9 Ways Thai Massage Can Help You Recover from Addiction
By Paul G.
A bit of pampering is going to make your stay Hope Rehab Center all the more enjoyable, but this is not the only reason we offer Thai massage. Nuad Thai (as it is called here in Thailand) is also an effective therapy that eases any lingering withdrawal symptoms, increases energy levels, releases deep stress, and promotes relaxation. You can find an in-depth explanation of the benefits of Thai Massage further down.
The Origins of Thai Massage
Nuad Thai has been used as a medical treatment in Thailand for centuries. It is believed to have been invented in India around 600 BC by the personal physician of the Buddha – his name was Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha. Thai massage is closely linked with the traditional postures of yoga – in fact, it is often referred to as Thai Yoga massage. The main difference is that it’s the masseuse’s job to move your body into the correct position. The practice arrived in Thailand at the same time as Buddhism, and it was incorporated as a key ingredient of local medicine.
Thai Massage removes blockages in energy lines and helps the body return to balance
Thai massage has not only been influenced by Indian Ayurvedic medicine but also Chinese medicine. The treatment is based on the idea that ill-health occurs due to blockages in energy lines (called ‘sen’ lines) that run through the body. It is the goal of the therapist to massage and manipulate the body in order to release this energy. Once the energy is free to move again, the body returns to balance, and this is what it means to be in good health.
Thai Massage has become popular around the world
Thai Massage remains popular in Thailand despite the availability of western medicine, and thousands of foreign visitors come here every year to study it. There is a high demand for this therapy around the world, and this interest appears to be growing. Wat Pho in Bangkok is one of the oldest schools of Thai massage, and it continues to a key centre for this discipline right up to today.
General Health Benefits of Thai Massage
Thai Massage is a particularly good treatment for anyone in early recovery, but there are also plenty of general health benefits such as:
9 of the most frequently reported benefits of Thai Massage
1. Thai Massage Eased My Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms occur as our body adapts to functioning without alcohol or drugs. The level of discomfort associated with this process will vary depending on a number of factors such as:
There are things that can be done in rehab to ease our withdrawal symptoms and one option is Thai massage. One benefit of this therapy is it relaxes our body so we are no longer fighting our withdrawals. This can lead to a significant improvement in how we experience the process as it is this struggle to escape discomfort that makes the body tense and thus worsens the symptoms.
Furthermore, Thai massage encourages lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system transports fluids around the body while also removing toxins. If fluid becomes stagnant anywhere in the system, it can lead to health problems. Thai massage encourages lymphatic drainage, and this will help your body to heal.
Thai massage can also improve any post-acute withdrawal symptoms such as metal fogginess (see Thai massage for sleep below).
2. Thai Massage Helped Me Release Stress from My Body
Many of us turn to alcohol or drugs initially as a way to deal with what can feel like an overwhelming amount of stress in our lives. Using these mind-altering chemicals won’t solve your problems, but they will numb your emotions temporarily. The stress is still there waiting for you when you are sober again along with the consequences of substance abuse.
Thai Massage practitioners believe that all that stress the people try to hide from using drugs is pushed down deep inside the body. This undesirable energy creates tension, and it prevents energy from moving along its normal path. This stress can remain stuck indefinitely and these blockages cause physical and mental symptoms. Thai massage is said to be effective at releasing this built-up tension in the body, and it can assist in the healing process following addiction. It is common to feel like something has changed within following a session of Thai massage – a kind of loosening – and it can be like our body feels lighter.
3. It increases interoceptive awareness
Years of substance abuse can lead to us becoming disconnected from our body. This can mean body states such as stress need to reach critical levels before we are even able to identity there is a problem. Thai massage can gently reintroduce us to our internal world (this is referred to as interoceptive awareness) so we can deal with feelings before they become problematic.
4. Thai Massage slows us down
One of the side-effects of long-term substance abuse we end up feeling mentally overwhelmed. This can be experienced as restlessness and racing thoughts. To get the most out of rehab, we need to slow down. Thai massage can help with this through inducing a state of relaxation.
5. Thai massage helps us sleep better at night
It is fairly common for people in early recovery to have to deal with insomnia. If you have been drinking or using drugs on a regular basis, your body may have forgotten how to go to sleep naturally. Insomnia can make life miserable. In fact, most of the unpleasant symptoms associated with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (e.g. fuzzy thinking, difficulty concentrating, and lack of energy) are actually symptoms of lack of sleep.
Thai massage can be highly effective at promoting sleep – especially if you have a session late in the afternoon or early evening. It releases all the tension and discomforts in your body that may have been preventing you from fully relaxing. This technique also has a calming effect on your mind, so your thoughts slow down and feel less intrusive. By having regular Thai massage therapy during your stay, it is going to help you re-establish a healthy sleeping pattern.
6. Thai message helps us develop trust and increases our self-esteem
Addiction can leave us feeling disconnected from others, but the physical contact we experience during Thai massage session can encourage a sense of reconnection. We may initially feel uncomfortable allowing another person to massage our body, but as we experience the benefits, we learn to trust the masseuse. Trusting another person might not come easy to us, but as we learn to do this, the world becomes a nicer place. Learning to trust also increases our sense of self-esteem because we no longer feel so alone.
7. Thai massage can leave us feeling energized
It is possible that after the acute withdrawal stage of giving up alcohol or drugs that you will continue to suffering some lingering effects. This can include mental as well as physical symptoms. Thai massage is going to be effective at easing discomfort in your body, and you are likely to feel mentally energised afterwards. It is usual to leave a Thai massage session with a spring in your step that wasn’t there beforehand. This boost to your energy levels can also mean improved mood and enthusiasm so you can get more out of your time in rehab.
8. Thai Massage Helped Me to Begin Feeling Comfortable in My Own Body
Those of us who fall into addiction tend to become very disconnected from our body. We can even begin to view the body as an enemy that is always letting us down. In fact, it is common for people who begin abusing alcohol or drugs to state that it was due to them feeling ‘uncomfortable in their own skin’. One of the nice things about Thai massage, is it means you can begin to develop a much better relationship with your body – rather than viewing it as the enemy, you can see how it can be your greatest wealth.
Thai massage also fits in well with our other approaches such as mindfulness therapy by getting you to spend more time in your body rather than always caught up in the stories in your head.
9. Thai massage is used to treat specific health conditions
It is common for us to be in a state of poor health by the time we reach rehab. Thai massage is designed to treat numerous ailments including stress-related illness, circulatory problems, pain, and muscle aches.
What to Expect with Thai Massage
The average Thai massage session lasts about 60 minutes. The session usually begins with you lying on your back on the floor. It is important that you wear loose and light clothing so you can remain comfortable throughout the session. You need to avoid eating a large meal during the two hours before your massage.
During the first few minutes, the therapist will gently stretch your body into different positions, and these stretches will become more intense once you have warmed up. The fact that you are being guided into these positions makes it feel like a type of effortless-yoga. There will also be pressure placed on certain points on specific points in the body in order to release any trapped energy.
The Thai massage therapist is going to be busy moving your body into different positions, but despite all of this activity, it can still be incredibly relaxing. It is usually best not to plan anything too strenuous directly after a Thai massage session. You can expect your mind to be energised and your body to feel lighter. Don’t be surprised if aches and pains that have bothered you for years just disappear.
If you have any type of physical ailment, or you have a problem with blood clotting, it is important to speak to a doctor before commencing this therapy.
For more information or to book a place on Hope Rehab’s treatment program, please get in touch with us via the contact form below.
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