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Top 6 Benefits of Thai Massage After Working Out

Taylor Machuca-Koniw
Top 6 Benefits of Thai Massage After Working Out

As a competitor, athlete, or fitness enthusiast, you should be incorporating recovery sessions into your training schedule. One of the best forms of sports recovery is massage therapy. Massage is used to soften and loosen tight muscles, improve flexibility & joint health, and support healthy blood circulation - all of which help your body to recover faster after intense exercise or physical activity.

Some types of massage, such as Thai massage, are better suited for workout recovery. This ancient form of massage focuses on mobility drills and yoga-inspired stretches to relax the body and improve athletic performance.

What is Thai massage?

Thai massage (also referred to as ‘assisted yoga’ or ‘Thai yoga massage’), is an ancient Indian healing practice dating back 2,500-7,000 years. 

Thai massage uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques to improve energy flow around the body. Unlike traditional massage where you lay down on a massage table, Thai massage has the client lying fully clothed on a yoga mat on the ground as they guide them through a series of stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques. Some traditional massage techniques, such as acupressure and joint mobilisation are also used along with common yoga poses. 

What to look out for

Before getting a Thai massage, be aware that it isn’t considered a gentle form of massage. You will be having to do some deep stretching which, sometimes, can feel unpleasant if you’re muscles are very sore and tight. However, as you relax into the sensations, you will find your body becoming more loose and fluid.

It’s important to choose a qualified massage therapist to perform Thai massage. They will know how to treat you to avoid any injuries or discomfort and make your overall experience pleasant.

Benefits of Thai Massage

1. Boost in energy

Thai massage enhances energy flow and can increase your physical energy levels.

In ancient practice, Thai massage reduces energy blocks in the body caused by tight, tensed muscles. These blockages reduce the flow of life energy resulting in fatigue, illness and pain. After just one session of Thai massage, you will feel rejuvenated and experience an overall boost in alertness, mood, and energy.

2. Pain relief and recovery

If you’ve hit the gym hard this week, you’re most likely experiencing some pain and stiffness caused by tight and overworked muscles. If that’s the case, book in for a Thai massage. 

Thai massage can be effective for pain relief and increased post-workout recovery. This is because the pressure applied to the soft tissue in the body helps repair damaged muscles by increasing fresh oxygen supply and removing toxins that have built up in the tissue. After a massage session, you should feel a significant improvement in pain helping you to get back to the gym faster and more refreshed. 

3. Improves flexibility and range of motion

If your lack of flexibility or range of motion is interfering with your sporting performance, Thai massage can help.

Thai massage increases flexibility by reducing muscle tightness and pain as well as repairing adhesions in the tissue. 

In an experiment involving thirty-four soccer players, researchers found that daily Thai massage over a 10-day period significantly improved players’ performance and ability to do sit-and-reach exercises. It also improved their speed and agility while on the field. 

4. Relieves joint stiffness and pain

Thai massage improves the circulation of the fluid on joints - known as synovial fluid - to reduce joint friction and pain. The gradual stretching on and around the joints using joint mobilisation techniques eases pain and tension, improving joint function. 

Athletes who do a lot of repetitive movements or who have suffered from repetitive overuse injuries such as tennis elbow may find relief by getting Thai massage applied to these areas. 

5. Improves blood circulation

Better blood flow is important for athletes as it means increased circulation and distribution of good nutrients and oxygen to the body. With more oxygen flowing to your muscles, you will find that rest time between sets or training days is reduced as your muscles are recovering faster. It also means you can move more weight/run for longer and faster. 

Because Thai massage improves blood circulation, it can also improve overall cardiovascular health - reducing the risk of heart disease.

6. Reduces headaches

Post-workout headaches are common if you’re dehydrated, have moved a lot of weight or overworked yourself, or have performed incorrect movement patterns. If you’re prone to headaches during or after workouts and they’re affecting your performance then consider Thai massage.

Thai massage stimulates blood and lymph circulation, relaxing the sympathetic nervous system. The very act of performing deep, yoga stretches and using controlled breathing during a Thai massage relaxes the mind and reduces the stress response that can trigger a headache. 

Thai massage offers multiple benefits for active people. It’s extremely effective at increasing energy and mobility along with reducing pain and tension. Getting a regular Thai massage will help you to shorten recovery time after intense exertion and improve your performance in the gym or on the sporting field. With a combination of yoga postures and acupressure, a Thai massage is perfect for unwinding sore, tired muscles and getting rid of any blockages that may be hindering your energy flow. 

Taylor Machuca-Koniw
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