I discovered the amazing modality of Thai Yoga massage here in our great city of Las Vegas. I have been practicing as a massage therapist since 2001. Before I began to practice Thai Yoga massage, I was primarily doing deep tissue bodywork, and because of the effort and energy I was exerting, I began to feel repetitive strain in my hands and body.
This was one reason I began to practice yoga on a regular basis. The breath, movement and energy I received from the yoga really helped my stamina and strength so I could continue doing the massage I love. In addition to the physical aspects, I also found peace and balance in my life and with myself; I wanted to share this gift with others and guide them to their place of inner peace through my massage.
That is when Thai Yoga massage found me.
Thai Yoga massage is performed on a floor mat, while the receiver is fully clothed, and the massage usually will last one or more hours. I work with the receiver through different positions: seated, face-up, face-down, and side-lying. Each change flows into the next:
- Combining movement – compression massage moves blood through the body- and my body is always moving along with the receivers’ for a sense of safety, oneness and stabilization,
- Stretching – passive, relaxing stretches that get deep into the limbs, hips, spine, organs, and the whole body and,
- Breath – as the massage and stretches combined together can be very deep and intense (in a good way!) BREATH is the pathway to the release of tension and emotions.
This combination of movement, stretching and breath is what makes Thai Yoga Massage so unique and powerful!
Most consider that Thai Yoga massage came from an area in what is now known as India about 2,500 years ago. It is considered to have originated from the Hindu culture. Thai Yoga massage has its basis in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is translated as the study of how to make your life long and happy and in balance with itself and nature.
Thai Yoga massage then traveled to Thailand with the movement of Buddhism to Aytthaya, the old capitol of Thailand, where it was traditionally practiced by Buddhist monks in their Wats, or temples, and the emphasis of this healing modality incorporated METTA, the act of loving-kindness.
The foundation of Thai Yoga massage relies on the energy pathways of the body called Sip Sen, or Sen Lines. These are the lines I focus on while giving a massage. I release any blockages that I may feel along these lines through holding the pressure, by rocking the body or limb, and by guiding the receiver’s breath. This can create a wonderful release of physical pain, emotional stress, and negative postural patterns for the receiver.
Emotional changes, physical changes, or both can happen during a Thai massage session. This sacred space of oneness and safety is where one can truly let go of any blocks.
Thai Massage is just as enjoyable to give as it is to receive. I love seeing the transformation in people after just one session! The biggest thing I learned from Thai Yoga massage is that I didn’t have to travel outside of myself or to another country to heal others with my hands. The sacred temple is inside me wherever I go.
about the Author: Jamie S, LMT is trained in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and is a graduate of the Nevada School of Massage Therapy.