Thai yoga massage – The sacred dance of healing touch

David Lurey talks about Thai Yoga Massage and shares three classes where you can learn the techniques.

sacred dance of healing touch

Giving:- it is inherent in every human. It is obvious to feel when it is received. It is easier to give then you may imagine! 

‘Healing Touch’ is a generic term for making contact with someone that supports them in releasing tension, feeling better and finding relief from the challenges of life. Thai Massage is one form of healing touch that feels like a sacred dance between the giver and receiver and works on many levels for facilitating the flow of energy.

The Technique

The technique was created by monks hundreds (thousands?) of years ago to help relieve the feelings of stuck energy from hours of seated meditation and has since evolved into many lineages, techniques and forms that support mobility of joints, flexibility of muscles and the movement of energy through the various energy lines in the body. 

The Lazy Person’s Yoga

On the surface, Thai Massage operates on the basic principles of moving bones around joints and stretching muscles to keep circulation flowing and lubricated.  It is often called ‘the lazy persons Yoga’ as the giver is often times putting the receiver’s body into Yoga like stretches and moving arms and legs around like a flow class! This means that the receivers must relax their bodies completely and the giver of the massage has to practise a high level of sensitivity to the current boundaries of movement in the receiver’s body. Instead of rubbing along the muscles like an oil massage or squeezing like a deep tissue massage, Thai massage presses along energy lines and points in the body to bring relief. Most of the techniques I have learned and teach use open palms and soft fingers as well as soft feet for pressing these lines. Of course, there are times for more isolated pressure with the joint of the thumb or even elbow, but these are much more specific points then general relief pressure.

Trust & Letting Go

On more subtle levels, the receiver is practising ‘letting go’ of control as well as trust with the giver, which is also part of the healing power of this work. The giver of the massage is elevating the awareness of ‘listening’ through hands, feet and other body parts. One very important principle of both the physical and subtle aspects of Thai Massage is that ‘Both Bodies’ are comfortable.  When the giver is clear of how, when and where to touch the receiver and keeps their own body comfortable, the dance takes a new level of grace and makes the healing part of the work more accessible. 

The Practice

Just as with a Yoga practice, the more you practise touching someone with clear intention… then the techniques become easier and easier.

The first few times you give a massage, concentrate on your breath, your body comfort and your level of presence with your receiver. With these more energetic parts of the massage awakened, the different ways of moving your receiver’s body parts, the levels of pressure to apply and timing gets easier and easier. And also, like a yoga practice where you communicate to yourself, it is totally OK to have interaction with your receiver!  “Is this OK?”, “How is the pressure?”, “Are you Comfortable?” are very important questions to ask your receiver and will make the experience much more pleasant for both of you.

Learn Thai Massage with David Lurey

I have a series of three classes where I demonstrate and instruct Thai Massage sequences:

You can follow along these guided sequences to share the healing touch with your friends for physical relief as well building trust, the ability to let go and a higher level of sensitivity. Also, since these are videos, you can always pause them and keep working or repeating a certain technique when it feels great for you and your receiver!  Make sure you change roles from time to time… you may even find that giving the massage is just as special as receiving it.

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David Lurey
David LureyDavid Lurey, E-RYT 500, has studied different aspects of yoga with various experienced teachers all over the world. David often interweaves spiritual teaching themes into his teaching, along with intelligent sequencing, a heartfelt passion for music, and a dose of humour.