Thai Massage Archives - Byron Thai Massage School https://www.byronthaimassage.com/tag/thai-massage/ Learn the best thai massage style, in our short massage courses. Australia Mon, 06 Jan 2020 07:44:46 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-BTMS_Favicon_Round_COLOUR-32x32.jpg Thai Massage Archives - Byron Thai Massage School https://www.byronthaimassage.com/tag/thai-massage/ 32 32 A Better Version of Myself Into a Better Thai Massage Training – The perfect recipe for healing- https://www.byronthaimassage.com/a-better-version-of-myself-into-a-better-thai-massage-training-the-perfect-recipe-for-healing/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/a-better-version-of-myself-into-a-better-thai-massage-training-the-perfect-recipe-for-healing/#respond Mon, 06 Jan 2020 06:00:08 +0000 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/?p=9333 The only certainty I personally believe we have about life is its impermanence. Science is telling us more and more that we live in a multi universe which is constantly expanding, the further we look, the more gets created. From these two facts, I derive my personal spiritual belief: that we are here to grow, […]

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The only certainty I personally believe we have about life is its impermanence.

Science is telling us more and more that we live in a multi universe which is constantly expanding, the further we look, the more gets created.

From these two facts, I derive my personal spiritual belief: that we are here to grow, to evolve and therefore to change.

I am aware that this is a personal belief and it’s not my intention to convince anyone about it, I’m just preparing the ground for what I’m about to share about my life.

Nearly two years ago I started a wonderful journey, which through daily meditations and all-day awareness is constantly transforming me into a new, more evolved, more sensitive version of myself, who is more in touch with subtle energies and is also more careful and caring towards others, I think/hope and definitely try. ?
Obviously, this is a process and there is no goal in this process. There is only a constant, diligent and committed work on myself, my moods, my thoughts, my words and my connection to energy, to source, to the divine, to… whatever you want to call the energy that is within us and within everything around us.

This work has obviously brought changes in myself that reflect in my relationships both with others, with life in general and with myself.

These changes also reflected in the Thai Yoga Massage Courses I teach, in what I teach, how I teach, what has been for 20 years now, my passion.

I have to admit that it has been a slow process, which has required a lot of sitting with what I have, feeling into the new me, connecting the two, checking what is possible for me and what is not, what feels right and what doesn’t to then create little subtle changes to the course program to reflect the changes in me.

To get a bit more into the specifics, so you can understand what I’m talking about, I’ve always taught in a very technical, hands on, practical way, that looks at technique, body mechanics, position of pressure points and meridians and teaches all of that to minimize injuries in the practitioner and maximise the benefits on the receiver.
All fair enough from my point of view, that was my focus, that was what I extracted  from my many years of experience, learning, my personal injuries and my personality.

The energetic, if you want, more spiritual, more subtle side of the massage I have always left for each student to develop, with time, for themselves. Ultimately, it’s quite a personal journey and something not necessarily so easy to teach.
And one needs to be aware that Thai Massage is a practice, like Yoga is, like martial arts and as such, it’s only practice itself that will take you there. The meditative side of it is not something I can actually teach. It something that happens, once everything else I teach has become automatic.

So, once that happens, if you think about it, massage in itself is all about energy. It’s about contact, about love, about an exchange, an interaction that, if it flows ends up being beneficial for both the practitioner and the receiver.

Our breath is our guide, our sensitivity is our antenna, our intention is the cushion we massage on.
Thai people are Buddhists and they pray every day, they have altars, ceremonies, they sing before each massage to set an intention. That is something that cannot be taught, one needs to believe, one needs to have the intention.

And what is there more than massage, more than Thai Massage itself, that puts you in contact with another on all levels? I can’t think of much, beside love making and awesome hugs or cuddles.

I personally believe that someone who is interested in studying massage needs to enjoy touch, contact, embrace and energetic exchanges.

When you think of a great hug, what comes to mind?

For me a hug is a soft, enveloping, an open-hearted exchange where both participants are both giving and receiving energetically; where a syntropy of feel good hormones happens, where relaxation happens and the nervous system sinks down into a beautiful state of peace.

What I have just described above is the perfect state for healing. Isn’t that amazing?  If linked to intention, acupressure, meridian work, physical movement in the form of stretches, rocking, oscillating the body and the letting go, the surrender that the receiver can allow if they trust the practitioner, we have the perfect recipe for healing, for rejuvenation, for an energetic exchange that has the potential to fulfill both parts.

So, what has changed in the courses? Not a huge amount, if I am objective. But enough in my delivery and a bit in the sequence to allow people with different rhythms, different styles to adapt what they learn to themselves. I have also introduced options that allow you to adapt to the emotional and physical state of the receiver.

Ultimately though, to be able to accumulate all the tricks that will give you a much vaster range of possibilities and flexibility within the sequence, you will have to study some of the advanced stuff with me too. As every single technique and stretch adds so much more to your tool box and enriches your options immensely.

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History of How I Started https://www.byronthaimassage.com/history-of-how-i-started-thai-massage/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/history-of-how-i-started-thai-massage/#respond Mon, 05 Aug 2019 08:09:23 +0000 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/?p=9310 I come from a family and a culture where being a massage therapist or a manual therapist of any type was not only not an option, but it was never presented as a possibility of something reputable and with decent earnings. The profession may as well not have existed for my father; therefore, at the […]

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I come from a family and a culture where being a massage therapist or a manual therapist of any type was not only not an option, but it was never presented as a possibility of something reputable and with decent earnings. The profession may as well not have existed for my father; therefore, at the time, it didn’t exist for me either.

Having always been a very physical person in an academic environment, I had struggled finding the right study for me. I studied languages, philosophy, some psychology, communication, etc… interesting subjects (even useful, look at me writing in English! I’m Italian, for who doesn’t know, although I’m sure you can notice in my writing), but ultimately, they left me not knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Before I took off for my intercontinental travels, at the age of 26, I had been a lighting technician for 9 years and I had been learning and working in a TV house production, as an assistant director and a video editor for may be 3 years. Not quite the right background, but nevertheless something that has come to good use many times.

I’ve often been asked in interviews how I found Thai Massage, how the whole thing started and I’ve always enjoyed telling the story, because it all happened so unexpectedly.

It was 1999, I had just gotten back to Byron Bay, Australia, where I chose to migrate, after over 2 years of travelling, when a backpacker asked me if I could be his guinea pig for a massage he learnt in his travels. He didn’t tell me what it was called and I had no idea, but, by the end of it, I knew for sure I had never encountered such a massage before in my life.

It was love at first sight! Not with the guy who only practiced the legs stretches on me (  in case you don’t know what that is, here’s a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixuJe2XW1P0 ), but with this style of massage, that allowed so many more movements, so many different techniques and stretches, as it was performed on the floor and fully dressed. Wooooooowwww!

Since I was a young teenager, I always enjoyed massaging friends, intuitively and there I was receiving something completely different, I had never even heard of.
It left me like under a spell. I knew immediately I wanted to learn it, it was like if I had just found myself and there was no doubt in my mind, I needed to learn this thing.

It took me a little while to find out what it was called and where that guy had studied. But once I did, that same year, I booked my flights to Thailand, booked the course in Chiang Mai and stayed there to study for 3 weeks.  I was on a mission!

The ITM basic course, teaching the Northern style sequence was only 10 days long, but luckily I stayed for an extra week of study, which was for me absolutely necessary to be able to retain the whole thing, with the little practice time they offered.
I have a lot to say about the courses that ITM runs, but this is not the space for it.

So, there I was, coming back to Byron Bay with my newly acquired skill and with no intention to do anything with it, at a professional level. I had chosen to study it for myself, for my own experience, because I had fallen in love with it and, at the time, I wasn’t even dreaming of starting a new massage business in massage capital town of Australia! But… it happened. I went to a Vipassana meditation retreat as soon as I got back and on the last day there, I met someone who worked in a Byron Bay shop with massage rooms. She introduced me to the owner, who took me on and so I started my career as a Thai Massage therapist in Byron. As they say… when things are meant to be!

In 2004 I went back to Chiang Mai, took all the other levels with ITM, while I was researching every school and every Master in Chiang Mai, until I found the one who taught what I was interested in: specific meridian work and nerve and energy realignment.

I am so lucky and so grateful I have had the chance to study with Master Itthidet Manarat (Master Poo). The depth of his knowledge and thoroughness of his teaching made everything I had learnt at ITM look like mere tourist entertainment.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t teach anymore; and although, since I started teaching intensive courses, I have slowly but surely implemented more and more of his style, his details, his incredible knowledge into the sequence I teach, I can only fully honour his teachings, his style and all the extra things he taught us, in my Advanced tuitions.

Coming back to my story, what I’d like to underline is how life changing a backpacker’s Thai Massage practice, on his last day in Australia, has been in my life! That was the start of my continuous life PRACTICE, what I eventually called ‘the path of health and awareness’.

Thai Yoga Massage, through my now 19 years of practice and 15 years of teaching has been my biggest teacher. Like any movement form, it requires lots and give back lots and it offers a constant energetic exchange that doesn’t ever go only one way.
All my learning and experience in movement forms, in Yoga, in dancing, in giving, in receiving and in teaching I have been putting into the Thai Massage courses I teach, which started  somehow similar to the ITM course 15 years ago and have, course after course evolved into the most thorough and most detailed, most safe and aware Thai massage course you can possibly find. Or so I hope ?

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What is Thai Massage about? https://www.byronthaimassage.com/benefits-of-a-thai-massage-session-explained/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/benefits-of-a-thai-massage-session-explained/#respond Fri, 21 Jun 2019 04:33:46 +0000 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/?p=8597 Nuad-Bo-Rarn, known in the West as Traditional Thai Massage, Ancient Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage (name that desperately tries to break free from the sad connotation that the sex market gives to it) is a very old form of Thai traditional healing, one part of others that constitute the complexity of a healing modality, […]

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Nuad-Bo-Rarn, known in the West as Traditional Thai Massage, Ancient Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage (name that desperately tries to break free from the sad connotation that the sex market gives to it) is a very old form of Thai traditional healing, one part of others that constitute the complexity of a healing modality, which encompasses the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of human beings through: herbs, nutrition, spiritual practice and massage.

We have mainly only exported the physical side of this healing modality in the west, separating it from its culture, its religion and its roots.

To try explain it, in simple terms, Thai Massage is based on and works on many more aspects than a traditional oil massage, which mainly focuses on muscles.
Thai Massage works on the energy body, through a thorough meridian work (Sen work, or energy line work) and on muscles, joints and mobility through deep pressure and stretches.

It puts the whole thing together in an incredible clever way, in a sequence of movements, pressure and stretches that flow seamlessly and work specifically, releasing tension and energy blockages.

For those who are not familiar with the style, a massage session goes approximately like this:

It’s done on a wide mat, on the floor, rather than the table, the client is fully dressed with comfortable clothes and more often than not it is started with the client laying on the back.
There is no use of oil, therefore no sliding; the pressure applied comes in an out through rocking movements and can go a lot deeper, thanks to the use of body weight and gravity.

The massage traditionally starts at the feet, working with acupressure on all the reflexology points of the sole and the top of the foot, then feet and ankles are moved, stretched and mobilized.

It then moves onto the legs and the most traditional sequence follows this same pattern: meridian/pressure point work first, then muscle/mobilization work through stretches and rocking motions, after.
Going up on the body, then out the arms, then turning on 3 other possible positions (side, front and sitting) it works the whole body thoroughly, moving energy out of the extremities and restoring mobility and blood flow.

The length of these treatments is also quite difficult for westerners to get used to, as for a proper, good, full body massage, it’s required a minimum of 2 hours.

The result of a good Thai Yoga Massage is astonishing and extremely therapeutic.
Thai Massage offers multiple, holistic and integral benefits including the following:  

 –   Releases tense muscles

–    Increases flexibility & joint mobility

–    Assists postural alignment

–   Increases blood and lymphatic circulation

–   Stimulates internal organs

–   Improves neurological functioning

–   Assists recovery from long term injuries

–   Relieves tension and stress

–   Increases body awareness

–   Balances the body’s energy flow

–   Induces deep relaxation

–   Calms the mind

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Thai Massage – a Spiritual Path to Mental and Physical Health https://www.byronthaimassage.com/thai-massage-a-spiritual-path-to-mental-and-physical-health-byron-thai-massage-school/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/thai-massage-a-spiritual-path-to-mental-and-physical-health-byron-thai-massage-school/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2018 06:01:56 +0000 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/?p=8430 Science is discovering more and more how thin is the veil between physical reality and energetic or spiritual. There is amazing information out there on quantum physics and how our perceived reality is ultimately created by how we think, talk, dream, act and walk in the world. We are energy, the world is energy, we […]

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Science is discovering more and more how thin is the veil between physical reality and energetic or spiritual. There is amazing information out there on quantum physics and how our perceived reality is ultimately created by how we think, talk, dream, act and walk in the world.

We are energy, the world is energy, we emit electromagnetic waves and so does everything around us. We are all part of a much bigger picture and if we can connect to it, we can live a much happier life, I believe.

How can we tap into and follow the flow of life? How do we put ourselves aside, our stories, our perceptions, feelings, in order to connect to the higher self, to the universal energy, and flow along with it?

Meditation seems to be one answer.

Through meditation we can reach a higher brain wave, that allows the autonomic nervous system to take over and do the repair work it naturally would do if we weren’t constantly living in a state of stress and control. Through mediation we can go beyond our physical reality, connect to Source and be One with everything.

The word ‘meditation’ probably scares a lot of people, but there are so many different types of meditation!

There isn’t only the sitting still type of meditation, there are plenty of movement practices that can bring the brain into those Alpha or Theta brain waves that make us feel connected and allow the body to heal.

The  Northern style of Thai Massage is one of those many movement practices that traditionally and culturally (coming from a very Buddhist country, Thailand) allows people to reach a meditative state (Metta), where nothing else exists except for the flow of the movements and stretches that weave one into the other seamlessly, with rhythms, with breath… like a beautiful dance.

Like most dances, once the steps (sequences) are internalized and learned, they just happen. Looking effortlessly, they don’t require conscious thinking or planning. That is the state you can drop into by giving Thai Massage.

If the client is able to receive and allow for the energy to flow, it will circulate between giver and receiver and back again, and so on, so that healing can occur in both receiver and practitioner.

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The Internal Side Seen from the Outside, through Thai Massage https://www.byronthaimassage.com/internal-side-seen-outside-thai-yoga-massage/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/internal-side-seen-outside-thai-yoga-massage/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 09:16:30 +0000 https://www.byronthaimassage.com/?p=7770 Physical, emotional, environmental? Is it one or the other? The body: the external; the emotional: the internal; the environment we live in: the container. What causes what? What influences what? Do we feel, or do we suppress? Does stuff sneak out? Does something filter in? Legitimate questions that could link answers from psychotherapists, massage therapists, […]

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Physical, emotional, environmental? Is it one or the other?

The body: the external; the emotional: the internal; the environment we live in: the container. What causes what? What influences what?

Do we feel, or do we suppress? Does stuff sneak out? Does something filter in?

Legitimate questions that could link answers from psychotherapists, massage therapists, osteopaths, sociologists, natural therapists and so on.

This is my answer, from my personal experience, as a Thai Massage therapist and teacher.

For who is familiar with and open to the idea of mirrors and the reflections they give us, Thai massage is a perfect mirror to show the receiver how much tension he or she is holding and where in the physical body.

Being the body a concrete physical manifestation of thoughts, emotions, emotional patterns, unresolved past experiences; being that Thai massage works though a sequence of motions, which constantly require complete surrender to the flow of the stretches; it becomes easy for the receiver to gain awareness on where she/he is storing stuff and how much he/she is holding and controlling the body.

As a Thai Massage practitioner, who moves people around, lifts and stretches their limbs, rotates ankles and wrists, I immediately noticed how much unconscious tension there is, for example, in people who have a stressful life, who may have a stressful job, who are always busy and therefore out of touch with themselves.

Without any judgement on the reasons why that is, it’s very interesting to notice how much we human beings can be out of touch with our internal reality.  We manage to ignore our feelings, our emotions, to shut down to a body that is trying to tell us things we obviously don’t want to hear, or don’t have the time to hear.

Consequently, to successfully ignore our body screaming for help, we build tension and hold ‘control’ on the body. I have so often massaged clients who are not able to let go of their limbs, whom I ask to drop and let me hold, but they are not aware they are holding.

To have total control, we all know, feels safe, but we also know it’s not so good for our physical body. The first step then, for those who are ready to move through their own resistance, is to simply notice, to become aware of what we are doing and just observe it.

From there the path opens to the one of the Buddhist teaching that Thai massage derives from: the loving kindness and compassion, which is not meant only towards others, but also towards ourselves!

 

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The Other Side of Thai Massage https://www.byronthaimassage.com/the-other-side-of-thai-massage/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/the-other-side-of-thai-massage/#respond Wed, 18 Feb 2015 01:25:02 +0000 http://www.byronthaimassage.com/wordpress/byrontha-wordpress/?p=5653 Traditional Thai massage is quite passive for the receiver, but very active for the giver, who by giving treatments, in time, will develop strength and flexibility. I believe it to be a real discipline of health, meaning, it requires good self-discipline to be sustainably performed. Practitioners need to use their body weight correctly, in the […]

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Traditional Thai massage is quite passive for the receiver, but very active for the giver, who by giving treatments, in time, will develop strength and flexibility.

I believe it to be a real discipline of health, meaning, it requires good self-discipline to be sustainably performed.

Practitioners need to use their body weight correctly, in the most functional way and with the least effort (effective). This requires constant awareness of their own body, posture and movements.

My biggest struggle in my teaching is to convey  the importance of  ‘moving from the core’.
Not in a theoretical way, obviously, but the practical use of it. Leading the movement with the body structure,  rocking in and out of the central position, instead of the intentional force applied locally are the bases to a good Thai Massage, in my opinion.

Practitioners need:
To keep flexible:  stretch, practice yoga, receive treatments.
Even more, they need strength and stability: weight training, Pilates, martial art, dance, all disciplines that strengthen the stabilizer muscles.
They need to learn to breathe deeply, rhythmically, exhaling entirely.
Calm the mind and focus the attention on what they are doing, on the present moment, the now.
Keep a good, positive intention, outcome, so that the energy can flow between the practitioner and the receiver and healing can occur.
Eat healthy, don’t smoke, or drink as you are on the path of health.

Those are all my personal opinions and if you resonate with them and are interested in adventuring down this path, then get to work and have fun with it!

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Do you ever walk out of oil style massages feeling heavy, sluggish and just want to go to sleep? https://www.byronthaimassage.com/oil-massage-vs-thai-massage/ https://www.byronthaimassage.com/oil-massage-vs-thai-massage/#respond Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:58:36 +0000 http://www.byronthaimassage.com/wordpress/byrontha-wordpress/?p=5645 Well, I can give you my personal point of view about it. I believe that, the fundamental way, most other styles of massage go about it, is not quite complete. Yes we may have an injury, a sore muscle, a specific alignment in an area that needs absolute work and release. That is what remedial […]

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Well, I can give you my personal point of view about it.

I believe that, the fundamental way, most other styles of massage go about it, is not quite complete.

Yes we may have an injury, a sore muscle, a specific alignment in an area that needs absolute work and release. That is what remedial and sport massages are best for, but ultimately while working on muscles, we still need to be aware of the energy in the body.

The energy through our bodies moves through channels that are called meridians, Sens, energy lines, etc in different traditions.

I believe a good full body Thai Massage moves the energy within the joints (through stretches), along the channels and out of the body (through meridian work).

You can think of it as a physical thing or a metaphysical thing, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that by stretching + working the energy lines and the pressure points we draw the energy out, towards the extremities of the body and leave the client often energised, rather than sluggish and tired.

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