A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending another five day course at MUDITA School of Thai Yoga Massage near Liverpool Street in London. The theme was Rocking and Rhythm in Thai Massage taught by Ralf Marzen.
This dynamic style of Thai massage was practised by Ajahn Chaiyuth Pryasith in Chaing Mai. Some Western students of Thai massage, Ralf among them, went to him for treatment and encouraged him to teach a little. These students have further developed this style. As Ralf says in his introductory notes “Although similar techniques and approaches can be found in Holistic Pulsing, Trager Approach or the Harmonic Techniques of osteopathy, Dynamic Thai Massage is a unique expression of integrated, rhythmic bodywork.”
We were twelve students, which is about right for the space at Stillpoint. A small enough group for Ralf to be able to give individual attention as we practiced, and also small enough for us to get to know each other. A characteristic of Ralf’s courses is that everyone senses and contributes to the learning community he creates over the period of the course.
Each session started with a demonstration of a few techniques, with the opportunity to watch, ask questions and make notes. We would then practice these on each other, trying to pick a different partner each time. As the course progressed we would use any additional time to try out techniques from previous sessions on a different body. Because dynamic Thai massage works with the natural rhythm which develops between two people it was very helpful to experiment with more than one person.
It is possible to get all philosophical and mythological about the oscillations creating waves in the body’s fluids. However you view it, it became clear to me that this is a very powerful technique. A gentle oscillation of the tissues can pump synovial fluid into cartilage, tease tense muscles into relaxation and lull the mind in a way that seems more effective than a sustained pressure.
What also became apparent is that much practice is required. If anyone fancies being a guinea pig for me to practice on please do let me know. Here is a YouTube video of Ralf demonstrating this style in Thailand:
A big thank you to my fellow students. Especially to Dragica, who filmed the sessions and her husband who slaved away to get them into a suitable format for us to be able to see. Also to Ralf for his patience, perseverance and generosity in passing on this invaluable technique.