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So far learntomassage has created 32 blog entries.

Natasha’s quest for knowledge and a course in the making

This summer I travel to Thailand with four Thai bodywork practitioners who have a passion for working with pregnant and post-partum women. We are going on an incredible and exciting research trip, organised by my teacher.

I feel very strongly about being able to offer support to women throughout one of the most important times of their lives. Despite it being an exciting time, it is also often difficult.

The birth of my daughter involved a Cesarean due to her being breech, so the home birth I had planned was not possible. Luckily I had my mum, aunts, sister and a nutritionist […]

What is Ya Dom sniff medicine?

Ya Dom is a gorgeous natural medicine widely used in Thailand to help clear a blocked nose, calm the nervous system and reduce the symptoms associated with sickness and dizziness. Ya Dom is also very energising, so its great for those times of day when you might have mental slump! We find many Yoga and Pilates teachers purchase big jars of it for their classes as it can help with balance, focus and clarity of mind. Everyone else buys their own little pocket sized ones to use throughout each day.

As is common with Thai medicine, Ya Dom smell divine! There […]

Use a diagnosis by colouring your attitude positively

For many years in my clinic I have seen people who come for treatment and talk to me about the diagnoses they have for their condition.

I often wonder if having the diagnoses has been beneficial for them.  I think this because I see that in some cases, especially when the person has suffered acute pain over a long period of time, that they become this condition.  They define themselves by it.  Their pain or condition take over in an unhealthy way and their life often revolves around it.

I understand how this can happen.  Pain over long periods of time wears […]

Making herbal balms & liniments for Thai Yoga Massage

“I made some mistakes so you don’t have to…” Natasha de Grunwald from London Institute of Thai Yoga Massage explains.

Balms and liniments are integral to a Thai bodyworkers toolkit for giving a Thai Yoga Massage. Applying them directly to the skin (which is an organ of elimination and absorption) is an easy way to get the medicinal properties of the herbs directly into the body during a Thai Yoga Massage.  For example, they are very necessary when treating injuries, drawing toxins and stagnation from the body, for bruises and scar tissue, to release muscular tension and to get deep into the […]

Treating a cough with Thai medicine

Over the last couple of weeks there seems to have been a nasty bug going around, left right and centre people have been coming down with a painful and chesty cough, fever and headache. Natasha explains how Thai medicine helped her family.

“Both my mum, sister and daughter have had a nasty bug this past week and it is very unpleasant with a rattling, mucousy cough that goes on and on. In my mum’s case she has had it for 4 weeks – she finally resorted to taking antibiotics, something she is not keen on doing.

With the onset of my daughter having […]


For many years my Thai Massage teachers taught me to chant well known Sanskrit chants such as “om mani padme om”. I was taught that the main reason for this, and why Thai Massage practitioners might regularly chant was to acknowledge the fact that the massage was based on a Buddhist philosophy, and that the regular process of chanting would focus my attention ready to give massage. I liked the idea behind this, but also wondered why we were chanting something that was non-­‐Thai.

In more recent times I have new teachers and a new lineage-­‐ I am very proud to […]


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old,  but on building the new’” Socrates

Some of you may have noticed, both on courses and workshops that you have attended, or through the blogs I have written recently, that I am mentioning things like ‘Elements’ and ‘Layers’ to you, these aren’t words often found in the regular Thai Massage trainings offered.

Whilst there are some students that find fulfilment knowing how to give a relaxing massage and stretch their clients, and that is fine – I felt this for a long time too, there is […]

The Layers

I have just come back from a ten-day integral anatomy dissection.  This humbling and privileged experience makes me in awe of the body.  I am super-spaced out and filled with gratitude.


I wonder – what is the body? Is it interconnected to the universe?  Where do you end and it starts?  My teacher Gil Hedley often talks about it, and gives these simple analogies: ‘the moon is doing this and affecting you like that’, and ‘when you breathe out the trees breathe in, when they breathe out we breathe in’, ‘the sun is your mastery gland, giving light to your body […]

Could your water element be excited?

These past few months I have been studying Thai anatomy and physiology.  It has been incredibly illuminating to see the body through this lens, rather than the western one, which is often about diagnosing disease and giving labels.

Thai Medicine sees the whole person, not the disease.  Instead, part of the science is that it uses a five-element understanding to address the body, mind and spirit.   In a nutshell this means that everything, from our blood and tears, our skin, bone muscle and fascia, our hormones and organs, the age we are, the sound of our voice, how we live our […]

Feet and their connection to the Elements

Anyone who knows me well will know that I’m kind of
 into feet: I take images of them, study them, I even dissect them and I like
 mine firmly rooted to the ground – no handstands for me! And it’s fair to say that in general, I’m a bit of body nerd. So
 recently, when my mind had the chance to wander, it decided to take a walk in this
 direction… Today I was cutting the grass in the garden for the first time
 this year, enjoying the sun on my face. After a short while, I found myself
 aiming […]