Traditional Massage and Herbal Sauna

by Tookta on April 4, 2011

Traditional Thai Massage is a holistic therapy originated in India and practiced by hermits as a form of self-healing. The evidence can be found at Wat Phra Chetuphon or Wat Pho, where statues of hermits illustrating various postures featuring self massage methods known as rishi dat ton or “Hermit’s Self massage” were sculpted at the command of King Rama III. The energy lines that run all over our bodies. If these lines are blocked, the person may suffer from aches, tension or even fevers. When the body is unwell, the mind will be weak too. To cure such ailments, one needs to release the blocked energy lines. This can be done by pressing the ailing parts with the thumbs so that the energy will flow and the ailments will be cured. Not only is pressing used in Thai massage, stretching is also applied. Other traditional healing techniques are also adopted. Steamed herbal compresses filled with herbs and herbal sauna are offered together with the massage. When the body is relaxed, the mind will become less tense and the person will feel more at ease physically and mentally.

With acupressure, the internal organs are stimulated and the blood circulation improved. The treatment is supposed to prevent and cure headaches, tension, asthma, constipation, sinusitis, etc.

Herbal sauna which is another branch of traditional Thai holistic therapy can be combined with the massage. The sauna steam enhances the health of the body, rejuvenates the skin and relaxes muscle tension. A combination of herbs such as turmeric, borneol, senna, tamarind leaves, acasia, pandanus etc. are boiled vigorously in a steamer for sauna attendants to inhale the herbal vapour. The aroma of the herbs helps clear the respiratory system. Postpartum herbal sauna and lying by a fire fuelled either by charcoal or wood were , in the past, a home remedy for women after child birth. Nowadays herbal sauna has become popular again as it enhances physical relaxation and clears the mind.

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