In short, IT'S AMAZING!!
But if you need a detailed list, here it is.
Thai Bodywork is performed on the floor on a mat, and the client wears or brings comfortable clothes that allow for movement. This system of compressions and assisted stretching was developed in Thailand, and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is sometimes referred to in the Western world as Assisted Yoga. The rejuvenating and energizing effects are unmistakable. No oils are used in Thai Bodywork.
6 Provable Benefits of Thai Massage
1. Unbeatable Stretching
Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM) has been linked with Muay Thai for as long as the art has been around. Why? Well, the robust bodywork is excellent for limbering up limbs for athletic performance and relieving deep tension afterwards - useful for both martial artists and stressed out civilians. Being able to relax to your fullest capacity allows the practitioner to position your body in its most optimal posture for increased skeletal alignment, and only then begins to stretch you, thus maximizing the potential for that stretch. Recipients often report that they are surprised how far they can stretch while receiving Thai Bodywork.
2. Improved Mental Well-Being
It may seem obvious but having a physically relaxing experience is good for the mind. (A 2004 study found significant improvement in the mental well-being of patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain when treated with Thai Bodywork compared to treatment with relaxation tapes.) Like Tai Chi and Yoga, Thai Bodywork is as much a moving meditation as it is physically therapeutic and healing. Through deep-breathing and intentional surrendering of control, the recipient is able to experience the mental freedom that comes from letting go and being in the moment.
On a more tangible level, and most likely a contributing factor to the post-massage sense of well-being is the boost to serotonin and reduction in cortisol found in people who have received massages (cortisol being a stress hormone, serotonin being the happy hormone). A clear positive result.
Therapeutic bodywork has also been proven to increase delta wave frequency in our brains. This particular brain wave is closely associated with deep rest and sleep. The more relaxation you experience, the more theta and delta waves are present, and the more active you are, the more alpha and beta waves are.
3. Improved Circulation
Although largely unresearched, it has long been held that TTM benefits the circulation of blood in our bodies. This is said to aid in the reduction of migraines through the use of acupressure. While the invisible energy lines that are supposed to move through our bodies are hotly contested by medical research (mainly because we can't see them, or prove they are there), there is significant anecdotal and experimental evidence to support the claim. Now acupuncture and cupping are growing forms of energy-related techniques that are being endorsed and recommended by physicians. Thai Bodywork is surely soon to follow.
4. Pain Relief
More and more studies are popping up showing how much benefit Thai Bodywork has for people who suffer from pain. All types of pain. From fibromyalgia, to arthritis, to recovering from injuries. Headaches, stomach discomfort, sciatica. It all is greatly reduced by Thai Bodywork. In one study, patients suffering from scapula costal syndrome (SCS), which causes a grating, grinding, or popping sensation accompanied by soreness and pain around the shoulder blade, showed a reduction in the pain suffered and overall patient satisfaction when compared to ultrasound therapies. Click Here...
5. Energetic Reboot Through Touch
We need human touch. There is no question about it. Many Americans have fallen into a pattern of habits fueled by a society that overvalues the individual. In many cases, not enough emphasis is put on the power and value of community, companionship, love and relaxation. Here's an article that talks more about that. Click Here...
But on the more physiological level, it is scientifically proven there is an energetic exchange that happens every time you touch another person. Information and electricity are exchanged when you receive treatment from an individual who is trained to tap into and understand these subtle communications, and the benefits are remarkably cathartic.
6. Behavioral Treatment for Autism
I found this study illuminating. Autistic children generally experience much higher levels of anxiety and stress. Traditional Thai Bodywork has been shown to provide some degree of improvement to stereotypical behaviors in autistic children. Click Here...
The autonomic nervous system is divided into the sympathetic system, which is often identified with the fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic, which is identified with what's been called the relaxation response... — the deep breathing, the stretching, the movements that release muscle tension, the relaxed focus on being present in your body — [initiates] a process that turns the fight-or-flight system off and the relaxation response on. That has a dramatic effect on the body. The heartbeat slows, respiration decreases, blood pressure decreases. The body seizes this chance to turn on the healing mechanisms. ~Richard Faulds