, as the entire procedure is carried out on the floor—this simplicity is matched by the calmness and elegance of the movements that make this form of massage distinctive.
Another factor distinguishing Thai massage from other forms is the meditative and spiritual form of the treatment.
Generally, the recipient starts with a recitation that is known as Wai-khru. This mantra sets the intention for the session, centers the therapist’s mind, and may also help the recipient focus on wellness and health.
In a typical massage, the recipient is lying face down or face up. In Thai massage, the recipient may also be placed lying on their side, sitting up, and even inverted during some parts of the session as required for some of the techniques to be implemented.