your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health & Well-being
- September 2005
Susette’s Massage & Body
Last winter I traveled from Moab to
Thailand to study Thai traditional massage, Thai therapeutic
massage and Thai foot massage. My studies took place over
a three-week period at Wat Pho, an ancient monastery regarded
as the most important royal monastery during the reign
of King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty 1782-1809.
Wat Pho is home to the Thai Traditional Massage School
in Bangkok. Some 60 ancient inscriptions kept at this monastery,
depicting lines and points in the human body, are used
for treating various symptoms and ailments. Healers have
practiced these treatments combined with yoga principles
for centuries and have passed this knowledge along by hands-on
and verbal tradition.
In 1836, King Rama III decreed Wat Pho as the central location for all
studies of the ancient arts and sciences; including medical science,
pharmacopoeia and massage. Today Wat Pho is still esteemed throughout
Thailand for the studies of Thai medicine and massage. While an extended
study would be needed to acquire a medical knowledge of Thai medicine
and massage, my introduction to the 10 Thai massage lines, also referred
to as “wind channels,” was intensive and truly fascinating.
In the beginning, understanding these massage lines was a reach for my
analytical mind. In attempting to question several instructors as to
the reason for these techniques, a variation of the same answer, “...it
is the way it has always been done,” was given to me each time.
Anatole France once said, “To accomplish great things, we must
not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” Once
I put my analytical thinking aside and began to believe in the possibilities,
I found my training providing a greater flexibility in my body and mind,
as well as a new understanding for the meaning of tradition.
Thai traditional massage is composed of thumb compression techniques
and yoga style stretching designed to stimulate the 10 Thai massage lines.
Utilizing the Thai concept of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, the
therapist is able to balance the four elements of the body. The body
benefits during this balancing with increased muscle and joint flexibility
as well as increased blood and lymph circulation. Although one hour Thai
massage sessions are widely available throughout Thailand a traditional
Thai massage is two hours in length.
Thai therapeutic massage is used to treat more than 80 specific ailments
in the body such as headache, muscle or joint pain and muscle weakness.
In this more specific massage treatment, fundamental massage points are
compressed and focus is directed to the area of the ailment and its associated
points. While this method of massage does not address all 10 Thai massage
lines—its methods provide pain relief in the area and a calming
of over stimulated nerves and muscles throughout the body. This treatment
is widely used for headache, tension and stress reduction, as well as
on elderly or paralyzed persons to help prevent muscle loss that can
occur from lack of exercise.
Thai Foot Massage, based in Chinese foot reflexology, is a healing technique
that has been used for more than 3,000 years. This tradition teaches
that the sensory nerves of the internal organs are connected and rooted
in the foot. Foot massage is given to stimulate activity in the internal
organs and maintain organ health and improved blood and lymph circulation,
as well as to prevent and treat many ailments such as headache, tension,
asthma, constipation, sinusitis, migraines, etc.
All of the Thai traditional massage styles mentioned here are performed
on a floor mat with supporting pillows. The client can expect to have
active interactions with the therapist as you are asked to change body
positions and experience yoga style stretching. Clients wear loosely
fitted light weight clothing during the session which allows for freedom
of movement. No oils or creams are used during the body massage treatments;
however, lotion is used for foot massage.
Thai massage is available by request and advance appointment only. I
look forward to sharing this experience with you.
Call Susette at 260-2523 to schedule an appointment.