Is thai massage like yoga?

Thai massage incorporates stretches similar to yoga to reduce stress and improve circulation. Gradual, gentle stretching will improve a person's flexibility over time, allowing for a greater range of motion. The main difference is that yoga can be practiced by yourself, while Thai massage is done by a therapist to a client. Yoga requires education, knowledge, skill and experience to practice it, while those who receive Thai massage need not know anything about it and can still experience many of the benefits of yoga.

That's why Thai massage is often called “applied yoga”. The Thai massage experience integrates a physical experience with an energetic one, just like yoga asanas. In addition, the positions you can adopt during a session may exceed your flexibility limits, which is why it is sometimes called yoga for lazy people. As in a yoga practice, during a Thai massage the breathing rate is very important and can help both the recipient and the massage therapist enter a meditative state of mind during the massage.

Thai massage benefits from the practice of yoga, because it is an active way of moving the body and includes meditation and pranayama to balance the body, mind and spirit. Since Thai massage is essentially a yogic system, it doesn't make much sense to use it without taking into account the principles of yoga. To help balance the body's energies, the basic principle of Thai massage is to start from the extremities of the body (laterally), go to the center of the body (medially) and then return to the extremities. The practice of yoga can benefit from the benefits of massage and vice versa, although none of them can replace the other.

Regular Thai massage also has great benefits similar to yoga and can be experienced by people who don't have the ability or inclination to practice yoga. Yoga and Thai massages complement each other very well, so it's very useful to combine them and take advantage of each other. There are also highly qualified Thai massage therapists who have a high degree of intuition and remarkable healing powers. But they will have some key elements in common that make them exclusively Nuat Thai, the official Thai name for Thai massage.

It is usually done on the floor lying on a mat, a specially trained masseur guides you through yoga poses and stretches as a couple. A Thai massage therapist or therapist will use your hands, fingers, elbows, feet, and even your entire body weight to manipulate your body during a session. On the other hand, when I taught massage therapists who weren't yogis, it was sometimes very difficult to untrain them from unhealthy habits, such as muscles, and make them use their breathing. Asian massage therapy focuses on the concept of energy flow, while its Western counterparts tend to be more clinically oriented.

Unlike typical Western-style massages, Thai massage is different from lying on a massage table, while a massage therapist (perhaps with lotion or oil) kneads muscles and attends to pressure points. The last two of the Asian healing systems mentioned above are the ones that most influenced Thai massage. In my approach to the Thai massage system I now find it so practical and easy to understand and practice, which is like a DejaVu.

Dora Peckens
Dora Peckens

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