Massage - what's it all about? Massage on Phuket
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Nuad pan boran is the name for traditional Thai Massage which dates back
at least 2,500 years. It is recognised as a practical application of the
Buddhist concept of metta, or loving kindness. Thai Massage is a known
healing technique that places emphasis on the mind and body connection
and, with a skilled therapist, it is also used as a tool in the treatment
of emotional and spiritual disorders. Thai Massage is based on the
principle that invisible lines of force run through the body. The focus is
on 10 lines called “sen”. The massage seeks to release blockages that may
exist along the sen to allow the free flow of energy throughout the body.
The client is clothed and lies on a floor mattress. The therapist applies
pressure using the thumbs, fingertips, hands, feet, arms and legs.
Compression using the therapists’ body weight is also applied to large
areas of the body, such as the back and hips. Pressures combined with
manipulations stretch the spine and pull on joints to leave the body
feeling loose and relaxed, ultimately maintaining flexibility and
relieving tension. The therapist works kneeling or sitting on the floor
alongside the client, working from the feet up to the shoulders and neck,
over the face and onto the scalp. Thai Massage is a deep-massage technique
that can be very relaxing. However, it can go beyond pampering and
relaxation and the more advanced practitioners are trained to treat
ailments and diseases as well.
With the growing number of spas worldwide offering an extensive range of
treatments, it is interesting to know that massage is still the most
frequently requested spa therapy. Massage is primarily about touch, and
touch in itself has healing qualities. Despite the many techniques and
principles, the effects, psychological and physiological, remain the same.
Massaging the muscles relaxes and stimulates the circulation so that blood
flows freely, carrying oxygen and nutrients to where they are needed. By
working on the circulation, regular massage can help normalise blood
pressure, easing the pressure on overburdened arteries and veins. Massage
stimulates the lymphatic system which is responsible for nourishing cells,
carrying waste products out of the body and defending the body against
infection. At the same time bodywork improves muscle and skin tone,
stimulates the nervous system and improves overall body health. The
treatment menu at a good spa will invariably include several types of
massage. Many of the more popular ones including Thai Massage originated
in the East. But whether Western or Eastern there are similarities in the
techniques used, and often they consist of a combination of the different
forms of bodywork.