Thai Massage: What’s The Ideal Frequency?
May 9, 2018 § Leave a comment
Can receiving a Thai massage too often be a detriment to your health? Can you damage your muscle, ligaments and nerves by receiving frequent massages? Apart from the known contraindications, and when performed appropriately by a trained therapist, Thai massages have almost no side effects. Also, the question of the ideal frequency is rarely addressed, but what about it?
Well-being ad infinitum
Do you have the time (and the means) to get a Thai massage almost every day, but are worried about possible side effects? Common sense dictates that relaxing massages, beauty massages or body health massages can be practiced and received at will. And the consensus echoes this: Thai massages as well as other ones can even become a daily experience. This is true as long as you don’t use accessories, such as oils, during the session. Let’s note that the most miraculous essential oils can be toxic in large quantities. So, yes to long sessions, but you have to be reasonable about using oils. This is great news for fans of Thai massages since the traditional form of it is practiced dry, without the need for any oils.
Want to maximize the benefits of your massage sessions without multiplying the weekly sessions? Know that the effects of a massage session can last up to a month. To maintain the body and prolong the feeling of well-being, you can allow yourself regular massages without worry. Thai massages are known to give real boosts to your blood flow. In the long run, they also have a beneficial effect on the immune system.
The right rhythm for a therapeutic massage
It becomes a bit more complicated when massage sessions are practiced for the intention of being curative. The deep muscles and tissue work should not be performed more than four times a day. This is because the body needs time to respond to a treatment; in other words, your muscles need rest in order to recover. With therapeutic massages, treatment methods can sometimes be very painful. In this case, the frequency of the sessions can be reduced. The number of minimal sessions for a therapy can not be fixed. Often, therapists schedule fairly close sessions at the beginning of a treatment, when signs of progress are usually slow. The pace of treatment is reduced as soon as you and your therapist witness encouraging results. Your massage sessions are increasingly spaced as the healing progresses. In some cases, the therapist recommends maintenance sessions after stopping the treatment. They take place quarterly or twice a year.
What about muscle, ligament and nerve damage resulting from frequent massages?
We expose our body to injury on a continuous basis. In fact, most of us have endured a debilitating pulled muscle by simply doing the wrong move. Having said this, messages of any sort practiced by unqualified individuals could result in damage. This is demonstration of how both sensitive and fragile the human body is. Remember that Thai massages not only work on your muscles but also your nervous system, which is the main source of your strength. Knowing this knowledge should encourage you to choose an experienced Thai massage therapist with a spotless reputation. If you decide to receive frequent and regular treatments, we highly recommend that you stick with one therapist. She will work with you in order to tailor your massage sessions with your body’s intricacies.
How Thai Massage Helps Your Nervous System
March 20, 2018 § 1 Comment
The nervous system regulates all other systems of the body. Using Thai Massage to calm the nerves indirectly improves the functioning of all your organs.
Our autonomic nervous system, which controls the automatic functions of our body such as our heartbeat and digestion, consists of two types of fibers:
- The sympathetic nervous system
- The parasympathetic nervous system
The brain controls these two systems.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated when we face an emergency, shock or trauma. Our body automatically gets into the “fight or flight” mode:
- Your breathing accelerates to provide more oxygen to the blood
- Your heart rate and blood pressure increase to carry more blood to the muscles
- Muscles contract to be able to cope with the action
- The adrenal glands secrete adrenaline into the bloodstream to strengthen and maintain the activity of the sympathetic nervous system
- The digestive system slows down, to save energy
Meanwhile the brain also triggers a chemical reaction: stress hormones are secreted, the main one being cortisol, which gives the body more energy.
When stress is eliminated, the brain switches to the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system involved in the normal functioning of our body systems. When the parasympathetic nervous system is triggered, the sympathetic nervous system begins to rest.
During periods of low stress, you experience the following:
- Your heart rate and blood pressure go down
- Your blood pressure stabilizes
- Your muscles relax
- You digestion goes back to normal
Your body’s response to stress is originally designed for a short time, or to deal with an external (physical) situation. However, chronic stress (psychological or emotional) is more and more frequent nowadays. Financial problems, long-term illness in the family, or unsatisfactory work can all be causes of chronic stress.
During chronic stress, the brain can no longer trigger the activities of the parasympatic nervous system, and the body’s capacity to return to the state of rest and repair is greatly impaired or stops altogether:
- Cortisol decreases the functions of the immune system
- The sympathetic nervous system maintains high heart rate
- Your blood pressure rises
- Your muscles remain tense and painful as they are loaded with lactic acid and because of limited fluid circulation
- Your digestive system is stops working
- Your immune system can no longer fight infections or illness
- Your adrenal glands are exhausted
- Your body becomes more sensitive to cardiovascular disease
- Your muscles and hormonal glands get tired because of constant stimulation, which can lead to stomach ulcers
So how to relax the nervous system? Can massage help?
When you receive a massage, “touch” messages are sent to your brain. Your brain then decides if the contact is positive. It does so by comparing it to similar experiences from your past.
If the touch is perceived as a positive experience, the parasympatic nervous system is activated and cortisol levels are reduced. The body returns to its state of rest and restoration.
As you receive massage therapy, the following occurs:
- Breathing and blood circulation slow down
- Anxiety decreases
- Your stomach may even gurgle as a sign that your digestive system is functioning normally again
In addition to having an indirect effect on the autonomic nervous and hormonal systems, a Thai Massage also has a direct effect on the body’s systems that have suffered from chronic stress:
- Blood circulation is stimulated, improving nutrient transport and waste drainage
- The touch received through massage stimulates and stretches muscle fibers to relax them and relieve aches and pains. A Thai Massage also removes lactic acid and other wastes to leave room for oxygen and nutrients required by the muscles.
After a treatment, you will feel more relaxed, with less tension, and your sleep will be improved. Your body as well as your mind will begin recovering from the effects of the prolonged stress response.
Regular massage treatments can help prevent chronic stress and promote long-term balance.