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Erwan - Barefoot Thai Massage
Erwan translates as Elephant Foot – Erwan is a healing practice that comes from the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. This esoteric form of therapy is beneficial on its own. It is also used as an adjunct to the traditional method of Thai massage.
The first written document of this form of Thai Massage was in 1690 a.d. Erwan was mainly a tradition with very few written documents detailing this style of massage. It generally existed as an oral tradition in the Buddhist temples and was practiced by the monks and nuns.
This form follows movements that flow in a logical sequence. A typical Erwan treatment is very holistic in its approach and may last for up to two hours, working on all parts of the body.
The clients remain fully clothed in loose comfortable garments. The space should be a clean, comfortable, and in a quiet space that encourages the client and practitioner to relax. The space should be warm, as during treatments the clients will be chilled as changes in the body take place, have clean blankets at hand.
The art of Healing Massage is as old and mankind. We have touched ailing parts of the body to alleviate symptoms of pain. Erwan treats the whole person, harmonizing both mind and body. The foot can be used in a sensitive manner; learning to listen with the hands and thumbs is easy, but with some practice it is also easy to listen with the feet, knees and elbows. Using the feet allows the practitioner to keep the body straight, to breath deeply, and therefore you are able to give a deeper, fuller treatment without becoming tired. Erwan brings tangible benefits to the giver as well as the receiver. An Erwan treatment technique endeavors to treat and balance the person as a whole.
Preparation and Contraindications
Work in a meditative and concentrated state of mind
Work in a slow style
Be mindful; do not press on client’s knees, elbows or spine
Begin with light pressure and then proceed deeper
The strength of the pressure comes from the weight of your body.
It is not necessary to press hard to achieve good results.
Inquire about any recent illness or pain
Ask about past operations or broken bones
Do not work on areas with a history of structural problems (pins plates, screws, etc)
Do not work on varicose veins
Do not work on areas of edema in the legs or feet
Do not work on open sores, fungus, rashes, or bone spurs
Check in with your own body. Are you in a comfortable position?
Have adequate floor space to be able to circle your client.
Have your space warm enough for the person on the floor.
Client should wear loose comfortable clothing.
Have your client remove their glasses, jewelry and empty their pockets
Use a bit of padding on the floor: futon (2” thick), mat, or folded blankets
Try Erwan yourself:
Have your partner lye on their belly.
Sit above their head
Place your heels on either side of the spine
Walk up and down the shoulder blade area
Then use your heels on the top of the shoulders
Be careful not to step on bone.
Have your partner lay on their back
Come to sitting above their head
Bring your toes onto their shoulders
Alternately press with your toes on the tight muscles on the shoulders
Then curl your toes under, making toe fists, alternately press
Uncurl your toes and alternately press again.
An Erwan treatment can last anywhere from one and a half to three hours long, especially if you do every move three times in a slow meditative state. Work as long as seems appropriate, until it feels that it is complete. For shorter massage delete some of the moves.
Erwan is a lovely way to work on the body that does not tax the hands or thumbs. It is a meditation, a healing method, a Metta filled way to work.
This article is for entertainment purposes only, practicing any of the techniques mentioned above are at your own risk and Metta will not be held liable in any way. If you feel any pain, dissiness or discomfort stop practicing, if symptoms continue contact a physician.
Metta in Motion has Thai massage courses ranging from Certification Classes, Advanced Classes, Barefoot Thai Massage, Thai on the Table and Pre-Natal Classes. In addition we have shorter Classes, Four Hour Taster, Two Day Introduction, and Couples Thai Massage.
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Metta in Motion is a Thai Massage school located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Metta in Motion classes range from Certification Classes, Advanced Classes, Barefoot Thai Massage and Pre-Natal Classes. As well as shorter Classes, Four Hour Taster, Two Day Introduction, and Couples Thai Massage. All the classes are small and intimate with lots of individual attention. Metta, meaning Loving Kindness is a large part of the class, giving Loving kindness to our clients, loving kindness to our classmates and especially loving kindness to ourselves. With small classes Mia is able to teach the Metta in Motion method clearly, calmly, concisely, with lots of individual attention, and Metta to each student equally.
Page Updated Last on: May 04, 2010