Thai Massage

No one denies that a good massage makes you feel relaxed and refreshed but are there any true health benefits to a massage? Scientists have performed research on this topic and to date there are no known reasons why a massage makes you feel great, it just does.

Massage therapy actually dates back thousands of years and can be found in many cultures. Ancient writings from Japan, China and India depict massage therapy. It was first introduced into the United States around the 1850’s after two physicians had studied massage therapy in Sweden.

Uses of Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy has many different purposes. It can be used to help relieve pain, as a stress reducer, to help with sports injuries, helps people deal with stress and depression as well as for overall relaxation and general health.

Taking a massage is extremely popular, in 2007 a National Health Survey was conducted in the U.S. The results showed that 18 million adults and 700,000 children had received some form of massage therapy in the preceding year.

Types of Massage Therapy

There are many different types of massage therapy and variations of each one. One of the most popular types is the Swedish Massage. In this method of massage the therapist uses long sweeping strokes to apply pressure. They also use techniques such as kneading, tapping, vibration and the use of deep circular movements.

Other types include deep tissue massage, hot massage, trigger points massage and Thai massage. Thai massage is increasing in popularity in the Western hemisphere. This method makes use of the use of different poses and the therapist will often use their feet as well as their arms and hands to perform the massage.

Therapeutic massages often include the use of essential oils which help you to relax more deeply whilst enjoying the massage. Lavender is often used in these types of massages.

Main Benefits of Massage Therapy

As we mentioned earlier scientific evidence for the benefits of massage is extremely limited. But there are good signs which indicate that massage therapy does indeed offer benefits to people.

Going for a one time massage session can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Going for multiple massage sessions over a regular period of time can help with reducing anxiety, panic attacks, depression and alleviate pain.

Clinical trials have shown that massage therapy can be useful for people dealing with the pain of cancer. It can help those people who have chronic back and neck pain and for overall general well being.

It is not exactly known how this works but the theory behind it is as follows. Massage seems to stimulate those senses that send pain signals to your brain. It is thought that the release of certain chemicals such as serotonin or endorphins in your body is responsible for making these changes happen. It is not possible to draw any conclusions at this time and further study is necessary to test out and substantiate these theories.

Thai Massage

If you have ever had a massage you may have been concerned about getting a male or female therapist. This is actually a common concern especially for people booking their first massage session.

For men the concern is usually whether or not a woman masseuse is strong enough to apply enough pressure. Plus they sometimes feel that if they ask for a man they may be thought of as gay. Then there is the attraction factor, what if the female is really attractive and they get aroused, this could be embarrassing.

For women the concern may be about having a male touch their body. While other concerns are about having a man see their stretch marks or what if they forget to shave?

Sometimes the choice of choosing a male or female therapist comes down to a religious choice. Orthodox Jews restrict physical contact between people of the opposite sex who are not related to them by blood or marriage. Islam actually forbids a man to touch a woman who is not part of his family.

Your decision is going to have to based upon what you feel comfortable with. Many women actually do prefer to have another woman massage them. A trend today is for women to get together with a group of their friends and have a group massage together. They spend this time socializing and often request that a female masseuse is used.

Another reason that gender comes into action is related to the strength factor. If you are having a massage due to a health issue or because of an injury, you may require a deeper massage. It is well known that men are stronger and can apply more pressure and for this reason a male masseuser is often requested.

In some countries women traditionally seem to perform more of the massages and this is very true in Thailand. In fact if you have ever experienced a Thai massage you know that they can be felt deeply within your body. Plus women in Thailand perform this traditional massage method extremely well. You may be surprised at how strong some of these women can be. So strength can be a skill that is mastered with experience.

What often happens with many clients is that after they become accustomed to going for a massage, they don’t worry about whether the therapist is male or female. They become comfortable with getting undressed and being wrapped in only a towel and enjoy the treatment and don’t worry too much about the person performing the massage.

If you are new to massages just choose what you feel comfortable with at first. As time progresses you too may find that your preference becomes neutral – unless of course it is a breast enlargement massage or something very specific like that!

NOTE: When getting a Thai massage, you will get asked to put on specifically designed loose clothes. Your private parts never get directly touched by the masseuse.