Thai yoga massage, also known as Nuad Bo-rarn, is an ancient form of bodywork that has been practiced in Thailand for centuries. It combines assisted dynamic stretching, influenced by yoga, with physical pressure along energy lines, influenced by Chinese acupuncture and Ayurveda. Unlike a regular massage, Thai yoga massage is performed while the client is fully clothed and no oils are used. Instead, it incorporates a variety of yoga poses, such as forward bends, backbends, spinal turns, cobra, lobster and more.
Modern Thai yoga massage is a synthesis of several different regional variations based on location, region and the specific influence of a charismatic teacher. The type of traditional Thai yoga therapy that most people are exposed to is ráksãa thaang nûat (healing massage treatment). This form of massage is recognized by the official Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Union of the Society of Traditional Thai Medicine (UTTS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. Thai yoga massage is based on the principles of Vitalism, which is an invisible life force.
This makes it suitable for people of any faith to practice. It's easy to get confused when using similar words such as “massage” but there are distinctions and differences in definitions. This neck and shoulder massage can be practiced just before settling into your body to practice Savasana or final rest posture. The Thai massage experience integrates a physical experience with an energetic one, just like yoga asanas.
In this unique healing system, the practitioner guides the client through a series of yoga poses while patting and moving their fingers along energy lines (“Sen”) and pressure points on the body. Yoga Alliance allows some Thai massage courses to grant yoga instructors up to 4 continuing education units (CEUs). This particular massage is perfect for athletes, workers who work at desks and people who could benefit from stretching and movement. It can improve flexibility and muscle tone thanks to the various positions in which the Thai masseur will place you.
Thai yoga massage has been practiced in Thailand since the second millennium BC and has been officially recognized by the government since the Ayudthaya period. It is a great way to relax, de-stress and loosen tense muscles. Whether you practice yoga asanas or not, you can benefit from this form of “lazy man's yoga”.