When people become sober they will often end up trying things that they would never have even considered previously. This is one of the great joys of recovery – people get to expand their universe. One of the most common reasons for why the individual will be open to new ideas is that they can help the individual develop sobriety. One of the techniques that may be worth considering in this regard is Thai massage.
Thai massage (nuad Thai/นวดไทย) is a type of traditional medicine that uses deep massage and stressing to manipulate the body’s internal energy system. This practice is said to have been created by the Buddha’s physician over 2,500 years ago. Thai massage has been an important element of medical treatment in Thailand for many centuries, but in recent decades it has also become popular in other parts of the world. This type of massage is far more energetic than other types of massage, and it can involve a great deal of stretching. Some people describe the experience as being like doing yoga but with someone else doing most of the work. The therapist uses different parts of their own body when working with the client – they even use their feet.
There are a number of benefits associated with Thai massage including:
* It helps people relax
* It improves blood circulation around the body
* Can make people feel energized
* It is good for releasing stress from the body – it is particularly effective at releasing muscle tension.
* It helps to center the mind and body
* It is good for increasing flexibility
* Improves physical range of motion
* It helps to boost the immune system. This means that the individual will be less likely to fall ill because the body is better equipped to fight off infections.
* It may improve digestion
* It is a spiritual practice
Thai massage may be of value to people in recovery for a number of reasons including:
* It can help alleviate insomnia, and this can be a particular problem for people in early recovery. The ability to get a good nice sleep might also help reduce the feeling of mental fogginess that is associated with post acute withdrawal symptoms.
* It can help reduce feelings of restlessness by releasing trapped energy.
* Most people who enter recovery will be in poor physical condition. Thai massage can help these individuals return to full health.
* It is common for newly sober people to have a great deal of stress stored in their muscles and this can be experienced as tension and tightness. Thai massage can help release this stress.
* Those people who are new to recovery can experience a great deal of stress as they adjust to their new life. Thai massage may help them deal better with this discomfort.
* Thai massage can help people feel better mentally.
* Those people who choose a new life away from addiction may see this as taking a more spiritual path in life. Thai massage can be a good asset on any spiritual journey because this is why it was originally developed.
Those individuals who intend to undergo Thai massage can expect the following:
* Thai massage is usually conducted with the client lying on the floor – although in many western countries they will use a futon for comfort.
* A typical session will last about sixty minutes.
* The session will usually begin with the client lying on their back.
* The massage begins with gentle compressions and stretches – this helps to warm up the body and prepare it for deeper massage and deeper stretches.
* The therapist begins to put the body into different positions that are similar to yoga postures.
* There is usually no oil used during a Thai massage, and the client keep their clothes on, or changes into a loose-fitting shirt and pants.
There are some considerations that people need to take into account before choosing Thai massage including:
* It is best to stick with a Thai massage therapist who has been properly trained. This means asking questions about their qualifications.
* Pregnant women need to be cautious with this type of technique and only choose a therapist who has been trained to provide massage to women during pregnancy – if there is any doubt women should err on the side of caution. It is also advisable that they speak to their physician first of all.
* It is best to wear loose fitting clothes when going for a Thai massage. This will ensure comfort and make it easier for the masseuse to do their job.
* It is best not to eat directly before this type of treatment. Avoid eating a heavy meal within the 2 hours prior to the massage. A snack is ok and can keep hunger pangs away.
* Thai massage is not recommended for people who have recently undergone surgery.
* Those people who are prone to blood clots need to speak to their doctor before considering Thai massage. The danger would be that the massage might realize one of these clots.
* Wounds and bruises should be avoided during the massage. It is best to point these out to the therapist at the beginning of the session.
* Anyone who has an open wound or an infectious disease will need to seek advice before this type of treatment.
* It is usually not a good idea for people to have Thai massage if they are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
* If there is any discomfort during the session it is important to let the therapist know. It is normal to feel a bit of pulling and pressure during the session, but it shouldn’t become painful.
Some people are so impressed with the results of Thai massage that they decide to learn it for themselves. It is now possible to learn this technique in most countries around the world, but some even choose to do some massage courses in Thailand. This can be a wonderful experience and it is cheaper to learn in Thailand then in most western countries. The benefits of learning Thai massage in recovery:
* The individual gets to understand their own body much better.
* It can become a spiritual path.
* Some people will decide to make this their profession.
* It is a handy skill to have.
* Learning Thai massage offers the opportunity to meet new people. This can be important for those in early recovery who have needed to end relationships with their drinking or drug using friends.
* In order to stay sober the individual needs to have interesting hobbies – otherwise they risk boredom and this can be a relapse trigger. Thai massage can definitely be classified as an interesting hobby.