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“Body is not stiff, mind is stiff.”
~ Sri K Pattabhi Jois
yogic stretches
Thai Bodywork is considered passive yoga. It uses massage and stretching techniques for therapeutic healing. Tracing back the evolution of this practice now taught and flourishing in Thailand, one finds that it has origins in India.

The founder of this practice is believed to be a doctor, who was a contemporary of the Buddha and personal physician to King Bimbisara of Magadha, over 2,500 years ago. The teachings of this doctor, named Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, reached Thailand at the same time as Buddhism was spreading East from India – in the 2nd Century B.C.

Both yoga philosophy and ancient Chinese medicine emphasize invisible energy lines running through the body. Yoga calls the energy prana, and the vessels are known as nadis. Energy centers are known as chakras. Thai bodywork uses 10 main energy lines or nadis, where important acupressure points lie. Stretching and massaging along these lines can significantly treat the entire body and internal organs, allowing the free flow of prana (energy) wherever it is blocked, thus removing disease and stress, and restoring wellbeing.
 
 
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This practice is not considered a mere physical manipulation of the gross body, it is regarded as a spiritual practice, much like asana or pranayama or dhyana, seeking a deeper connection with the self, and practiced as a divine offering by the therapist.

The therapist performs this service in a meditative mood, beginning with a prayer and staying centred to perform with full awareness, mindfulness and concentration. Only then can one develop an intuition for the energy flowing through the body of the person receiving the therapy. The therapist’s goal is to connect with your subtle energy body, rather than the gross physical body only.

There is a lot of stretching involved in Thai bodywork and many exercises might well be described as 'applied Hatha Yoga' or 'assisted physical Yoga'.

Thai Bodywork is used even to treat ailments such as asthma, constipation, frozen shoulders, recovery from heart disease, regaining mobility after stroke or for those with severe stress and fatigue.

 


 
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