Thai yoga therapy, or Thai massage, is a powerful healing therapy designed to balance, energize, and relax the body and mind by stimulating the flow of vital energy. Originally called Nuad Bo Rarn (Sanskrit for “sacred work”), Thai yoga therapy combines aspects of hatha yoga with Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. Developed in India over 2000 years ago by an Ayurvedic physician rumored to have treated the Buddha, the practice of Thai yoga therapy eventually migrated to Southeast Asia, where it found a home in Thailand.
Benefits of Thai Yoga
- Homeostasis: balances hormones and autonomic nervous system
- Release of muscular tension
- Better blood circulation; oxygenates tissues, clears toxins
- Improved heart rate variability (HRV)
- Removal of energy blocks and promotion of healthy energy flow
- Stimulation of glands and internal organs; improved digestion
- Improved posture and alignment
- Increased flexibility and range of motion; lessened stiffness
- Body/mind/spirit holism in both therapist and client
The Big Picture Abstract: Interconnectedness
Thai yoga therapy is founded upon the idea that a vital life force, which runs along energy lines in the body, animates all living beings. Wellness depends on the continuous free flow of this energy through the body, and dysfunction and disease manifest when this energy is chronically blocked. Another major theme is interconnectedness: what occurs in one part of the body affects other parts of the body. This extends to the relationship between humans (all living beings, really) and the universe we are a part of; as microcosms within a macrocosm, our homeostasis is influenced by what's what going on immediately around us, and even across the globe.
In Chinese medicine, the life force is called "qi," and it runs along meridians, or channels in the body. The are 12 main meridians which run throughout body, from the head to the feet and fingers, and vice versa. Each of these pathways corresponds with specific organ functions and carries either carries yin (masculine) or yang (feminine) qi. Maintaining a balance of yin and yang qi is considered essential for health. In Ayurvedic medicine, life force, or "prana" flows through channels known as "nadis." Ayurvedic medicinal philosophy involves balancing our unique energy patterns as we interact with internal and external factors, i.e. emotional, physical and environmental stressors, to promote health.
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