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A Short History of Thai Massage & What to Expect

Updated: Apr 23, 2022

The written history of Thai Yoga Massage (TYM) can be traced back to the 1600s, although it is believed this practise dates back even further as, before this time, teachings were passed verbally from teacher to student. The roots of this practice are interestingly found in India and not Thailand. You cannot research TYM without mentioning Dr. Jivago who is considered the 'Father Doctor' of Thai Massage. This personal physician of Buddha Sakyamuni 2500 years ago is the individual that brought TYM from India to Thailand.

The application of TYM was documented on palm leaves and cared for with as much respect as Buddhist scriptures. The information from these palm leaves was gathered together in the 14th century by King Rama III and can be seen on the walls of the Wat Po Temple in Thailand today.

Traditional practise of this massage was exclusively done in temples as it was seen as a spiritual practice. Those that would want healing for their spiritual, emotional and physical self would go in search of this treatment type.

In Thailand today two styles of massage have developed. The Northern and the Southern style. The Northern style, around Chiang Mai, is characterised by a gradual building of pressure along the energy lines, gentle rocking movements and applying deep stretches.

The Southern style, around Wat Po, is known for its pressure points along the energy lines and the vigorous pinching and plucking using the thumbs and fingers to invigorate the flow of energy.

It is the Northern style of Thai massage that will be offered at Rose Therapies. As spoken about in the previous blog there are a few reasons this style of massage may appeal to you.

It is worth noting that Thai Yoga Massage is quite different to the standard of massage we are used to in the UK. A few points to know:

  • You do not have to take any garments of clothing off

  • It is recommended that loose fitting clothing be worn to cover limbs

  • The treatment is done from the floor not on a couch

  • There is no massage medium (oils/ lotions) used

  • There is no skin to skin contact (longer treatments do include facial massage)

  • Acupressure is used in conjunction with stretches to work the tissues rather than gliding movements

This is a great treatment modality that is a full body focus. More time can be spent on problem areas or moves omitted for certain ailments but there is a more holistic approach to health. Not all parts of the massage are forceful. There are ebbs and flows of pressure which serve to tackle stress and rigidity by different means. The application of TYM is to be done with the spirit of compassion and kindness towards the client. Realising that is why it can be such a great treatment to receive.

Traditionally a Thai Massage should take around 2 hours. However, not many people have that much time so 60 and 90 minutes massage slots will also be available. It is recommended that more frequent treatments be had if you choose 60 minute treatment slots.

If you have anymore questions get in touch!

Amy Rose

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