What is a Thai Massage and How Can it Help Your Body?
Health and Wellness

What is a Thai Massage and How Can it Help Your Body?

Aug 17, 2021

Getting a massage can be a relaxing experience as well as a potentially effective way to look after your physical and mental health. There are many different types of massage to choose from, each with their own speciality and purpose. Whether you’ve been to a massage therapist or have a massage chair at home, you may be familiar with some common types like deep tissue massage or Swedish massage, but what about Thai massage?

Today we’re answering the question “what is a Thai massage and how can it help your body?” We’ll examine what it is, how Thai massage differs from other massage techniques, and potential benefits of Thai massage for people of all lifestyles.

What is a Thai Massage?

What’s a Thai massage and where did the technique come from? Dating back at least 2500 years, you may be surprised to learn that the roots of Thai massage are actually based in India. It was originally considered part of a healing art with influences from Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.

Thai massage is known for deep stretching and is sometimes even referred to as “assisted yoga.” Whether you’re going to a massage therapist or experiencing massage chair benefits for health at home, you’ll find Thai massage techniques help stretch the back and leg muscles while facilitating full body decompression. The focus of Thai massage is to increase energy levels and flow throughout your body.

How is Thai Massage Different Than Other Massage Techniques?

Now that we’ve examined the question “what is a Thai massage?” it’s time to learn how it’s different from other massage techniques. A traditional Thai massage with a massage therapist will highlight some major differences right away.

For example, a shiatsu massage or Swedish massage most commonly take place on a table with the massage therapist using their hands (or sometimes other massage therapy tools) to manipulate your muscles and relax you. A traditional Thai massage, however, is done on a mat on the floor. Your Thai massage provider then moves your entire body in different ways to stretch joints and massage specific focus areas of your body.

A Thai massage may seem a little intense compared to deep tissue massage styles, but it’s a deeply satisfying and beneficial massage technique. If you’re using a massage chair at home instead of going to a massage therapist, choosing a massage chair with a Thai massage program will provide you a uniquely adapted Thai massage experience to stretch your body while seated instead.

Benefits of Thai Massage for Your Body

We’ve examined “what is a Thai massage?” and how it differs from other techniques, so now what are the benefits of Thai massage for your body? As with other massage techniques, Thai massage has been studied at length to determine its potential effectiveness for improving mental and physical health. A few study-supported benefits of Thai massage for your body include:

  • Alleviating back pain (and other chronic pain)
  • Helping relieve headaches
  • Reducing joint stiffness
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Lowering stress and anxiety
  • Boosting energy levels

Thai Massage for Back Pain

As your massage therapist or massage chair works on your body during a Thai massage, the gentle and deep stretches help reduce muscle tension in many areas that contribute to back pain. As Thai massage is a full body experience, you’ll find it may be effective at both relieving upper and lower back pain. Combining Thai massage with the benefits of heat therapy may enhance back pain relief and help keep you feeling great!

Thai Massage Therapy for Headache Relief

Another benefit we must discuss as we explore “what is a Thai massage and how can it help your body?” is using Thai massage therapy for headache relief. Several studies have shown the potential effectiveness of Thai massage for easing symptoms of tension headaches and migraine pain. Thai massage may even be an effective method for how to prevent migraines naturally.

It’s been noted that the benefits of Thai massage for headache pain may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. This highlights the importance of getting regular massages from a massage therapist or, alternatively, the benefits of owning a massage chair at home.

Thai Massage for Joint Pain

What’s a Thai massage able to do to help with joint pain? The deep stretching and full body decompression from Thai massage techniques is great for reducing joint stiffness and alleviating joint pain. Studies have shown that Thai massage is effective for joint mobilization, making it excellent for people of all lifestyles.

This may be a Thai massage benefit of particular importance to those with active lifestyles such as athletes, who rely on joint health to keep them in peak performance condition. While a floor Thai massage may be too intense for some older people, a massage chair Thai massage program may provide benefits to those with decreased joint mobility without having to get on the floor.

Increasing Range of Motion With Thai Massage

Thai massage could also be helpful for increasing range of motion and flexibility. This is great for athletes looking to stay loose as well as helping those with more limited mobility. The way it achieves this is by improving blood flow and oxygen to muscles throughout the body. Better blood flow means muscles heal faster. Combining this with the stretching motion of Thai massage may lead to noticeable improvement.

Bonus: As blood flows more efficiently and muscles are stretched, you may experience pain relief, as well. This makes Thai massage an important recovery tool for athletes.

Benefits of Thai Massage for Anxiety and Stress

We can’t answer the question “what is a Thai massage and how can it help your body?” without discussing how it may be beneficial for mental health, as well. Studies have shown the positive psychological effects of Thai massage for anxiety and stress even though it’s a more energetic massage technique than some others.

While Thai massage focuses on boosting energy levels, it also brings about a sense of calm. This is possibly due to alleviating symptoms of pain and decompressing the body, both of which can be overlooked causes of stress and anxiety.

Thai Massage for Boosting Energy Levels

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve arrived at how Thai massage may help boost energy levels. The movements associated with traditional Thai massage can be very yoga-like, leaving many with a sense of calm and rejuvenated energy. In one study comparing the effects of Thai massage and Swedish massage, it was found that Thai massage helped increase energy levels in those experiencing fatigue whereas Swedish massage helped increase relaxation and sleep quality.

The increase in energy levels associated with Thai massage is why so many athletes get them. The deep, dynamic stretches that Thai massage practitioners use may provide more restorative effects than experienced with the assisted stretching techniques of a sports massage.

Thai massage techniques are an ancient practice supported by modern studies. Potentially effective for increasing range of motion, boosting energy levels, providing pain relief, and more, Thai massages have something for everyone. Whether you’re going to a traditional massage therapist or using Thai massage programs on a luxury massage chair at home, this dynamic technique may help boost your overall health and well being.

As with any health decision, it’s important to consult your primary care physician before starting any massage therapy treatments to ensure it's safe for you to do so.

Curious about more benefits of massage chairs for home? Check out these resources to learn more:

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