What is Thai Massage?

by Nicole Smith on February 19, 2013

Nicole Smith giving Thai massageThai Massage, traditionally known in Thailand as Nuad Boran, is not a typical massage as known in the West, but rather an ancient energy-based healing system that combines acupressure, reflexology, and assisted yoga postures. The easiest way to explain it is: It’s like doing yoga without doing any of the work!

In a traditional Nuad Boran session, the treatment takes place on a mat on the floor rather than a massage table, the recipient remains clothed during a session, and no oils or lotions are used. There is constant body contact between the practitioner and the clients, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched, and rocked in order to clear blocked energy and relieve tension. The practitioner uses thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, knees and feet to create a dance of movement on the body of the recipient. In this process, joints are opened, muscles and tendons are stretched, internal organs are toned, and energy is balanced. The overall effect is one of deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and physical and mental well being.

imagesNuad Boran/Thai Massage originated in Thailand over 2,500 years ago. The founder of Nuad Boran is Shivago Komarpaj, who is said in the Pāli Buddhist Canon to have been the Buddha’s physician. The art as it is practiced today is likely to be the product of a 19th century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over the kingdom. While Thai Massage combines elements of Ayurvedic medicine, Hatha yoga and Chinese acupressure, it has evolved into a system that is entirely unique and is widely regarded as one of the best systems of therapeutic massage in the world. Nuad Boran focuses on circulation of vital energy in major pathways called sen. The major energy lines are manipulated, and important pressure points along these pathways are stimulated to help break down blockages, stimulate energy flow and restore balance and harmony.

DSC01071Nicole Smith first discovered Nuad Boran (Thai Massage) when it was offered as partners massage practice at a dance residency that she was participating in. From the first massage, she was hooked! It was exactly what her sore, aching body needed. She continued the classes and decided to start her certification process to become a practitioner so that she could share this amazing way to stretch and rejuvenate with her personal training clients. She did her Level I & II (Traditional Nuad Boran Sequence 1 and 2) with Al Turner at Two Souls Massage School in New York City in 2007. Wanting to further her practice, she continued her education for Level III & IV (Sen Lines and Advanced Therapeutic Massage), and Reflexology at the ITM School in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2009. She works in homes, private gyms, and offices throughout New York City.It is advised for active people to get a Thai Massage every week. Sessions can be scheduled with Nicole  for 1-1.5hrs. To schedule an appointment, please email Nicole at Nicole@restorativebody.com.


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