Thai Yoga Bodywork (Thai massage or Nuad Bo’Rarn) is a healing art believed to be over 2000 years old. Still widely practiced in Thailand today, it is a method of maintaining health for people of all ages. Traditional to the Thai culture, this practice combines the medical wisdom of Ayurveda and Yoga from India, and is also influenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The treatment is performed on a padded shiatsu mat on the floor. The recipient is asked to wear comfortable clothes that are not restrictive to the breath. During a treatment, the recipient is completely passive. Through a sequence of gentle, flowing movements, the practitioner supports the recipient in various positions similar to yoga asanas. The technique allows the recipient to remain passive but still present and therefore able to obtain the benefits of a standard hatha yoga practice. (For this reason, Thai Bodywork is sometimes referred to as “lazy man’s yoga” or “yoga done for you”.) The practitioner will also apply accupressure in a gentle rocking motion along the sen sip or energy lines of the body. The movement and stretching, coupled with gentle acupressure and instructed breathing serve to restore the flow of energy through the body. This unique combination of energetic and physical aspects differentiate the Thai technique from other forms of bodywork. A typical treatment includes muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure techniques and has both a relaxing and energizing effect on the body and mind.
Physically, Thai Bodywork helps to strengthen the joints and tone the body. The combination of breathing and stretching encourage increased circulation and detoxification of the blood. The gentle movements allow synovial fluid – the lubricating substance between the joints – to be released into the joint cavity, reducing discomfort and improving range of motion. On a more subtle level, Thai Bodywork reduces stress and anxiety by inducing a calm, meditative state of mind. It is common for recipients to experience an overall centering effect and improved concentration in everyday life.
Thai Bodywork is considered to be the physical application of Metta, the concept of Loving Kindness as understood by the Buddhist philosophy. The treatment is a balanced, flowing series of techniques and is considered to be a form of meditative practice for both the recipient and the practitioner.