Robert Byrnes has been providing bodywork in a professional setting since 1994, and integrates several modalities for a unique treatment that is individualized to each client’s needs. He provides therapeutic treatments by appointment in his Mill Valley, California office. Call 415-360-4389.
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Traditional Thai massage is also known as “Nuad Boran” by the people of Thailand. Nuad Boran literally means “ancient massage” and it has a history that goes back to the time of the Buddha, when this form of treating the body spread across Thailand along with the teachings of the Buddha. But you don’t have to be a Buddhist, or be from Thailand, to enjoy Thai massage!
In Traditional Thai massage, you are fully clothed in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, and no oil or lotion is normally applied. Thai massage is traditionally performed on a mat on the floor, however, I now only offer this treatment on my stationary table. The treatment consists of passive, yoga-like stretches, with rhythmic compression along specific “Sen” energy lines and muscles in the body. We also make the use of precise acupressure points along these “Sen” lines. The Thai massage treatment flows beautifully along the body with profound healing effects.
The intention of the treatment is to open up the body and free it of restrictions. This not only brings new vitality to tight or tired muscles, but the Thai treatment also balances the life force energy, and allows it to move more freely in the body. Thai massage can be a very relaxing treatment, or it’s effects can be therapeutically corrective when more pressure is applied. It all depends on your needs and desires.
The human body is malleable. In other words, the human body can be reshaped and molded by the efforts of an experienced therapist. And there is no bodywork on the planet that does this more profoundly than Thai massage. The therapist uses not only his hands when delivering the treatment, but also makes use of his feet, knees, elbows, and overall bodyweight to apply the techniques. The amount of effort that is used on the client’s body has just enough power to achieve the desired result. However, great care is taken to not over power the body with too much force which would leave the client feeling injured.
Thai massage is delivered in a tranquil meditative state. In this treatment, we allow the client’s body to open in a profoundly relaxed manner. This leads to even greater relaxation as we work deeper into the structures of the body. As this process unfolds and tension is released, the body opens not only structurally, but also energetically. We are working with an intention to improve the health of the body and adjust, or balance out, it’s energetic constitution. Thai massage integrates the whole body into balance and harmony.
The Thai massage treatment is dynamic. It treats the entire body structure from the toes and feet to the top of the head. The client’s body is systematically moved around the table and therapeutically manipulated to work deeper into the structures and joints of the body.
Performed properly, there is nothing superficial about Thai massage. Because no oil or lotion is typically applied, there is never a moment wasted in superficially appling some agent across the surface of the skin. Every stretch, every palm, foot, or thumb press is intentional and specific, with immediate results.
The techniques employed in Thai massage have been tested true in Thailand though approximately 2500 years of practice and direct experience. The Thai people have refined this healing art into a comprehensive system for treating the entire body, not only on the physical level, but also on the energetic level. Thai people believe that good health and freedom from pain result from the unhindered flow of vital energies throughout the body.
I had been practicing Thai massage for a number of years, but when I studied Traditional Thai massage in the heart of Chiang Mai, Thailand for thirty days in the summer of 2008, my treatment dramatically improved! I spent two days of training at the Loi Kroh Thai massage school. I spent seven days training with Homprang Chaleekanha and one of her assistants at their amazing center, Baan Hom Samunphrai. And I received fourteen days of advanced training with Pichest Boonthumme. You can read about some of my experiences on my Thai Blog.
I also attended a Traditional Thai massage, five day workshop with Richard Gold at the Esalen Institute, in August of 2009.
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