Most of us agree that it feels good to get a massage, but do the benefits go deeper than just making you feel good? Research suggests that YES, they do! The benefits are many, but here I'm just going to focus on five of them.
First, let me explain what Thai massage is and what the difference is between this massage style and regular massage.
Thai massage is a 2500 year-old practice that actually originated in India around the time of the Buddha and eventually migrated over to Thailand, where it got its name. Also known as "Lazy Man's Yoga," Thai massage involves many of the same movements as yoga. It uses stretching and pressure on the muscles, and is performed on a mat on the floor. It is traditionally fully clothed and uses no oil. The movements, pressure, and stretching provide a deeper and more holistic approach to healing compared to oil massage, which tends to work more on the surface level of the muscles.
Now, let's get into the amazing benefits of this ancient practice!
1. Relieves Pain and Muscle Tension
Just like in regular massage, the muscles are relieved by pressing into them when they are in a relaxed state. In Thai massage, the thumbs, palms, or other body parts are used to press on one place at a time, locating the knots and working them out, whereas in oil massage, the hands and thumbs slide across the skin.
2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Thai massage and physical touch have been found to increase levels of oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone." This hormone has been suggested to aid with depression, stress and anxiety.
Research according to this study also suggests that both rest and Thai massage reduce stress levels. Rest alone can decrease stress levels, but when combined with Thai massage, the effects are significantly increased.
3. Stimulates Circulation
Thai massage works along energy lines of the body known as "sen lines," which are similar to the meridians in Chinese medicine. We often move along these lines that cause the body’s circulation to be stimulated, increasing movement both physically and energetically. The gentle stretches and pressure release blockages, therefore acting as a sweeping or cleansing mechanism for the circulation.
4. Increases Energy
My clients often tell me that they feel like they are in another world when the massage is finished. The effect of a Thai massage is immediate relaxation, followed by an increase in energy afterwards. A lot of excess negative energy is released through the body during the massage, allowing you to carry on with your day feeling relaxed, energized and refreshed.
5. Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion
Since the unique method of Thai massage is similar to yoga, it also has a lot of the same benefits, without having to do any of the work! The stretching and movements are strategically brought to your edge (that point where you feel like you can't stretch any further without pain), and then pushed a tiny bit further. This point between comfort and pain is exactly where improvements are made in flexibility and range of motion. In the relaxed state of massage, you are able to push those limits more effectively. Many of my clients are blown away by the increase in their range of motion after just one treatment!
There are many more benefits, but I will leave it here for now. I have been so blessed to have been practicing this beautiful healing method for the last eleven years, and it leaves me feeling as good as it leaves my clients! The dance between giver and receiver, and the graceful yoga-like movements release positive energy all around. If you're interested in giving it a try, don't hesitate to get in touch!