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A Quick Guide to Thai Massage

Thai Massage
Thai massage is one of the most relaxing and energizing form of massage techniques, which relaxes and soothes the body. For centuries, it was practiced by Buddhist monks in temples as a component of Thai medicine for medical and spiritual healing.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Thai massage, also called Nuad Boran, is a type of therapeutic massage and a branch of Thai medicine. It is an ancient healing art that combines Indian Ayurvedic principles and yoga postures. This practice is believed to have been founded by a physician to the Buddha named Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, who is also regarded as the "Father of medicine" throughout Thailand. This therapy is also considered to be the most rigorous, relaxing, and energizing form of massage.
It is based on the theory that our body is governed by a life-force (which is derived from food, water, and the air that we breathe) which is carried through thousands of invisible pathways in our body. It is assumed that if there is a blockage in any those paths, then our body might get affected by diseases. This massage helps to free the blocked pathways and ensures free flow of the life-force to maintain the overall health and well-being.
Preparation Tips
The following tips should be kept in mind before having this massage.
  • Wear or take loose clothing along with you. Some spas provide you clothes but most of them don't. So carry a pair of spare clothes.
  • Don't take heavy meals before the session; however, don't go empty stomach either.
  • If this is your first time, tell the therapist your complete health history, as it is not recommended for people with certain conditions.
Procedure
thai massage
This massage is also called "Thai Yoga Massage" as it moves your body to many yoga-like postures. Many people say that it is like doing yoga, but without any efforts. This is because a therapist will push your body at various yoga positions without your intervention.
This massage is performed on a padded mat on the floor. Since it doesn't require application of oils unlike other techniques, you may be asked to wear loose and comfortable clothing. Initially, you will be asked to lie down on your back on the padded mat. A massage therapist will apply gentle strokes using his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet along the energy lines to open up the natural flow of energy in your body. The therapist usually starts off at the legs, and then moves on to other parts of the body. The session generally lasts for about 1 - 2 hours, and may be carried out on monthly basis. After the session is over, the person's mind is spiritually uplifted and the body is completed relaxed.
Benefits
It is preferred by most people, as it doesn't require the removal of clothes like the other techniques do. There are many health benefits associated with this therapy. Some of them include:
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves mobility and flexibility
  • Increases energy levels
  • Promotes deep relaxation
  • Reduces muscle pains and muscle spasms
  • Encourages muscle lengthening
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves joint movements
  • Calms nervous system
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Clears wastes and toxins and from stressed and tired muscles
  • Used in the treatment of headaches, migraines, sciatica, and menstrual pains
Word of Caution
The massage should not be performed on pregnant women, or on people who have undergone a surgery, chemotherapy recently, or on those who are prone to blood clots. It is not recommended for people with certain conditions like:
  • Severe heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hemophilia
  • Phlebitis
  • Lymphatic cancer
  • Infectious skin disease
Also, it should not be performed over inflamed skin, tumors, or bruises.
A good Thai massage is therefore a powerful medium that can be used to correct emotional problems, as well as physical ones.

Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.