Published in City Times
Yoga, Accupressure and Massage, Rolled into the Thai
It is all about aligning the body’s energies, of spiritual bonding, to become free of illness or get healed and enjoy good health. The origins of the Thai Massage go back to the times of Buddha. It is an effective therapy for treating various pathological and neurological conditions and promoting general well being explains Jennifer Lasrado, Health Club Manager, Renaissance Dubai Hotel.
Traditional Thai Massage about 2500 years old is a judicious blend of Yoga and Acupressure and massage and involves interactive manouevres between therapist and client. The Massage is done in quiet, meditative atmosphere with or without soft background music. When applied thus, space is created in the musculo-skeletal structure and the body begins to open and regain flexibility and ease of movement, while the mind gently returns to calm alertness. It is a whole and total approach to wellness that allows an individual to experience harmony with the rhythms of life. The best feature of the massage is that it indirectly provides for inner organ massage, oxygenation of blood and calming the mind – factors that Yoga helps achieve.
Two basic procedures form part of the Thai Massage: applying gentle pressure with the hands and feet, and a wide variety of passive stretching movements. Because of the passive range of motion on the part of the clients, Thai massage is often referred to as the Lazy Man’s Yoga. The massage carried out with the client lying down, usually on a mat, involves physically manipulating, stretching, stimulating and correcting the imbalances in his/her body through energy lines. By using a variety of stretching movements, Thai Massage helps open the joints in the body and bring balance to the body’s muscle groups.
The basis of Thai massage is same as of Ayurveda where the nadis or meridians on both sides of the vertebra are stimulated with thumb and palm pressures. There is a release of toxins from the joints, muscles and connective tissues and thereby an easing of tension. The energy body and the internal organs are stimulated by pressure on peripheral reflex points. The gentle rocking and rhythmic patterns of compression used by the therapists helps to relax and open the body’s natural energy flow. The massage makes possible greater ranges of muscle movement since the muscles become warmed and stretched, injuries may be prevented, relief from stress and sore, aching joints and muscles. There is overall wellbeing of the body because detoxification takes place as a result of the massage, explains Jennifer.
Thai Massage differs from other massage forms in that it does not use any oil or topical application and the clients remain fully clothed during the process. However, for best therapeutic effect, clothes hugging the skin are best suited, for this enables easy movements by the therapists.
Typical massage sessions may last from one to three hours. However, a complete massage session lasts three hours when all the twelve meridian points are stimulated. These massage movements help to adjust the body’s skeletal structure, increase flexibility, relieve muscular and joint tension, stimulate internal organs and balance the body’s energy system. The effect is relaxing and energizing at the same time. Says Jennifer, “Most of the clients who seek the massage are highly stressed out individuals and have great tension in their muscles, but cannot afford three hours of their time. So we undertake appropriate techniques that can be performed in an hour or two, to relieve them of their stress and make their body flexible. They feel very light after the session.”
The massage techniques are especially gentle for people suffering from rheumatism and arthritis in particular, reveals Jennifer. Thai massage is not recommended for individuals with a history of serious cardiac conditions. Similarly, the massage is not advised on individuals having elevated blood pressure at the time of going in for massage. Thai Massage is not meant for people with extreme conditions, whatever and with joint problems especially of the back of the knee. However, the therapy is extremely beneficial for people suffering from migraine and tension headaches.
Medical history of a prospective client is first taken and an evaluation of the general health condition is made prior to starting therapy, which is very much individualized. The detoxification process starts immediately after a session when a person drinks warm water. The water is necessary to flush out the toxins and to improve blood circulation in the kidneys, bladder and ureters. Over a period of two to three sessions that may be undertaken on three consecutive days, the toxins are eliminated from the body. The number of therapy sessions an individual requires depends on his condition.