An Introduction to Thai Massage

Thai massage uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques to relax the whole body. This is an ancient healing practice that originated in India. Unlike other massage techniques where a person passively lies on a bed, the client lies on the floor and participates more actively.

The fact about Thai massage that is commonly unknown is that it originates in India. Thai massage founder Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, a contemporary Buddha based Thai massage on the yogic principles of prana, otherwise known as invisible lines of energy that run through the body. Originally regarded as a healing art, traditional Thai massage includes influences from both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.

While a person of any age can get a Thai massage, it is not appropriate for everybody. People with certain health conditions, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, those who are pregnant, and those who have just undergone surgery may want to seek medical advice first.

Difference Between Thai and Regular Massage

The main difference you’ll notice between a Thai massage and the regular massage style is the lack of equipment. Whereas Swedish and deep tissue massages take place using a massage table, Thai massages take place upon a floor mat to allow the client a more complete range of motion. Normally, the client lies on a mat or massage mattress on the floor, rather than a specialist  massage table.

The practitioner will slowly move your body through multiple stretches, using the weight and pressure of their body to assist the recipient once they are safely on the mat.

Oil isn’t used and your muscles aren’t usually kneaded, unlike a Swedish massage.

The practitioner will use alternative methods of massage by utilizing  their hands, thumbs, elbows, and knees to stretch, pull, and rock various body zones. Don’t be surprised if they  sit on you to stretch you into certain positions where applicable, this is typical of the massage and completely normal. With the practitioner holding or pulling you to maintain a pose, some types of stretches may involve going through yoga-like movements which you may be familiar with.

If any of your muscles become sore or tense, you may feel some discomfort and wish to stop or pause for a break. If this is ever the case, let your practitioner know without hesitation or delay. They will use their skill and experience to adapt the procedure, relieving  the pressure and identifying where stretching can be reduced.

It is always recommended to let the practitioner know before they start the massage session if you have an injury, or some part of your body is particularly sensitive to pain. This will eliminate causing any further damage to the area and limit any pain or discomfort throughout your appointment.

Benefits of Thai Massage

Thai massage can benefit your health in numerous ways, many of which are supported by scientific studies. If you get a massage once a year, it will be relaxing, but it won’t undo a lifetime of muscle tension. Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape. Other benefits include;

  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Improved flexibility
  • Relief of back pain
  • Removal of headaches
  • Easing of joint pain

How Does Thai Massage Work

In a traditional Thai massage, practitioners use their hands, thumbs, elbows, forearms, and even their feet on occasion, to reduce tension in their clients muscles. Thai massage is based on the principle that energy moves through your body via predictable pathways or lines commonly known as sens.

The practitioner will move your body into yoga-like positions in addition to pulling and rocking your body in various ways in an attempt to increase the flow of energy along with the sense. Thai massage  can be distinguished from other types of massage through the combination of stretching, movement, and pressure placed on specific body parts of the massage recipient.

If you seek a more active type of massage, where you move and participate instead of lying down throughout your massage then Thai massage is a plausible option for you to try.

Conclusion

Thai massage is an ancient practice with many advantages that are advocated by modern day research and the latest science. Thai massage is focused on improving the flow of energy throughout your body and is sometimes referred to as assisted yoga as it mimics the movements and is equally beneficial for both body and mind. It may reduce the intensity of your headaches, calm your anxieties, decrease lower back and joint pain, increase your flexibility, and  both energize and revitalize you.

Your practitioner will move you through a gradual series of yoga-like positions in addition to working on the tension in your muscles. This is essential as Thai massage is anything but a passive treatment and you will need to be properly introduced to it in appropriate managed intervals.