One of two main disciplines, popular Northern Style Thai Massage technique utilizes stretching and physical manipulation to relieve tension.
When it comes to the practice of Thai Massage, there are two distinct disciplines: Southern style (Folk Thai Massage) and Northern style (Royal Thai Massage). While not completely different, there are subtle variations between the two styles based on their distinct origins.
First, let’s consider their similarities. Northern and southern styles were both fashioned from the Royal Style elements of ancient Thai Massage. Royal Style practitioners use only their thumbs and the heels of the thumbs. Strict etiquette must be observed, which includes great courtesy and respect from practitioner to receiver, while they maintain a distance of a stretched arm. No stretching positions are applied.
Both styles recognize The Father Doctor Shivago Komarpaj to be one of the most influential figures in the practice and in the overall development of Thai Massage.
Northern and Southern techniques both require manipulation of muscles that have hardened and tightened due to labour-intensive occupations. The practices involve a combination of physical muscle manipulation, stretches, and applying pressure to energy points.
Northern – Nuad-Bo-Rarn – style Thai Massage has a stronger Asian Indian influence, with a greater focus on elements of yoga and Ayurveda. Nuad means to touch with the intention of healing and Bo-Rarn is a Sanskrit word meaning something that is ancient and revered.
Physical manipulation and stretching are the focus for relieving tension; unlike Southern style Thai Massage that draws on Chinese influence with greater emphasis on the essentials of Chinese acupressure and energy pathways (Sen Lines) and opening up those channels.
This doesn’t mean that Northern Style is the more vigorous of the two approaches. Rather, Northern Style emulates the cultures and people of Northern Thailand – laid back and gentle. This personality is reflected in the Northern Style technique making for a wonderful way to relax and unwind after a hard day’s work.
Looking for information about Certification in Northern Style Traditional Thai Massage? Check out our upcoming thai massage training course!