The Thai massage – origin, effect and special features
- Combines different techniques
- Degree of pressure: medium-strong
Thai massages are considered to be one of the oldest healing treatments that have been handed down to us today. In Thailand, the application is also known under the name “Nuad Phaen Boran”, which means something like “ancient healing touch”. To this day, massage, which focuses primarily on pressure points, has proven health benefits.
How does a traditional Thai Massage work? And what are the associated effects? We will take a closer look at that here in this guide.
The importance of Thai massage
For many people in Thailand, traditional massage is an integral part of everyday life. However, elements from yoga suggest an Indian origin. The energy lines on which the application is based are also very similar to the well-known Indian teaching. Today, the north Indian doctor Jivaka-Komarabhacca is widely regarded as the originator of Thai massage. He was the royal personal physician at the Indian court and lived in the 5th century BC. The massage technique was passed down apparently in circles of Buddhist monks.
Todays massage practice is closely related to Buddhist teaching. The massage has not lost its special spiritual aura to this day. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in the area of preventive health care. In Thailand it is practiced in hospitals and is supposed to support the regeneration of the patients.
Until a few years ago, the Thai massage was a purely eastern phenomenon. In Europe, the breakthrough only followed in the 1990s as a result of growing interest. According to the traditional concept, the traditional teachings still play an important role today.
How does the Thai massage work?
The treatment of traditional Thai massage differs considerably from classic massages. It is therefore worthwhile to first take a look at the major differences that emerge.
- Clothing: A traditional Thai massage takes place with clothing. Due to the required freedom of movement, wide sports pants and thin T-shirts are best. Accordingly, massage oils are not used.
- Position: In contrast to classic massages, the Thai massage does not take place on a couch. Instead, a floor mat is used, which allows close contact between therapist and patient.
- Technik: From a technical point of view, pressure and stretching techniques play a central role. The usual stroking and kneading of the skin, takes during this treatment a back seat.
- Length: A Thai massage is said to offer great added health benefits. As a result, the treatment lasts between one and a half to two and a half hours. During this time, the masseur works through the different energy lines one after the other.
The traditional Thai massage begins with the masseur carefully feeling the condition of the muscles and skin. This is followed by the characteristic pressing, in which different parts of the body are stimulated with the heels of the hand. Trained experts recognize the correctness of their movements by the reaction of the people being massaged. Some parts of the body require more muscle strength than others. For this reason, not only the ball of the hand, but also the elbows, knees and feet are used for pressure massage.
With a comprehensive Thai massage, all parts of the body are ideally moved and stretched. The application usually begins on the soles of the feet, where the reflex zones are activated with gentle pressure. Then it goes over the lower thighs and thighs into the abdominal area. There, the focus of the Thai massage is primarily on the so-called meridian points, which are to the side of the navel. From there the pressure travels to the inner surfaces of the arms and is extended to the inner surfaces of the hands. Then the face is treated in the supine position, where a particularly large number of energy points can be found. Then it goes on in the prone position.
In the classic process, this form of pressure massage takes place first. Afterwards, when the muscles have already warmed up a bit, the stretching exercises follow. For example, in the prone position, the upper and lower legs are gently bent backwards. Other positions call for the legs to be pulled straight up. In order to improve the posture of the upper body, pulling the arms backwards plays an important role.
How does the Thai massage work?
In order to understand the effect of the Thai massage, it is advisable to take a look at the traditional teaching. The application is based on the assumption that there are 72,000 energy lines in the body of all people. Out of this incredible number, ten particularly important lines are treated during the massage. According to the teaching, the so-called Marma points can be found on these energy lines. These energy points are also part of other wellness applications, such as acupressure with Shiatsu massage.
New life energy
According to the old teaching, those points are responsible for supplying the body with energy. The aim of the Thai massage is to supply the person with new life energy at precisely these points, which, according to the teaching, lie in the intake of new air. Since stretching uses a lot of oxygen, it becomes the method of choice to strengthen breathing and thereby manage the absorption of new energy. According to this principle, the stretches should help to strengthen the overall regeneration.
Thai massages in conventional medicine
In the meantime there have been a few experiments in which conventional medicine also dealt more intensively with the effects of Thai massage. The conclusion was again that the application is suitable for alleviating various complaints. The classic medical explanation of this positive effect, of course, deviates from traditional ideas.
The massage of the pressure points therefore helps to improve the circulation of the blood in the treated parts of the body. As a result, the cells are more easily supplied with new nutrients and waste products from cellular respiration can be removed from them. A relaxing effect can also be attributed to the stretching exercises that are part of the massage. If it is possible to enter the state of deep relaxation during the application, the parasympathetic nervous system is also activated. This ensures that a health-promoting effect can also be ascertained in relation to the internal organs.
Furthermore, doctors come to the conclusion that the exercises derived from yoga can have a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system as such. Especially with regular use, a positive influence on incorrect posture is possible. The flexion and extension of the spine that takes place during the massage temporarily improves physical mobility. The different positions and postures that are assumed during the massage also support the lymph flow in the body.
Possible uses of Thai massage
The traditional Thai massage in particular is more than just a wellness treatment with the aim of relaxation. The Thai massage can be used particularly effectively in the case of general restrictions of the musculoskeletal system, such as widespread knee and back pain. Bad posture, which could possibly lead to irreversible consequential damage, can also be treated. Due to the special relaxation that is achieved through the application, a positive effect can also be expected with stress-related loads or tensions.
Thai rooms are characterized by the fact that the massage is also used to support medical treatment in the case of serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes or other symptoms of paralysis.
Those who find a Thai massage offer nearby can count themselves particularly lucky. At Soulhouse you have 200+ certified massage therapists to choose from and the best part is that they all also offer treatments at home. This makes regular use even easier. Especially when a specific health goal is to be pursued with the application, a single treatment is hardly sufficient. Following the Thai model, however, it is worthwhile to continuously integrate the positive effects into everyday life. This is now easily possible with the Soulhouse treatments at home!
In view of this mode of action, a Thai massage is particularly suitable for preventive purposes. It is a remedy that, with regular use, can prevent various diseases. At the same time, there are certain indications for which massage should not be considered in acute illness and sometimes even poses a risk. This applies to:
- Heart and vascular diseases
- Injuries to muscles and bones
- Open wounds
Pregnant women are also excluded from Thai massage. Especially the fact that the whole body is involved in the application makes the massage a risk. This is especially due to the reflex zones, which must not be massaged under any circumstances during pregnancy. The positions that are assumed during the massage are also sometimes burdensome and impractical for pregnant women.
The prices of the Thai massage
If you want to immerse yourself in this special part of wellness, you have to put a little more money on the table in Germany than in the country of origin of the massage. One hour of traditional Thai massage with trained specialist staff starts with us at around 69 euros. If you want to enjoy the application to a larger extent, you have to reckon with at least 98 euros. A full two hours, which are traditionally required for the massage, cost around 130 euros.
It goes without saying that paying for massage treatments is a good investment for our bodies and minds. The hours of relaxation and regeneration are particularly helpful when faced with stress at work, a high level of family stress and similar burdens. Especially the great preventive potential that is inherent in Thai massage can make it such a central part of a healthy lifestyle.
Pay attention to qualification
Whether the promising offer of the traditional healing method can ultimately be fully savoured depends primarily on the quality of the masseurs, whether at home or on site. For this reason, it is advisable to always pay attention to the relationship between price and performance and to look at it critically. At Soulhouse you get a Thai massage, which is relatively cheaper than in comparable studios & spas. In terms of quality, however, it leaves nothing to be desired. In Germany, you do not have to take a state-recognized examination for a Thai massage. Instead, training at the “Institute for Traditional Thai Yoga Massage” can be completed. All teachers there have completed the renowned training in Bangkok at the “WatPo Thai Traditional Medical & Massage School (WatPo TTM)”.
Due to the growing awareness and popularity of the massage, a comprehensive range of services has also emerged in Germany over the last few decades. At Soulhouse, we only have qualified and certified experts in our ranks who offer classic Thai massage. So you can be sure that you will always receive a professional and high-quality Thai massage application at Soulhouse.