You'll often read or hear that labour is all about 3 R's: Relaxation, Rhythm and Ritual. It can be challenging in our busy day to day lives to really understand, or integrate these three principles in our day to day while preparing for the arrival of babe. In many ways, our understanding of relaxation, rhythm and ritual has changed over the years, and our full and active schedules don't always facilitate this. There are many ways to integrate the 3 R's into our routine, through meditation, mindfulness, and movement practices like yoga, or even walking. As we approach labour with our birth team integrating touch to help initiate relaxation, rhythm and ritual can be hugely beneficial. Better yet, the healing art of Thai Massage has the capacity to integrate these three principles into our consciousness through touch. How you ask? Corina, one of our amazing doulas and certified Prenatal Thai Massage Therapist, and Prenatal Yoga Instructor is here to tell us all about this magical touch rooted in Eastern healing practices.
What is Thai Massage?
Thai Massage, or Thai Yoga massage as it's sometimes known, is a blend of assisted yoga postures, touch techniques, and Ayurveda. At the core of Thai Massage is the concept of metta, which simply means loving kindness. This permeates everything from the initial interaction between the practitioner and client, to the massage, to the period after the session.
What to expect?
Since metta (that loving kindness) is at the core of Thai Massage, the real question is: how is metta incorporated by the practitioner, and there are so many ways in which each individual practitioner embraces metta in their practice, and of course there are also some guiding principles that are universal. From the introduction between the practitioner and the client you can expect your experience to be less clinical and more like a conversation. At the core of Thai Massage, we take a holistic approach to your session focusing not only on your physical self but also your mental, emotional, and energetic self. As such the massage is customized specifically to you! Because Thai Massage is rooted in Eastern healing practices, practitioners are striving for balance. Many of our clients come because of tight muscles but they are often also feeling anxious and vulnerable - in Thai Massage we would take all states into consideration and adjust the massage to affect them both, balancing the body and mind, or yin and yang. At the end of our session we have a check-out, where we discuss how you are feeling and what was happening during the massage.
Prenatal Thai Massage is especially imbued with metta. It is a wonderful and profound way to nourish your changing body and inner self. The touch provided in Thai Massage provides relief from stiff muscles and joints as well as valuable emotional support and relaxation.
What are the benefits?
The most important benefit of Prenatal Thai Massage is that it provides a pregnant person with some of the tools for labour preparation, including, but not limited to:
- Letting go
- Learning to release tension with breath
- Working with rhythm
- Cultivating trust
- Diving inward into a meditative-like state
- Increased flexibility
- Improved sleep
- Increased circulation
- Decreasing leg cramps
And of course, another great benefit of Prenatal Thai Massage is that it just feels really good!
about corina tudor
Corina is a Doula, Yoga Teacher, and Thai Massage Therapist with Spectrum Doula Collective. Her diverse background, including sexual diversity studies and medical anthropology paved the path for her passion for integrated body work.
Outside of her practice, Corina loves cooking, reading (always with a cup of tea), and going on walking (or running) adventures to find cats to pet.