Thai massage is an ancient system of massage developed in Thailand. Its origin is believed to have come from India, during the time of Buddha. Jīvaka, the physician to the Buddha, is said to have created the art of Thai massage. As Buddhism saw itself make its way into Thailand, the massage technique came with it. Traditional techniques were, and are still, widely used as a form of traditional healing.
Traditional Thai massage is very different from what people in the West may be accustomed to. Unlike other massage techniques, in which a person lies passively on a bed, the client is more active and participates in the massage.
Health Benefits of Thai Massage
Thai massage is known for a range of health benefits, from relieving muscular tension to lowering stress. It even helps increase your energy flow through the body and mind. Here are a few of the most common health benefits.
Improves range of motion
Thai massage incorporates yoga-like stretching to help improve circulation and reduce stress. The gradual, gentle stretches will boost the person’s flexibility over sessions, allowing a greater range of motion.
You may also see improvements in the circulation of the fluid in the joints, or synovial fluid, which will reduce the friction between joints. This helps improve joint mobility and range of motion.
Thai massage can promote the circulation of both the blood and the lymph nodes through gentle stretches. The yoga-like techniques help increase blood circulation, which helps fill the body’s tissues with more oxygen. Improving heart health and promoting cell growth.
Studies show that regular care can also help improve balance. The improved blood circulation leads to stimulation of the somatosensory system. Which in turn plays a major role in balance.
Two sessions of Thai massage per week can help significantly ease the burden of chronic headaches.
Studies have shown that regular Thai massage treatment can be an effective cure for headaches, as the acupressure massage can target key pressure points in the body that help relieve tension and stress, and increase energy flow.
Research shows that Thai massage can boost people’s physical energy levels. In randomized trials comparing the effects of Thai and Swedish massage in people who were experienced fatigue. The results showed that Thai massage increased the energy levels and mental stimulation of participants, while Swedish massage was more likely to improve sleep and relaxation.
The Thai massage technique is based on energy lines travelling throughout the body and mind. As such, practitioners target different energy channels to target corresponding parts of the body. Such as the muscles, blood, bones, and nerves. Some of these lines also affect the mind and consciousness. These lines are known as the subtle channels.
The theory suggests that tight muscles create blockages in the energy lines. These blockages reduce the flow of life energy, which results in pain, stiffness, and illness. Thai massage uses various techniques to either open or constrict these different energy lines, to correct the flow of energy throughout the body.
Stress is not always a bad thing. Often, stress can act as a motivator to help push people to perform past their normal capabilities.
However, too much stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health. Long-lasting. or chronic stress can lead to serious illness and damage to the body and mind.
Thai massage incorporates gentle pressure and stretching techniques to relax the body. This significantly reduces levels of stress throughout the body.
Researchers have concluded that Thai massage is more effective at reducing stress than other similar methods.
What to expect during a Thai massage
For a Thai massage, you will be given a shirt and pants to wear. Or you can wear your clothes, but it is recommended to wear something loose-fitting for the best massage experience.
During the massage, you will be stretched, pulled, and rocked at the hands of your Thai massage therapist. They will use every part of their body as a tool to do this, including their elbows, thumbs, and knees. Some therapists might even walk on you. This approach to massage therapy is completely different than Western massage techniques and what most people may be used to. It is important to note that sometimes, Thai massage can feel slightly unpleasant, and be somewhat painful. Usually, the therapist will make it more or less intense depending on a person’s needs. This pain helps for a deep stretch resulting in more relaxed and well-worked muscles.