Thai massage, also known as Nuad Phaen Boran, is an ancient massage that involves not only deep muscle massage, but stretching, elements of shiatsu, yoga, and acupressure as well. Nuad Phaen Boran actually translates into ancient massage or traditional massage.
Traditional Thai massage has been practised for over 2,500 years. It not only relaxes the body, but the mind as well. It actually began in India. The Buddhist monks practised both massage and other healing arts. This spread to families and as Buddhism spread to Asia, the traditional Thai massage became a part of both the religious and healing part of the religion. It is believed that traditional Thai massage made it to Thailand around the 3rd or 2nd century BC. Many times, monastery temples were built near medical schools so the art of massage was taught among both monks and medical students.
Traditional Thai massage focuses on the experience of the whole body. It works on the major energy lines, known as Sen. These Sen run throughout the body. By loosening blockages, the massage will help harmonize the body and recoup any deficiencies of the energy lines. Just as Chinese medicine uses acupuncture to help revive health, traditional Thai massage uses a similar system of pressure points to help heal and relieve stress. The Prana, or life energy, is allows to freely circulate through the body.
Traditional Thai massage has many benefits. Whether you are the receiver of the massage or the giver of the massage, you can feel joy, ease, and comfort. The massage will open up your chakras, allowing you to have a more peaceful mind as well as benefiting your health.
The giver of the traditional Thai massage also will receive generosity, compassion, equanimity, the feeling of oneness, the feeling of loving kindness, and the pride that can only be felt by a healer. The receiver will feel the joy of receiving as well as a calmness of rest and a refreshed spirit. Physically, the receiver feels a general increase in energy due to the opening of Sen and other blocked areas in the body. They will also feel relief from pain and muscle tension, blood and lymph circulation is improved, and the nervous system is balanced. An increase in flexibility is also possible.
Traditional Thai massage is a floor massage. The receiver usually is asked to lay on a pad or light mattress. By lying on the floor, the practitioner can easily manipulate the limbs of the receiver. Massages are given in silence, so the practitioner can better understand what the receiver needs are while the receiver can concentrate on learning about himself and his body. Practitioners start at the feet and moves toward the receivers head, making the body feel loosened and stretched. A massage can last between two and three hours. Sometimes it combines techniques used in western physical therapies such as Neuromuscular therapy, Myofascial Release Techniques, and Remedial massage. Traditional Thai massage is great for athletes as it keeps them flexible and helps prevent and treat injuries. It also helps improve the flexibility and mobility of the handicapped.