Thai massage is a form of therapeutic touch that differs from traditional massage in many ways. Instead of lying on a massage table, you lie on a mat on the floor while the provider manipulates your body in certain ways to stimulate organs and improve flexibility. Thai massage is part of traditional Thai medicine, also known as Thai yoga massage, which combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures. The idea of energy-lines, or SEN-lines, was first used as a Thai yoga massage and is similar to nadis according to Gorakhnath's philosophy of yoga.
Many people report feeling not only relaxed but also rejuvenated after receiving a Thai massage. In one study, soccer players who received a Thai massage three times over a 10-day period showed a significant improvement in their ability to do sitting and stretching exercises. The researchers hypothesized that the increase in flexibility may be due to the fact that Thai massage has the ability to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. Thai massage is based on the idea that energy moves through the body along predictable lines or pathways known as senses.
Relaxation combined with the energizing and invigorating effects of Thai massage help people feel mentally and physically restored. The dynamic stretches used by Thai massage therapists can offer deeper and more restorative stretches than some assisted stretching techniques in sports massage. A randomized trial examined the effects of Thai and Swedish massages on people experiencing fatigue. The results revealed that Thai massage increased energy and mental stimulation, while Swedish massage was more likely to improve relaxation and sleep.
The researchers concluded that Thai massage is more effective at reducing stress in healthy people than simply resting. Thai massage uses different techniques that open or restrict different senses to correct the flow of vital energy. Like traditional Thai medicine (TTM) in general, it is a combination of influences from Indian and South-East Asian medical traditions, and art as practiced today is likely the product of a 19th-century synthesis of several healing traditions from across the kingdom. Recent research has revealed that Thai massage is associated with many health benefits, such as better circulation, better range of motion, and reduced stress levels.
In one 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. Thai massage can also improve the circulation of joint fluid or synovial fluid, reducing friction between joints. In another study, researchers used a Thai massage program combined with wand exercises to study the effects on people with knee arthritis. Overall, Thai massage offers many potential health benefits for those looking for an alternative form of therapy.
It can help reduce stress levels, improve circulation, increase range of motion, and even provide pain relief for those suffering from knee osteoarthritis.