What is holistic Thai Massage therapy?
‘Holistic’ means that it addresses the whole person, not just an isolated part. Human beings are not just physical bodies, but they consist of several elements – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Thailand is famous for its unique style of bodywork, Thai Massage, which is really a combination of massage and applied or passive yoga stretches.
There is plenty of information available about the benefits of massage in general. And there is no shortage of scientific evidence that massage is good for your body.
Massage is also good for your mind. It relaxes, de-stresses, and temporarily shuts off incessant mental chatter. The Thais have been well aware of both of these benefits for over a thousand years.
So here is the question: Is Thai Massage ‘just’ relaxing, or is it therapeutic, i.e. does it actually help with something? Does it really improve certain conditions?
Thai Massage is not just a job. It is not just a type of work. It does not just provide a good income. It is enjoyable to learn and practice. Why is that?
You get to play with an almost infinite variety of techniques, modifications, adaptations, and ways to make it uniquely your own.
Thai Massage is not just about following a set sequence, but about being intuitive, creative, and innovative.
There are hundreds of techniques and stretches available which can be combined in countless ways to create a therapeutic masterpiece.
In the Western world, anatomical knowledge is seen as a required element of massage therapy. It is accepted as one of the fundamental principles in massage schools.
However, you might be astonished to learn that there are parts of the world where anatomy is not the main basis of massage education.
One of these countries is Thailand. How can that be? Let’s take our own Thai Massage school as an example.
Thai Massage therapy is not just the application of certain techniques. It is an ever-evolving art that is being honed and improved by experienced therapists.
It is not a fixed goal that can be reached or a set sequence that needs to be memorized and strictly followed. Instead it is a path of continuing refinements. It is evolving, not stagnating.
That’s why not all therapists are equal. Some are further along the curve than others.
Thai Massage has developed into many styles. What are the differences, and which one is right for you? And where do you get the information to decide?
When we talk about Thai Massage, that’s not necessarily a clear definition. It’s somewhat like talking about “Christianity”. Well – are we talking about Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Methodists, or Born-agains…?
It is similar with Thai Massage training and courses. There is a northern style, a southern style, a royal style, a strictly traditional style, and a whole number of styles that have been mixed with other Asian healing arts, or with yoga, or with energy work, and others.
Thai Reflexology (often called Thai Foot Massage) can be done with the help of a wooden massage stick, or it can be done without it, just using hands and other body parts.
What are the reasons for and against using such a stick? And what are the benefits or disadvantages of those sticks?