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.
What is Thai Yoga massage?
April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Thai massage is the most famous Asian massage, more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage.
Thai massage is also called Thai yoga massage because the therapist uses hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work.
Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during treatment. People describe Thai massage as both relaxing and energizing.
Thai massage is usually done on a padded mat on the floor and no oil is applied, you are usually asked to wear comfortable clothing. Thai massage can be using oil if preferred which is know as Thai Oil Massage.
Many people find that Thai massage has the following benefits, relaxes, reduces stress, improves circulation, increases energy, increases flexibility, improves range of motion, centers the mind and body.
There are many health benefits to receiving massage therapy on a regular basis:
• Relaxes Muscles.
• Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion.
• Improves Posture.
• Improves Circulation.
• Relieves Tension-Related Headaches.
• Strengthens The Immune System.
• Enhances Post-Operative Rehabilitation.
• Improves Rehabilitation After Injury.
• Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from, strenuous workouts.
• Reduce spasms and cramping.
• Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
• Relieves Stress.
• Encourages Relaxation.
• Lowers Blood Pressure.
• Helps Manage Pain.
Massage is not recommended for certain people:
infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds.
immediately after surgery.
immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor.
prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage.
pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.
massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.
Don’t eat a heavy meal before the massage.
Allow your self 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms and you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.
Be sure that your massage therapist has your complete health history because people with certain conditions should not have a massage.
If you feel discomfort at any time, let your massage therapist know.
Silence: The Art of Being
March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Why do we always feel the need to be productive? Always having to be on the move or keep our mind occupied. It feels like any time there is silence we have to fill it with some thing, god forbid there be a moment of uncomfortable silence to reflect in. It almost appears as though we are scared to spend a moment in silence. As though we’re afraid of what we might come to realize during our silent contemplation.
To reflect on your own personal reality is one of the most effective ways to get inalignment with your goals, desires and passion. Most people are not even aware of what they want to experience in life; they’ve become caught up in being “comfortable” keeping busy in order to continue being “comfortable” that they forget that there is an entire universe of possibilities awaiting them.
Silence is the key. From the silence can we begin to see cleary what we want to create in our reality. We must have the idea before we can start to build. The art of contemplation breeds change. We humans are not meant to be like gerbils, running on the treadmill of life. We must be still and listen to ourselves for a change in order to surpass the lifestyle and experience of previous generations.
Can you sit still in complete silence with your eyes closed and your hands in your lap? Could you do that for 15 minutes a day for the rest of your life? Try! Do it and see what happens. I guarantee you will see change in your life if you do this. You will begin to build a relationship with yourself that you once had when you were achild, before your mind became poisened by preconcieved notions. But don’t beleive me, do it yourself!
This simple yet underestimated way of experiencing reality is one of the missing pieces to bringing a grander experience of life to every one. Being in completesilence alone or with other people allows you to just be. They should teach a course in school called “Silience: The Art of Being”. We must go back to our infant nature and stop trying to fool ourselves in to thinking that we have it all together and understand all aspects of reality.
If we allow the idea that “we have to always be productive” to be prominate in every moment of life it will only hinder our growth as human beings. We’ll never take a moment to look and say, hey wait a minute if we keep walking the path we’re walking its only going to create more and more suffering, maybe we should change course. With out moments of silence, with our breaks in unconscious mindpatterns, we won’t be able to co-create a new reality for all human beings to live in. We need to take that time and experience the simplicity silence.
Maybe we’ll all finally realize that we’re just children convinced that we’re adults.
Shane Lamotte has developed a desire for knowledge of Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, Quantum Physics and anything that involves the nature of reality. His vision includes creating music that gives its listeners a “wake-up call” to change society in a positive way. Go to http://www.livingillusion.com.
Compassion: the ultimate force
March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
My last blog entry concentrated on the mechanics of compassion: sort of like a step by step guide to enter the process and get things started.
The reason for this follow-up is to explain the real power of compassion, its strengths and its misconception.
Let’s begin with the latter. Compassion in popular culture is widely misunderstood. It is often presented as an instrument of weakness associated with a cartoon like depiction of all things essential to the “tree hugging hippy” movement.
Ok, let me say this clearly. Although compassion is a simple process, it is NOT an easy one. It’s the most difficult thing for a human-being to do.
Compassion is a solvent for two of the largest energy wasters for humankind: anger and guilt. This is its greatest strength. It allows us to look at another person and ourself with detachment and without getting caught in the all too familiar downward spiral of hatred associated with anger and guilt. Furthermore, compassion enables you to liberate yourself from the results of ill practices of others and to not get caught up in their misery.
Let me illustrate this with a short and simple example:
Think of the last time you’ve done something which would be considered outright hurtful. Some people felt nothing, in which case they would probably not be reading these words. Others felt guilty afterwards, and maybe so for a long time. This is the case for a large portion of readers. Although with time we tend to “forget” a specific guilt, they don’t really go away. Ever so often they will reappear and give us that oh so annoying pinch in the stomach combine with a mental note such as “dam, I wish I hadn’t done that”. Can you feel it? Do you see the energy being drained away, as if it was stolen? The awkward truth in this is that we do it to ourselves. Yes, someone else maybe responsible for an unfortunate event in your life but ultimately, YOU decide weither or not it deserves any energy and how much so.
In the practice of compassion, we adress these self damaging behaviours by bringing them in our awareness, an thus makes it easier to avoid doing hurtful things in the future since we become more aware.
Imagine all the energy not spent on hatred, anger, guilt and bad habits but instead spent on constructive things in your life such as work, family, relationships and education. This is why compassion is ultimately a force, one when combined with the regular practice of meditation, will open a path of both peace and immense productivity in your life.
The Mechanics of Compassion
February 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
As the subject of my last blog post, I addressed Letting Go. But in order to truly embark on this path of trust, one must practice compassion.
Compassion; we’ve heard that expression used in various situations and used in abondance. But what does it mean in it’s essence?
A real compassionate individual is someone who’s in the constant and perpetual mode on compassion. So how do we define compassion? It’s basically regarding all living things with loving kindness… All of them of what he or she may have done. Indeed, not an easy task at hand; however, that is exactly why the practice of compassion will simultaneously be both the most difficult challenge your soul will ever encounter as well as the most rewarding.
In order to comprehend compassion, let’s brake it down into steps or its mechanism:
- Look at others with humility. Let’s face it, we’re only human beings. This means that we ARE imperfect and DO make mistakes. All of us are made up of characteristics which we could qualify as either good, neutral and bad. But essentially, we’re all just trying to understand life and go through its several hoops and hurdles. Some of us fair better than others at this. Some will encounter great difficulties and may partake in selfish or dangerous acts. Some are simply sick… Their minds suffer from some sort of disorder and these individuals won’t see the world as will a more balanced individual. Therefore, it’s important to continuously keep this notion in check: he/she is just a human being.
- This is your world, and you belong to it. You therefore have an impact on it and are capable of doing great things. This means that you’re connected with everyone else in the universe as we are all part of the same energy. See others being part of the same greater entity to which you belong to.
- Forgive. Knowing that others are simple human beings helps us to forgive. In forgiveness, the main dynamic is letting go of something which is completely useless to us: grudges. In fact, a grudge will only make you sick. Forgiving also means forgiving yourself, that’s right. You’ve also caused pain in this world and even appear cruel and hateful to others.
- The final step: living with compassion. Be aware that before actually living with compassion, you’ll be it’s student. Which means you’ll make mistakes as old patterns will appear especially at the beginning. Keep in mind that yanking your thoughts from that old familiar and comfortable spot will take practice. When ever hatred or anger arises, simply observe the emotion. Then think of the 2 previous steps. Deconstruct the emotion and simply observe it’s parts. Observe what happens in your body when you do feel these negative emotions. This cycle will dissolve them and with time the process will become easier. After several months of this, you’ll feel compassion as the central code of conduct of your life.
Letting Go: Allowing the Flow
February 3, 2012 § 2 Comments
I admire people who live their lives with the conscious certainty of what they are doing is right for them. When they get sick, they recuperate quickly. When they’re employment disappears, they turn around with freelance work. When they loose something, they brush it off with a smile. In other words, they don’t get attached to things they can’t control.
Sadly, most people, specially the ones living in modern societies, have developed a form of addiction to the concepts of “must hold on to” and “must have”.
But sadly, many of us thread along life, holding on so dearly to stuff, people and feelings, ever so scared of being naked and perpetually feeding on poison. Why? Because that’s all we know and we can be so terrified of the unknown.
Consequently, we become under stress, continuously forcing our souls in a state of depravation. After all, own can feel satisfied if we always feel hunger?
Imagine a life long gruge for a certain person because he or she did something which hurt you in your past. In this particular case, we could say that this holding on to this negative feeling gives the “victim” (you) an illusion of power: “you’ve hurt me in the past and I’ll never forgive you for that… So there, take that!”. Meanwhile, the feeling will have eaten at the you… Slowly, but surely, the gruge will have fermented and will have managed to create all sorts of offshoots. If the “perpetrator” happened to be a blond girl for example, you could possibly have lived all your life with a constant distrust of women with the same appearance.
Another common example are cases where someone is living a relationship which is terribly toxic for them. They hold on again so dearly since that’s what they know. It’s part of their comfort zone. In the case of a marital bond, letting go would be to end the relationship in order for you and your former spouse to find suitable partners. Often, holding on will blind us. We get so tied up in that one thing we think we need to keep so badly that it prevents us from seeing the better option.
I very funny thing happened to me recently. I was in a small town in Thailand and had to catch a cross-Pacific flight in Bangkok. I had asked a friend of mine to drive me to the bus station in order for me to hope on a bus, get to Bangkok, take a cab and ultimately reach the airport. So I get to my friends house with a bit of spare time on my hands and proceeded to load his car with my luggage. When the time came to leave, my friend couldn’t find his keys! I waited in the car for 20 minutes as he frantically looked for them. As the clock kept ticking, I came to realize that this was just not going to happen. Instead of getting nervous, I remained calm and opted for a cab ride all the way to Bangkok airport. Now the really strange thing is that IF my friend would have found his keys, I would have missed my flight. The traffic that afternoon being really bad.
Ultimately, letting go is the neutral equivalent of one of the most positive words in the human language: TRUST. Trust yourself, trust the universe (or God if your wish), trust life. It liberates us from the anguish and the hate as well as creating the space within our soul in order to enjoy the moment and direct our energy towards the important aspects of our life. Trusting life allows us to bathe in the mystery of the universe and enjoy it’s infinite wisdom.
Meditation: nothingness in a cloud
July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment
To stop thinking… What a bliss. What an extraordinary gift everyone can give to his or herself everyday, at any moment, may it be only for a short time.
Meditation has truly changed my life. It made me realize that we have so much more power than we believe.
The simple act of quieting the mind will bring powerful changes to your life, ones that you may not even had suspected as possible. You will start to perceive yourself and the outside world in a completely different way. Your universe becomes peaceful and it seems that nothing could bother you. At least, this is what to me after months of practice.
Like most of you, my life was driven by moments of fear and stress. Even if my native Thailand is a country with a long tradition of meditation, I still ran around and regularly fell victim to my own thoughts. That’s right, I was my own worst enemy; after all, we are the ones in charge.
I’ve met some people who strongly suspected that meditation numbs the mind; being a replacement to alcohol or a drug. That it makes you dull, weak and naive. But nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation releases the person who practices it regularly. It makes you shift your energy and focus from the time and energy wasters in your life to the constructive purposes. You become sharp as well as incredibly focused as all the energy you use to spread and squander on trivialities is now under your control. You stop running after all the red balls which come in your direction.
Meditation has also been extremely beneficial in my massage practice. When I give a Thai massage class, I always prepare my students by teaching them own to meditate. The reason for this is that massage is so much more than a simple physical act. An expert therapist can feel where are the trouble spots in a person’s body, and that, by simple touching.
I would love to hear about the experiences of others and discuss techniques with like-minded individuals.