Thai massage: what is it and what are the benefits?

Have you heard about Thai massage?

It is very likely that the vast majority of people have a distorted view of the ancient technique. Contrary to popular belief, the procedure has no sexual connotation, but medicinal purposes.

Check now more information about the technique that encourages health and well-being.

What is Thai massage?

Created over 2,000 years ago, Thai massage, also known as Thai massage, is a body therapeutic technique that aims to balance and well-being both physically and mentally.

The massage was created as a way to release the accumulated energy, through the vital energy points of the body.

It is believed to have been founded by Jivaka Kumar Baccha, an Indian doctor very close to Buddha. He is considered in Thailand as the father of medicine.

In Thai philosophy, on which the practice is based, it is believed that in the human body there are several lines of energy that govern life. To ensure the individual’s mental and physical balance, pressure and stretching movements are performed under these lines.

Although massage has been attributed to erotic stereotype over time – due to the close contact between the masseuse’s body and the client – the procedure is related to health and well-being.

It is important to note that the activity is considered a medicinal practice, relaxation being only a consequence. Its medical purpose is related to the relief and treatment of pain and illness.

Massage is part of Traditional Thai Medicine (MTT) and has similarities to Yoga.

Read more: Massage therapy: what it is and what are the benefits

Is Thai massage tantric massage?

No. Despite being popularly associated with a sexual modality, Thai massage is not related to tantric massage.

The first difference is in relation to the purpose. While tantric massage aims at self-knowledge and expansion of sensitivity, redistributing the sexual energies of the body and identifying new points of pleasure, Thai massage aims at well-being and physical and mental balance.

Another big difference is in the act of massage. While the Thai massage is performed with the individual in clothing, the tantric is performed without the use of clothing. The first one does not use oils during the massage, while the second one does.

The movements are also distinct. Thai massage performs stretching and pressure movements on the body, using the hands, feet and knees as an instrument. Tantric, on the other hand, uses subtle touches of fingers throughout the body.

Is Thai massage yoga?

No. Despite using part of the philosophy and movements of yoga, Thai massage is a unique modality.

Yoga does not require two individuals to be performed, but it can be practiced individually. Thai massage, on the other hand, requires the presence of a masseuse for it to occur correctly.

Another point is in relation to meditation. Thai massage does not have a main focus on breathing techniques – although they are used – Yoga, on the other hand, promotes an intense process of controlling inspiration and exhalation.

Who can do it?

The procedure is suitable for all people, regardless of age and physical condition. Each person needs to be assessed individually so that their needs and limitations are taken into account.

People with structural problems, such as scoliosis , in post-surgical conditions or with severe joint or muscle pain, need an individual assessment.

How Thai massage is done: movements

The massage is performed on the ground, usually under a mat or firm mattress.

Both the professional and the patient must be wearing comfortable clothes, which facilitate the movement when making the movements.

The duration of the session can vary between 1 and 2 hours and consists of using the hands, elbows, knees and feet to stretch, bend and press areas of the entire body. The greater the pressure required, the greater the set of members used to carry it out.

At first, the professional positions himself on his knees in front of the person who is going to receive the massage, who is lying on the floor. Then he presses the entire length of the legs with his hands, from the feet to the waist.

Throughout the massage, other movements are performed. One of them is when the massage therapist stands and positions the patient’s leg at 90º. Soon afterwards, he stretches, pushing the individual’s leg towards the head.

Another movement that is also characteristic of Thai Massage is the stretching of the spine. The patient sits down and the massage therapist pulls the person’s arms back and rests their feet on their back, performing the stretch.

Although some people currently use oils and creams during practice, in the original massage the use is not made.

Benefits of Thai massage

Massage has the purpose of providing well-being and health, thus, the movements provide several benefits for the human body.

Some of them are:

  • Energy balance;
  • Muscle relaxation;
  • Improved physical endurance;
  • Strengthening of muscles;
  • Pain relief;
  • Relief from tension and anxiety;
  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system;
  • Stimulating blood circulation.

Cautions and contraindications

Despite having benefits, Thai massage may not be recommended in some situations. Some of them are:

  • After surgery or injury;
  • When skin diseases and / or injuries are present;
  • Cardiac and vascular problems;
  • Osteoporosis.

Massage after meals is not recommended and pregnant women should always consult a doctor before performing the procedure.

The practice with trained professionals is also an extremely important care, because when not done correctly, it can trigger problems for the body. Therefore, always look for a qualified professional.


Thai massage is not well known, but it helps in maintaining good body health. Did you already know this technique? Tell us in the comments!

The Healthy Minute brings other information about health and well-being . Check out!

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