Thai Massage vs Traditional Massage


People get a massage to relax after a long day, to ease the adverse symptoms of their medical condition, or to improve mobility or athletic performance.

While each person’s reason for getting a massage is different, massage therapy is generally a rejuvenating service that is geared towards a holistic approach to healing. With the increasing popularity of Thai massage and with more and more spas and clinics offering this service, you might be wondering if this massage technique can cater to your needs.

Whether it is your very first time getting a massage or you’re curious about Thai massage and would like to know if it is more suitable for you than other classic Western massage techniques, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will educate you on the benefits of both Thai and traditional massage therapies to help you make this crucial decision.

Thai Massage Overview and Benefits

Often referred to as ‘lazy man’s yoga’, Thai massage sessions involve a lot of stretching and poses similar to yoga. While a typical yoga class can last for a full hour or longer, Thai massage can produce a similar relaxation and soothing effect on your muscles and joints within a shorter timespan.

For many decades, this type of massage was considered a form of medical healing that originated in Thailand. Compared to classic Western massage techniques, Thai massage involves more than just lying on a massage table. It requires more movement to achieve the ultimate goal of relieving joint and muscle pain.

One of the most obvious differences between Thai massage and traditional massage is the lack of equipment. A Thai massage session is typically conducted on a mat placed on the floor.

Unlike traditional massage, Thai massage is performed while you’re fully clothed. So if you’re planning to get one, it is recommended to wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow you to move freely.

You and your Thai massage therapist will be performing a series of stretches, twists, pulls, and yogic poses. It also involves the use of acupressure and compression techniques to ease blockages in your body’s energy pathways and restore normal flow. This means practitioners don’t only use their hands to give you a massage– they may also kneel on your feet, use their elbows and shoulders to stimulate pressure points, or even stand on your back.

Although Thai massage may sometimes be viewed as an intense form of massage, it delivers a lot of benefits for your mind and body. If you’re not comfortable with the level of intensity, you can also communicate it with the Thai practitioner so the approach will be adjusted accordingly.

Here are some of the physical and mental benefits of Thai massage:

  • Relieves tension
  • Eases headaches
  • Reduces almost all types of back pain
  • Muscle pain relief
  • Alleviates joint pain and stiffness
  • Improves flexibility
  • Increases mobility and range of motion
  • Stimulates blood circulation and the lymphatic drainage system
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Boosts energy

Traditional Massage Overview and Benefits

Unlike Thai massage sessions done on the floor, traditional massages are performed on a massage table and is more of a passive form of massage. This means it does not require any movement on your part.

Different types of oils or lotions can also be used during traditional massage therapies to soothe and relax muscles and joints. The session usually starts with you lying on your back or stomach partially or fully naked while covered with a light sheet.

You will be asked by the massage therapist if there are any specific problem areas that should be focused on or avoided during the session. The practitioner will then customize the massage to address your specific pain points. Somehow, you will be in control of the area where your therapist will concentrate on– whether it’s your back, legs, arms, or neck.

In traditional massages, practitioners generally use their hands and forearms only, unlike in Thai massage where the elbows, knees, and feet are sometimes used.

Just like Thai massage, traditional massage also provides a lot of benefits to your body and mind. These include:

  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Enhances your immune system
  • Aids in the healing and recovery process after an injury or illness
  • Improves breathing
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Helps refresh the skin

Final Thoughts

Thai massage and traditional massages have been proven effective for promoting well-being and realigning your mind and body naturally.

Those who are getting a Thai massage for the first time are usually taken in for some pleasant surprises. By knowing the key differences between Thai massage techniques and the methods used in traditional massage, you will be able to prepare yourself better.

If you want to see for yourself and enjoy the many benefits of Thai massage, you might want to pay a visit or book a house call with the best Thai massage practitioner in New York– Thai Massage New York City. They offer a wide range of techniques such as Traditional Thai massage, Couples Thai, Four Hands, and Herbal Compress.

Not sure which one is best for you? Get in touch with us today and let our Thai massage expert help you explore your options!

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