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What happens during a Thai Massage?
Thai massage looks like a cross between acupressure, yoga, and Zen shiatsu and is inspired by Buddhist teachings. The actual massage consists of a technique that uses slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body’s energy lines, also called Sen in Thai. Over 70,000 Sen are said to exist within the body, and Thai massage concentrates on applying pressure along 10 of the most important Sen using the palms of the hands, thumbs, elbows, and feet. The effort from the practitioner works to free tension within the body. Practitioners also position the body into yoga-like poses and gently rock the body to more deeply open joints and facilitate limbering.
A thorough Thai massage includes the following four basic positions:
-from the front with the client lying supine
-from the side with the client alternately lying on either side
-from the back with the client lying prone
-in a sitting position
One of the most important principles of Thai massage is the continuous flow of sequential movements that prepares the client for the next step in the massage. The practitioner is always aware of his position so that an uninterrupted, slow rhythm is maintained. Deep, sustained pressure ensures that the myofascia, or the muscle’s connective tissue, soften and relax in order to release the flow of energy along the Sen, and to prepare the client for the large-scale stretches that follow.
The client wears comfortable clothing and lies on the floor on a special mat. No oil or lotion is used.
What are the benefits of Thai Massage?
The benefits of Thai massage are numerous with the most predominant being the maintenance of good health and its ability to treat a wide spectrum of physical concerns. Traditional Thai massage is also well known for its ability to clear the energy pathways.
The following are some of the benefits of traditional Thai massage.
- increases flexibility and range of movement
- eliminates muscle pain and muscle spasms
- improves postural alignment
- calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation
- increased energy level
- allows for a significant release of deep, emotional distress
- stimulates blood circulation and lymph drainage
- stimulates internal organs
- relieves fatigue, swollen limbs, painful joints, and headaches
It is a blend of massage, acupressure, energy work, and gentle yoga stretches. Benefits from a session may include: releasing tight joints, stretching muscles, increasing range of motion, and stress reduction.
Practitioners of Thai massage are taught the most important aspects of the meditative spirit–awareness, mindfulness, and concentration. Correct body positioning and posture control while giving a massage are of vital importance to the practitioner in order to avoid injury, especially to the back.
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