Psychosomatics and Thai Massage

Published | Updated September 16, 2018
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Psychosomatics and Thai Massage
Not only in the Oriental world, but likewise in the Western world, it’s widely recognized that the state of our thoughts and emotions can have an impact on our physical body (and also the other way around—our body can influence our mental and/or emotional state or well-being).

In the West, we call this interaction a psychosomatic relation—a physical illness or other condition 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 discomfort of 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, queer 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 more and more considered legitimate facets of psychosomatic medicine.

Much less acknowledged in the West is the fact that we can access, relief, and sometimes completely resolve emotional or mental issues by directly manipulating the physical body. With Traditional Thai Massage we can do just that.

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.

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 often considered both thoughts and emotions).  In fact, Occidental (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.”  With directly manipulating the physical body we indirectly restore the free and uninterrupted flow of energy (prana), which is life-force and construction material for both body and mind.


Article Categories: Thai Healing Arts Quick Reference