Nuad-Bo-Rarn, known in the West as Traditional Thai Massage, Ancient Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage (name that desperately tries to break free from the sad connotation that the sex market gives to it) is a very old form of Thai traditional healing, one part of others that constitute the complexity of a healing modality, which encompasses the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of human beings through: herbs, nutrition, spiritual practice and massage.
We have mainly only exported the physical side of this healing modality in the west, separating it from its culture, its religion and its roots.
To try explain it, in simple terms,
Thai Massage is based on and works on many more aspects than a traditional oil
massage, which mainly focuses on muscles.
Thai Massage works on the energy body, through a thorough meridian work (Sen work, or energy line work) and on muscles, joints and mobility through deep pressure and stretches.
It puts the whole thing together in an incredible clever way, in a sequence of movements, pressure and stretches that flow seamlessly and work specifically, releasing tension and energy blockages.
For those who are not familiar with the style, a massage session goes approximately like this:
It’s done on a wide mat, on the
floor, rather than the table, the client is fully dressed with comfortable
clothes and more often than not it is started with the client laying on the
There is no use of oil, therefore no sliding; the pressure applied comes in an out through rocking movements and can go a lot deeper, thanks to the use of body weight and gravity.
The massage traditionally starts at the feet, working with acupressure on all the reflexology points of the sole and the top of the foot, then feet and ankles are moved, stretched and mobilized.
It then moves onto the legs and the most
traditional sequence follows this same pattern: meridian/pressure point work
first, then muscle/mobilization work through stretches and rocking motions,
Going up on the body, then out the arms, then turning on 3 other possible positions (side, front and sitting) it works the whole body thoroughly, moving energy out of the extremities and restoring mobility and blood flow.
The length of these treatments is also quite difficult for westerners to get used to, as for a proper, good, full body massage, it’s required a minimum of 2 hours.
The result of a good Thai Yoga Massage is astonishing and extremely therapeutic.
Thai Massage offers multiple, holistic and integral benefits including the following:
– Releases tense muscles
– Increases flexibility & joint mobility
– Assists postural alignment
– Increases blood and lymphatic circulation
– Stimulates internal organs
– Improves neurological functioning
– Assists recovery from long term injuries
– Relieves tension and stress
– Increases body awareness
– Balances the body’s energy flow
– Induces deep relaxation
– Calms the mind