You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Introduction: The History of the Thai Massage
The Thai Massage, otherwise known as the Thai Yoga Massage, was first and foremost, originally from Thailand and is a part of traditional Thai medicine. Through the years, the Thai massage has been altered to include Buddhist, Indian, and Chinese practices into it all the while keeping its roots in place by focusing on energy, acupressure, and yoga.
Learning More About The Thai Massage
The Thai Massage has a pretty interesting history. It grew in popularity as recent as the 1980’s as a result of Thailand boom in the tourism industry. Tourists needed alternative health treatments and the Thai Massage was born.
The Thai Massage focuses on energy under the belief that poor energy or blocked energy in the body is what causes pains and ailments. By clearing your flow of energy, it is believed that you can reap the benefits of the Thai Massage.
A Thai Massage therapist will work on your body using different segments and working on your body using acupressure from their thumbs, hands, arms, elbows, knees, and feet. Your body will also be stretched, much like those who do yoga, while also incorporating specific breathing practices for the best results.
In a Thai Massage session, you may notice that there are a few variations, most notably are the northern style and the southern style. The Northern style of a Thai Massage is slow and gentle, whereas the Southern style of a Thai Massage is more intense and in done rather rapidly.
Though practiced the world over, in Thailand, the variations are more specific to class. Distinction is made through definitions such as “royal”, “commoner”, and “folk”. As it sounds, the royal Thai Massage was designed to be more respectful as it was created for working on the bodies of Thai royalty. In the royal massage, the massage therapist will not use his or her feet and there is less actual contact between the member of the royal family and the masseuse. Last, is that there is no stretching involved in a royal Thai Massage.
It is the commoner Thai Massage that one would experience the looser and more liberated massage therapy that will put you through a number of stretches as well as massage techniques. If you are interested in learning how to give a Thai Massage, expect schools to teach you the various methods and combinations of the different Thai Massage techniques.
A Few Of The Benefits Of A Thai Massage
The first and most obvious why anyone would receive a Thai massage would be for the improved flexibility. Increased energy and better circulation are part and parcel of further flexibility, while breathing deeper also has its place in the cause of effects of a Thai massage.
One can also expect their bodies to have a more balanced alignment and will find that they will also have better posture. Other benefits would include improvements to illnesses such as asthma, nausea, throat problems, schizophrenia, depression and other mental disorders.
In a study done in 2003, it was also claimed that a proper Thai Massage also helped people who had been suffering from ear diseases, impotence, premature ejaculation, hypothermia as well as diarrhea.
The Thai Massage Therapy: What To Expect
The Thai Massage is quite an unusual massage as compared to many of the other types of massage therapy options that exist in the world today. Some of its most obvious differences are that it is conducted with the client fully clothed and that no oil or lotion is applied to the skin.
Clothing should be loose and comfortable to allow your body to stretch and clients should be on a mat on the floor in a room where the walls are far away enough from the mat so as to not have your feet kick the walls during stretches. Sometimes, massage therapists use pillows in order to support their clients who may be in various positions. When the room is cold, your massage therapist can cover you up in a blanket.
The Thai Massage typically lasts between sixty minutes and two hours and consists of a series of movements that will have you flowing through the session much like a meditative yoga dance. The Thai Massage practitioner will impart intuition, mindfulness, and spiritual focus as part of the therapy being done during your session.
Though the Thai Massage is a practiced art that requires specific movements and flows, the sequences can vary from one massage therapist to another as well as from one client to another client. The session may also depend on the clients needs. Some examples of changes might be in terms of acupressure and where and how long your therapist spends on a specific aching body part. Other differences may be in that your massage therapist spends more time stretching you if that is what your body needs. For relaxation, Thai massage therapists will use herbs that had been heated and will apply these to various parts of your body.
Typically, the Thai Massage consists of thirty minutes of acupressure and half stretches followed by the warming up of different areas of the body along their sen lines onto joint mobilization and ending with yoga like stretches. With a majority of attention at the legs and feet of a client, the Thai Massage always starts at the feet and moves up towards the body and head. Acupressure is generally done deep and stretches are quite strong. However, Western practitioners just work on what the client wants and will only go to further extremes if a client goes out of his or her way to specifically request it.
Conclusion: The Thai Massage for Mind, Body, and Soul
Clearly there are endless benefits of what a Thai Massage will do for you. Between better flexibility, increased blood flow, better overall health, and the beautiful added benefits of a heightened mind, body, and soul, there is no reason why anyone would not benefit from a great Thai Massage.
It should also be noted that there are massage therapists who are trained in various techniques and are able to incorporate other techniques into their Thai Massage bodywork. The Swedish massage for example has been tried and tested to work rather well with the Thai Massage. All massage therapists are licensed to do a Thai Massage but training and experience go a long way so it is best for clients to learn a bit more about their therapists before agreeing to work with him or her.
For certainty as to the professionalism and capabilities of your massage therapist, the best way to find one suited for you is through a referral from a friend, or at least research and reviews that one might find online.
Go out and get a Thai Massage, you simply deserve it.