Massage and Sleep

Sleep is most important for our wellbeing. Sleep deprivation reduces the productivity and increases risk at work place. It could also lead to many diseases. The stress hormone is approximately 50 % higher in people with less sleep.
Pramod visited us with sleep deficit issues though he was able to sleep for 6 hours but semiconsciously wakeful at night, which made him feel tired the next day. In spite of visiting the doctor, he was not able to get back to his normal sleep routine. He said he had read about massage helping with sleep but skeptical about the fact that it could help him with his condition.
What Massage does
Studies have shown that massage increases serotonin, which in turn increases melatonin and regulate circadian rhythm. It also relaxes the muscles and improves the blood circulation.
Pramod started feeling better after his first session of relaxing Thai Yoga Bodywork. He said he felt so relaxed that he thought he had full night’s sleep and felt energized. He started to regularly take massage / bodywork sessions and he says his condition is lot better than it used to be and doesn’t feel tired during the day anymore.
It is a good practice to involve massage in our routine for wellbeing. Massage or Bodywork has a lot of benefits to offer to human kind.

The Four Principles of Thai Yoga Massage

Thai Massage should always follow these four basic principles

  • Always start from the extremities of the body (laterally), work toward the core of the body (medially), and then back to the extremities. This motion clears stagnated energy from the sen, draining from the extremities to the navel, and back out again.
  • Always start from the lowest part of the body, the feet, and move toward the top, the head. (The only exception to this rule is the front of the torso, which the practitioner drains toward the colon.) The reasons for this principle have to do with the ancient notion, shared in many Asian healing arts, that energy is purified as it moves up through the body.(You may be familiar with the Indian theory of the chakras, which are the quintessential examples of this general rule.)
  • Always perform sen work first, and then joint mobilization, then stretches. This rule is important so that clients are warmed up physically and energetically by the time they are expected to stretch their limbs. If you are short on time or have a client with limited mobility, the full-body stretches should be considered optional. You should never, however, omit sen work or joint mobilization and jump directly into the stretching.
  • Give a balanced massage. Steps performed on one side should by perform on the other. Remember that the entire body should be massaged even if only a short session is given in order to keep the body’s energies balanced. If you are just performing a foot massage, massage the hands, too, in order to bring balance to the body. Or, if you are giving a quick shoulder and neck rub, press a few acupressure points on the feet to even out the energy. The results of energy imbalance can leave your client feeling tired!

Om Namo Shivago

Thai Yoga Massage Class Prayer Translation

I was so delighted when I received the news letter some time back from THAI (Thai Healing Alliance) and found a more clear translation of the prayer, which we chant every day in every class.  As we know that the prayer is in Pali language, which was contemporary to Sanskrit has some Thai language mixed and the pronunciation varied from region to region.

The meaning of many words in the prayer was translated and you can find some of them below

Ahang (Aham) –  I, me, my

Arahato – an arhat, a worthy one

Aroga (arogya) to be free from disease

Chandang (jantan, candam) – moon

Piyo tewa – priya dewa

Dibba (tipa/divya) –  divine

Dibbamantang (tipa mantang / divya mantra)-  divine chanting

Homi  – to me, for me

Karuniko  ( Karunisu ) – compassion, one who has compassion , bless us

Komarabhacco (Gomalapato) –  Jivaka’s second name kru (Guru)  (khru) (Thai) teacher

Manusanang  ( manukula ) – the human race

Naa (nakha) naga –  a deity that takes the shape of a great serpent

Namo – homage

Osadha (osatha / aushada) – medicine

Pabhaso (pabaso, papaso / prakasha) luminous, to give light

Pakasesi  (prakashisi) – to shine

Pandito (bantito )-  pandit, or wise man

Piyinsiang (pininsiang) – one who has clarity of the senses and control of their faculties

Piyo (priya) –  beloved

Proma  – Thai pronunciation for Brahma, of the Indian pantheon

Putaya – Thai pronunciation of Buddhaya or Buddhaaya, which means Buddha

Sapasatanang (sabbasattanam) – all sentient beings

Sirasa (silasa) – The correct meaning of sirasa is “head”

Sumana – healthy, happy

Sumedhaso (sumetasso / medhavi) –  intelligent, wise, accomplished

Supananang – heavenly beings

Suriya –  sun

Vandami (wantami / vandane) to pay respect

So, the prayer after translation would look like below

I pay homage by bowing my head to Jivaka. With compassion for all beings, he has brought us divine medicine. Kumara bhacha shines as brightly as the sun and the moon. I pay respect to the great pandit, to the wise one. May there be happiness and freedom from illness. I revere the one who is adored by deities, by humans, and by Brahma; the one who is adored by nagas and by heavenly beings; the one who is of pure faculties. May all illness and disease be healed.

I thank Mr. Bob Haddad for sharing the translation of the prayer.

How to avoid Fatigue and Injury during Thai Yoga Massage session

Thai Yoga Massage / Bodywork practitioners could be exposed to injuries and fatigue during the bodywork if they don’t pay attention to their own body dynamics and mechanics. This could also deplete the practitioner’s energy and cause exhaustion. Hence awareness of the body and the movement is very important during the bodywork.

To start with, the practitioner’s attitude towards the self is important. Disciplined lifestyle is the secret of successful practitioners. This assists the recipient to achieve a state of balance between body and mind / be in a blissful state / experience the divine and realize their inner mountain of tranquility. The bodywork becomes Meditation in Movement for the practitioner. We also need to develop a regime for ourselves to keep fit, like Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi gong etc.

The posture we choose to sit and apply pressure with thumbs, elbow or knee is important as this determines our leverage and application of the bodyweight to apply pressure on the energy lines or points. The pressure should be just enough for the recipient to handle it well without much discomfort. Applying unnecessary pressure just mechanically is not the way to assist the recipient heal. By doing so we would also end up using a bad posture and also use up more energy than needed.

If the practitioner has to perform 120 minutes of bodywork and has more than 2 appointments for the day, then he/she has to have that kind of stamina and the ergonomics to move through the sessions smoothly without getting tired. It is then; the practitioners will feel the bodywork as ‘Meditation in Movement’ rather than a monotonous routine.

Any posture we choose to work with, be it Supine, side, seated or prone, we as practitioners need to focus on our comfortable and safe position as we may stay in that position for a long time and also it should be easy to access the recipient’s body easily and deliver the pressure as much as it is required by the recipient. Here we could choose from different techniques, which require us to use our thumbs, palms, elbow, knee or the foot and the principle remains same.

At IMOSHA (one of the best school for traditional Thai Massage), We strive to train our students with right body dymanics, ergonomics and much more, which enables them to enjoy each and every session and assist the recipient feel rejuvenated. Our students practicing Thai Yoga Bodywork/Massage and Toksen have been able to successfully achieve this blissful state by touching peoples’ lives positively.

About the Author

Raghu is the Founder / Teacher at IMOSHA (Mysore and Bangalore). Seen through the eyes of his students as a master of his discipline; It is Raghu’s passion for bodywork and focused ability to channel healing energy that makes what he does a form of art. After years of experience in working with the human form, and imparting inexhaustible knowledge onto his many students, he still views himself and nothing more than a devoted student of this practice.

My Thai Yoga Massage Teachers in Chiang Mai

I have been in love with the teachings and learning bestowed upon me in Chiang Mai. I had the privilege of learning from different teachers having different styles of Thai Massage but having the same goal, Wellbeing.

Ms Picnic, Director/Teacher of SMH, is one of the most respected teachers in Chiang Mai. Her School SMH (School of Massage for Health) is one of the first few schools recognized by the Ministry of Education, Thailand. She takes care of her students like a mother taking care of her children. She offers much more than just training, which helps the students to understand the essence of Thai Massage. Ms Picnic has created a beautiful environment for learning, which also has a spacious and lush garden setting.

Mr. Jack Chaiya, Director / Teacher at ‘Jack Chaiya Thai Massage School’, is one of the most amazing teachers in Chiang Mai. Kru Jack has inherited the legacy and great reputation of his mother, Momma lek Chaiya, Her style is called “Nerve Touch” Thai Massage. Kru Jack, is a very friendly natured teacher with whom learning becomes easy. The techniques he practices and teach are highly effective and the feeling after a massage session with him cannot be just put in words.

Ajarn Sinchai Sukparset is a blind practitioner and Teacher of Thai Massage. He is Chiang Mai’s most experienced and competent practitioner of therapeutic Massage. He also specializes in paralysis and stroke rehabilitation. His knowledge in therapeutic massage is simply amazing. He has been an inspiration for me to start Thai Massage classes for the blind community in India.

About the author

Raghu is the Founder / Teacher at IMOSHA. Seen through the eyes of his students as a master of his discipline; It is Raghu’s passion for bodywork and focused ability to channel healing energy that makes what he does a form of art. After years of experience in working with the human form, and imparting inexhaustible knowledge onto his many students, he still views himself and nothing more than a devoted student of this practice.