The Benefits of Thai Massage: Is it Good for Your Body?

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 study of 34 soccer players showed a significant improvement in their ability to do sitting and stretching exercises after receiving Thai massages three times in 10 days. Some people may experience muscle pain after a Thai massage, but this is normal and usually nothing to worry about. Thai massage uses gentle pressure on energy lines and yoga-like stretching to relax your entire body at a deeper level.

This deeper level of relaxation improves people's personal perspective and emotional state, as well as promoting 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. Thai massage helps reduce the individual's stress levels and improve their general circulation. This is achieved by gradually moving the person through different positions similar to yoga, which improves people's flexibility and range of motion. This greater range of motion and flexibility reduces stress and muscle tension, helping to prevent accidents due to trips and falls. A 90- or 2-hour massage is highly recommended for a full body treatment, as one hour is not enough to feel the full benefits and allow the therapist to get to work on every part of the body.

Instead of running away from the unknown, learn about the 8 benefits of traditional Thai massage (TTM) and enjoy one of the best features of any stay in Thailand. 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 are controversial. Having a physical relaxation experience is good for the mind. 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.

Like Tai Chi and Yoga, TTM is both a moving meditation and a massage. The combination of stretching, movement and pressure is what sets Thai massage apart from other types of massage. Remember that any massage can carry a “so good it hurts” warning, but it's important to distinguish good pain from severe pain. Here are seven benefits of Thai massage:

  • Improves flexibility
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves posture
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Promotes deeper sleep
  • Improves mental well-being
Thai massage is done fully clothed on a padded mat on the floor with an agile therapist who will guide you through different postures while applying pressure with rhythmic movements. This particular brain wave is closely associated with deep rest and sleep. One of the instant results of relaxing at a massage in Thailand is how kneading, swinging and static pressure can work their therapeutic magic on tired and sore muscles and relieve tension in joints and fascia.

Thai massage is based on the idea that energy moves through the body along predictable lines or pathways known as senses. If you have an underlying health condition, be sure to ask your doctor if this traditional form of massage is safe for you. The therapist usually sets the postures while you're lying down before gently pushing and pulling your limbs to stretch and release your muscles - so lie back and trust your therapist. To come out of a wonderful Thai massage is to feel that you have truly experienced another level of Thai culture - certainly a completely different depth of relaxation.

Tiffany Greenhalgh
Tiffany Greenhalgh

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