What is Thai Massage?
Thai massage combines pressure point and energy meridian work with yoga-like passive stretching. It is one of the world’s oldest healing modalities, originating in India over 2500 years ago where monks performed it as an element of indigenous Ayurvedic healing. It was brought to Thailand by Doctor Shivago and since then has been incorporated as a branch of Traditional Thai Medicine.
Thai massage theory describes 10 energy lines, known as “Sen” that originate close to the navel and transfer energy, or “prana,” throughout the body. Obstruction to prana is believed to manifest in symptoms of ill health, such as fatigue, headaches and muscular cramping. The ultimate goal of Thai massage is to encourage prana to move more freely throughout the body.
Thai massage consists of two major components: manual techniques and stretching.
Manual techniques—the massage therapist uses her thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet to apply pressure on many points of the body. This helps relieve muscular tension and stimulate blood circulation.
Stretching—the massage therapist stretches the muscles of the practitioner in a passive, relaxed state in order to unblock a joint.
Intensity of Pressure
For newcomers to Thai massage, the pressure may feel intense at times because it is direct pressure on muscles that may be sensitive. Also, if you do not have a consistent stretching practice, the stretches applied may feel uncomfortable. While this discomfort goes away as your body becomes accustomed to the stimuli, Thai massage is ideal for people that enjoy invigorating massage.
Benefits of Thai Massage
According to Ancient Thai Massage Healing with Prana, the holistic benefits of Thai massage are listed as follows:
- increasing the freedom and effectiveness of movement
- restoring flexibility
- relieving muscle tension
- stimulating blood circulation
- regulating the nervous system
- alleviating tension headaches, dysmenorrhea, constipation, indigestion, stress and other physical discomforts
Results have shown that people receiving Thai massage on a routine basis noticed a lessening of their usual symtoms such as sinusitis, allergy, constipation, abdominal discomfort and etc (Chaithavuthi & Muangsiri, 2016).