Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga massage is a popular form of massage in the spa industry these days. Both spa beauticians and gifted freelance therapists offer Thai massage as a healing modality. That’s why the traditional Thai massage is still used in conjunction with other traditional medicines.
Thai massage has been there for centuries. The practice is said to have originated from India during Buddha’s era when Buddhism slowly made its way to Thailand including the massage technique. Since then, the concept which appears to have been influenced by Buddhist, Chinese and Indian traditional practices has been passed over the centuries through oral traditions majorly taught in the Thai temples.
Whether you are looking to try out Thai massage in Thailand, your local spa or even at the comfort of your home, there are crucial things you need to know. The information will enable you to appreciate and enjoy it all the more.
Health benefits of Thai massage
Here are awesome health benefits of Thai massage:
1. Relieves stress
Although stress can act as a positive motivator to help you perform even better in a certain situation, high levels of stress can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. In fact, long-lasting stress has been found to cause serious illnesses like depression and cardiovascular disease. That’s why it is important to find ways to lower your stress level before it gets out of hand. One of those ways is to get a Thai massage. Since this form of massage uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques, you will find that after your session, your body is more relaxed.
2. Stimulates circulation
A well-performed Thai massage can promote blood and lymph circulation in the body through those gentle stretches done during a massage session. When blood circulation increases, the body’s tissues are filled with oxygen. This greatly improves your heart’s health and promotes cell growth.
3. Boosts your energy
Your physical energy level can greatly improve after a Thai massage session. The Thai massage technique is based on the notion of energy lines also known as Sen. According to most practitioners when a massage is done, the muscles tend to relax thus, increasing the flow of life energy. The masseuse uses different techniques to open or constrict various energy lines for the right flow of life energy. So, next time you are feeling tired and you need something to boost your energy levels, consider a Thai massage.
4. Relieves headaches
People suffer from headaches for various reasons. If you are one of them, court-type, a specific form of Thai massage can be the solution you seek. This kind of massage involves applying pressure to certain energy channels. Court-type massage can also help treat people with chronic tension headaches.
What to expect when going for a Thai massage
Getting a Thai massage for the first time can be a little intimidating especially if you do not know what to expect. The situation can become incredibly awkward if the masseuse doesn’t speak English. However, if you have done your research, then you will not have a problem.
A lot of people wonder if it’s wise to keep their clothes or change to the shirt and pants they are handed to them. While you can still keep your clothes, it is advisable to change them to the ones you have been provided with because they are loose-fitting and comfortable.
During the massage, all your body parts will be at work. The massage therapist will pull, stretch and rock your various body parts. The masseuses use almost all parts of their body especially the knees, elbows and thumbs to give you a Thai massage. And by the way, don’t be afraid if a masseuse climbs on your lower back with his knees as you lie face down! These are some of the things that makes Thai massage different from the massages that most westerners are used to.
It is also important to note that Thai massage is not gentle. To some people, it can actually turn out to be a painful experience if not unpleasant. But don’t worry, if the masseuse is not aware of the pain he is inflicting on your body, let him know. He will make it less intense. However, once you become accustomed to this kind of massage, your muscles and limbs will loosen and make the massage more bearable. Thus, your other experiences will begin to feel relaxing and experiences to look forward to.
To get a safe and customized Thai massage session depending on your needs, be sure to inform your therapists if you are pregnant, menstruating or dealing with conditions such as heart disease, cerebral strokes, slip disc, arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and varicose veins. Certain techniques of Thai massage can contraindicate some of these conditions and cause more harm than good.
Important facts to know about Thai massage
Traditional Thai massage
Today’s traditional Thai massage is a combination of Indian and Chinese healing philosophies. Unlike other types of relaxing massages which are offered with the use of oil and are gentle, the traditional Thai massage is the opposite. Instead of soft rubs and gentle strokes, the masseuse will squeeze, bend, press and stretch your body to relieve tension. Your masseuse will help you bend and stretch in ways you never thought you can.
Thai massage is not a sexual service
Thailand is well-known for its red-light districts and the sex industry. This can make some people associate Thai massage with sexual encounters. Although some unscrupulous operators offer sexual services hiding under the cover of Thai massage, many legit massage parlours are offering the right service without a hidden agenda. It is not a must to do Thai massage in a private room because it can as well be done in the open. Both the therapist and the client should be well-dressed. That’s why it’s not uncommon to come across dozens of Thai massage therapists performing massages on their clients openly on the sidewalks.
Precautions and considerations
Be sure to check the qualification or experience of your masseuse. It is your right to know if you are dealing with a professional Thai massage therapist. If someone is going to work on your body, then why shy away from asking any questions you may have?
Note that improperly trained practitioners may not know how to deal with people suffering from various conditions such as heart disease and may end up causing injury during a massage session. Furthermore, therapists who are too vigorous can cause a fracture. If you feel something is not right, speak up. Don’t just lie there and allow someone to ruin your back in the name of a massage. A good masseuse should be ready to hear you out and work within your comfort level.