When you think of a massage, you likely think of lying on a table as a massage therapist kneads your muscles. A Thai massage is quite different in that there is someone kneading your muscles, but you will also be twisted and stretched and have someone using their feet, thumbs and fists working your body. Yoga poses are also part of Thai yoga massage.
Although the techniques of a Thai yoga massage may be different than those of a traditional massage, Thai massage can be just as beneficial, if not more beneficial. The practice of Thai yoga promotes positive energy circulation, leaving you feeling balanced and rejuvenated. Thai massage also has further benefits, including pain reduction and stress relief.
Thai yoga massage is usually performed on a mat on the floor, as the practitioner guides you through yoga poses and manipulates your body into stretches. Techniques, including acupressure, compression and joint movement are also used.
Thai massage works off of the central belief that tightened muscles lead to diminished flow of energy in the body. When energy is unable to flow freely, you become inflexible and can suffer pain and stiffness. Over time, this can lead to shortened length of muscles and connective tissue, which can in turn affect your posture, immune system and function of the organs. These things can also increase the speed of aging.
The pressure techniques used for Thai massage are designed to facilitate increased blood circulation to encourage a better flow of oxygen and nutrients in the tissues. It also aids the body in getting rid of waste, including metabolic byproducts and carbon dioxide, in a more efficient manner.
Thai yoga massage is also an alternative method for dealing with chronic pain and has shown to be quite effective for temporary relief of pain. A review of research published in 2015 in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, out of six studies reviewed, people reported feeling a 25 to 80 percent reduction of pain. The reduction in pain that the study participants reported, was said to have lasted up to 15 weeks following a Thai yoga massage session.
Additional benefits of traditional Thai yoga massage include:
- Treatment of symptoms related to chronic tension headaches
- Stress reductions and increased ability to relax
Although traditional Thai yoga massage offers a number of benefits, it is important to discuss with a medical caregiver prior to practicing, particularly those suffering from certain types of cancer, pregnant, suffering from back injury, or are particularly weak and sick.