Re-set, re-balance and re-charge with Thai Yoga Massage...
Thai Yoga Massage - or Nuad Boran as they call it in Thailand - is not exactly a massage, it is more a therapeutic treatment for balancing energy, releasing tension and contributing to the health of mind, body and soul. Unlike usual massage treatments, you keep your clothes on and relax on the floor on a Thai massage mat instead of a massage couch. Receiving a treatment is more dynamic yet still passive and relaxing.
When I first had this treatment some years ago, I really didn’t know what to expect and was a little apprehensive. I had heard stories of being bent into strange and uncomfortable positions and being walked on by Thai women but was intrigued to see what it was all about. The treatment was in fact nothing like that! Although some of it was dynamic including some lovely assisted yoga stretches, the rest was a rhythmic dance of mindful body massage which rocked me into deep relaxation. I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt afterwards; more open in my body, relaxed in my mind and reset energetically. The next few days I felt so clear, energised and productive. It was more than just a ‘massage treatment’, it felt really complete as a treatment to free residual tension from mind, body and spirit.
Thai Yoga Massage or TYM, originated from India as a blend of Ayurveda and Yoga, and the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and metta (loving kindness). Combining the therapeutic modalities of energy re-balancing and mindful touch with kind intention can be extremely beneficial to both giver and receiver. The sen lines and acupressure points are manipulated to re-balance and restore the free flow of energy around the body to help reduce stress, release toxins and prevent disease.
Whereas I used to think I needed a strong massage, like a deep tissue sports massage, to really feel like I was benefiting from body work, this treatment seemed to echo my evolving yoga practice with the sense that moving with loving kindness has a deeper impact on well-being. After 10+ years of a strong Ashtanga and Vinyasa practice, I err more towards a more nurturing restorative and mindful hatha asana practice to encourage that mind body connection these days. I realise that in slowing everything down physically, mentally I can unwind and bring my attention closer in towards the experience of the inner landscape. It is in this slowing, sensing and feeling that the physical body responds with release, the mind responds with some liberation of space and the connection of mind and body can take place, not in forcing, pushing and controlling. In cultivating sensitivity to how the body is feeling moment to moment, an opportunity arises to respond with softness, care and kindness allowing the body to open at its own pace and feel into the experience of release. Physically the fascia unwinds and mobility is restored when we mindfully listen and respond with care.
Receiving a Thai Yoga Massage treatment is not just a physical body work therapy combining massage and yoga, it also includes a transference of mindful presence and loving kindness, offering space for the receiver to release and drop into the response of the parasympathetic nervous system; the rest, heal and digest response in the body. The hormone, Oxytocin, is released when mindful kind touch is given or received, that’s why babies love to be picked up and we all love a cuddle! There are numerous benefits of healing touch: regulation of the nervous system, releases endorphins, promotes healing and cell regeneration, increases circulation and elevates oxygen intake, regulates hormones, relaxes muscles and generally makes us feel more connected and alive.
Learning to share this ancient healing art has been a humbling and heart opening experience for me; it has enhanced my relationship with my partner and my children, and has enhanced my ability to trust my intuition and respond accordingly.
If you would like to experience the benefits of this gorgeous therapy, please get in touch to book a treatment. More information can be found on the weblink.