It’s a no-brainer that a regular massage has enormous benefits but it is perhaps less obvious that massage can be a key to mastering those yoga poses you struggle with.

Everyone has genetic tendencies that lead to mastering some poses with ease: you work on the practice and those poses unfold and reveal themselves with a relative ease. Yet other poses seem impossible. It’s like being stuck behind a locked door with a “no entry” sign on it. You spend years practicing – knocking on the door – and occasionally it opens and you catch a small glimmer of light before the door slams shut in your face again.

This has been my journey with back bends – and it is still my journey. In back bends I meet all the emotional and mental blockages that teach me what I need to let go of – what I need to let die. I refer here to attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that hinder my being at ease in my own skin, and at peace in my own heart and mind.

Yoga is a spiritual journey. It is a body mind practice. Back bends may well feel like my nemesis but, in fact, they are my best teacher. Back bends are the key for me and so, for 27 years, I have been knocking on the door and, inch-by-inch, it opens and sheds light on my life’s work.

But I need help to walk this path. I need other spiritual warriors to assist me. Now and again a healer turns up in my life and always at the right moment.

Fon at Thai Orignal Massage in Birkenhead is one of those healers (by healer I refer to the God-given gift to intuit the exact kind of touch that suits the person on whom you are practicing your art – the ability to “get” each client’s body mind and soul, and the ability to pour love through your hands into them). http://www.relaxingoriginalthaispa.co.nz/

We know massage can have positive effects on limbs with limited range of motion due to tissue injury, inflammation, muscle tension or strain. Regular and systematic massage causes the muscles to become firmer and more elastic by stimulating circulation which, in turn, releases toxins and draws in fresh oxygenated blood (nutrients). One sleeps more deeply and enjoys a stronger immune system leading to health in winter (no flu and no flu vaccination).

I go to Fon at least once every two weeks for one hour. I order up a massage with no Thai adjustments – just deep tissue massage. And, because my husband comes as well, we get to use their deal – two people for $59 per person for one hour.

Fon is training her sister Som and she too has a certain something that I believe will develop into the same gift that Fon has. Because my husband’s favorite masseuse went back to Thailand I have been gifting him my jealously-guarded hour with Fon while receiving massage from Som.

So I speak from experience when I recommend you choose Fon as your first choice and Som as your second.

I’d be interested in your comments. How has massage worked for you?