Encyclopedia of Thai Massage: A Complete Guide to Traditional Thai Massage Therapy and Acupressure

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Inner Traditions/Bear, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 288 pages
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Drawing from Thai history, cultural studies, Buddhist religion, and yogic practices, as well as a modern understanding of anatomy and physiology, this guidebook bridges the gap between theory and practice while presenting bodywork as it is understood in Thailand--as a therapeutic medical science. Presenting detailed analysis of each step in a Thai massage routine, the history, spiritual traditions, and ethical codes are offered in an engaging, informal style. Numerous photographs and diagrams illustrate the variety of techniques used, and examples of routines for treating specific disorders are discussed. Updated with new layout, photos, and expanded text, this exhaustive handbook is complete with a section on the main energy meridians and diagrams of acupressure points, making it the perfect tool to accompany anyone studying this popular healing modality.

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What do I know about this subject? I not only receive Thai massage from professional Thai massage therapists regularly but also give basic Thai massage to close family members occasionally. In addition, I practice Yoga for spiritual growth and personal transformation. So I know about physical, mental, spiritual aspects of both Thai Yoga and Massage and various forms of Yoga that are practiced in the United States.
Encyclopedia of Thai Massage: A Complete Guide to Traditional Thai Massage Therapy and Acupressure (Second Edition) written by Dr. Salguero and Mr. Roylance came out in 2011; it was fully revised and updated. It starts off by introducing the history of Thai Yoga and Massage and then takes readers to its contemporary practices. The book explains that traditional Thai Yoga and Massage is indeed a physical and spiritual therapy suitable for the modern world. Metta or universal compassion (known also as loving kindness as, in this case, a practitioner's intention to heal his clients) is stressed in the book. If a massage is performed without honesty, compassion and sincere intention to heal a client, it's not traditional Thai massage. I think this point demonstrates that Encyclopedia of Thai Massage is clearly set out to educate readers who may have misconceptions about Thai Yoga and Massage or have experienced or associated it in more sexual than holistic settings.
Chapter 2 of the book lays out considerations that are vital for massage therapists to practice traditional Thai Yoga and Massage in the West. Readers will learn basic to advanced techniques of Thai Massage in Chapters 3 to 5, respectively. What gets me excited is the photos showing each Yoga Asana with both Sanskrit and English names that correspond to Thai Massage positions on the same page. These illustrations are extremely helpful.
Finally, you'll see why Thai Yoga and Massage is affectionately nicknamed Lazy Man's Yoga. I, however, see it more of practicing Yoga with someone who spots you. In this role, the "experienced" spotter gives you a total one-on-one attention and also deep tissue massage (as the book calls it "acupressure"). Here you'll also find out where traditional Thai massage is similar to or different from other healing modality terms, especially Chinese meridians and Yogic nadi.
Writing this review makes me ache for Thai massage. Let me stop right here so I can call my therapist and schedule a session for myself. Doing daily Yoga can be boring at times. This is a fun way to spice up my routine.

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About the author (2011)

Dr. Pierce Salguero is a professor and the director of research at the Thai Institute of Healing Arts. He is the author of The Spiritual Healing of Traditional Thailand, A Thai Herbal, Thai Massage Workbook, and Traditional Thai Medicine: Buddhism, Animism, Ayurveda. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. David Roylance is an instructor of Thai massage and Thai healing arts, as well as the executive director of the Thai Institute of Healing Arts. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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