The Thai massage is one of the most popular massages in the world. It is also not surprising because this type of massage is very effective for various types of physical and mental health complaints.
For example, it improves your posture, gives you extra energy and it is effective in reducing stress.
In this article I will elaborate on Thai massages. Among other things, I will discuss what exactly this massage entails and what its benefits are. I hope you enjoy reading this article.
What is a Thai massage?
Thai massage has been practiced for over 2,000 years and combines acupressure techniques with yoga-like stretches to help relieve muscle tension and improve blood circulation throughout the body.
A Thai massage therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs and feet as they put pressure on muscles and joints of the body to stretch those parts that need to be stretched.
This helps increase flexibility while also allowing energy (or chi) to flow more freely through your body. A combination of several other actions such as pulling, pushing, grasping and shaking lead to an overall improved well-being of the organism by releasing tensions from all internal organs, including the kidneys, liver and colon.
What Happens During Thai Massages?
During Thai massage, therapists use stretching and compression exercises along energy meridians that connect different parts of the body.
The stretches stimulate the muscles to contract deeper in the tissue, releasing energy blockages and reducing tension. You will notice after the massage that your muscles are much less tense. In addition, most people feel much calmer and less tense after the Thai treatment.
The History of Thai Massage
Thai Massages have been practiced for thousands of years in Thailand. It is believed that Thai Massage was developed more than 2500 years ago by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha ( Shivago Kompara ) a friend of the Buddha who had a vast knowledge of medicine.
Shivago is considered by most Thai healers to be the inventor of Thai traditional medicine. He is also called the “Father Doctor” and the Thai healer practices the ethics of thanking the Father Doctor before and after the massage.
In Thailand, Thai massage is known as nuam phu sai (น้ำผ่ region), and in India they call it “raja yoga.” Thai massage integrates different healing styles such as Ayurveda or traditional Chinese medicine to promote general health and well-being by harmonizing body systems through symmetrical movements.
Different types of thai massages:
- Traditional Thai massage: Traditional Thai massage is a classic Thai thalassotherapy treatment, the Thai version of an Indian Ayurvedic or Chinese Tui Na massage. The client wears comfortable loose-fitting clothing and lies on a mat on the floor while the therapist applies gentle pressure to acupressure points along the energy meridians to stimulate blood flow and release tension throughout the body.
- Thai foot massage: is a traditional Thai thalassotherapy treatment. Thai foot massage or reflexology works on the pressure points of your feet to improve the flow of energy throughout the body while affecting an individual’s entire physical, mental and emotional state.
- Thai oil massage: is a thalassotherapy treatment that uses warm coconut or sesame oil to relax the entire body and release tension in the muscles. This thalassotherapy treatment can be used for both men and women, it calms the mind and at the same time relaxes the muscles so that you feel rejuvenated after receiving this type of thai.
How do I find the right massage therapist who can perform a good Thai massage:
- Google maps reviews: read the reviews of thai massage therapists on google maps and contact the one with the most positive reviews.
- Check the location: it is best to find a Thai massage therapist who works close to you as transportation costs will be higher for masseurs who live far away from where you live
- Contact us about availability and tell us your expectations: You can contact therapists directly and ask if they have an opening in the near future. It is best to be clear about what you expect and check their availability.
- Compare prices: Massage therapists usually offer massages for different prices. Be sure to compare the prices and look for Thai massage therapists who offer massages at an affordable price.
- Friends + family: my advice is to ask friends and family if they have good experiences with a good massage parlor. They will always give you honest advice.
The benefits of a Thai massage?
Below I will discuss the main benefits of Thai massages.
A Thai massage can reduce stress because it lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, helping us go into fight or flight mode when we’re under pressure. When we have too many stress hormones in our body it feels like we are under constant pressure and that is not healthy.
The cortisol level is lowered by a massage by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to relax. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming our bodies when we are under stress. In this way, a massage helps to reduce stress.
It increases blood circulation
A Thai massage increases blood circulation, this helps to reduce the risk of thrombosis and also reduces pain in joints. The stretching movements stimulate the muscles, causing them to contract deeper in the tissue and allow more oxygen-rich blood to flow. In this way, this massage helps to improve blood circulation.
Reducing muscle tension
Bad posture or because we hold pent up emotions can put muscles under constant tension. It leads to health problems such as neck and back pain. A Thai massage is very effective to release these tensions. During massage, pressure is put on the pressure points of the energy meridians. The energy meridians are connected to all organs of the body. By putting pressure on these energy points, the muscle tension is released, so that you feel relaxed again after just one session! In addition, toxins are removed from the energy pathways, allowing the energy to flow freely through energy pathways again. It also causes muscle tension to decrease.
You get more energy from it
Many people experience an increase in energy after a Thai massage. The reason for this is that Thai massages help your body to release stress and toxins from the tissues and that creates an energetic feeling. During a massage, your body also releases serotonin. It is known as the happiness hormone and it acts as a natural anti-depressant in our body. This hormone creates a happy feeling and gives you extra positive energy.
It ensures a better night’s sleep
A Thai massage is very relaxing and has a positive effect on your sleep. If you feel tense, stressed, or anxious, it can be difficult to fall asleep. A massage helps with this. During the massage, your brain produces serontine hormones. They are hormones that make you calmer and more relaxed. After the massage you will notice that you are less stressed and therefore you can sleep better.
A Thai massage can reduce headaches because it helps to release muscle tension. If you experience a lot of stress and anxiety, this puts your muscles under constant pressure and this causes tension. It is also known as a tension headache. A massage reduces muscle tension, which reduces the headache.
In addition, endorphins are produced during the massage. We also call this natural painkillers. The production of these hormones also decreases the pain in your body. The headache will also decrease thanks to the production of these hormones. For more information about how massages can help with reduction, I would also like to refer you to this article.
It reduces muscle soreness
With Thai massages you can reduce muscle pain in your back, shoulders or legs. It is because the blood circulation is increased by loosening the tense muscles. The effect is that pent-up toxins are removed from the body and therefore the muscle pain also decreases.
Improving sports performance
A Thai massage can help improve your sports performance because lactic acid is flushed out of the muscles during the therapy. This is especially important for people who do heavy physical activity or sports, because their body has built up a lot of lactic acid after training. It is also very helpful before a competition if you want to increase your athleticism.
A Thai massage helps with arthritis
Chronic inflammation of joints leads to stiffness and swelling. It has a negative effect on the flexibility of the body, making it more difficult to move. A Thai massage helps to reduce the chronic inflammation caused by arthritis and also reduce joint pain, giving people who suffer from rheumatism or osteoarthritis better mobility. In this case, the massage also reduces tension on the affected parts of the body, which reduces stiffness and swelling.
Thai massage therapy helps with back pain, shoulder and neck complaints.
Lower back pain is caused by a number of factors: physical strain, poor posture and stress. During the massage, the therapist ensures that the tension in the muscles and joints is reduced. It helps to relax the tight lower back muscles that can cause lower back pain.
The massage also helps relieve tense neck and shoulder areas that prevent you from keeping your body in proper alignment. Over time, Thai massages can help strengthen the muscles in the lower back to prevent back pain.
Reduce Parkinson’s pain symptoms
People with Parkinson’s disease have tremors in their bodies that can get worse when they are under stress. A Thai massage is very effective to relax the muscles, so that you feel less tension, which reduces the vibrations.
Improving body posture
Flexibility and posture are improved by Thai massages. The stretching movements stimulate the muscles, causing them to contract deeper in the tissue and allow more oxygenated blood to flow. In this way the massage helps to improve your posture
It makes your skin younger (anti cellulite)
Cellulite occurs when fat cells are stored in different places under your skin rather than evenly all over the body. When these fat cells start to move, it causes lumps or bumps under your skin that result in an “orange peel”. A Thai massage stimulates lymphatic drainage so that any toxins as well as excess water from deep internal fatty tissues are released much more easily than before, resulting in smoother looking skin.
How can I prepare for a Thai massage?
Below we briefly discuss how you can prepare yourself for a Thai massage.
- Don’t eat: It’s better if you don’t eat a few hours before. The reason is because it takes about three hours for your food to be digested. Eating before the massage can give you a bloated feeling.
- Don’t drink: It’s also wise not to drink before the massage, as the massage involves techniques that require your body weight to rest on your stomach. When you drink too much water, it can feel uncomfortable when you lie on the floor.
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothes: the reason is that the Thai massage is a very active massage and so it is wise to wear loose and comfortable clothes.
- Do stretching exercises: this will help you increase your muscle flexibility and it will also help you prepare for the massage. It is best to do this about half an hour before the Thai massage session.
How is the Thai massage different from other massages?
Below we discuss the main differences of Thai massages compared to other massage therapies.
- With a Thai massage you lie on the floor and not on a table. The reason is because this massage is performed with the hands and feet. In addition, with this type of massage you also have to move your entire body and very similar to yoga movements. It means that this massage is more mobile than other massages.
- In a Thai treatment no oils are used as with most other massages.
- A Thai massage is a deep and active stretching. It means that these massages are more physically demanding than other popular therapies such as Shiatsu or Ayurvedic treatments. Thai therapy is a treatment in which you are actively engaged during the session.
- In this massage, the recipient is always fully clothed. It has a positive effect on your mental peace of mind because you don’t have to worry about how you look, unlike other treatments where one has to be naked or nearly naked because of the oil being used.
On these points you can see the main differences between Thai massage and other forms of therapy.
For which people is a Thai massage suitable?
The Thai massage is suitable for anyone who suffers from muscle tension or stiffness in the body. Athletes can also benefit from this massage, because this form of massage helps to prevent injuries and to recover faster after a hard workout.
Athletes aren’t the only ones who benefit from this type of massage; anyone who suffers from back pain, knee problems, migraines, high blood pressure or even stress-related ailments. It improves circulation by stimulating the flow through the energy meridians in our body using acupressure points based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, a lot of use is made of yoga poses that aim to stretch the tense joints.