Benefits of Thai Yoga Massage
When you think of massage, you probably expect to be lying under a blanket as a masseuse presses and kneads your tight muscles. A Thai massage is a whole different experience. There’s a masseuse using his palms to knead your muscles, but you’ll also be twisted, stretched and have feet, thumbs and fist work your body. Yoga poses are also part of this Eastern massage tradition.
It may differ from the massage techniques to which you’re accustomed, but Thai yoga massage can be just as beneficial. The practice promotes positive energy circulation, so you feel balanced and rejuvenated. Thai yoga massage has numerous other benefits too, including reduction of pain and stress.
What is Thai Massage?
Thai massage is traditionally performed on the floor. You lie on a padded mat as the masseuse guides you through partner yoga poses and manipulates your body into stretches. Some traditional massage techniques, such as acupressure, compression, and joint mobilization, are also used. No lotions or oils are applied, and you remain fully clothed for the session.
Some centers may modify traditional Thai massage to be performed on a table due to regulations, space limitations or for patients who are unable to get up and down from the floor easily.
Enhanced Energy Flow
Thai massage works off the belief that tightened muscles lead to the diminished flow of energy in your body. When energy can’t flow freely, you become inflexible, suffer pain and feel stiff. This leads to shortened muscles and connective tissue that affects your posture, immunity and organ functionwhich speed up aging and disability.
The pressing techniques used are designed to increase blood circulation to facilitate better flow of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. It also helps your body naturally get rid of waste, such as metabolic byproducts and carbon dioxide, more efficiently.
Adding stretching to the massage process helps relax the muscles further, so they naturally regain natural flexibility and tone. You’ll relieve chronic stiffness and experience improved mobility.
Thai massage is an alternative way for people to deal with chronic pain and can be quite effective for temporary relief showed a review of the research published in 2015 in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. In the six studies reviewed, people reported a 25 to 80 percent reduction of pain that lasted up to 15 weeks following a Thai massage protocol.
Thai massage has been particularly effective as an intervention for people with scapulocostal syndrome, a painful condition that strikes the back of the shoulder blade. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in 2012 showed that people with the condition who participated in a total of nine 30-minute Thai massage sessions over three weeks, improved regarding pain intensity, pain threshold, and muscle tension. The Thai massage participants reported better pain relief outcomes than a group that underwent more traditional physical therapy treatments.
A specific type of massage, court-type Thai Massage, that involves applying pressure against specific meridians in the body was shown as an effective treatment for people suffering from chronic tension headaches. The study, published in a 2015 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains that the relief may be attributed to how Thai massage stimulates blood and lymph circulation and relaxes the sympathetic nervous system.
Traditional therapeutic massage is often prescribed as a way to reduce stress and induce relaxation. Thai massage affords these same benefits. A study from Medical Science Monitor Basic Research in 2015 tested the ability of Thai massage to reduce enzymatic markers of stress and a person’s overall stress level. Researchers found that Thai massage was slightly more effective than simply resting in reducing psychological stress.
Although Thai Massage offers multiple benefits, it may be contraindicated for some populations, including patients with cancer, who are pregnant and those suffering from back injury, such as a herniated disk. Also, if you are weak and infirmed, Thai massage is unlikely to be the right type of therapy for you.
By CLARISSA ADKINS at LIVE STRONG
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