Anyone with experience and knowledge about Thai massage cannot deny the wonderful effects it has on human health. But it is important to understand how it works and what its limitations are. Thai massage is an ancient form of healing that is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese and especially Indian ayurvedic medicine.
Like other Oriental healing arts, Thai medicine recognizes the existence of energy meridians in the human body. Blockages or imbalances in these meridians – known as “sen” in Thai – are believed to cause illness. Thai massage systemically works on these energy meridians to restore, preserve and improve health. It borrows methods from yoga, Ayurveda as well as acupressure, and many call it Thai yoga massage. While it may be considered body work in the west, it is perhaps more correct to say it is energy work. Thai massage therapists base their work not on physical anatomy, but on the sen lines and their influence on the patient’s condition.
While Thai massage theory may seem pure superstition to some, there is no denying it has real, physical benefits. Thai massage, as well as its related practice, Thai yoga or Ruesri Dat Ton, have been proven to:
- Improve blood circulation
- Increase flexibility and range of motion
- Relieve stiffness
- Improve muscle tone
- Help repair damaged tissue
- Relax the body
- Promote suppleness and resistance to injury and strain
However it would be foolish to think that Thai massage can do everything. As effective as it is, even Thai massage therapists would not presume it is a cure-all. Diseases of specific organs, for example, are difficult to treat with Thai massage alone. Do not abandon medical care in favor of massage. And never attempt to heal yourself on your own. Instead, use Thai massage as a complement to proper exercise, diet and sound health care.