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0 Comments | Jun 23, 2011

Yoga for Thai Massage Therapists

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Belief in a universal force that energizes the body is central to Thai massage practice.  As a matter of fact, the effects of massage on the human energy system or Sen lines take precedence over its physiological benefits. While it is labeled as “bodywork” in the west, Thai massage is still regarded as energy work in Thailand.

Considering this, one can see that a traditional Thai massage therapist deals with more than just the physical body of his or her client, but also this vital force.  Yet regular contact with other people’s energies can have an adverse effect on the healer, especially people who are sick or in pain.  It is only right for the massage therapist’s own health to keep pure and make sure his or her own energy system stays balanced.

Yoga practice combined with a healthy lifestyle and adherence to massage ethics helps ensure this. Different forms of hatha yoga are popular, but the lesser-known Thai yoga is also very beneficial and perhaps safer.  Also going by the name Ruesri Dat Ton, Thai yoga is based in Indian hatha yoga.  Yet it is gentler and easier to do.  Thai yoga synchronizes breathing with yoga postures.  It is normal to perform about a dozen or so poses in one session everyday. In all there are about 200 Thai yoga poses.

Besides practicing Thai yoga daily, a masseur should also do some yoga stretches after every massage.  This will restore energy balance in his or her body.  It may also help to take a bath and relax for about half an hour prior to doing massage again.

Whether you use Thai massage only at home or in your profession, some kind of spiritual exercise like yoga would be beneficial to you. In Thai massage, one deals with the very energy that sustains life, known as “chi” or “prana” in the east.  Manipulating this energy without preparation or adequate protection can be harmful to the practitioner.

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