Thai massage is an ancient practice with many benefits that is backed by modern science. It can reduce the intensity of headaches, reduce pain in the lower back and joints, increase flexibility, calm anxiety, and energize the mind and body. Many people believe that the health benefits of Thai massage include reducing stress, increasing energy, and improving athletic performance. A Thai massage is incredibly relaxing, as it combines stretching techniques with gentle pressure applied by the masseur.
What's the difference between a Thai massage and a Swedish massage? They are different in many ways, such as in the techniques used, the philosophies, the use of oil, the way customers dress and the benefits. Knowing the differences between Thai massage and Swedish massage is essential to making a decision about which one is best for you. A study showed that nine sessions of traditional Thai massage over a 3-week period can reduce painful headaches in people who have chronic tension headaches or migraines. Lingam massage is a type of massage therapy that is only used in Thai massage and is used on specific parts of the body, usually areas where the legs and arms meet in the torso.
Swedish massage, which is more common and popular in the West, often referred to as classic massage, relaxing massage or gentle massage, is based on Western understanding of physiology and anatomy. Therapists offer oil-free massages and the process of traditional Thai massage is mixed with yoga. Thai massage may be a good option for you if you want a more active type of massage, in which you move and participate instead of lying down throughout the massage. Although Thai massage is more energetic than other forms of massage therapy, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase a systemic sense of calm.
At the end of a standard Thai massage, the masseuse usually asks you to sit down and place your fingers behind your head. Instead of using only her hands, fists, forearms and elbows, the Swedish masseuse's standard tools, the Thai masseuse can generally use her legs and feet during the massage. If you have an underlying health condition, be sure to ask your doctor if this traditional form of massage is safe for you. The physical intensity of this massage technique could cause health complications or worsen pre-existing injuries.
During a Thai massage, the client may change position several times as performed by the masseuse. One of the most attractive aspects of this type of therapy is its ability to bring a sense of calm and relaxation. The combination of stretching, movement and pressure is what sets Thai massage apart from other types of massage. In one study, researchers compared the effects of Thai massage and Swedish massage on fatigued people.
Traditional Thai massage can be a bit hard on the body and is usually more painful than oil-based massages, although if you have time, you can try both and see which one you prefer. Thai massage can also improve circulation of joint fluid or synovial fluid, reducing friction between joints.