Thai Massage

Massage therapy is one of the most up and coming alternative or supplementary treatment options, and there are a number of ailments, including neurological ones, that show a positive correlation with massage therapy of any sort.

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Also, massage has long been known to be useful in relaxing the body and reducing stress levels, and with stress being a known cause for a number of health problems, massage is becoming a very popular way of de-stressing. This is the reason why a number of spas are now offering massage along with their other treatment options. The most common kind of massage in the West is Swedish massage. Recently, however, other methods of massage practiced in the East are becoming popular. Thai massage is one such type of massage. Thai massage is different from other kinds of massage in that no oil is applied during the massage. Also, there is a deep religious connection in Thai massage that is totally unlike anything known in the West. In fact, the Thai massage and Ayurvedic massage are said to be similar in many ways, from a spiritual aspect.

So, what is a Thai Massage?

A Thai massage has a very unique technique when compared to other forms of massage. There is less of kneading and more of pulling and prodding and pressing. In fact, Thai massage requires that the therapist be really fit because they actually manipulate the body into different yoga-like poses during the massage. Many of the techniques used are close to Ayurvedic massage styles, but Thai massage is a mixture of techniques from all over the region. In fact, even now, there is no one standardized style, and different regions have their own style of massage.

Thai massage is also called a healing Thai massage because it is supposed to detoxify the body. In fact, the traditional way of massage includes techniques that are meant to purify the body, both physically as well as spiritually. A good Thai masseuse will bring peace to the person that they massage because of their kindness and compassion towards that person, and because of this interconnection between the masseuse and the person being massaged, it is believed that Thai massage is unlike any other kind of massage there is.

How is it done?

Traditionally, Thai massage starts at the feet and progresses up the body to the head. The masseuse relaxes all the major joints starting with the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, and spine. Even the neck is relaxed and the spine stretched to improve blood circulation.

Unlike other massages though, there is very little kneading of the muscles. Only the joints are concentrated upon and by relaxing the joints, the body itself is relaxed.

What exactly happens during a Thai massage?

The masseuse first starts with the ankles, knees and hips. Then he loosens them and relaxes them by placing your legs in different positions and pulling on the joint. He turns you over and relaxes your shoulders and spine. They will pull your body into different positions, stretching the spine by strength alone. The person who is undergoing the massage should be completely relaxed, which means that the entire weight of the upper body is supported by the masseuse, which is where their physical strength and fitness comes in.

Apart from pulling the body into different poses, the masseuse also presses down on the body with his/her weight, keeping the elbows locked. This is meant to stimulate the pressure points deep within the body, while the different poses are supposed to both relax the body and restore proper circulation of the energy flow.

A Thai massage is much more strenuous than a normal Swedish massage. You do not have a table to lie down, you lie down on the floor, and you do not have a masseuse standing beside you prodding with their fingers, and no oil is applied. The duration of the massage session is typically 30 minutes.

Benefits

As mentioned above, the benefits of a Thai massage include complete body relaxation, detoxification, and improved circulation. It is said to be especially beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety and for those who have problems with their joints or do not have good posture.

Preparation

Given the nature of the massage, it is good to be mentally prepared before you opt for one. If you’re looking to relax and lie down while someone oils and massages you, Thai massage is not for you. While you’re in there, you will be basically kneaded like dough, because only then will the true benefits of the massage accrue to you, so make sure you wear loose fitting clothes.

Precautions

For all its seeming violence, Thai massage is actually quite simple, and as long as you ensure that you get a trained masseuse there’s not too many precautions that you have to take. If you have any pre-existing conditions or are apprehensive, speak with your doctor or a therapist before you opt for one.

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