Need an excuse for a spa day? Here’s one!

Spa background

Who really needs to be convinced to get a massage, right?   It’s a luxury that we don’t treat ourselves to often enough. In case you need an excuse, massage-particularly the Thai variety-has actually been proven to have physical benefits. Thai massage, formally known as nuat thai, iis thought to have originated at Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, in Bangkok.  It involves deep massage of a muscle accompanied by passive stretching.  The practitioner uses the thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet to apply pressure along 10 invisible energy lines along the body called “Sen Sib” lines.

Today we visit Thailand to explore Thai massage.  Thai massage, formally known as nuat thai, is a form of massage and manipulation that is thought to have originated at Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, in Bangkok.  Thai massage involves deep massage of a muscle accompanied by passive stretching.  Typically in thai massage, the practitioner uses the thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet to apply pressure along 10 invisible energy lines along the body called “Sen Sib” lines. This massage is believed to allow relaxation and increase flexibility of the recipient.  Thai massage is widely used by the people of Thailand.  The government of Thailand has made efforts to integrate traditional massage into Western medicine therapies.

Health Effects

If you have a chance to visit Thailand, you will find that Thai massage is well integrated into the culture and routinely included in medical therapies.  One Thai study showed a benefit of this type of massage over traditional physical therapy in adults suffering from scapulocostal syndrome, a condition causing pain in the upper back and shoulder. The improvement in pain lasted up to 2 weeks. Another study demonstrated that Thai massage improves flexibility and increases relaxation when applied to myofascial pressure points, certain points on the body thought to trigger pain.

More formal evidence for the health benefits of massage does not specifically focus only on Thai massage, but instead all massage types combined. Researchers looked at a number of studies to evaluate the effect of massage on low back pain, a condition that affects up to 85% of the population at any given time.  It was concluded that massage, especially when done by a licensed practitioner and combined with exercise and education, can help relieve low back pain.

Where to Get It

While Thailand offers Thai massage at very affordable prices, getting there can be expensive. Fortunately therapists all over the United States also offer Thai massage. Information can be found on a number of websites.

The Short and Sweet

Massage is useful for the treatment of long term back pain.  Studies show that Thai massage shows promise in improving chronic back pain, pain from trigger points as well as pain in the scapular area.  So go ahead, schedule that spa day!

Research References

Bodeker G. Linking traditional knowledge with modern medicine. And healthcare. http://www.ias.unu.edu/resource_centre/Topic%202.pdf Buttagat V, Eungpinichpong W, Kaber D, Chatchawan U, Arayawichanon P.

Acute effects of traditional Thai massage on electroencephalogram in patients with scapulocostal syndrome. Complement Ther Med. 2012 Aug;20(4):167-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22579427

Buttagat V, Eungpinichpong W, Kaber D, Chatchawan U, Arayawichanon P. Buttagat V. Eungpinichpong W. Chatchawan U. Arayawichanon P. Therapeutic effects of traditional Thai massage  on pain, muscle tension and anxiety in patients with scapulocostal syndrome: a randomized single-blinded pilot study. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. 16:57-63, 2012 Jan.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22196428

Disayavanish CDisayavanish P. Introduction of the treatment method of Thai traditional medicine: its validity and future perspectives.  Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1998 Dec;52 Suppl:S334-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9895186

“Useful

Institute of Thai Massage http://thai-massage.org

The Healing Institute http://thaihealingalliance.com  

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrStumbleUponRedditShare

One Response to Need an excuse for a spa day? Here’s one!

  1. Terri July 30, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    This blogpost on Thai massage was quite informative. I definitely learned something new!

Leave a Reply to Terri Cancel reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com