Thai Massage and Psychosomatic Benefits | Working on Body and Mind

Published: Apr 18, 2018 | Revised: May 29, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Psychosomatics and Thai Massage

Not only in the East, but likewise in the Western world, it’s widely recognized that the state of our thoughts and emotions — our mind — can have an impact on our physical body. Of course, it’s also the other way around — our body can influence our mental and emotional state or well-being.

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In the West, we call this interaction a Psychosomatic relationship, that is, a physical illness or discomfort can be caused or aggravated by a mental or emotional factor such as internal conflict or stress.

We know, for instance, that (emotional) stress can cause muscle contractions, tensions and illnesses, which again can cause pain. And changes, pain, or discomforts in the body on their turn can cause emotional or mental distress. A simple (perhaps a bit queer) proof of the body-mind connection: just drink a bottle of whiskey and notice the changes that take place in your emotional and mental state …

Anyway, quaint examples apart, professional psychological help remains the primary method used in the West to resolve emotional issues. Nevertheless, alternative methods like for instance Biofeedback, bio-decoding, hypnosis, prayer, meditation, and humor are increasingly considered legitimate facets of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Although awareness grows, it’s still much less acknowledged in the West that we can access, relief, and sometimes completely resolve emotional or mental issues by directly manipulating the physical body. With Thai Massage and other bodywork we can do just that. Today, this practice is also known as Body De-Armoring or Emotional De-Armoring.

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All this becomes perhaps less “strange” or “magical” when we consider that physical tensions caused by emotional issues are just “the other side of the same coin,” another way of expression of the same thing. With other words — by unblocking, releasing (emotionally related) physical tension we can automatically unblock and release emotional tension and trauma.

A major difference between the Oriental and Western approach is that of the concept of the energetic or Pranic body, which in the East is considered the link between body and mind (in Asia “mind” is typically considered both thoughts and emotions). In fact, modern Western Medicine rarely acknowledges the existence of an energetic or Pranic body, and even less that it would be the link between body and mind.

In Thailand, however, Traditional Thai Medicine and Thai Massage are usually considered Energy Medicine; by directly manipulating the physical body we indirectly promote the free and uninterrupted flow of Vital Energy — called Prana or Lom Pran — which is Vital Life Force, construction material for both body and mind, and thereby creating optimal body-mind balance and health.

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