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Ku Nye: Why You Should Give this Therapeutic Massage a Try

We have preached the benefits of hammam massage many times before, but there is another therapy, available in Marrakech, that also offers powerful health and wellness benefits. Interestingly, this therapeutic massage is not Moroccan – it hails from Tibet. 

The healing art in discussion is known as Ku Nye, (also spelt as Kum Nye among other things). It is a comprehensive modality that can provide full-body healing and relief from some of the most common and frustrating ailments. 

Best of all, Ku Nye is a therapy we offer here at our Farnatchi spa. 

A Deeper Look at Ku Nye Massage

Ku Nye is an ancient form of massage therapy, with its origins based in Traditional Tibetan Medicine. A look at classical Tibetan Medicine texts give insights into how long the therapy has existed and how deeply rooted it is in Tibetan culture. 

The name “Ku Nye” consists of two words: “Ku” which means oil and “Nye” which means to perform a massage. So essentially, the combination loosely translates to “applying massage with oil”. 

There are three stages associated with Ku Nye massage, all three of which are integral to the effectiveness of the therapy. They are:

  1. Applying the oil 
  2. Massaging in the oil 
  3. Wiping off the oil 

Let’s take a closer look at each stage. 

Ku Nye Stage 1 – Applying the Oil 

During the first stage of a Ku Nye massage, the practitioner will apply a generous amount of oil across the patient’s body. These oils are typically heavy in nature – sometimes practitioners will use olive oil or even butter. 

Traditionally, Ku Nye practitioners in Tibet will use clarified dri (female yak) butter since it is believed to have powerful therapeutic use. 

At our Farnatchi spa, we use a special blend of five essential oils, which work to balance the five sensory organs. Regardless of the oil type, though, practitioners will spread the oil thoroughly and evenly on the patient. 

Ku Nye Stage 2 – Massaging the Oil In 

Once the practitioner has applied oil over the patient’s body, they will begin to incorporate a range of massage strokes and techniques. 

Similar to Chinese traditional medicine, Tibetan medicine (and conversely, Ku Nye) focuses on special points and locations in the body. A Ku Nye practitioner will pay extra attention to their patients’ hands, feet and head (among other body parts). 

The massage will start off in a slow and gentle fashion – a warmup of sorts – before gradually increasing in intensity. The Ku Nye practitioner will start to employ more vigorous and deeper strokes on particular muscles and tissues. The massage even incorporates a degree of assisted stretching and joint mobilization. 

Ku Nye Stage 3 – Wiping it Off 

The third and final stage of the Ku Nye massage is when the practitioner wipes off the excess oil. The traditional method to remove this excess oil is by using chickpea flour since it opens up the pores and absorbs excess oil while leaving a reasonable amount behind. 

With that said, a wet towel can be used to wipe off the excess oil, although it won’t leave the skin as hydrated and radiant as the chickpea flour would. 

Supplementary Ku Nye Therapies & Treatments

A Ku Nye massage may entail far more than just oil and deep strokes. It often makes use of “adjacent” healing techniques, so that the patient experiences further benefits to their health and wellness. Some of these “add-ons” involve strokes and techniques from other massages, while other interventions are physical products that promote healing. 

Ku Nye + Acupressure

Acupressure (and acupuncture) need no introduction. Of course, what many people don’t know is that acupressure is often used in conjunction with other traditional healing arts including Ku Nye. When Ku Nye and acupressure are combined, there is an enhancement in the body’s ability to release tension. 

Ku Nye + Tibetan Cupping 

As the name suggests, Tibetan cupping involves the application of cup-shaped instruments on the soft tissues of one’s body. These cups produce a reverse pressure suction. Although it is not a painful treatment, cupping is a less gentle component of the treatment and it may cause temporary bruising or discolouration at the site. Nevertheless, cupping is a highly effective way to reduce muscle pain, improve circulation and reduce stiffness or tension. 

Ku Nye + Traditional Tibetan Scalp Massage 

Ku Nye is often combined with another traditional Tibetan therapy – scalp massage. Scalp massages have their own list of benefits, many of which are focused on one’s wellbeing and sense of groundedness. 

Ku Nye + Healing Products/Objects

In addition to the supplementary therapies mentioned above, Ku Nye practitioners will use a variety of items to enhance the power of their manual strokes. For example, it is not uncommon to see practitioners using: 

  • Warm herbal poultices 
  • Warm crystals
  • Hot stones
  • Rose quartz crystals

When these physical products and therapeutic techniques are used together, the patient will often feel an elevated sense of wellbeing. And that leads us to our next point – the health benefits of Ku Nye massage. 

The Health Benefits of Ku Nye Massage 

There’d be no reason to try this healing art if it didn’t have any health benefits for its participants. Like many massage therapies you’d find in a Marrakech hammam, Ku Nye provides full-body healing, relaxation and rejuvenation. 

This goes for individuals who are looking to merely feel their best (or younger), individuals who have chronic conditions or athletic individuals who want to promote faster recovery. 

How Ku Nye Massage Heals 

  • Slows down the effects of ageing – Ku Nye massage stimulates blood flow, loosens stiff joints, promotes sleep, improves digestion and bolsters the memory. All of these are common geriatric complaints. 
  • Rejuvenates skin and restores its radiance – Many people suffer from chronically dry skin or rough skin texture. Ku Nye activates metabolic processes, which in turn, increase the elimination of waste products that can diminish the skin’s radiance. 
  • Improves chronic fatigue and raises energy levels – Poor circulation and muscle tension among other things can drastically reduce one’s energy level. Fortunately, Ku Nye massage counteracts these “energy-drainers”, leading to an increase in energy and stamina. 
  • Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety – With its toxin-elimination, tension-reducing mechanisms of action, Ku Nye is a natural stress buster. It helps to quell feelings of anxiety since this therapeutic treatment reduces sympathetic nervous activity, which naturally contributes to feelings of stress and unease. 
  • Helps relieve insomnia – Stress, anxiety and a disruption of our circadian rhythms can make insomnia a chronic and frustrating problem. Fortunately, Ku Nye reduces stress and anxiety, which typically makes it much easier to fall asleep. Even subtle thoughts and emotional responses, which may keep us awake without us realizing, can disappear with a session of Ku Nye massage. 

Additionally, this massage can benefit those who suffer from chronic pain since the massage loosens muscles, triggers an anti-inflammatory response and increases the removal of waste products. 

Ku Nye: A Mysterious Healing Massage Powerhouse

We live in a frantic world that makes us easily susceptible to pain and stress. What that means for many people is that they live in a chronically worn-out or overly excitable state that doesn’t get better. 

Fortunately, with a therapy such as Ku Nye massage, it’s possible for individuals to receive long-lasting benefits including pain relief, reduced stress and a positive sense of wellbeing. Here at our Farnatchi spa, we offer this healing art and we can say with confidence that individuals who are in need of relief from stress and pain can get that relief with a Ku Nye session!

Are you interested in trying a session of Ku Nye massage for yourself? Get in touch with us so that we can book you an appointment!