How does Thai massage relieve muscle tension and soreness?
The stretches in traditional Thai massage help loosen your body and improve the range of motion in all your joints.
Muscle injuries are more common now than they were 50 years ago. That's not because we're exercising harder. It's because we're more sedentary. What's worse, as we age our joints tend to tighten, making range of motion and flexibility even more restricted.
Traditional Thai Massage helps loosen your body and improve the range of motion in all your joints. By working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, regular Thai massage keeps your joints more fluid and makes them less injury prone. This will also help to increase your energy levels. Thai massage works off the belief that tightened muscles lead to the diminished flow of energy in your body. When energy can't flow freely, you become inflexible, suffer pain and feel stiff. Overtime, this leads to shortened muscles and connective tissue that affects your posture, immunity and organ function -- all of which speed up aging and disability.
Incorporating Thai massage and stretching into a fitness routine also will help reduce soreness after a workout. Stretching beforehand will allow greater freedom of movement when exercising and longer workout periods because it helps prevent a buildup of lactic acid in your blood. Regular post-workout Thai massages can then aid in the recovery and relaxation process.
Thai Massage vs Yoga
As an athlete, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of yoga, but adding it into your already-packed training schedule can be tough. Not only is it hard to find the time to attend a yoga class, but it can also be hard to get the hang of it, and you may find yourself leaving a yoga class wondering if you really got any physical fitness benefits out of it.
With Thai massage, this is no longer a concern. You have the massage therapist manipulating your body into the right positions, and they can also offer you guidance on your breathing as you move through each pose. That way, as you walk out of the massage therapist’s office, you know that you’ve made the most of the last 90 minutes of training time.
Thai Massage in Research
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science examined the effects of Thai massage on physical fitness in soccer players. 34 competitive soccer players were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received three thirty-minute Thai massage sessions over the course of a ten-day study period, while the second group merely rested between their normal training sessions. The study found that Thai Massage provided some beneficial effects on physical fitness in soccer players, especially for VO2max, and facilitated muscle strength, agility and speed.
Another study, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research in 2014, examined the potential benefits of Thai massage for volleyball players, focusing specifically on vertical jump performance and flexibility in the knees and ankles. The researchers saw statistically significant improvements in vertical jump height, knee flexion, ankle plantar flexion and an ankle dorsiflexion.
It is important to acknowledge that both of these were small-scale studies, so they don’t provide definitive evidence that getting a Thai massage will boost your performance. However, they do suggest that a physical fitness boost is possible.
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