There are many different forms of massage therapy, each of them utilizing specific techniques that are designed to achieve certain goals. Swedish massage, a very traditional form of massage therapy, is also one of the most common forms of massage therapy and is, therefore, the go-to massage style that many individuals seek out when they want to treat themselves to a massage. However, if you feel especially stiff or sore, or you just want to try something a little different, Swedish massage may not hit the spot just the way you want. In this case, a Thai massage may be precisely what you are looking for.
What is a Thai Massage
Sometimes called “the lazy person’s yoga,” Thai massage therapy is a blend of stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques that are designed to relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility and range of motion. There are no lotions or oils used during Thai massage, and the individual remains fully clothed while lying on a padded mat, usually on the floor.
During Thai massage, the massage therapist will use her hands, knees, legs, and feet in order to apply muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure while simultaneously moving you through yoga-like stretches. While Thai massage is not intended to be so intense as to be painful, it is true that addressing muscle knots can be uncomfortable. Where this occurs, however, it is important to remain in close communication with the therapist so that she can work out the muscle knot as gently as possible, while encouraging you to breathe deeply and relax. You may still find her address of muscle knots uncomfortable, but this is different from a distinct physical pain. The stretches and movements you are helped through should also not be painful, and again speaking with your therapist can help them to appropriately adjust their application of pressure and the stretching movements they guide you through.
One of the underlying purposes of the motions and pressure applications is to correct blockages, deficiencies, and imbalances in the body’s energy flows. It has long been surmised that in correcting these energy flows, Thai massage can actually help to improve the individual’s overall health. Following are just some of the benefits that can be achieved through Thai massage:
- Stress relief
- Boosted energy
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Tension headache relief
- Back pain relief, especially in cases of subacute and chronic nonspecific back pain
- Muscle pain relief
- Joint stiffness relief
- Stimulated circulation
- Increased lymphatic drainage
- Nervous system calming
- And more.
Thai massage specifically targets certain areas of the body in order to release muscle tension and trapped nerves. The areas that are targeted are known in Chinese Medicine as key energy points in the body, and they correspond to other parts of the anatomy. By stimulating the energy meridians of the body, the individual is actually shifting areas of stagnant energy and allowing for a calmer body.
The yoga-like movements of Thai massage add mobility and range of movement to joints, thereby reducing joint pain and increasing supplements. These benefits can accrue over time with multiple therapy sessions. The touch, muscular, and skeletal manipulation and acupressure that is delivered throughout Thai massage can work to boost the individual’s blood circulation, which helps to ensure better nutrition and oxygen delivery to the cells of the body.
As headaches, neck pain, and sciatica tend to develop when energy flows are jammed and muscle tension develops, the acupressure and joint manipulation that occurs as part of Thai massage can be wonderfully helpful in resolving these issues naturally and effectively. By helping to reduce stress, Thai massage can also allow the body to better rest and heal itself, improving the individual’s overall health and physical performance.
Prior to Receiving Thai Massage
As is the case with receiving any form of massage therapy, your therapist will want to verify your health history prior to delivering a Thai massage. Thai massage may not be appropriate for those individuals who are suffering from disk herniation, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease, or who have had recent surgery. If you are concerned about whether Thai massage is appropriate for you, it is best to speak with your medical doctor. Also, your therapist will recommend that you reschedule your Thai massage if you have bruises, inflamed or weak skin, open wounds, skin rash or any other condition that can make the massage unnecessarily uncomfortable. Finally, make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing, and avoid eating a heavy meal prior to the massage.
A Thai massage can work wonders any time, and especially if you are suffering from stiff, sore muscles. You may find that at the conclusion of your massage session you feel more calm and relaxed, your body feels more comfortable, and you sleep more deeply and satisfactorily. If you have any questions about Thai massage or to schedule your Thai massage, contact Botanica Day Spa today.