THAI YOGA MASSAGE
Relaxing, nurturing treatments - for women only
(please note I am not currently offering massage treatments;
I leave the info here as an indication of my experience)
Traditional Thai Massage combines yoga posture-inspired stretches and joint-manipulation with oriental-style acupressure using palming and thumbing along energy lines (sen lines) and acupressure points to balance subtle energy (lom/prana). Although we are working with the physical body, Thai - like many other eastern and indigenous styles of bodywork - is really focused on working with the more subtle energetic layer of your being. Traditional Thai massage has its roots partly in Thai folk medicine, partly in Buddhist healing practices as well as other influences from neighbouring Asian holistic healing / wisdom traditions. Alongside the acupressure and energy lines, Thai massage uses breathing and stretches to release energy blockages, and help to unwind our habitual, unbalanced posture patterns in the body, and release both physical and emotional tension - just as yoga does. Thai massage's partly Buddhist origins bring a compassionate, spiritual dimension to this form of bodywork, a beautiful energetic exchange shared in a spirit of metta - loving-kindness.
MY BACKGROUND IN THAI MASSAGE
I am trained in the northern style of traditional Thai massage (gentler than the southern style taught in Wat Pho, Bangkok). After some basic training in Devon in 2013-14 (with Emma Cayless), I travelled to Thailand for my main training in 2014 with Chatchoi Jamu of the Sunshine Network, in Huai Naam Rin, a Lahu Hill Tribe village in the mountains of the far north of Thailand. Chatchoi is the son of Sunshine Network founder Asokananda, who was a key figure in the modern revival and recognition of Thai massage as a sacred and effective healing art. Living in an animist village whilst also exploring aspects of Buddhist spirituality and Thai healing practices was a unique and amazing experience which I still feel the impact and inspiration of, in my work and life.
I have been a professional Thai massage practitioner since 2015. People generally come away from my treatments feeling they have had a beautiful experience of nurturing & release, feeling light, energised and profoundly relaxed. Over the years, my practice has become much more gentle and slow than the often strenuous and dynamic styles I was first trained in; I've come to really appreciate the less is more approach! Allowing the recipient's body more time to relax and then working more responsively with each individual's body rather than imposing lots of different moves & techniques. My intention is to create a gentle, slow, relaxing and nurturing experience. I work more slowly & responsively with the body, to allow it time to release and relax more.
I also have some basic training in traditional Hawaiian lomilomi massage - known as "Big Island lomilomi" (this is a different style & lineage to the modern "Temple style" , lomilomi nui" or "Huna" massage more commonly found in Europe): in 2015 received one-to-one training in basic lomilomi techniques whilst on the Hawaiian island of Maui. During a stint working at an international yoga retreat centre in Thailand, I began to experiment with weaving in a little lomilomi since we were in the tropics! And since then, I've enjoyed allowing some of the theory, practice and spirit of lomilomi to filter organically into my work.
I returned to Thailand in the winter of 2016-17 offering Thai massage treatments as well as teaching yoga at a retreat centre in southern Thailand, working with western and Thai clients.
In 2017, I took a training in Advanced Techniques for Thai Massage with Hadadi School of Thai massage in Portugal: this training opened up new possibilities for using forearms, elbows and feet as well as hands; and also helped me to free up the structure of my practice and work more intuitively. However, I must stress that I do not consider myself an "advanced" therapeutic specialist! And these days I am offering a gentler style of Thai massage than I used to, focusing on relaxing abdominal massage (with some lower body areas) rather than full body sessions.