Thai Massage – Luxury or Necessity?

I have been lucky enough to live in Kamala in Thailand for some years now and one (amongst many, the food, beautiful beaches and hot weather to name but a few) benefits of living here is the access to an authentic Thai massage.

My favourite hobbies are mostly sports related and that can sometimes go hand in hand with putting stresses and strains on my body, so I have never thought of massage as anything other than a luxurious necessity.

What is Thai Massage

In summary Thai massage fuses point pressure and stretching and is very helpful to those who find themselves stiff, sore, and tired from over-exertion in daily life, working, sports, or from some illnesses such as arthritis or other debilitating diseases.

It enhances strength and flexibility. It can relax sore or tense muscles, and can help to recapture lost mobility/flexibility. Thai massage encourages lymphatic function, that can also detoxify the body, boost the immune system, and help to prevent disease and injury by promoting flexibility.

Thai massage can be a great blend of energy and stretching work and can give you a real sense of relaxation afterwards.

Differences between standard massage and Thai Massage

Standard massage and Thai massage are world’s apart in their techniques and even the philosophies behind them. Standard massage is of western origin and Thai massage is Eastern and believe it or not actually originated in India and was practices as long ago at 2 and a half thousand years ago.

Classic or standard massage uses 5 main techniques;

  • Stroking/gliding
  • Rubbing
  • Pounding
  • Kneading
  • Shaking

This technique is very much based on the western anatomy and their main aim is to promote wellbeing, healing and relaxing.

Thai massage uses a similar technique to Swedish massage but it goes further. It also stimulates acupunctures points. The theory is to work with your body’s energy lines to provide a release of tension/pressure and can leave you feeling totally relaxed and energised. This type of massage also uses a technique that blocks and releases the blood flow.  The masseuse applies a prolonged pressure for approximately 30 seconds to certain areas and then releases.  This seriously boosts your circulation. Personally, I have felt a rush of heat when the masseuse releases the pressure, this is when the blood comes flooding back into your limbs. It is an incredibly relaxing feeling.

The Benefits of Thai Massage

Many health benefits have been associated with Thai Massage, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved mood
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Release of endorphins
  • Better sleep
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from stress and muscle tension
  • Relief from aches and pains
  • Improved circulation
  • Unblocking and balancing of energy flow
  • Detoxification
  • Improved alignment
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion

Hard/Medium/Soft

I am a huge fan of Thai massage and dependent on what I want my massage for ie: aches, stretching or just relaxing, I will have varying degrees of massage.

My first ever Thai massage was a hard one. I had never had one before and didn’t know what to expect. Hard massage can be a little uncomfortable at first but I was told by the masseuse that it was better to relax into it, no resistance would make it more comfortable and the benefits would be reaped long after the massage.

Conclusion

Whether a massage is a luxury or necessity is up to the individual person. For me, I lead an active life and it is an essential way to keep my body in great condition.

I am now considering a spa and health retreat at one of Thailand’s luxury villas. It will be a perfect way to stay in shape and relax all in one.