Health Benefits of Thai Massage

Ever been for a Thai massage? If you have, you will know that it is heavenly and oh-so-divine! But if you have never been pampered under a cool, shady banyan tree in a beautiful Buddhist temple or on a beach in Thailand, the good news is NOW you can get your Thai massage fix right here in Malaysia!

Contrary to the popular Swedish massage of the West (which focuses on the physical aspect of the body with the kneading of muscles),Thai Massage addresses and combines techniques usually found isolated in the Western physiotherapies such as Trigger Point Treatments, Myofascial Techniques, Neuro Muscular therapy, and Manual Therapy among others. The combination of energetic and physical aspects is what makes Thai Massage unique and so effective. Traditional Thai massage is a deep, full-body treatment. It starts at the feet and progresses up to the head using a sequence of gentle, flowing exercise movements. The recipient’s body is moved and loosened; the joints and the muscles stretched with some techniques linked to Yoga. This unique type of massage influences the energetic side as well, restoring the flow of energy throughout the body with applied acupressure on the ‘sen’ energy lines of the body, aimed at harmonizing and energizing.

It is this combination of yoga stretching, the calmness of meditation with acupressure, exercise movements and reflexology that makes it a healing art.

Thai massage is worked on a floor with the client dressed in comfortable loose clothing without the use of oil. Using mainly point pressure and muscle stretching, the Thai method not only use hands to free tension stored in the recipient’s body, but the feet, knees and elbows are used as well. The mat allows therapists to use their body weight to massage you, which elevates the uniqueness of the experience.

 

What are the benefits of having a Thai massage? 

If you’ve been stressed at work or have a tight neck from hunching over your laptop, a Thai massage will relieve the pain of stressed and overworked muscles. It also releases build up of lactic acid and toxins.

A Thai massage will increase your range of motion (through combination of assisted stretching and muscle manipulation) and so also prevents injury.

If you’re a sloucher it will improve your posture and body alignment!

Although you may feel sleepy straight after, it actually increases your energy levels and balances the body’s energy pathways. According to traditional Thai medicine the body has 72 000 energy lines of which 10 are considered principal. These energy lines are conduits for the ‘flow of life’ (or ‘vital energy’). Physical benefits aside, a Thai massage aims to unblock these energy paths which promotes both physical and mental wellness.

Having a Thai massage will increase blood circulation and stimulate nerve endings, often resulting in people saying they bodies feel light after a massage.

And the best benefit of all? It’s body toning! ^_^

History Of Thai Massage

  Thai massage and Thai medicine are said to have been practiced for over 2500 years and founded by the legendary Shivago Komarpaj (another variant is Jivaka Kumara Phaccha), who was a personal physician to the Sangha (Buddhist monks), a friend and physician to the Buddha and renowned as a healer in Buddhist tradition. Though there are many influences for Thai medicine from Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian culture, credit is given mostly to Mr Komarpaj. As practiced and taught by Khun Paschal, this therapeutic massage emphasized balancing and strengthening and is based on the concept of vital life force energy. This energy flows along channels in the body called “sen”. “Sen” lines correspond to the meridians of Chinese medicine and the “nadi” of Indian points. These points are addressed specifically by the therapist doing the massage and are pressured, rubbed and stretched through manipulation by the therapists’ feet, knees, elbows and hands.

As a healer, Khun Phaccha’s social role was closer to a religious figure than to a medicinal doctor. As such, the ancient texts (originally on palm leaves) which describe his teachings, as well as the followers who continued in his path were closely associated with life within the temples and centers of Buddhist life. After the invading armies of Burma destroyed Ayutthaya, the capital was moved further south to Bangkok. As soon as the Royal Family settled down in the new Grand Palace, all surviving text and inscriptions referring to the ancient art of massage were summoned and brought to the neighboring temple, Wat Po and were transcribed to stone tablets, where they remain to this day.

Traditional Thai medicine is a natural, holistic approach to health and well-being, developed over thousands of years and this includes proper nutrition, physical exercise, the use of medicinal herbs and therapeutic massage. Besides curing diseases and ailments, the primary goal of traditional Thai medicine is maintaining health and well-being as the ancient Thais live by the saying, “the absence of illness is the best blessing”. Thai massage is one of the four branches of traditional Thai medicine. It is a healing technique that was practiced before doctors. The massage involves point pressure and stretching and it can be done on the floor, a firm mattress or a mat. It is a therapeutic procedure that provides relaxation and restores healthy blood circulation. It also treats energy blockages, weak dysfunctional organs, aches and pains, stress and tension, flexibility, paralysis, nerve problems and postural alignments.

Till this day, Wat Po continues to serve as foundation to the rich history of Thai massage. Wat Po has a very active school located within the temple grounds that serves as a training center for many massage therapists in Thailand.