Erin Cowell 3/2/09
In dance, one partner leads the other, always guiding and moving with the music, creating an energy that can be invigorating, releasing and therapeutic, all at the same time.
In order to understand Thai yoga massage (TYM), its best to think of it in terms of dancing. Therapeutic massage generally involves a passive client laying nearly unconscious on a table with a masseuse working over him or her. But with TYM, both client and masseuse are on the floor, working in a three-dimensional space of movement. The partner leading is the masseuse, guiding the other through a series of deep stretches and massage.
The result is a comprehensive full-body treatment. Like therapeutic massage, it relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the bodys energy. However, the benefits of TYM outlast those of basic massage through movement and correct posture.
Sally Trombly, a certified Thai yoga massage therapist at Living Light Massage & Wellness Center in Traverse City, believes those two elements are key to long-term health.
When they say mind/body connection, theres actually science behind that statement. The brain controls the musculature of the body. Sensory-motor amnesia occurs as we grow older, causing disconnection with certain areas of our body. Thai yoga massage works to re-educate and reconnect the mind and body, Trombly says.
Although fairly new to the Western Hemisphere, TYM has been practiced for more than 2,500 years. Originating in India, it evolved from traditional Thai massage within the environment of Buddhist temples.
Thai massage is a well-respected and proven healing art thats quickly gaining popularity in the West because of its meditative approach and its application of yogas well-established benefits, says Kam Thye Chow, founder of The Lotus Palm: School of Thai Yoga Massage in Montreal, Canada.
If TYM is a dance, then prana would be the music. Its believed that when prana being the fundamental life force of energy circulating within the body is blocked or restricted, then sickness or disease can result. TYM clears those blockages through palming and thumbing along pressure points.
Like basic yoga, TYM allows a person to gradually stretch and move their body to a level beyond their everyday movement. Because of this, TYM is ideal for anyone. Elderly people can gradually increase flexibility while helping relieve the effects of osteoporosis. Athletes get an even deeper stretch beyond what they normally do alone. And everyone in between can reawaken the body, participating in this old, yet modern-day dance.
For more information on Thai Yoga Massage, call Living Light Massage & Wellness Center at 231-995-9697.