The Top 7 Health Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy
1. Unbeatable Stretching
TTM has been linked with Muay Thai for as long as the art has been around. Why? Well, the robust massage is excellent for limbering up limbs for athletic performance and relieving deep muscle tension afterwards Useful for both martial artists and stressed out civilians.
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 massage compared to treatment with relaxation tapes. Like Tai Chi and Yoga, TTM is as much a moving meditation as it is a massage.
3. Decreased Cortisol Levels
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.
4. Improved Circulation
Although not medically researched, 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, there is significant anecdotal and experimental evidence to support the claim.
5. Pain Relief
Patients suffering from scapula costal syndrome (SCS) showed a reduction in the pain suffered and overall patient satisfaction when compared to ultrasound therapies.
6. The Human Touch is Language
We instinctively respond to human touch from birth, and are attracted to it (or repelled from it, depending on circumstance) our entire lives. The touch of another human in a relaxing scenario devoid of the pressures of the real world is priceless. “touch strengthens relationships and is a marker of closeness,” he says. “It increases cooperation but is also an indicator of how strong bonds are between people,” – Michael Kraus, University of Illinois
7. Reprogramming the Mind
Massage increases delta wave frequency in our brains. This particular brain wave is closely associated with deep rest and sleep- I’m sure with less strenuous forms of massage you have experienced the sensation of nodding off on the table, as I have.
Although there has not been an EEG study conducted on Thai massage, I would hypothesise that brainwave activity changes through different stages of Thai massage and indeed different styles. The more relaxing the more theta and delta waves would be released, and the more active the more alpha and beta waves would be released.