The benefits enjoyed from a Thai massage session may include the following: relief
from stress, deep relaxation, warmed and stretched muscles, healing energy flow,
greater flexibility, increased and focused energy levels, prevention of injury, relief
from sore and aching muscles and joints, detoxification, and a feeling of confidence
and well-being. This bodywork is perfect preparation for anyone in training for an
athletic event, performance or any kind of physical or mental test. It helps one
focus energy and attention on the task at hand. It is highly therapeutic for those
in pain from tension, injury, or illness.
The yoga postures applied by the practitioner are intended to balance the receiver
through the Ayurvedic philosophy of the tridoshas. Different asanas create this balance
affecting the person's nature, whether they are kapha, pitta, or vata in their constitution.
For instance, to assist a kapha client, the practitioner may assist the client into
a plough asana. Or, for a pitta type, she may pull him into a cobra position. The
therapist may choose to give a vata type person some palming on the shoulders. (For
explanations of the doshas, see the article on page 3 of this issue.)
How the therapist conducts the massage session will affect the client, too. For a
vata person, the therapist will calm him and create steadiness and grounding strength
by using slow, meditative, gentle movements, releasing tension in the pelvis and
The pitta type client needs relaxing, cooling work to help him give in to healing
energy, affecting the liver and other abdominal internal organs. The kapha type will
appreciate an energetic and stimulating session with postures that increase the heart
activity and aerobic conditions.
Self-healing is the foundation of Ayurvedic healing, and Thai massage facilitates
that for anyone willing to experience it. It is healing for both the practitioner
and the receiver. Thai massage teachers and practitioners all over the world can
be found listed in Internet directories by searching "Thai massage". Some excellent
books on Thai massage include The Practice of Thai Yoga Massage by Kam Thye Chow,
Thai Massage Manual by Maria Mercati, and Thai Massage, a Traditional Medical Technique
by Richard Gold. Kam Thye Chow is especially helpful in understanding the Ayurvedic
principles involved with Thai massage. Of course, one can travel to Thailand to learn
and to receive Thai massage from Wat Pho in Bangkok, the Old Medicine Hospital, and
Lek Chaiya Nerve Touch Massage School in Chiang Mai, just a few of the myriad of
In today's world, many people hold their tension in their shoulders, especially those
who use computers. Shoulder Palming offers a great deal of relief to most anybody,
it feels really good, and it s easy to do. Just have the person sit on the floor
in a cross-legged position. Stand behind him with your knees cradling his shoulders.
Have him lean back against your legs as you press into his shoulders with your palms.
Use a gentle rocking motion back and forth as you press and release several times.
For a little bit deeper work, use your thumbs on his shoulders.