Bodywork. Movement. Awareness. Breath.

New skills and inspiriation.

I have been wanting to write on the history of Traditional Thai Medicine. Alas History is not my strength . Not that I am not interested.  I find it fascinating on so many levels and it gives great meaning and connection to the practice and the lineage of  medicine and healers. So much gratitude for the knowledge that have been passed down the generations. It is just that I have a hard time eloquently sharing the nitty-gritty details that matter and contrary to my great sense of direction I have a terrible  sense of time and memory of dates and years …in my life and in life at large….

It is simmering, I promise but for now it seem much more exiting that I have added a new skill to my “tool-box”. So without further ado I will share about this before any of the other techniques in Traditional Thai Massage

I took a course with my teacher and mentor Nikkie Manzie this weekend in Cupping and Scraping in the Thai Tradition. I love her!

It was fascinating and fun and today I am energized and inspired after the exchange of treatments we did. The technique is similar to what may be more commonly known from Chinese medicine and that seem to be reappearing in other medical fields today. It is an effective technique with great results when applied correctly.

Scraping is done by  repeated strokes with a scraping tool often made out of bone , wood or stone.  The repeated motion creates circulation and friction that allows for what is potentially held in the layers under the skin to release. Tension, pain, adhesions , toxins accumulated after injuries etc. This can show up a sha  which raise to the surface as red blotches and marks not to be confused with bruising. Contrary to bruising these marks are quick to leave  and actual bruising of areas are not ment to happen. Cold  can also surface and can then be massaged and given the opportunity to disperse and release  giving  freedom of movement and pain.

Cupping is the  technique of applying cups  in wich the air is heated and then  quickly applied to the body.  This creates a suction that will draw out whatever is ready to release through the skin.  The cups will work on a deeper level than the scraping. Toxins and blockages held deep in the body and organs can be accessed released through the skin this way. The cups can be made out of glass, bamboo, horn ,shells and other materials.

It was really interesting to see and feel the effects of the work we did . Different colors and markings arise through the skin and they tell us different things about what is going on in the body, where tension is held and what is held there. Even when not much is seen it is obvious that energy is moved. I experienced  a great relief in my shoulder that has been having a stubborn ace that seem to linger always. I have a lingering little tenderness but all in all I am pain-free and have much more mobility. To me it was extremely calming and relaxing as well.

It was funny to look around and see my classmates with these cups stuck to different areas of their backs. Like some odd science experiment. This practice is nothing like an experiment though as it has been in use for at least 5000 years. It has been widely practiced by professionals and laymen alike  in Asia for thousands of years. The skill was often passed on in the maternal lineage in the families.

I did not leave with big colorful suction marks as some may after this kind of treatment.  I felt lighter,  looser and more limber in my neck and shoulder, had a markedly bigger range of motion and I felt a little spaced out.  After being exhausted last night, today I am energized and inspired. Others in the class experienced great emotional releases and it is clear it is not at all only the physical that is affected and given a chance to heal.

I love that it is a safe and fairly simple technique with few contradictions that I can and will start using right away. I bet my children will find it amusing and interesting and it could become food for some good story telling.

I have a friend who when sharing how their day had been with his son, said that he had been abducted by aliens. His  son was doubtful untill he showed him all the marks on his  back where they did their “experiments”. Both his son and his friends  jaw then dropped and they took him on his word.

It is true the marks can look intense and alien to us. They are not painful though, neither will they stay long. You may be sore as after a real deep massage as the treatment is deep. You may have to explain why you look like you do to those who are unfamiliar with the treatment. You will most likely also share how effective it is in relieving tension and pains that seem hard to relieve in other ways. That said it may not be your treatment of choise the days before your wedding or so.

As of now the biggest downside is that I can’t cup my own back. I will have to find people who are willing to work on me as I am hooked and I want more. Relief of a pain that has been around pretty much chronically is no little feat and I want to continue the release and healing that has begun there. The learning has only just begun.  I can’t wait to share this with anyone who could use this kind of treatment and anyone who may be interested.


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