Having a Thai Massage is healthy if done well, cautiously, and with wisdom. Having regular Thai massages is even healthier, and yet, on the surface the benefits of Thai Massage don’t differ that much from other massage treatments or bodywork modalities.
Most likely you’ll read things like: Thai Massage improves your blood circulation facilitating a better flow of oxygen and nutrients to bodily tissues, improves lymphatic drainage and detoxification, boosts your immune system, supports pain relief, helps for stress-relief, trauma and emotional release, better sleep quality, more vitality and fitness, less stiffness, more flexibility due to stretches and mobilization, removes blocks, knots, tangles, and the like, and … well, much more really.
Apart from the general benefits mentioned above, there’s a whole range of illnesses, disorders, and discomforts that can be treated with Thai Massage and Thai Acupressure, of which many treatment procedures are well documented.
And although all that is true, I think there’s more to say about the benefits of Thai Massage. Things perhaps even more important, but less known or talked about.
I’d like to address what I’ve experienced with treating clients in the past ten years. Surely there were quick fixes, physically and emotionally, but there’s more. Below I’ve tried to categorize what I’ve actually found to be more striking — the changes under the hood, beyond the obvious.
Renewed and Deeper Body Awareness
Thai Massage is a full body massage, and perhaps the most versatile kind of bodywork with its sheer endless repertoire of techniques and stretches. I’ve come to notice that clients very often experience their bodies both anew and deeper, during and after the session(s). To give the idea — clients have more than once told me that they didn’t know they had these or those muscles, or could do this or that with their bodies, or that they felt like having been “centrifuged in a washing machine.”
In many cases, clients experience an authentic Thai Massage session as a kind of eye-opener, and it can be the start of a change in lifestyle, or in any case, a renewed awareness of their unused physical capacities.
Improved Earthy Grounding
When clients experience a renewed and deeper body awareness, it’s often followed by a longing to better balance their physical, mental, and emotional qualities. Especially in Western countries (and increasingly also in Eastern countries, by the way) people live very much “in their heads,” and are very much busy with what to do, what not to do, ethics, career building, an achievement based lifestyle, and so on.
Versatile, complete bodywork can bring people beyond simple relaxation and stress-relief, making them aware that they’re not mind or thoughts only, and inspire them to find a better expression of all aspects of their being. It can be the start of profound changes in their lifestyles, job occupations and relationships, embracing and integrating their earthy, more physical aspects.
Mental and Spiritual Clearness
Coming to be a more balanced person by accepting and embracing all sides and aspects of our being, miraculously brings forth a new mental clarity. It’s not that all our problems vanish from the face of the earth, perhaps even the contrary — old problems don’t seem real problems any longer or are dealt with effectively, but all sort of other problems may arise which have to do with reorganizing and materializing our new outlook in life.
We will notice that society’s make-up is hardly capable of nurturing and supporting a more clear and free person, that is, a person who questions the status quo and wants to make changes in their life to become less robotic, less conformist, and more human.
This, more often than not, brings people to the deeper questions of life, questioning the concepts, values and morals of their own thoughts and those of mainstream society, at the same time longing after and seeking for more spiritual clearness and truth.
If all this is still a health benefit of Thai Massage (or of any other intensive, well-understood bodywork) is of course controversial, particularly when looked upon with the eyes of a self-satisfied and self-approving civilization.
In any case, I’ve seen clients change their lives drastically, perhaps not always (immediately) successfully, but never with regret. Because seeing and experiencing truth, and integrating that truth in our lives, whatever then happens or not happens, always has its own reward.