Nuat phaen boran, as Thai massage is known in Thailand, translates as ancient or traditional massage and is also known as Thai ancient massage, traditional Thai massage, Thai yoga massage, and Thai bodywork. Originating from Ayurveda and tracing back over 2,500 years ago, it draws from reflexology, passive yoga therapy and acupressure.
A technique that involves stretching using range of motion and yoga like poses, Thai massage is based on the Ayurvedic concept of the three doshas (elements). According to Ayurveda, each individual is composed of one or a combination of the three doshas of vata (air-ether), pitta (fire-water) and kapha (earth-water). Practitioners treat each person according to the tridoshas as related to individual constitution.
As a person is brought into a yoga posture during massage, one or all of the doshas is activated. Each pose is guided by Ayurvedic principles of constitution. A recipient’s energy is balanced by applying postures of the opposite nature, which strengthen the weaker dosha(s). Fast-paced individuals with a vata type would be treated with a slow, gentle massage. Pitta types would have relaxing, nonvigorous massage and kapha types, more earth-based individuals, would receive energetic massage.
The massage follows the Sen energy lines on the body, similar to Chinese meridians and Indian nadis. Compression and stretches are applied along ten of the central Sen lines to open and balance the flow of energy, assist the body’s self-healing properties, adjust skeletal structure, and increase flexibility. This ancient massage is beneficial for all ages and can effectively treat degenerative conditions as well as enhance wellness. By releasing energy blockages, Thai massage can alleviate conditions including lower back pain, headaches and arthritis.
Through emphasis on breath, joint release and deep muscle stretching, Thai massage offers many of the same benefits as yoga. For more information about Thai massage or for information on Acupuncture & Massage College’s Massage Therapy certification program offering a specialization in Japanese Shiatsu, contact Joe Calareso at (305) 595-9500.