Basic Thai Massage/ Level I
This course teaches the same basic routine, which is learned by students at the Old Medicine Hospital, in Chang Mai, Thailand. The duration of a typical session is 90 – 120 minutes. This class will teach a 90 minute full body routine. Over the five day course, students will learn a brief history of Thai massage, be shown how to locate and identify the ten major Sen Lines, how to apply acupressure to those lines, the use of proper body mechanics and alignment, and how to safely perform the yoga-like stretches and lifts to the client.
Thai massage derives its many influences from Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), indigenous practices of the Thai people, and Buddhism. Its origin dates back over 2,500 years. India’s Ayurveda has contributed the elemental way of diagnosing the body as well as the yoga-like stretches. The Thais have acquired the importance of the acupressure points along the energy lines from TCM. The indigenous practices include walking on the back, bone-setting, and Tok-Sen (tapping the energy lines with a wooden mallet). Buddhism adds meditation and instills the intention of love and kindness, when performing the healing art. Thai massage, though influenced by other regions and cultures, is still uniquely Thai. It is the blend of these cultural influences that make the end result something new entirely.
Some people may be unsure of the validity of energy lines, such as sen or meridian lines, even though they have been embraced by the physicians of other cultures for thousands of years. Physical structures, on the other hand, like the connective tissue of the body known as the fascial network are tangible and acknowledged. However, most experts now conclude that the Sen Lines and the fascial network are indeed the very same. The word “energy” seems to cause doubt, whereas words like electrical signal or impulse are easier for the western mind to accept; again, they are the same. Electrical signals travel along the fascial tissue or “sen lines” at speeds that far exceed nerve impulses, pretty impressive, right? Blockages in this network greatly interfere with communication within the body. Ayurveda, TCM, and Traditional Thai medicine realized this thousands of years ago, but is only now gaining interest in the west. Thai massage uses acupressure at the points of these blockages to release them, followed by stretches to the fascia. All of this results in better function within the body, and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Even though this course is generally taken by practicing massage therapists, there is no pre-requisite. Welcome additions to the class might consist of: Yoga instructors, couples, health care professionals, or anyone who wishes to know more about the Thai culture, and is eager to learn.