Thai Yoga Bodywork

Lotus Palm: The Mindfulness of Contact

One of many historical therapeutic arts of conventional Thai drugs (together with natural drugs and non secular meditation), Thai massage is a full-body massage, carried out on a flooring mat, with each events in unfastened, snug garments. It incorporates t’ai chi strikes, rhythmic movement, palming and thumbing alongside sen strains (vitality strains), mild stretching and the acutely aware use of breath. The practitioner makes use of her arms, toes, legs and arms to information the recipient by means of varied yoga postures, whereas remaining centered on their very own body-center. This mixture of actions and centered consciousness creates a gradual, flowing “dance” across the recipient’s body.

“Thai massage is a well-respected and confirmed therapeutic artwork that is rapidly gaining recognition within the West due to its meditative method and its utility of yoga’s well-established advantages,” stated Kam Thye Chow, founding father of Lotus Palm, one of many first North American colleges of Thai massage, situated in Montreal, Canada.

Chow, initially from Malaysia, has taught courses worldwide and written books on the follow of t’ai chi and massage. He views Thai massage as having far-reaching purposes, and refers back to the method extra precisely as Thai Yoga Bodywork due to its diversified influences and enchantment. “Yoga practitioners are discovering it provides an entire new dimension, complementary to their follow. Nurses, physiotherapists and massage therapists are including to their coaching with this system. Additionally, the mild opening and stretching of the body offered by the massage has improved the efficiency of athletes, martial artists and dancers,” stated Chow.

Thai massage has been described as assisted Hatha yoga. Throughout a session, the practitioner pays cautious consideration to the recipient’s degree of flexibility and breath as they gently transfer the person into totally different poses. Every pose is designed to open up the body and permit vitality to circulation freely alongside the sen strains (72,000 of which have been mapped out, though 10 main ones are centered on in Thai massage). This “opening” will increase joint mobility and suppleness, improves circulation, tonifies organs, and relieves muscular and emotional stress.

Power in Movement

Working the vitality strains is the premise of Thai massage. Thai drugs is predicated on the idea there’s an intrinsic life power or vitality (prana) that circulates throughout the body. To create well being and vitality, it’s important to permit this vitality to flow into freely. When prana is blocked or restricted, illness or illness outcomes which might manifest bodily, emotionally and even spiritually. The primary objective of Thai massage is to clear such blockages and permit vitality to circulation alongside the sen. Though not based mostly on the Chinese language meridian system, the sen line system may be very comparable.

By working the body bodily and energetically, Thai massage produces a extremely therapeutic impact that helps relieve frequent situations similar to low again pain, arthritis, complications, digestive difficulties, menstrual and menopausal issues and stress-related situations, in addition to present an general sense of rest which helps folks to deal higher with emotional points.

Although very dynamic, Thai massage is deeply stress-free, enabling the body and thoughts to rebalance naturally. As with all yoga follow, blood and lymph circulation are elevated and inside organs are stimulated, all serving to to strengthen the immune system, rebalance the endocrine system and clear toxins from the body. As well as, the number of stretching and joint isolation workouts helps to extend joint mobility and suppleness. Because the method respects every particular person’s body kind and degree of flexibility, Thai massage is good for a lot of people.

Synchronizing Motion and Breath

The stretching and vitality line work in Thai massage is necessary in serving to to elongate muscle groups and make them extra versatile, supple and fewer liable to injury, whereas joints profit from a higher vary of movement. Stretching additionally will increase capillary density, thereby serving to to deal with ischemia and selling the discharge of lactic acid. That is notably necessary in our tradition that tends to emphasise extra aggressive muscle actions ensuing within the manufacturing of enormous portions of lactic acid within the muscle fibers. As well as, research have proven that stretching can elevate the temperature of a tendon, which might have a protecting impact through elevated skeletal muscle tensile energy. The stretching in Thai bodywork additionally releases endorphins, additional selling a rest response.

Acutely aware use of breath has been confirmed to cut back each bodily and emotional stress. In Thai bodywork, practitioners discover ways to make purchasers extra conscious of how they use their breath and of areas of stress the place the breath is impeded. As effectively, practitioners themselves are skilled in use their very own breath to facilitate transitions between postures, work with totally different body sorts, and to calm and synchronize their breath with the consumer’s for deeper focus and consciousness.

Thai bodywork’s emphasis on body consciousness has additionally helped practitioners keep away from lots of the accidents frequent to bodyworkers at this time. Because the massage focuses on each the practitioner’s and consumer’s body, it permits for a session that locations consolation and safety first. The significance of self-care is emphasised and built-in with the notion of making a clean, flowing session incorporating pure transitions that keep away from straining both the practitioner’s or the consumer’s body. These transitions, based mostly on the follow of t’ai chi, are important to what Chow refers to because the “dance” of Thai massage — the flowing motion and common breath, the sense of shifting from one’s middle and utilizing one’s weight vs. energy to keep away from joint pain or injury. On this means, Thai bodywork respects the body’s pure rhythms — each exterior and inside.

The Lotus Palm Custom

To grasp the place Thai massage is at this time, we return as soon as once more to its origins — particularly, to the founding father of Thai massage, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, a personal doctor of the Buddha greater than 2,500 years in the past. Thai massage, actually, developed throughout the atmosphere of Buddhist temples, reflecting the spirit of metta (unconditional love and compassion) and vipassana (moment-to-moment consciousness). As a sensible utility of those two types of meditation, Thai massage emphasizes that, in its deepest essence, the massage is a meditative therapeutic expertise for each the recipient and the practitioner. Periods in Jivaka’s time had been recognized to final a number of hours as a part of an everyday, non secular follow.

Chow noticed the significance of bringing the follow of Thai massage again to those extra non secular roots, although he additionally understood the necessity to develop a type of massage particularly tailored to Western our bodies and desires.

“In Asia, individuals are usually smaller, extra versatile and sometimes squat or sit cross-legged on the ground,” he defined. “Additionally, folks in Thailand spend a variety of their working time in fields or doing another type of guide labor. For that reason, Thai massage there focuses 75 % on the decrease body and legs. Within the West, folks sit extra, and their our bodies are usually taller and heavier. As well as, they spend extra time at desks and computer systems. Additionally, due to the character of our lives in North America, lengthier yoga-massage periods are not sensible.” Chow determined that Thai massage within the West would want to divide its focus equally: 50 % on the decrease body and 50 % on the higher body, inside a 60- to 90-minute session, vs. the standard two-hour (or longer) periods in Thailand.

“After I first got here to North America, one in all my lecturers instructed me that any session lower than two hours couldn’t be known as Thai massage,” Chow stated. However, after working towards and instructing within the West for 5 years, I’ve realized that it is higher to show an artwork that individuals can follow. It is the standard of the massage that issues, not the amount.”

One other issue was that, though Thai massage is available in Thailand at this time for as little as $6 in lots of massage clinics and there are respected colleges instructing the method, it’s typically seen as both a “service” alongside the strains of hairdressing, or as a thinly-veiled prostitution providing — neither of which is regulated in any means. The massage clinics function with out particular pointers, and high quality and coaching varies from clinic to clinic and area to area. The norm in Thailand is to have mass massages in a single clinic with as much as 20 recipients being massaged subsequent to 1 one other.

All these components led Chow to have his faculty acknowledged and accredited by a provincial massage federation in Canada, and gave him the impetus to develop the Lotus Palm technique, which he teaches all through North America, to convey Thai massage again to its non secular origins and foundation in conventional therapeutic.

The Lotus Palm coaching is designed to merge Japanese practices with a Western method to well being and therapeutic, whereas sustaining excessive requirements of follow. Along with the fundamental coaching, practitioners are inspired to attend often scheduled and supervised workshops to make sure they preserve the massage’s correct type and that they’re utilizing their very own our bodies appropriately to stop pressure or injury. The Lotus Palm method additionally hyperlinks Thai massage to the traditional Indian therapeutic custom of Ayurveda, offering a stable philosophical and theoretical foundation to the method itself.

Ayurvedic Roots

Though it’s known as Thai massage, this bodywork has a therapeutic basis within the Indian therapeutic custom of Ayurveda. Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit phrases: ayur (life) and veda (data). Collectively, these ideas discuss with harmonious residing and type a body of data that acts as a information to correct upkeep of life, defined Chow.

“The Ayurvedic method to therapeutic continues to be practiced in India and Sri Lanka and is receiving extra recognition within the West for its potential to deal with the body as an entire,” he stated. “Inside Thailand, the Ayurvedic hyperlink to conventional Thai massage has been all however misplaced, and is now decreased to pharmaceutical functions solely. The facet of massage and bodywork is not emphasised. One of many goals of the Lotus Palm technique is to bridge the follow of Thai Yoga Bodywork to its Ayurvedic roots. This doesn’t imply that we intend to function as Ayurvedic docs, however reasonably to combine some basic rules inside our work.” Chow likens this to shiatsu massage, the place practitioners draw on the rules of Conventional Chinese language Medication (TCM), although they themselves aren’t TCM docs.

Ayurveda means “science of life,” and Chow stated his purpose is to simplify the ideas of Ayurveda and apply them inside Thai bodywork. “It is an exquisite therapeutic and life-style custom,” he stated. “It is a mirror of your self, representing who you’re and the way you’re. Ayurveda strives to convey happiness and steadiness by addressing all facets of an individual: bodily, psychological and non secular. This offers a possibility and a way for constructive change.”

Lotus Palm practitioners are skilled to create a massage that comes with an historical custom of well being and well-being with fashionable medical data. Practitioners can decide every consumer’s particular structure and body kind based mostly on the Ayurvedic idea of the tridoshas — vatta, pitta and kapha — categorizations based mostly on life-style, food plan, emotional outlook, bodily and emotional traits, and so on., enabling the massage to be custom-made to every particular person’s wants. Particular yoga workouts are additionally really helpful to the consumer to additional tackle their dosha necessities 부달.

Meditation of Compassion

Lotus Palm coaching hails again to Thai massage’s Buddhist philosophy, instructing that the massage is a therapeutic meditation the place the giver learns to really feel the recipient’s body as if it was her personal. This deep consciousness, incorporating the idea of metta and vipassana, reminds us that to the touch one other is to recollect our connection to life itself, to a deeper supply of being. This mindfulness and compassion is on the core of Lotus Palm.

“Meditation is the follow of being absolutely alive within the second and current to no matter it’s we’re engaged in,” stated Chow. “It’s important for the Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner to be in a meditative state whereas working. This helps them to be extra centered and clear-minded.”

To massage with readability and the intention of kindness and compassion is believed to learn each the giver and the receiver, permitting the life power to circulation unobstructed between each. Such a follow cultivates a self-discipline of each inside and exterior consciousness. You hearken to your self, you pay attention along with your arms, and also you hear the body and spirit in every second.

Chow often leads individuals in his courses in a chant: “Om Mane Padme Hum” — a Tibetan mantra reflecting the spirit behind Thai Yoga Bodywork and the Lotus Palm technique. Its translation: “Could the jewel within the lotus shine forth this light of affection and compassion to unite all existences as one. Could all beings be pleased.”

In that mantra, we’re taken again to the wat, to Thai massage’s temple origins, and to the sacred nature of this follow: that to the touch one other is to reconnect to our our bodies and to ourselves, to our true essence within the second. In so doing, we’re reminded that this consciousness and compassion could be prolonged past a massage session and attain into the moments that represent our every day lives.