The Benefits of Thai Massage: Is it Good for You?

The ancient practice of Thai Massage has been around for centuries, and modern science has backed up its many benefits. It can reduce the severity of headaches, decrease lower back and joint pain, increase flexibility, ease anxieties and energize the mind and body. A 2004 study found a significant improvement in the mental well-being of patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain when treated with massage, compared to treatment with relaxation tapes. Thai massage is a combination of compression, acupressure and passive stretching that increases the range of motion of the joints and muscles, and can also improve your posture. Thai massage has its origins in Buddhism.

Buddha's doctor invented it about 2,500 years ago. Since then, it has spread to different parts of the world and, over the generations, several elements became part of the tradition and philosophy that surround the practice. There are influences from China, Japan and India on this body, but it is still an independent method. Scientific and clinical research does not support the benefits of 100% Thai massage. Some call it a placebo and nothing else, and there is no doubt that there is a highly subjective element in the technique.

When it comes to the mind-body connection, there are no metrics with which to quantify success and positive outcomes. Therefore, the benefits of Thai massage, unlike other forms of massage, are controversial. Like Tai Chi and Yoga, Thai Massage (TTM) is both a moving meditation and a massage. It can provide physical relaxation as well as mental clarity. If a massage that's halfway to a yoga class sounds appealing, Thai massage will be the best thing for you. If you want to put in extra effort for your feet (and the rest of your body), consider getting a professional Thai foot massage.

Researchers in Thailand studied the effects of Thai massage on a group of 120 people with non-specific low back pain. They found that after just one session, participants reported feeling less pain and greater flexibility. However, that feeling may take a minute to arrive: some people feel a little sore in the hours after a Thai massage, but wake up the next day much more mobile. Traditional Thai massage is done without oil and with clothes on, but in the West, many practitioners offer a mixed treatment that combines Thai principles with a relaxing oil massage. If you have stiff joints, tight muscles, and generally feel a little exhausted, a Thai massage might help. Here are seven benefits of Thai massage that are shared with other modern and ancient massage techniques: improved flexibility; increased range of motion; improved posture; reduced severity of headaches; decreased lower back and joint pain; increased energy; improved mental well-being.

As a recipient of the massage, you twist, stretch, feel pressure, bend down, move. If you have an underlying health condition, be sure to ask your doctor if this traditional form of massage is safe for you. There may be some side effects such as muscle pain or tenderness or redness in the massage areas. Some research suggests that after strenuous exercise, massage may help relieve late-onset muscle pain (DOMS) and improve muscle performance. Traditional body massage involves realigning Chi pathways and eliminating obstructions while foot stimulation affects different organs and systems. The researchers hypothesize that the increase in flexibility may be due to the fact that Thai massage has the ability to improve blood flow and supply oxygen to muscles. With such low prices for a renowned masseuse to work with you, it's worth considering if you're looking for physical relaxation as well as mental clarity.

Tiffany Greenhalgh
Tiffany Greenhalgh

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