INTRODUCTION OF TRADITIONAL THAI YOGA MASSAGE
THEORY OF NUAD BO RARN:
Where did Thai yoga massage originate?
Thai massage was introduced in Thailand by the Buddhist monks who arrived from India during the second and third century B.C. The founder, known as Shivagakomarpaj, was Buddha’s personal doctor. The knowledge of Thai massage, referred to as traditional Thai medicine, was orally transmitted as were Buddha’s religious texts. Only very few written texts about traditional medicine and massage have been found. Traditionally, Thai massage was (and still is) received in Buddhist temples and considered to be a sacred practice.
Diagrams inscribed on the walls at the temple of Wat Po in Bangkok illustrate one of the fundamental principles of traditional Thai medicine: that energy flows through the body along ten major channels, or sen lines. If an obstruction occurs in any of these channels it is believed that pain or disease results. In this sense, traditional Thai medicine is similar to many other ancient healing systems, which believe that illnesses are caused by an imbalance or obstruction within the individual, or by an imbalance between an individual and his environment.
About Traditional Thai Medicine
Traditional Thai Medicine is based on the concept of an energy system comprising 10 ‘sen’ lines through which energy is transformed and distributed in the human body. This is similar to the system of ‘nadhis’ found in Ayurvedic medicine and yoga.
About Thai Yoga Massage
Thai Yoga Massage works to stimulate, open and balance the flow of energy through the sen lines to assist the body in its natural tendency towards self-healing. This is achieved through rhythmic manipulation of sen lines; mobilization of joints; passive stretches and applied Hatha Yoga asanas. In practice the massage unfolds like a continuous and rhythmic dance.
Thai Yoga Massage exemplifies the four divine states of mind described in Buddhist teachings. These are: loving kindness, compassion, vicarious joy and equanimity. Thai Yoga Massage is traditionally taught and practiced with the aim of embodying these states in action. For this reason the massage is sometimes referred to as ‘meditation in movement’. During a good Thai Yoga Massage the receiver would experience this meditation as a state of clear, calm and vivified embodiment.
“Nuad bo-rarn” is the Thai name for a type of body work native to Thailand (nuad=massage, bo-rarn=ancient).
6 POINTS OF NUAD BO RARN:
- YOGA. Yoga is an ancient indian system of health dating back thousands of years. Yoga is a sequence of postures that stretch the muscles. Relax the body and mind and relieve tension.
- ACUPRESSURE. In Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage we work on the meridians (energy lines) of the body to relieve tension and blockage so that the energy can flow freely. These are the same meridians followed in acupuncture.
- MEDITATIVE. In the massage is performed in a relaxed and focused way it will be more beneficial and fulfilling. The receiver will be affected greatly by the state of mind of the giver during the massage.
- EXERCISE. Even though Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage is called “Yoga for lazy people”, the receiver is actually an active participant in the massage. The giver is constantly moving and also benefits from the stretches if they are performed properly. So Nuad Bo Rarn is a form of exercise for both the giver and the receiver.
- REFLEXOLOGY. Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage acts not only as a kind of “passive yoga” but also as a form of reflexology: focusing on the feet, hands, ears and face.
- HEALING ART. The combination of yoga, reflexology and acupressure maked Nuad Bo-Rarn Thai Massage a very unique healing art which improves overall health and well being.
THE ETHICS OF NUAD BO RARN (TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE):
- Study diligently the techniques and the practices of Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage.
- Do not practice in public places.
- Do not hope for any gains.
- Do not take any patients from another doctor.
- Do not boast about your knowledge.
- Ask for advice and listen to people who know more than you.
- Bring a good reputation to the seven schools.
- Do not give out certificates in basic Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage to a person who is not qualified.
- Give thanks every day to the father doctor Om Namo.
While these rules are culturally oriented and may not be totally practical in all circumstances, they make clear the sense of altruism and responsibility which pervades the practice of Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage and one can see how deeply Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage reflects the “Four Divine State of Mind” of buddhist teaching. These are: Loving kindness, Compassion, Vicarious joy and Equanimity.
THE METHODS OF NUAD BO RARN THAI MASSAGE:
- Work in a meditative and concentrated state of mind.
- Before starting, ask if the patient has any illness or a recent operation.
- Work in a slow style, not too fast.
- Before and after you work the lines ( leg, arm, back) apply pressure with palms for relaxation.
- Work by circular motion with thumb, finger, or palm pressure P.P after pressing a point
- for relaxation.
- Never stop the blood flow at the groin or armpit in cases of high blood pressure, heart disease, varicose veins or pregnancy.
- Work with straight arms and back. The strength of the pressure comes from the weight of the body. Works slowly, be happy, save energy with a rocking motion.
- Never work directly on the knee or press directly onto bones.
- Work with the ball of the thumb, not the tip.
- Never press directly on bone, work with a circular motion of the finger on bone.
- Do not give stomach massage (Hara work) just after eating.
- Clean the feet and hands of the given and receiver.
- Recite the short prayer, OM Namo before starting the massage.
- Always make each movement effective. No matter what your time frame or format, you should always feel that each pressure point, each stretch and each movement “speaks” to the client’s body. If it does not, examine your practice and technique. If after this you do not feel that you can make it effective, it may be best to drop this movement from your format.
- Develop a sense of pace and timing. One of the reasons that Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage is so effective in inducing deep rest and sedation, is that the clients nervous system will quickly entrain with the pace and rhythm of your movements. Move as if you were following an inner drummer. If in doubt, follow the beat of your own heart. At the same time, be sensitive to the client as different individuals will inspire different rates of pacing.
- Trust your intuition. As been said before, this is energy medicine. Let the energy between you and your client be symbiotic and trust in your own growing ability to respond in an appropriate and sensitive manner.
- Be aware of your client’s response. On rare occasions, a sudden or new practitioner will seem to be bent upon infliction pain. This is totally wrong. It is usually the result of a practitioner “not knowing his own strength, a feeling of insecurity or a lack of sensitivity. Be careful and be aware.
The secret of learning Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage is good instruction and practice. Try to work with someone who is more experienced than you and study their response to your work. Receiving Nuad Bo Rarn Thai Massage from a good practitioner is the faster and best way to learn the details of pressure and movements.
Bear in mind that most typical of Thai course: be happy and enjoy the gift of Nuad Bo-Rarn Thai Massage.
PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF THAI YOGA MASSAGE:
– Help detoxification of the body and boost immune system
– Increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure
– Good for muscle relaxation, increase flexibility in your muscles, increase mobility
– Improve breathing
– Improves posture, balance, corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blockages
– Improves athletic performance
– Help arthritis and back pain
– Help tone the body, strengthen joints and fight diseases, including chronic joint problems
– Prevents illnesses and alleviates degenerative diseases
– Slows the aging process
MENTAL BENEFITS OF THAI YOGA MASSAGE:
– Improve your outlook towards life; builds an emotional balance
– Help with concentration and creativity/ Mind and body concentration
– Clear and calm your mind
– Help you gain mental clarity
– Reduce and relieve stress and anxiety
– Help people boost their inner energy levels
– Develop discipline and self-control
– Achieve better health, increases health and vitality
– Raise the energy level and stamina
– Build internal power (and creates a natural confidence)
THAI MASSAGE CAN BE PARTICULARLY HELPFUL IN RELIEVING:
– Whiplash pain
– Back pain and other conditions