October 3, 2014

Traditional Thai Massage or Not? ~ Drew Hume


thai massage

Is a painful experience more authentic?

Have you ever had a Thai Massage? Was it painful or uncomfortable? It does not have to be that way! In fact, it really shouldn’t be if our practitioners are tapping into the essence of this beautiful practice.

All too often, I hear about treatments that have left people feeling beaten and bruised. Whilst Thai Massage can be deep and intense, this should be solely up to you to determine and adjust to your preferences! One of the biggest assets all holistic practices share is that they can be tailored to suit the needs and wants of each individual.

For some reason, a lot of Thai massage teachers and practitioners have forgotten this in an attempt to maintain the idea of “tradition” and the form that this modality of massage commonly takes in Thailand.

The reason “tradition” is in quotations is because the treatments that hurt are far less traditional than we’ve been told. When we look at all lineages and schools of study, we see one common element that unites this incredibly diverse practice: Metta. Metta is otherwise known as “compassion” or “loving kindness.” Are we really getting a more traditional experience when we’re beaten up? I don’t think that really fits into a model of compassion…

Here’s a quick tick-list that can help us determine if our treatment was traditional or not:

>> Was it nurturing/Do you feel well cared for?
>> Would you say you have a deep trust in your practitioner?
>> Did you leave feeling more relaxed/centered/balanced than when you came in?
>> Are you less tense after the treatment?
>> Was the pressure perfect and comfortable at all times?
>> Do you feel as though your practitioner responded to the needs of your body without pushing you too far?

If you can answer “yes” to all of those, then you were lucky enough to receive a treatment in the essence of Metta—the real tradition.

Every Thai Massage should be a pain-free and incredibly nourishing experience for our mind, body and spirit that combines the perfect amount of intensity with profound relaxation.

Are there any Thai Massage experiences you’d like to share?

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Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Courtesy of author

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Drew Hume