The Benefits of Thai Massage for Athletes

Posted by Yvonne Sanche on Thursday, April 7, 2016 Under: Thai Massage

Recently I was fortunate enough to enroll in a level 1 and 2 Thai Massage course hosted through Banyan Thai Massage. I have always been interested in this form of massage as it is vastly different than the deep tissue massage we all know and love. Movement type therapies have always interested me, as I find it brings a greater awareness of where restrictions are within the body. To paraphrase; “movement is medicine”.

Thai massage is often referred to as “lazy man’s yoga”. The therapist moves the recipient through passive stretches that look a lot like yoga poses. It also incorporates rhythmic rocking and range of motion work. There is also “Sen” energy line work that can be incorporated into the massage. Thai massage is normally done on a mat on the floor which allows for the best leverage and balance for the practitioner, and the recipient is fully clothed.

There are many benefits to Thai massage especially for athletes. Passive stretching helps adjust the skeletal structure, which increases flexibility and restores movement. Gentle pressure and compressions are used to relax tense muscles, stimulate internal organs, and calm the nervous system. Thai massage can calm the overactive athletic mind, increasing their level of health and vitality. The list of benefits can be endless, so here are a few key ones.

Muscular System and Connective Tissue

  • Improves mobility and flexibility
  • Promotes circulation
  • Improves immune system – ridding of metabolic waste

Circulatory System

  • Increases circulation to localized and general areas.  
  • It is known to help reduce blood pressure and lower heart rate.

Immune System

  • Increases lymphatic fluid movement.
  • Helps to ease swelling in legs and arms caused by fluid retention.

Respiratory System

  • Relaxes muscles of respiration, promotes proper breathing
  • Passive stretching adjusts skeletal structure, helping the alignment of rib cage during expansion.

Nervous System

  • Promotes the parasympathetic nervous system – rest and digest.

This modality is an excellent complement to any athlete’s restorative plan by assisting the body to return to a state of homeostasis. After rigorous training, stresses over time can lead to overreaching and overtraining in athletes if not properly managed. Just like training for a sport, one should make rest and recovery a habit. Stretching, yoga, massage are all great examples and are all easy to incorporate.


Train smart. Recover faster.

In : Thai Massage