There are a lot of different types of massage out there, but the majority of people are only familiar with one or two. By far, the most popular style of massage therapy would be Swedish or deep-tissue massage. These styles involve the signature “kneading” of muscles that people find so therapeutic and enjoyable. There’s a good reason for this, as the benefits of Swedish massage have been clearly shown.
But there are other massage therapy techniques that bring their own unique benefits, and are worth looking into as both a therapist and a patient. Thai massage is one of those systems – it’s not for everybody, but many patients actually come to prefer Thai massage, and feel it’s the most beneficial for them.
So how does this type of massage therapy actually work, and is it effective for everyone?
Thai massage originates, of course, in Thailand, where it has been in use for thousands of years. You’ll be fully-clothed during a Thai massage, but you’ll wear special clothing that is loose-fitting and easily permits stretching.
You’ll lie down on a floormat, or sometimes on a table that is heavy and wide enough for the therapist as well as the patient. From here, the treatment will begin. Essentially, your therapist will manipulate your body into a series of stretches that work all of the different muscles. The therapist will use his or her knees, elbows, and arms to push and pull the patient in order to achieve a deep, relaxing stretch. In addition to these movements, pressure-point therapy is used in order to achieve deep release in the musculature.
Some people find Thai massage unusual and strange at first, as they’re used to a certain type of massage therapy (e.g. Swedish). But Thai massage is highly effective in many situations, and it works by creating a better balance in the body, loosening and strengthening the joints, and relaxing the muscles through specific stretching and direct pressure. Many people report feeling highly invigorated and balanced after a quality Thai massage therapy session.
It’s important to maintain good communication with your therapist through a Thai massage session, as feedback will be very important. Everyone is different in terms of flexibility and strength, so the intensity of the movements has to be carefully tailored to each patient. Your therapist should be happy to talk about the therapy session before you start, and to answer any lingering questions you may have. Communication should also continue as necessary throughout the treatment, especially if this is the patient’s first time receiving Thai massage therapy.
Getting Thai massage right
Thai massage is a delicate type of massage therapy that absolutely requires the proper training and preparation. If you’re a patient, it helps to know what to expect. People who practice yoga often find it easy and enjoyable to receive a Thai massage therapy treatment, as many of the positions and movements are similar to yoga postures. One thing is for sure – if you book a Thai massage therapy session, it’s crucial to find a therapist who is properly trained and experienced in this this type of massage therapy.