If you regularly get a massage or even just occasionally treat yourself to one, you may have heard of Thai massage. If you haven’t experienced Thai massage therapy for yourself, you’re probably wondering what it is and how it differs from a traditional Swedish or deep tissue massage. Let’s take a few minutes to clear up the mystery and explore the benefits of Thai massage.
Thai Massage vs Traditional Massage
While both types of massage are meant to help promote relaxation and good health, traditional massages are a more passive type of therapy. The massage therapist will have you lay still on the massage table while they work on your muscles and any specific problem areas you have. Thai massage therapy requires more movement to engage your muscles and improve circulation and mobility. Typically performed on a mat or low table, it combines massage, acupressure, and stretching.
What to Expect
As we mentioned, there is more movement with Thai massage therapy. However, that doesn’t mean you will be initiating that movement. During a Thai massage, your therapist will have you relax while moving your body into various yoga-like positions. They will guide you through your breathing at certain points during the massage to enhance the stretching. In addition to using their hands, the therapist will also use their arms elbows, knees, and feet to apply pressure to specific areas of your body. The amount of pressure can be adjusted according to your feedback throughout the session.
Thai massage is part of ancient Thai medicine. It is believed to have been founded by Shivago Komarpaj, a personal friend and physician of the Buddha. Traditional Thai massage therapy is performed while you are fully clothed, so it is recommended that you wear loose comfortable clothing. No oils or lotions are used. Some therapists also offer massage therapy that incorporates some of the practices of traditional massage, combining eastern and western massage methods.
Benefits of Thai Massage Therapy
Thai massage addresses the mind and spirit as well as the body. It provides a number of benefits that make it a popular choice for those looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Thai massage can help to improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and reduce stress. It can also help to relieve pain, tension headaches, and muscle stiffness.
Thai massage has been part of eastern medicine for centuries. While scientific research on the benefits of Thai massage is limited, some studies support the practice as a holistic method for pain relief of non-specific lower back pain, increased mobility, and anxiety.
Despite the many benefits it can provide, people with certain medical conditions should be cautious. Thai massage can have a significant impact on the circulatory and lymphatic systems. It can be beneficial in some instances where such conditions exist. For example, Thai massage can help to normalize sugar levels in individuals with type 2 Diabetes. However, that is not always the case. Individuals with the following conditions should consult with their physician before scheduling Thai massage therapy or any type of massage.
- Heart disease
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Unmedicated high blood pressure
- Early-stage MS or Parkinson’s disease
Even if your physician gives you the green light for massage therapy, make sure to inform your therapist about any conditions you may have.
The My Thai Massage Experience
At My Thai Massage and Wellness, we understand the benefits of Thai massage therapy. We specialize in traditional Thai massage and also offer other massage services to provide you with a pleasant and relaxing experience.
To further enhance the benefits of our services, we have partnered with medical professionals Dr. Sue Massie and Dr. Steven Pollack and holistic Reiki therapist, Terri Vassallo. We believe this partnership makes our spa unique and demonstrates our commitment to helping you achieve overall wellness. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment today.