Traditional Tibetan Massage
How can traditional Tibetan massage nourish your soul?
Rooted in an ancient mind-body medical practice, traditional Tibetan massage is considered an integral component of Tibetan Medicine, used for centuries in both the prevention and treatment of disease.
As one of the world’s oldest traditional healing practices, Tibetan Medicine follows a holistic system that integrates the needs of the body and mind. It is based on the premise that health is achieved by maintaining the balance of our five basic elements: earth, water, fire, wind and space. When there is imbalance, there is ill-health.
The four pillars of treatment within Tibetan Medicine incorporate diet, lifestyle, medicines and external therapies. Tibetan massage is regarded as one of the most important external therapies and is primarily focused on bringing the wind element back into balance.
Ku Nye (‘Ku’ meaning oil and ‘Nye’ meaning to perform massage) is an alternate name for Tibetan massage that incorporates specific herbal oils into massage therapy, focusing on acupressure points and meridians. Many of the techniques used in Tibetan massage show similarities to therapies such as reflexology, acupressure and remedial massage.
Benefits of traditional Tibetan massage
Traditional Tibetan massage offers far-reaching benefits beyond just a physical therapy.
By supporting the rebalancing of the body, relaxing tension and restoring equilibrium to the body’s energy systems, Tibetan massage is reputed to improve general health, strengthen the body’s innate ability to prevent illness and enhance longevity. It may be used as a stand-alone treatment, or in conjunction with other therapies.
Individuals who have experienced Tibetan massage have reported improvements in their general health and well-being, including boosted energy levels, improved digestion, better quality sleep and improved mood.
Traditional Tibetan massage may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Back pain
- Circulation and cardiovascular conditions
- Foot, heel and ankle issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Joint issues
- Mood imbalances
- Muscle spasm, tightness and cramps
- Muscle strain and injury
- Neck pain
- PMT/PMS and menstrual issues
- Skin, hair and nail issues
- Stress and tension
What to expect from a traditional Tibetan massage session
True to its meaning - “ointment rub” - a Ku Nye session is usually divided into the following three basic stages: applying oil, massaging the oil into the body, and removing the oil from the body.
During the first stage, known as ‘Ku,’ the practitioner generously applies herbal-infused oils to the body. These oils are specifically selected according to an individual’s constitution and/or symptoms, and may include natural products such as butter, olive oil or sesame oil. The purpose of the oil is to act as a lubricant, as well assist in securing the wind element in place.
The practitioner will then perform manual and deep tissue work using various techniques, such as pressure and rotation, identifying and stimulating specific points on the body. This stage is known as ‘Nye.’ Like acupuncture, there are 250 points on the body that a practitioner may choose to focus on. Other types of gentle therapies, such as tapping, hot and cold compress, or cupping may also be used to enhance the treatment. The final stage, ‘Chi,’ concludes the session with removal of the excess oil from the body.
To gain the maximum benefit from your Tibetan massage, it is recommended that you do not eat a large meal before treatment and avoid exposing your body to cold temperatures both before and after the massage. Taking a cold shower, for example, is not recommended.
Keep in mind that it is always advisable to consult a qualified health professional before commencing any wellness journey. This particular therapy may not be suitable for individuals who suffer from infectious or inflammatory conditions, liver and gallbladder disorders or severe water retention. It is therefore also recommended that you discuss any health concerns with your practitioner prior to receiving treatment.