Thai massage or also known as Nuad Bo Rarn, which can be translated as “ancient massage”, is a unique style of bodywork. Unlike western-style massage, Thai massage is performed on the floor using a mat and the patient is fully clothed. This massage style actually combines some of the bodywork types like acupressure, massage, and yoga to create a holistic massage experience. This massage is called as unique since it is not only performed physically but also involving emotional and mental exercise. Unlike other types of massage where the receiver is passive, in Thai massage patient is actually becomes an active participant and the massager also gets benefits from stretching. Both receiver and massager can also perform meditation during the exercise.
Types of Thai Massage
Basically there are two styles of Thai massage which used to be performed, the Southern-style or Wat Pho style and the Northern style. These two styles of Thai massage come from the two original schools of Thai massage. Southern-style massage is originated from Wat Pho in Bangkok and Northern style is known derived from the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai. Both of massage schools are still in operation even today. There are some differences among both styles even they actually use the same technique.
The Southern-style focuses primarily on the acupressure and energy lines and perform a stronger pressure while northern style is slower and gentler even it is still a very strong massage. Unlike southern style, this massage focuses more on the yoga-like poses and stretching. The Northern style Thai massage is more commonly to be practiced nowadays worldwide and mostly in the Unites States.
History Of Thai Massage
Thai massage is known dates back 2500 years in India at the age of Buddha. The massage style found by Dr. Shivago Komarpaj, an ayurvedic physician. He was the doctor and friend of Lord Buddha. Dr. Komarpaj created a massage that uses the principles of yoga and ayurveda and he also taught this method to other Buddhist monks who lived in the temple. Traditionally and as we know that Buddhist temples were the centers for healing at that time in a community. Buddist monk were nomadic and this is why over time the healing system of Dr. Komarpaj spread to Thailand.
Later the king of Thailand built Wat Pho the first university and school for traditional medicine that is still open until today. As modern-era growth, people are less to use traditional healing method and they are mostly using western medication. But in the middle of 1990’s Thai massage was back to attract people with its healing system and promote wellness in the spa and wellness center across the globe.
The Sen Sip
Thai massage combines ayurveda, yoga, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). These ancient systems of healing have a purpose to balance the energy flow, which is called prana, or qi in the body. Traditional medicine believed that if the energy in the body gets blocked, it will cause disease, pain, and emotional disorder within the body. Oppositely when the energy flows freely in the body, the person will be healthy and has a peaceful mind can occur. All Asian traditional medication systems including ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems agree that there are a total of 72,000 energy lines in the body, although they have different positions and strengths.
Thai massage uses the energy lines that called as sen line system or literally known as the sen sip of the ten lines. Each sen line performed in Thai massage is associated with different parts of the body, organ systems, and disease, pain or disorder. By the means that the practitioners of Thai massage will use these lines to heal the body and perform a holistic treatment.
Health Benefits of Thai Massage
Thai massage provides your body with several health benefits. here is the list of top benefits of Thai massage
1. Reduce Anxiety
Most people experience anxiety as a result of a tight schedule and a hard-working day. Thai massage therapy can reverse those psychological conditions especially reduce anxiety and lower the cortisone level in the body which known as the stress hormone.
2. Promotes Relaxations
Massage can be very relaxing and people find Thai massage very relax can help to relax their mind and body. The environment created during Thai massage such as a soothing and calm room with soft music will allow the body and mind to slow down and feel their body stretched and relaxed.
3. Boost Energy
The Thai massage technique which done by professionals can provide a deep massage that can energize the client and increase blood flow to the body and boost energy level. Thai massage can increase metabolism level and make your body feel more fit and get better stamina.
4. Increase concentration
Thai massage is based on yoga, acupressure, and stretching. The acupressure is given to most parts of the body through fingers, hands, feet, knee, and elbows which allow the blood to deliver rich oxygen and nutrients blood to the brain and increase concentration also focus during activities.
4 Prevention from illness.
Traditional Thai massage does not only give relaxation to the body but also can prevent illness and relieves back pain. Thai massage can increase the blood flow and also promote the production of several hormones in the body that play an important role in maintaining body immune system work. People who take regular Thai massage will have a better ability to prevent the body from the disease compared to those who didn’t take Thai massage experience.
5. Strengthen immune system
the immune system is one of the most important systems in the body. As mentioned before, Thai massage can help to prevent the body from illness. It also can boost the immune cell response to several pathogens. By strengthening the immune system, Thai massage can help your body to stay away from flu, cold, and even some serious bacterial or viral disease.
6. Slower aging process
Meditation and yoga give a great effect on the body aging process as well as Thai massage. The combination of yoga, meditation, and acupressure in Thai massage increases the blood flow and the release of several hormones in the body which promote cell regeneration and reparation. Thai massage will not only make you healthy but it also will make you look younger by regular practice.
7. Reduce the risk of heart disease
it is not a secret that the main effect of Thai massage is on its ability to improve healthy blood circulation. Thai massage can give the body some pressure and enhance the nutrients and oxygen transfer which contain in the blood. It can also protect the heart cells from any damage caused by the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries.
8. lower cholesterol level
Thai massage can promote body energy and increase the level of High-Density Lipoprotein or good cholesterol in the body which also can reduce the level of Low-Density Lipoprotein or known as bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of the best enemies of the body since it can block the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.
9. Prevent diabetes
By performing Thai massage, you have to increase your body's ability to maintain a healthy sugar level within the blood especially in people who suffer from diabetes type 1. Thai massage also stimulates the beta cells of the pancreas to produce more insulin which required in the sugar regulation process within the blood.
10. Relieve pain and headache
if you feel pain or headache, try to have Thai massage. The pose and movement of the practitioners will increase your blood flow and stimulate the brain to release cytokines hormones that can reduce the level of prostaglandin that causing headache inside brain.
11. Maintain a healthy weight
some people claimed that they have a great impact on Thai massage on maintaining a healthy weight. This is because the patient of Thai massage is not only accepted the massage and become passive. They are played in the massage session as active participants by doing some movements too.
12. Reduce the symptom of arthritis
Arthritis is a disease that causing joints pain and sometimes it is unbearable. Thai massage can improve blood circulation as well as improve the flexibility and strength of joints. It also inhibits the release of prostaglandin, the substance that causing pain on some parts of the body including the joints.
Besides all those benefits, Thai massage also know can overcome some of these problems give other benefits such as
Increase creativity strengthen leg and arm
Improve body posture
Corrects body alignment
Tips to Perform Thai Massage
Before you perform a Thai massage session better watch these condition to avoid certain injury
Consult your massage therapy first and tell about your health condition, it will help them to know your body and how they will perform the massage.
Make sure you choose the right professional therapist and treatment place that can make you relax.
If you have a problem with low back pain, tell the therapist to reduce the stretch on the part of the body.
Do not eat anything three hours before getting a Thai massage. If you taking some food before practice it, better avoid stretching on the abdomen area.
Avoid performing Thai massage if you are under the menstruation period.
Pregnant women can also perform this massage but make sure you do it carefully.
Do not eat or take a shower in two hours after getting a massage, just sleep or laying to maintain energy flow.