The History of Traditional Thai Massage

~ written by Sharon Brown Horton, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in Vancouver, BC.

Originating over 2,500 years ago, Thai Massage is one of the worlds most ancient healing modalities which embraces the philosophy and practical expression of loving kindness. With its roots in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine, it made its way in the early years of development to Southeast Asia. For centuries, it was performed by monks in the temples, called Wats, as one of four elements of indigenous Thai Medicine.

The Benefits

Traditional Thai Massage incorporates elements of mindfulness, gentle rocking, deep stretching and rhythmic compression to create a singular healing experience. As a result, this form of holistic body work harmonizes the body, relaxes tense muscles, increases energy, helps to re-align the body, relieves stress and promotes a peaceful mind.

The Method

Different from Western Massage methods, Thai Massage uses assisted yoga Asanas to open the joints and relieve the tension in surrounding muscles, which allows prana, chi, or healing energy to move more freely throughout the body. Not surprisingly, it is often referred to as the lazy mans yoga! Thai Massage allows the receiver to experience a deepening of the Asana (yoga posture) through a deep and gentle assistance, opening the joints without the resistance created when using their own power. The use of gentle rocking, thumb pressure and rhythmic compression helps the body to be prepared for stretches, so that the recipient feels invited to receive the stretch and the defense reactions of muscles tightening up are not triggered.

What to expect from your Thai Massage

Thai Massage is performed on a mat on the floor and the client typically wears light, loose fitting clothing no oils are used. Not only are the hands used to free tension from the body, but Thai Massage Practitioners also use elbows, forearms and feet for interactive manipulation. Massage sessions can last from one hour, up to 2 hours or more. The treatment style is slow, deliberate, gentle, non-invasive and suitable for even the most fragile person. After a thorough health history review, the Thai Massage session is customized to suit the current needs of the body, mind and spirit.

Your Thai Massage Practitioner at the Alchemy & Elixir Health Group & Wellness Centre

Over several years, Sharon Brown-Horton trained in Chiang Mai as well as Phi Phi Island inThailand. She holds her Thai Massage Certificates in Advanced Therapies, Sen Lines, Reflexology, as well as Traditional Thai Massage Affiliate Instructor with ITM of Chiang Mai ~ a school that is recognized with the Canadian Massage Therapy Association of BC . Currently, she offers her Thai Yoga Massage and Thai Foot Reflexology services at the Alchemy & Elixir Health Group and Wellness Centre and teaches certification classes in Thai Yoga Massage (contact Sharon directly for her upcoming availability and certification class dates). With a background in Kinesiology and Health & Fitness, Sharon has been a nominee for the prestigious “YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the category of Health & Wellness. With a background in Dance, Kinesiology and Spa Therapies, she has been a trainer, teacher and yoga practitioner for over 25 years and has been guest speaker at numerous events throughout North America, as well as St. Lucia and Tokyo. Her practice of Thai Yoga Massage facilitates and promotes a harmonious state of being. This ancient healing work strives to remove obstacles on the path toward The Four Divine States of Mind: Loving Kindness, Vicarious Joy, Compassion and Equanimity.

~ “It is a privilege to touch a person and become a conduit for sacred healing energy and I am honoured to be able to offer this Yoga-based healing to my clients. I truly believe that the practice of Traditional Thai Massage has greatly enhanced my life and I look forward to sharing its benefits with my clients at the “Alchemy & Elixir Wellness Centre for many years to come. Sharon Brown-Horton