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Body & Soul: Thai Yoga Therapy – Jan/Feb2017

Body & Soul: Thai Yoga Therapy - Jan/Feb2017

by Drew Hume

Reduce pain and enhance mobility

Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga therapy, is a distinctive alternative to what is commonly referred to as a Swedish massage.

Lying face down on a table without any clothing on, while the tissues of your body are being kneaded and manipulated, along with the use of oils and lotions, is what most people visualize when they think of a massage.

With a Thai massage, It’s an entirely different experience. With this technique, there are no oils, you remain fully clothed and lie on a mat or firm mattress – making it more accessible, and comfortable, for everyone.

There are three major benefits of a Thai massage over a Swedish massage.

IMPROVED MOBILITY

In a Thai massage treatment, a range of massage techniques are combined with passive stretches and joint articulations. By incorporating these movements, your comfortable ‘edge’ is determined as it relates to your range of motion. Over time, your range of motion is gradually increased, helping to re-train your nerves to allow for more physical movement. Your extension ability is increased with Thai yoga therapy, making it easier to do things that may be currently out of reach.

PAIN REDUCTION

Regular massages are known to reduce muscle aches and pains. There is evidence to suggest that ‘static’ or sinking massage techniques, which are used in Thai yoga therapy, are actually more effective at reducing pain for longer periods of time than ‘friction’ or gliding techniques that are commonly used in in a Swedish massage. With a Thai massage, muscle pain can be significantly relieved.

INCREASED BONE DENSITY

Recent studies have shown that Thai massage treatments may help to increase bone density. By moving the body through different shapes and stretches, and massaging and moving the joints through a full range of motions, physical activity is actually being stimulated. It’s less intense than a weight-bearing workout, but produces measurable increases as it relates to bone formation.

If you have low bone density, caution should be taken. Ensure that you are working with a practitioner who has a total understanding of the human body and of the Thai massage practice.

Thai massage is a relative new modality in North America, but it has been common practice in Thailand for centuries. It is known to increase circulation, promote relaxation and offer pain relief, as well as a sense of well-being. In addition to the physical benefits, the power of human touch is very real. Not only are psychological stresses relieved, but deeper connections and profound bonds are created.

Drew Hume is the founder of Navina™ Thai Yoga Therapy, and educates practitioners worldwide on the intricacies of human connection through compassionate touch.

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