Thai massage can be traced back to ancient India, and it is believed to have been developed by a certain Jivaka Kumar who was physician to Buddha. This happened more than 2500 years ago, and the massage made its way to Thailand where it picked up influences from Chinese traditional medicine. For many years Thai massages were practiced by monks as an extension of Thai medicine.
The question arises – How to do Thai massage? The massage is different from conventional massage techniques because of its rigorous and energizing nature. It can be done by a single practitioner or a group of massage therapists. The therapists use their hands, legs, knees, and feet to position your body in a sequence of stretches similar to yoga. Hence the massage at times is also called the Thai yoga massage. Other techniques used in this massage are joint mobilization, muscle compression and acupressure.
The massage normally takes place on a padded surface like a mat and involves stretching and pulling of the entire body. This can include walking on your back, pulling toes, fingers, ears etc. One can be fully dressed during the session as no oil or other similar liquids are required. You are normally advised to bring with you a comfortable set of clothing to be worn during the massage.
YouTube Video on How to Do a Thai Massage
Benefits of Thai Massage include:
. Relaxation of mind and body
. Reduces Stress Levels
. Improves blood circulation
. Increases energy levels
. Increase flexibility and agility
. Improves overall range of motion of the body
Essentially anyone wishing to feel re-energized can reap the health benefits of a traditional Thai massage. But people suffering from certain conditions are advised not to indulge in this treatment. These include:
. People who have open wounds, skin diseases or rash
. Immediately after surgery or treatments such as chemotherapy
. People prone to blood clots as they can become dislodged and pose health risks.
. Pregnant women should consult their doctors before engaging in any massage sessions.
There are a numerous benefits of Thai massage, making it one of the most popular massage techniques in the world. It is believed that a good quality Thai massage can provide relief from conditions such as sprains, migraines, asthma, bruises and physical or mental tension. Also it is credited with improving sleeping patterns, releasing any blocked energy in the body and improving your body’s flexibility. In Swedish style massages, you are encouraged to zone out while in Thai massages people are expected to be more engaged in the process and become energized.
The basic principle of Thai massage is that air or “lom” as they call it, is present throughout the body. After it is inhaled, the lom travels through 72 thousand pathways which are called sen. The therapist aims to manipulate these pathways manually to provide a fulfilling massage. The massage techniques were honed and developed in Thailand borrowing heavily from Chinese and Indian medicine and traditions. It is still practiced all over the world with certain institutions offering courses to people wanting to learn how to do a Thai massage.