The Benefits of Thai Massage: How it Works and What it Can Do For You

Thai massage is a unique form of massage therapy that combines compression, acupressure, and passive stretching to increase the range of motion of the joints and muscles. This can also improve your posture. Thai massage is always done clothed, on a mat or on the floor. The receptors are guided through a series of yoga-like stretches, as well as a combination of abdominal work, breathing signals, deep tissue massage, and applying pressure to specific points on the body. Thai massage has many benefits for the individual.

It can help reduce stress levels and improve general circulation. This is achieved by gradually moving the person through different positions similar to yoga. This will improve people's flexibility, allowing for a greater range of motion. This greater range of motion and flexibility reduces stress and muscle tension and helps prevent accidents due to trips and falls.

Physicians often use a variety of different sequences of techniques on clients, who are on the floor, on a mat, fully clothed, either supine, seated, sideways, or face down. Thai massage generally works with compression, and practitioners use their feet, elbows, knees and hands to compress and stretch the client. Breathing work accompanies stretching, which often looks like a form of passive yoga. Deep relaxation has also been shown to promote a deeper and more restful nighttime sleep. This deeper sleep allows your body to heal physically and allows you to feel more refreshed when you wake up. Massage therapist Beth Brown, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also discovers that practicing Thai massage can help her deal with her own pain and stress.

Clients usually begin to lie on their backs, while the therapist begins massaging the feet and continues to move the legs up, applying pressure with a rhythmic, oscillating motion with the palms of the hands and thumbs. In several small studies with patients with chronic headaches, researchers found that Thai massage reduced the intensity of migraines and tension headaches. Feeling sore after a massage is quite common, especially if you've had a deep tissue massage or other type of massage that requires a lot of pressure. During most of the massages I received on my trip to Thailand, in fact, I wore loose clothing provided by the spa. According to Seely, Thai massage is popular among athletes and sports enthusiasts as a recovery method. Although Thai massage is more energetic than other forms of massage therapy, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase a sense of systemic calm. If you have an underlying health condition, be sure to ask your doctor if this traditional form of massage is safe for you.

Beyond the first semester, pregnant women should consult with a doctor and talk to their Thai massage therapist to make sure the session is safe. Eventually, Burynski returned to Thailand to continue her studies, and later became an instructor, opening her own Thai massage school - Living Sabai - in Asheville. Thai massage is based on the idea that energy moves through the body along predictable lines or pathways known as senses. In a study comparing the effects of Thai massage and Swedish massage on fatigued people, researchers found that Thai massage can benefit your health in many ways - many of which are backed by scientific studies. Personally, I feel that my muscles are looser, more relaxed and in general I feel better when I have regular massages. In another study involving 60 patients with knee osteoarthritis, researchers found that 3 weeks of Thai massage provided the same pain relief as 3 weeks of ibuprofen.

Tiffany Greenhalgh
Tiffany Greenhalgh

Freelance zombie buff. Award-winning travel enthusiast. Alcohol ninja. Extreme coffee junkie. Certified social media lover.