health

When Going Out for Thai Means Really Feeling the Burn

No, not hot and spicy Thai food, we’re talking hot and spicy Thai massage. The real thing in Thailand can last for hours, butthaimask in this country a typical Thai massage can last 60 to 90 minutes. You can keep your clothes on, there’s no oil rubbed on, and you lay on floor mat for the treatment.

So what is a Thai massage? A good description is that it resembles assisted yoga, with a therapist using their hands, knees and feet to move your body into a variety of postures. It most likely originated in India and Buddhists adopted it as part of their yoga practice. It has been passed down as an oral tradition and influenced over the centuries by massageChinese and Tibetan techniques. The gentle pressure on your body parts helps release toxins and unravel knotted up muscles. You won’t sleep through it as you might with gentle massage. The therapist will use point pressure, muscle stretching and compression, all with a rhythmic, rocking motion. Thai massage is a real wake-up call, hence the jokes about hot and spicy or feeling the burn.

Thai massage aficionados point to a long list of benefits:

  • Facilitates relaxation
  • Heightens awareness
  • Frees blockages in energy flow
  • Invigorates the nervous system
  • Relieves pain and muscle tension
  • Increases ability to absorb nutrition
  • Strengthens and rejuvenates the body
  • Improves circulation of blood and lymph nodes
  • Increases flexibility
  • Gives a general feeling of well being assisting in balancing body, mind, and spirit.
  • Enhances elimination of wastes and toxic debris from physical, mental and emotional strain
  • Helps relieve headaches, migraines, arthritis, whiplash pain, paralysis, numbness, sciatica, back pain and other conditions.

popeyeIt should be obvious that Thai massage is not recommended immediately after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor. People with heart disease or pregnant should also check with their doctor.

Typically, a Thai massage can cost $65 to $135, depending on the length of the session (while in Thailand they can last up to four hours, here they typically range from 60 to 90 minutes). Like yoga, it’s wise not to eat a heavy meal before the massage. Arrive early enough to relax and get settled before the massage begins.

Susan Kramer, RYT200 is a certified yoga instructor (Yoga Heals) who lives in Annapolis, Maryland. She knows firsthand of the healing powers of yoga.

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