Thai massage or also known as Nuad Bo Rarn, which can be translated as “Ancient massage”, is a unique style of bodywork. Unlike western style massage, Thai massage is performed on the floor using a mat and the patient is fully clothed.
This massage style actually combines some of body works types like acupressure,massage and yoga to create a holistic massage experience. This massage is called as unique since its not only performed physically but also involving emotional and mental exercise (You may read: Benefits of physical activity for mental health) .
Unlike other types of massage where the receiver are passive, in Thai massage patient is actually becomes an active participant and the massage therapist also get benefits from stretching. Both receiver and massage therapist can also perform meditation during the exercise. (Read: Health benefits of oil massage)
Types of Thai Massage
Basically, there are two styles of Thai massage which are used to be performed, the Southern style or Wat Pho style and the Northern style. These two styles of Thai massage come from the two original schools of Thai massage. Southern style massage is originated from Wat Pho in Bangkok and Northern style is known derived from the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai. Both of massages school are still in operation even today. There are some differences among both style even they actually use same technique.
The Southern style focuses primarily on the acupressure and energy lines and perform a stronger pressure while northern style is slower and gentler even it is still a very strong massage. Unlike southern style, this massage is focuses more on the yoga like poses and stretching. The Northern style Thai massage is more commonly to be practiced nowadays worldwide and mostly in Unites States.
History of Thai Massage
Thai massage is known dates back 2500 years in India at the age of Buddha. The massage style found by Dr. Shivago Komarpaj, an Ayurvedic physician. He was the doctor and friend of Lord Buddha. Dr Komarpaj created massage that use the principles of yoga and Ayurveda and he also taught this method to other Buddhist monks which lived in the temple. Traditionally, as we know that Buddhist temples were the centers for healing at that time in a community. Buddhist monk were nomadic and this is why overtime the healing system of Dr Komarpaj spread to Thailand.
Later the king of Thailand built Wat Pho the first university and school for traditional medicine that is still open until today. As modern era growth, people are less to use traditional healing method and they are mostly use western medication. But in the middle of 1990’s Thai massage was back to attract people with its healing system and promotes wellness in the spa and wellness center across the globe.
The Sen Sip
Thai massage combines Ayurveda, yoga and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). These ancient systems of healing have a purpose to balance the energy flow, which is called as prana, or qi in the body. Traditional medicine believed that if the energy in the body get blocked, it will cause disease, pain, and emotional disorder within the body. Oppositely when the energy flows freely in the body, the person will be healthy and has peaceful mind. All Asian traditional medication system including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems agree that there are total 72,000 energy lines in the body, although they have difference position and strength. (Read also: Health benefits of Aryupedic massage).
Thai massage uses the energy lines that called as sen line system, or literally known as the sen sip to the ten lines. Each sen line which performed in Thai massage is associated with different parts of the body, organ systems, and disease, pain or disorder. By the means that the practitioners of Thai massage will use this lines to heal the body and perform a holistic treatment.
Benefits of Thai Massage
Thai massage provides your body with several health benefits (Read: Thailand herbs and spices). Here are the list of health benefits of Thai Massage:
1. Reduces Anxiety
Most people experience anxiety as the result of tight schedule and hard working day. Thai massage therapy can reverse those psychological conditions especially reduce anxiety and lower the cortisole level in the body which known as stress hormone. In order to get this benefit, the things you should do are performing Thai yoga massage as the stretching which is combined with others massage techniques. (Read: Benefits of Gaba supplement for anxiety)
2. Promotes Relaxations
Massage can be very relaxing. People find that Thai massage is very relax and it can help them to relax their mind and body. The environment which created during Thai massage such as soothing and calm room with soft music will allow the body and mind to slow down and feel their body stretched and relaxed. The techniques of Thai massage that can be performed include; Stretching myofascial tissue, acupressure, compression of tissue and manipulation of soft tissue. (Read: Health benefits of hot shower)
3. Boost Energy
The Thai massage technique which done by professional can provide a deep massage that can energize the client and increase blood flow to the body and boost energy level. Thai massage can increase metabolism level and make your body feel more fit and get better stamina.
4. Increase Concentration
Here is the list of health benefits of Thai Massage. Thai massage is based on yoga, acupressure and stretching. The acupressure is given to most part of the body through fingers, hands, feet, knee and elbows which allow the blood to deliver rich oxygen and nutrients blood to the brain and increase concentration also focus during activities.
4 Prevention from Illness
Traditional Thai massage is not only give relaxation to the body but also can prevent from illness and relieves back pain. Thai massage can increase the blood flow and also promote the production of several hormones in the body that play important role in maintain body immune system work. People who take regular Thai massage will have better ability to prevent the body from disease compare to them who didn’t take Thai massage experience.
5. Strengthen Immune System
(Read: Health benefits of deep sleep)
Immune system is one of the most important system in the body. As mentioned before, Thai massage can help to prevent the body from illness. It also can boost immune cell response to several pathogen. By strengthen immune system, Thai massage can help your body to stay away from flu, cold and even some serious bacterial or viral disease.
6. Slower Aging Process
Meditation and yoga give a great effect to the body aging process as well as Thai massage. The combination of yoga, medication and acupressure in Thai massage increase the blood flow and the release of several hormones in the body which promote cell regeneration and reparation. Thai massage will not only make you healthy but it also will make you looks younger by regular practice.
7. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Its not a secret hat the main effect of Thai massage is on its ability to improve healthy blood circulation. Thai massage can give the body some pressure and enhance the nutrients and oxygen transfer which contain in the blood. It can also protect the heart cells from any damage which caused by accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries.
8. Lower Cholesterol Level
Thai massage can promote the body energy and increase the level of High Density Lipoprotein or good cholesterol in the body which also can reduce the level of Low Density Lipoprotein or known as bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of best enemy of the body since it can block the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.
9. Prevent Diabetes
By performing Thai massage, you have increased your body ability to maintain healthy sugar level within the blood especially in people who suffer from type 1 diabetes symptoms. Thai massage also stimulates the beta cells of pancreas to produce more insulin which required in the sugar regulation process within the blood.
10. Relieve Pain and Headache
If you feel pain or headache, try to have Thai massage. The pose and movement of the practitioners will increase your blood flow and stimulate the brain to release cytokines hormones that can reduce the level of prostaglandin that causing headache inside brain. (Read: Health benefits of Avocado leaves)
11. Maintain Healthy Weight
(You may read: Lists of healthy fruit for weight loss)
Some people claimed that they have a great impact of Thai massage on maintaining healthy weight. This is because the patient of Thai massage is not only accept the massage and become passive. They play in massage session as active participants by doing some movements too.
12. Reduce the Symptom of Arthritis
Arthritis is a disease that causes joints pain and sometime its unbearable. Thai massage can improve blood circulation as well as improve the flexibility and strength of joints. It also inhibit the release of prostaglandin, the substance that causing pain on some parts of the body including the joints.
More Thai Massage Uses
Beside all those benefits, Thai massage also know can overcome some of these problems give other benefits such as:
- Increase creativity.
- Strengthen leg and arm.
- Increase flexibility.
- Promotes self awareness.
- Improve body posture.
- Improve balance.
- Corrects body alignment.
- Enhance mood.
- Improve vitality.
Thus, that’s all the list of health benefits of Thai Massage.
How to Do Thai Massage
Here are several ways of performing Thai massage:
- Compression of muscles/tissues.
- Mobilization of Joints.
- Stretching myofascial tissue.
- Hold yoga poses such as plough, shoulder stand, hip-openers, spinal twist and etc.
- Give gentle pressures on knuckles, hand, thumbs, feet, and fingers.
For the therapist who wants to perform Thai massage to their client can follow the steps as below:
1. Thai massage for shoulder and neck
- Step 1: Ask your client to sit comfortably on a mat or floor.
- Step 2: Tell your client to lean his/head to the left.
- Step 3: Roll the part of your forearm up the side of his/her head then down to his/her left shoulder.
- Step 4: Then, roll his/her left arm up and down in circle for several times.
- Step 5: Roll his/her right arm up past his ear smoothly as his/her left arm still comes down.
- Step 6: Do the same things with the right side of the neck.
2. Thai massage for side stretching
- Step 1: As before, make sure that your clients sit comfortably.
- Step 2: Hold his/her left arm and place the left palm against his/her left ear.
- Step 3: Tell your client to hold your forearm with his/her right hand.
- Step 4: Kneel and face your client then push your body against his left elbow till she/he feels a deeper stretching.
- Step 5: Bring him/her back to original position.
- Step 6: Repeat step 1 till step 4 on the right side of your client.
Tips Before Performing Thai Massage
Before you perform a Thai massage session better watch these condition to avoid certain injury:
- Consult your massage therapy first and tell about your health condition, it will help them to know your body and how they will perform the massage.
- Make sure you choose right professional therapist and you better choose a spa or treatment place that can make you relax.
- If you have problem with low back pain, tell the therapist to reduce the stretch on the part of the body.
- Do not eat anything three hours before getting Thai massage. If you taking some food before practice it, better avoid stretching on abdomen area.
- Avoid performing Thai massage if you are under menstruation period.
- Pregnant women can also perform this massage but make sure you do it carefully.
- Do not eat or take shower in two hours after getting massage, just sleep or laying to maintain energy flow.
Side Effects of Massages
Massages are good and beneficial for our health but it can’t guarantee that massages are free from the side effects, especially when the massages are performed without carefully. Here are several side effects caused by massage that you might want to notice:
- Blood clotting.
- Internal organs bleeding.
- Nerve damage.
- Temporal paralysis.
- Allergic due to the the reaction of using oil or cream massage.
Well, that’s all the information regarding the list of health benefits of Thai Massage and I hope you’ll get an additional knowledge. Let’s stay healthy guys!