Howard teaches the myofascial approach to Thai Massage which he developed during fifteen years of practice and teaching. This is described in his book, ‘A Myofascial Approach to Thai Massage‘, published in January 2009 by Churchill Livingstone.
Traditional Thai medicine is based on the concept of a system of 72,000 channels called ’sen’ through which, it is said, energy is transformed and distributed in the human body. In Thailand, much of the theory of this system was lost. Of the little that remains there is a series of diagrams outlining the ten major sen used in Traditional Thai Massage. In the West these are often likened to the meridians used in Chinese acupuncture or shiatsu.
The myofascial approach to Thai Massage teaches the sen as myofascial pathways, similar to those used in Structural Integration (or Rolfing). This approach brings clarity and simplicity to the massage. This allows the practitioner to embody the practice, and invite ever-deeper levels of relaxation and healing in the receiver.
Thai Massage is practiced on the floor. There is no need for oil so the receiver can remain lightly clothed. This makes it one of the most versatile and portable massage techniques available. Many of the techniques can also be integrated into couch based massage routines.
This course is suited to: experienced massage practitioners and bodyworkers who want to extend their repertoire; complete beginners exploring massage with a view to work or simply to practice with family and friends.
Participants will learn a complete one and a quarter hour routine suited to general practice with healthy patients.
The course includes work on practitioner posture, breathing, rhythm, self-awareness, attention and concentration. The aim is to develop a style of massage as beneficial to the giver as to the receiver.
“Compared to other systems of bodywork, Thai Massage can appear to be quite humble and unsophisticated. However, if the sen are indeed myofascial pathways and if we can use those myofascial pathways to soften and lengthen muscle it would seem that this humble massage technique is actually quite profound. We may well be improving the flow of blood as it carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells. We may well be assisting the drainage of lymph as it carries toxins away from the cells. We may well be reducing the pressure of muscles and connective tissue bindings leaning against the nerves, thereby reducing the extraneous noise flowing through the central nervous system. If this were all we achieve with Thai Massage it would be good enough. Anything more is a bonus.”