The benefits of Thai Massage ~ Caitlin Moffat

Over the past 10 years or so, Thai massage has gradually been making it’s way to the UK, and for me as a therapist that is fantastic!
It is becoming increasingly popular among clinics and spa’s all over the UK and if you have ever received a Thai massage you'll understand why!

 

Thai massage comes in many different forms, and is practiced in many different ways, depending on the therapist.
Traditional Thai massage is different from regular massage because it is performed with the client on a mat on the floor rather than a massage couch/bed.
There is also a lot more active & passive stretching

- Active stretching is when the client contributes to the stretch

- Passive stretching is when the therapist is performing the stretch on the client with no help from the               client

They also work along Thai SEN Lines, or energy lines which are believed to be channels in which the energy flows around the body. So by working along these lines you are helping move energy round the body and keep it flowing. 

Thai massage is perfect for people who suffer from range of motion issues, stiff joints, body builders, athletes, anyone who has mobility issues and may be unable or uncomfortable on the couch, etc.

For those who have range of motion issues, joint stiffness & mobility issues, Thai massage is more suited because of the stretching. The stretches will be used to gently loosen tightened muscles that may be lying over joints and causing pain, stiffness, swelling and lack of mobility. It can also lengthen the muscles to their original state helping the results last longer.

For those who are very active; such as athletes, body builders, personal trainers etc, the end goal (usually) is to gain muscle tone, and in doing so you increase the muscle mass. As the muscles increase loss or restricted flexibility can occur along with lessened range of motion and possibly mobility, compared to those with lesser muscle mass, because the muscle fibers have increased in width and breadth. Again, the stretching will help lengthen and loosen the muscles returning them to there original state.

Much research has been done into benefits of thai massage and how it can help people and there are several conditions which can specifically benefit from receiving Thai Massage:

  • Muscle strain
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress
  • Migraines
  • Postural issues
  • Inactive patients (elderly with limited movement)
  • Chronic joint disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's
  • Neurological diseases
  • Metabolism & Circulation disorders
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Menstrual pains
  • Digestion disorders

 

In Thailand research was done on patients who suffer from scapulocostal syndrome (SCS) to see  how the pain, muscle tension and anxiety are affected by Thai massage. Scapulocostal Syndrome  is a musculoskeletal pain syndrome that affects the shoulder blade. The pain can affect the upper and posterior parts of the shoulder but can also be uncomfortable in the head, neck, arms and chest areas. 

Only 20 subjects were selected and were aged between 18 & 50 years old. The patients said to suffer from “spontaneous scapular pain that lasted more than 12 weeks, and had at least one trigger point in the scapular region”

The 20 subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups. One group received “30-min session of Traditional thai massage (TTM) for  9 sessions over a period of 3 weeks around the scapula region” The same therapist was used for all 9 treatments.

The other 10 were assigned to a group which received only “30-min sessions of heat pack and ultrasound therapy (for 10 min) for 9 sessions over 3 weeks”

 

From the research the results indicated that the patients received more long term relief from the TTM group than the non-massage group. There was no difference between the two groups concerning any immediate pain relief but as long term solution Thai massage can greatly reduce pain, tension and anxiety in patients who suffer from pain in the back, neck and shoulders.

“We may therefore conclude that the treatment by TTM among patients with SCS was superior to the PT”

 

To read the full article please click on the following link:

http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=14574

 

Massage Therapy and Hand Massage

Massage Therapy and Hand Massage, By Caitlin Moffat.

As a massage therapist my hands are constantly under pressure. They can get sore, stiff & sometimes painful if I don’t do anything to treat them. I have found that a simple 10/15 minute hand massage a day can help dramatically. A hand massage has many benefits (some of which you wouldn’t think of)

  • increase grip strength
  • ease pain & tension in joints & tendons
  • reduce stiffness in fingers and wrist
  • improve circulation
  • increase flexibility
  • improve range of motion

  

Hand pain is a very common but much ignored issue that up to 75% of the British public suffer from. People ignore it or take paracetemol to cover it and continue with their day, but what if there was a simple solution that could have staggering effects?

Dr Tiffany Field, Ph.D. is the Director of The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School conducted tests on the participants at the medical school in order to find out if hand massage could help.

“The researchers recruited 46 participants from the University of Miami Medical School who complained of hand pain regardless of the cause, such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome etc. Most noted that there hand pain was related to computer use”

The average age of the participants was 50 years old and were all of a different race. A mixture of Hispanic, Caucasian & african-American.

 

“They were randomly assigned to the massage therapy group or the controlled group”

 

The tests were carried out as follows;

  1.  they received 15 minutes of hand massage once a week for four weeks
  2.  they were also taught a simple home routine to follow
  3.  a record was kept of each time they performed the self massage routine and were called by researchers once a week to check their progress

 

The results were that the participants in the massage group had decreased pain, increased grip strength, decreased anxiety & decreased depression.

Hand massage doesn’t have to be done by a professional, there are plenty of self-massage routines out there on the internet. You can have a look at a video on Youtube, or use a website with a routine.

I found a great one to use, www.livestrong.com/article/12454-do-selfmassage-/.

Now I have tried this routine over the past week to see for myself if it helped and it did!

For me this not only made my hands feel better but also my wrists & arms felt more relaxed and at ease. 

 

If you click on the link above and follow the routine yourselves, let us know your opinion on self massage, did it ease tension in your wrists? did it decrease joint stiffness?

This routine is not only for therapists like myself, those who work in banks and offices who do a lot of typing, answering phone calls, writing, those who suffer from repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel, this is a great routing for everyone!