The Benefits of Thai Massage: Should You Eat Beforehand?

Thai massage is an ancient practice with many benefits that are 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. For that reason, many people report leaving Thai massage sessions feeling not only relaxed but also rejuvenated. When it comes to Thai massage, it's best to arrive on an empty stomach, as if you were attending an exercise class.

This is because traditional Thai massage includes active elements that require movement and participation. After the first session, you may experience some muscle pain, but this should subside within a few hours. In several small studies with patients with chronic headaches, researchers found that Thai massage reduced the intensity of migraines and tension headaches. In one study, researchers compared the effects of Thai massage and Swedish massage on fatigued people.

The combination of stretching, movement and pressure is what sets Thai massage apart from other types of massage. In one study, researchers used a Thai massage program combined with wand exercises to study the effects on people with knee arthritis. Researchers from Thailand studied the effects of Thai massage on a group of 120 people with unspecific low back pain. Thirty-four soccer players participated in an experiment to test the effects of Thai massage on sports performance.

The results of these studies have been overwhelmingly positive. Participants felt less pain and walked more easily after the 8-week program. Half of the test group received Thai massage and the rest received other conservative management techniques that included joint mobilization (a technique that involves applying pressure), hot compresses and hand stretching to painful areas. Thai massage can benefit your health in a number of ways, many of which are backed by scientific studies.

If the pain has subsided but has not gone away or you have a very active way of life, it is appropriate to repeat the massage after 3 days. After a handful of sessions, many people report feeling like they can move more freely and with a better range of motion.

Florence Baird
Florence Baird

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