Health Traditions with Bruce Bentley, Traditional Thai massage - with the Australian School of Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai massage - with the Australian School of Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai Massage

- the synthesis of Massage and Yoga therapy

The Australian School of Traditional Thai Massage provides an opportunity for students to become highly skilled in the practice of traditional Thai massage (TTM). For more than 30 years we have made a dedicated effort to gather practical and theoretical information from all parts of Thailand and neighbouring countries. Much of the information we teach in the TTM courses is no longer available elsewhere, even in Thailand.

Traditional Thai massage is a rich synthesis of three ancient health traditions stretching back more than 1000 years. By combining ayurvedic (classical Indian) medical theory and the postural dynamics of hatha yoga with their own health beliefs and ingenuity, the Thai's developed a very relaxing, therapeutic and graceful system of massage. Traditional Thai massage can be applied as a full-body treatment or as a specific therapy to treat a broad range of physical discomforts and stress-related disorders.

TTM is particularly effective in treating headaches, menstrual irregularities, back and hip pain, shoulder and neck tension, joint and soft tissue injury, digestive upsets, insomnia and anxiety. Traditional Thai massage employs the hands, elbows, knees and feet in unique and innovative ways, and these techniques are often associated with stretching manoeuvres, many directly related to yoga postures.

All styles of TTM encourage the movement of energy (Lom) in the body, via a network of channels known as Sen. This stimulates an integrative principle within the body that promotes and stabilises health and structural poise. Some important physiological benefits of TTM are improvements to the immune, lymphatic and circulatory systems, relaxation and strengthening for the muscles, increased suppleness of the joints and a deep sense of relaxation for the mind and body.

The school is a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, The Australia-Thailand Association and is the only school of TTM outside Thailand whose teaching program has been approved by the Wat Pho Traditional Medicine Association. This is especially significant as progressive developments in TTM practice not available in Thailand have been recognised and accepted.

BACKGROUND: When Bruce first saw Traditional Thai Massage in Thailand in 1976 he began gathering as much practical and theoretical information as he could, because at the time TTM was disappearing from the Thai scene. He has returned to Thailand 13 times, totaling around two and a half years of research and has studied in all parts of the country. In 1992, Bruce founded the Australian School of Traditional Thai Massage and the breadth of the studies presented has seen the ASTTM become the only school outside Thailand to be recommended by the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical Association, headquarters of Thai medicine and massage for the past three centuries. This recommendation is especially significant because there are many studies in our programs that are no longer taught or have faded from practice in Thailand.

"Considering Bruce Bentley's knowledge and the quality of the teaching program at the Australian School of Traditional Thai Massge, I am happy to recommend this course." Preeda Tangtrongchitr, Director of the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medicine School (Headquarters in Thailand for Traditional Thai Massage for over two centuries)

"Although I had been to Thailand six times to seriously study Traditional Thai Massage, when I heard about Bruce Bentley's research, I went to Melbourne (I live in Brisbane) to do the Diploma course with the ASTTM. I was so impressed with with the quality and range of teaching that I decided to do the entire course the following year! I can only congratulate the ASTTM on their efforts over the past 30 years in gathering the depth of knowledge and skills (much of it no longer available in Thailand) that students receive. I highly recommend the course to all those interested in this excellent synthsis of yoga and massage." Richard Clark: Ashtanga Yoga instructor, Traditional Thai massage practitioner, past president of the Australasian Ayurvedic Practitioners Association and writer for Australian Yoga Life magazine

"Traditional Thai massage is a wonderful form of massage. Where it stands out above the other styles is in the way it relaxes the whole body as well as stretches the muscles and mobilises the joints in a very controlled and gentle way. This combination of relaxation, suppleness and strength realised by Traditional Thai Massage is exactly what we are trying to achieve with our bodies. We would recommend it to all dancers as the freedom we feel after treatment is truly wonderful." lan and Donna Shingler Former Australian Amateur and Professional Dance Sport Champions, currently ranked in top 6 professional couples in the world ((a testimonial given to the Australian School of Traditional Thai Massage following a request from Annette Hand, who is Alan and Donna's massage therapist during the annual Australian Dance Sport Championships. She is ASTTM graduate now in private practice)