- March 30, 2017
- Comments: 0
- Posted by: martin
Thai massage is an incredibly invigorating and inspiring form of alternative treatment. It is a style of Asian massage that is a combination of acupressure, assisted yoga and Ayurveda. It originated in Buddhist monasteries by the monks as a way of preventing illness and maintaining good health. Thai massage was founded by Shivago Komarpaj, who was a doctor and friend of the Buddha. Ancient medical texts about Thai massage have been carved into stone and can be seen on the walls of the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok.
How does Thai massage work?
Thai massage works according to the energy lines within the body. Energy flows through these meridian lines and when there is blockage or the flow is not as effective as it should be, you are more likely to become ill. Thai massage encourages an efficient and complete flow of energy, which balances the body and brings harmony between the physical body, the mind and a person’s spirituality.
Thai massage therapists have been trained to be intuitive when it comes to the body. They know where to apply pressure and for how long in order to successfully ease muscle tension and straighten any muscle knots. This will help energy flow freely throughout the body.
Typically, the therapists use a mixture of body weight and pressure to focus on and release tension from deep within the muscles. They combine leverage and balance their own body weight to ensure the correct pressure is always applied onto the client. A Thai massage will begin with meridian work, which is applying thumb and palm pressure along the energy points. This stimulates blood flow and warms up the muscles, preparing them for the deeper levels of pressure and allows them to stretch to their limits.
How is Thai massage different to other types of massage therapy?
Unlike most styles of massage therapy, Thai massage doesn’t require oil, lotion or gel, so you are fully clothed and you will usually be on a padded mat on the floor. Instead of the typical long, deep strokes used in most massages, Thai massage uses a mixture of pressure points, muscle stretches and rhythmic compression.
In some ways, it may feel like massage fused with yoga. The therapist will use their hands, knees, legs, feet and body weight to move and stretch you into a series of yoga-inspired positions. They will also engage in muscle compression, focus on specific pressure points and fully mobilise your joints. You should leave feeling extremely flexible and stretched out.
Is Thai massage painful?
Because of the nature of Thai massage, it has been reported that this massage is typically more painful than other styles of massage. After all, not everyone is as bendy as a straw and applying pressure onto muscle knots will always initially feel uncomfortable. However, there’s a difference between unbearable pain and slight discomfort. A licensed massage therapist will always use your feedback to adjust the degree of stretching and pressure applied to cater to your needs. It’s difficult to avoid discomfort when targeting strained muscles, but a professional therapist will always adjust the pressure and movements so you aren’t in eye-watering pain.
The benefits of Thai massage
- Relieving stress
- Prevent stress-related issues and promotes mental clarity
- Boosts energy and stamina
- Improves range of motion, mobility of joints and general flexibility
- Improves balance
- Releases muscle tension and stiffness
- Helps with certain types of back pain and muscle spasticity
- Increases blood circulation
- Improves immune and respiratory systems
- Promotes an overall feeling of relaxation and calm wellbeing
Last minute tips and facts before having a Thai massage
- Wear light, loose, comfortable clothing to the session
- The session is usually 60 – 90 minutes long
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before the massage
- Thai massage is deep and intense so you may experience discomfort or some degree of pain due to tight muscles, but always let your therapist know
- Always relax your muscles and limbs so the therapist can freely manipulate your body and you can experience the full range of benefits
- Be sure the therapist has your full health history because people with certain conditions are not recommended to have a Thai massage (e.g. some stages of pregnancy, if you’ve recently recovered from a fracture or you are bruised/have a rash/open wound)
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