Massage and Yoga Connections from Frank Palmeri

Massage and Yoga

My recent visit to Village Thai Spa, Massage and Yoga—Some Connections

Frank Palmeri

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the old saying that everything is connected, and it’s because of an experience that I had in massage. Although I was feeling painful tightness and cramps in my hamstrings and gluteus muscles for months, I resisted my partner’s recommendation that I see a massage therapist. Previously, I always felt that I could myself massage the area that was tight and loosen it, but the pain in my legs was so persistent that I finally agreed to have one.

And I’m so glad I did! Soon after the Thai massage began, I realized that the lower back, not the legs, was the source of the tightness and pain. That’s where I was feeling the massage the most. Before the massage was finished, I had another realization. Some of the movements and postures into which the masseuse placed me in order to work on a specific muscle were similar to poses which I was used to from my hatha yoga practice.

Most importantly, the results of the two practices were closely similar as well. In both yoga and massage, mindfulness and breathing are crucial. You inhale into an area in order to bring more space into the muscle, then exhaling allows you to move into that space slowly, and so on. In this way, the tenseness, the blockage, is lessened or removed and the increased flow of energy produces a clarity that is quite comparable in classical massage and classical yoga.

This was the most unexpected benefit of massage for me, as it was of yoga when I first started to practice—an increased ability to focus on the task or activity at hand, whether cooking, writing, or meditating, and a reduction in the mental restlessness that in yoga is called “monkey mind.” Thinking about it, I should not have been surprised, because massage and yoga are connected in so many ways: they share a healing focus on the breath, the proper alignment of muscles and skeleton, and the flow of energy through the body.

Misalignment in any one part of the body leads to consequences (some painful) in other parts. Everything is connected, in massage, in yoga, and in our everyday activities. And, as I recognize and confirm these connections between yoga and massage, strengthening some muscles and realigning others, after two months of massage and supporting home practice, I’ve had no pain in my legs for several weeks!

I’ve had no pain in my legs for several weeks! Welcome to Thai Massage Village Thai Spa

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