Originating in Ancient India, tantric massage has been around a long time. But what exactly is it, and what can it do for you? We’ve put together an exhaustive guide to the history and specifics of its practice so that you can make an educated decision whether it's right for you. Read on, and enjoy…
Tantric massage is an erotic and spiritual form of massage originating in ancient India as part of the Hindu form of meditation known as Tantrism or Tantra. The massage is a whole-body treatment, usually including stimulation of the genitals and may result in sexual release.
Through the rituals of Tantrism – including massage – practitioners are believed to be able to harness divine creative and sexual energy (shakti) and achieve enlightenment. ‘Tantra’ is a Sanskrit word derived from the root “tan”, meaning ‘to weave’ and is symbolic of our capacity to expand our minds through spiritual development.
Tantra teaches that the male and female energies are fused together and balanced through sexual union. Tantric sex features in the famous Hindu guide to sexual pleasure, the Kama Sutra.
It’s also additionally mentioned in other ancient texts, which specify that sex has three distinct and separate purposes; procreation, pleasure, and liberation. It is believed that through sexual rituals, participants can transcend the ego to be unified in a sublime experience of infinite awareness.
According to the Tantric tradition, the purpose of Tantric massage is to awaken powerful sexual energy, known as the kundalini, which lies coiled at the base of the spine like a serpent.
It can be summoned through stimulation of the root (muladhara) chakra, located in the genital area. Once harnessed, the masseuse moves the energy up along the spine – like an electrical current – spreading it from chakra to chakra.
Chakras – or energy centres – are located throughout the body. There are seven major chakras, starting from the very top of the head to the base of the spine and each chakra has different physical and emotional traits.
The progress of kundalini (sexual energy) through the different chakras leads to different levels of awakening, until the kundalini finally reaches the crown chakra at the top of the head, resulting in a feeling of deep bliss.
Tantric meditation, massage and yoga is enhanced through special deep breathing techniques, known as ‘pranayama’, which allow you to harness your vital life energy and increase your physical, mental and spiritual strength. Breath control can also be used to achieve prolonged and more intense orgasms. There are four stages to breathing in pranayama:
Inhalation – breathe in slowly, inhaling a steady stream of air until your lungs are completely full
Internal retention of air – hold the air within your lungs for as long as is comfortable
Exhalation– breathe out slowly, with a steady, controlled exhalation until your lungs are completely empty
External retention – leave your lungs empty for as long as it is comfortable to do so
The idea is to work on extending the time taken for each of the stages, focusing the mind on resisting the natural urges to exhale and inhale – on average we take 12-18 breaths a minute, at rest.
By bringing mental consciousness to the normally subconscious activity of breathing, you can balance the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood to make it more efficient. Some popular pranayamas include Bhastrika, Kapalbhati and Nadi shodan.
Tantric practitioners believe there are two types of orgasm. The first is the ordinary orgasm, which is friction-induced and occurs in the genitals (and for men includes ejaculation).
The second is a tantric orgasm, which is not induced by friction in the genital region and occurs in the whole body. It is far more expanded, intense and does not include ejaculation. With each tantric orgasm, kundalini sexual energy ascends further, taking the individual towards enlightenment.
According to Tantra, whole-body tantric orgasms can be achieved by resisting friction-induced orgasm, in order to build up sexual energy. Taking the physical sensations felt to a spiritual level can lead to prolonged sexual pleasure, lasting for many hours.
The genitals are known by their Sanskrit names; ‘lingam’ (penis) and ‘yoni’ (vagina) – translated as ‘wand of light’ and ‘sacred temple’, respectively. A tantric massage will usually include stimulation of the genitals and is part of awakening the kundalini sexual energy. For a woman, a yoni massage will include touching of both the inside and outside of the vagina.
For men it will include touching of the penis, testicles and perineum (the area between the testicles and the anus). The massage might also include stimulation of the G-spot (known in Tantra as the ‘sacred spot‘), where deep feelings of sexual and spiritual ecstasy are thought to reside.
During a tantric massage, the therapist will encourage the client to use breath work and ‘ride the waves’ of pleasure in order to delay orgasm, leading to more prolonged and intense satisfaction.
Tantrism is a complex and multi-faceted philosophy, but it is not necessary to devote years of study and practice in order to enjoy some of its many benefits. Through tantric massage, participants can discover the power of awakened sexual energy. And through regular tantric massage, one’s ability to control orgasm increases, leading to more satisfying lovemaking.
Although there may appear to be a great deal of mysticism around tantra, put simply it is a method of bringing full consciousness to the physical sensations felt in the body.
At Embrace Massage we offer a range of tantric treatments, both classic (massage given with the hands) and body to body (massage given with the whole body), with options for men, women and couples.
We operate in London, Cardiff and Bristol and operate a 7-days-a-week outcall service – travelling to your home or hotel suite.