By Marcela Rojas
My Journey into Massage Therapy
After nine years of working with massage therapy, I started studying Thai massage as a way to diversify and expand my professional knowledge. I really love it! Now I feel that I’ve developed my intuition, not only for Thai massage but many other types of therapies. No two bodies are the same, so every massage is unique and tailored to each individual.
After receiving a Thai massage, people often comment, “Wow! You are skinny but so strong.” The truth is, I’m not really as strong as they think; here is the secret… I use my body weight instead of my muscle power. I simply shift my body weight on to my palms, thumbs, knees, etc., to apply pressure. My body is actually very relaxed during a session and every movement is coordinated with my breath, which helps me relax, and allows for energy to flow.
Brief History of Thai Yoga Massage
A traditional Thai massage is a deep, full-body treatment that begins at the feet and ends at the head. Using a sequence of gentle, flowing exercise movements, the recipient’s body is moved, loosened and stretched in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion.
This unique type of massage also influences the energetic side, restoring the flow of energy throughout the body with applied acupressure on the Zen energy lines of the body, aimed at harmonizing and energizing. The Thai technique differs from a regular massage in that the client is fully dressed and no oils are applied.
Traditional Thai massage dates back to about 2,500 years ago. Due to its geographic location, Thailand has been influenced by China and India in several aspects such as religion, culture and medicine. A typical Thai massage blends a massage system from Thailand and traditional medicine systems of India, China, Southeast Asia and yoga. With Thai massage being so close to the Indian yoga traditions, it’s often referred to as Thai yoga massage.
What to Expect From a Thai Yoga Massage and its Benefits
Thai yoga massage incorporates many yoga postures like: forward bends, back bends, spinal twists, cobra, locust and more.
This dynamic therapy offers many benefits:
- Helps detoxify the body and boosts the immune system
- Increases blood circulation and lowers blood pressure
- Great for muscle relaxation, increases flexibility in muscles and increases mobility
- Improves posture, balance, corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blocks
- Helps tone the body, strengthens joints and fights diseases including chronic joint problems
- Reduces and relieves stress and anxiety
- Helps boost energy levels
When I perform Thai yoga massage, I enter a meditative state, and feel as though everything is flowing. A 90-minute treatment passes very quickly and when it’s over, the client and myself feel relaxed yet energized.
The greatness of this therapy is all about giving and receiving. And that’s what to expect from a Thai yoga massage.
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About the Photographer
Jonathan Hokklo is photographer based in Brooklyn New York. He took both photos of Marcela. Please visit his website to see more of his works.
About the Author
After earning her Physical Therapy degree from the University of Santa Paula in 2005, Marcela came to the Osa Peninsula. “At first, I thought it would be for a year maybe” but, experiencing the energy from the rainforest, the pristine beaches, the amazing wildlife, and the people of Osa, made her decision to stay easy.
With a philosophy of working for the people as a whole, body- mind-spirit, Marcela applies a holistic approach to her Spa Services.
She weaves sounds, colors, fragrances, and natural ointments while employing the healing power of human touch to rejuvenate.
Transformative describes the sense of well-being experienced in a therapy session with Marcela, whose small frame belies the strength of her hands, heart, and soul.