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Sunshine House is part of the NGO Metta-morphosis.

Thai Massage

  • Origins
  • Essence
  • Form
  • Principles

Thai Massage goes beyond the limitations of the mind. Traditionally practiced in Buddhist monasteries, Thai massage is regarded above all as a spiritual practice, a meditation in movement, closely connected with the teachings of the Buddha. The masseur practices in a meditative state and develops his sensitivity and compassion to tune into the patient’s needs..and offer him/her the chance to tap into their own healing journey.

The roots of what is known as “Traditional Thai massage” date back to some 2500 years ago in India, in times of Ayurvedic and Yogic healing. It was brought over to Thailand, with the migration of Buddhism, as a medical practice by a famous Indian doctor “Jivaka Kumar Baccha”, the Buddha’s personal physician and doctor of the monks in the monasteries of that time. The teaching and sharing from generation to generation and from master to student has made this massage the intuitive hands -on healing art that it is.

However, the essence of touch and massage has existed since time began...among all living beings...we often even see trees bending to touch one another in the forest. And the essence of all traditions transcend time and space and originate from the One source...so yes we can say Thai Massage is a tradition, but on the other hand we need to go beyond the limitations of the mind that tradition creates and use the wisdom of the past to see what is needed in the present. For touch has always been there...did we just forget how to do it?? Thai massage is vehicle for recalling that memory. We honour the “tradition” for enabling us the tools, yet we transcend all dogma of tradition to go beyond the limitations it can impose upon us.

When we talk about the essence of Thai massage we talk about it’s intrinsic nature.. that which is felt and understood...the message behind the messenger...

We often think of Thai Massage as a treatment based on the “no pain, no gain” principle. Here we try to break this infamous conditioning of Traditional Thai Massage with the application of certain principles, which allow for a softer, deeper touch and opening. With awareness and mindfulness in our touch we offer deep static massage...with rotation in our hips and dancing from our centre we offer dynamic massage...in our massage we move between the two...dynamic to static..to dynamic to static...depending...we also apply some osteopathic techniques, notably general joint manipulation and harmonics as they fit very well with the process of release and letting go in Thai massage.

True Thai Massage is a melting pot of  METTA (loving kindness), VIPASSANA (meditation of insight), MASSAGE and YOGA. It is tool which enables us to reach into emptiness and find fullness of touch and presence...In a state of detachment and equanimity we are able, with our touch, to offer the other person the opportunity to recall the message from inside of them where they touch their deepest suffering and can set themselves free. This kind of exchange existed before any labels and traditions were ever created...it came from beings of light - from one to the other...in the simple gesture of touch, of exchange.. Nowadays, living in Babylon, we need this jewel and the existence of this “tradition” in order to reclaim that which we all once knew.

Thai Yoga Massage is a Sacred Dance. It is a holy communion between two people used to unblock energy stagnation. It is essentially an ancient Eastern healing technique used as a tool to awaken our spiritual flame and inner therapist. Learning the beautiful art of traditional Thai massage is not just about memorising a series of exercises, nor about thinking that we can cure someone of their sickness. It is about learning to give from the heart with compassion and to have deep understanding of the other person’s suffering. We are all one. We are reflections of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We are all connected. Learning how to give and to receive….to touch….to breathe….to feel. When we massage, we don’t aim to heal, we aim to help others believe they can and will be healed. When we are connected to the Divine, the healing process happens all by itself. We are just channels to remind each other of this. And thus the dance begins…

The form is the outward representation of the essence..how it looks, smells, tastes and appears..its the tangible form of the untangible…

With the application of rhythmic pressure on certain energetic points and lines (sen) in the body and the yogic stretching of muscles and joint manipulation, blockages can be released and energy can be restored to its natural flow. The massage is usually on a mat on the floor, fully clothed in loose comfortable clothes, without oils and sometimes looks like applied hatha yoga or yoga for two! In Thai Massage we use our hands, elbows, knees and feet to find the perfect touch needed for the moment. Because this massage is working on the different body layers (koshas) the release works on an emotional, energetic and physical level. The technique can be sometimes static (sinking deeply in a meditative state) or can move quite dynamically...depending.

Thai massage promotes general health and well-being. It has a double purpose. On the preventive side, it actives the free flow of energy and improves fluid circulation, digestion, breathing capacity, body posture, flexibility, as well as releasing nervous tension. On the therapeutic side, it can cure a large number of pathologies such as lower back pain, headaches, digestive problems, stress, insomnia, nervous imbalance, neck and shoulder muscular tightness…to name just a few…

Applying mindful principles at all times during Thai Massage is what creates the magic...the allowing...the unfolding...the melting...the healing… Understanding these principles is the key to offering the best massage you can possibly give…

Posture...where am I? How do I feel? Always questioning if you feel comfortable is the best way know if the receiver is comfortable or not...being open and facing from our centre there where we need to go...protect the lower back, observe the distance to the body and use straight, locked elbows - no tension in shoulders and no muscle power.

Participation...fully engaged in what we are doing..mind and hands are one..heart and hands are one...listening, waiting for the opening and sinking...aware all the time of their reactions & needs and of our wandering minds and the gift of the present moment...coming back to it...again and again

Hara...energy centre..naval...connected to the earth...grounded and understanding that all movement and stillness comes from this one place...

Gravity...using gravity and body weight not muscular power to go deeper and sink into the body...when we force we have resistance...when we wait and lean and lean some more and sink and sink some more we can go deep with grace and we use gravity as our best tool to do this...that way we dont get tired…

Dance...moving between postures...transitions..smooth and fluid..like a dance..tango or salsa? Knowing where you are going next and planning the move with least effort..no jerks, sudden movements, clumsy footprints..slow and steady…rhythm and grace are essential

Touch...fullness of touch..using the whole hand to touch fully...always as if we were touching a newborn baby...with precision, care, love, sensitivity and security to make the baby feel safe...we are not going to drop them...firm and gentle..palms fully engaged..fingers relaxed and active

Fit...finding the perfect fit with our hand, foot, elbow, knee...that wherever we touch and sink into we are moulding ourselves together as one..not hitting on bones, flicking nerves, sliding on muscles...assessing the gap and filling it accordingly with the most perfect fit

Prayer...asking for guidance...asking to be guided to there where you need to go...leaving your own story at the door...holding space and remaining detached and compassionate..not jumping into the emotional soup..but being involved in the process of release...always asking for guidance

Less is more...understanding that we dont need to rush through sequences...we simply need to respond to the needs of the moment..no agenda...no boxes to tick off...the sequence is a guideline..the rest is your own poetry and often less is more