Applying pressure to tender muscle fiber adhesions (known as "muscle knots") can hurt, but
there is a difference between that type of discomfort and pain due to excessive or inappropriate
pressure and stretching.
While it may be difficult to avoid some discomfort when targeting muscle knots, a qualified,
licensed massage therapist should be able to adjust the massage pressure and movements so that
you are not in pain.
Thai massage is sometimes described as painful, but a licensed massage therapist should use
your feedback and adjust the degree of pressure and stretching.
The Potential Benefits of Thai Massage
Massage of all types is often used to relieve stress and protect against stress-related health issues.
It is also said to boost energy and improve range of motion and flexibility. Thai massage, in
particular, is said to benefit or ameliorate many different health problems. Specifically, it may:
Relieve tension headaches 1
Reduce types of back pain (typically subacute and chronic nonspecific back pain) 2
Relieve muscle pain and spasticity as well as joint stiffness and pain 3
Increase flexibility and range of motion 4
Stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage 5
Boost energy 6
Calm the nervous system 7
If you're considering trying Thai massage, it's a good idea to check with your health care
provider before getting treatment to discuss whether it's appropriate for you.
Pregnant women should check with their doctor first before getting a massage. If he or she says
that it is okay, ask for a recommendation for a licensed massage therapist who is certified in
pregnancy massage. Massage shouldn't be done over bruises, inflamed or weak skin, unhealed or
open wounds, skin rash, tumors, abdominal hernia, or recent fractures.
What to Know Before Your Appointment
You are usually asked to bring or wear loose, comfortable clothing to the massage. A typical
Thai massage is 60 minutes to two hours long. Some additional tips:
Don’t eat a heavy meal before a massage.
If it's your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the
necessary forms and change. Otherwise, arrive at least five minutes early so you can have
time to change before starting the massage.
Be sure that your massage therapist has your complete health history because people with
certain conditions should not have Thai massage.
If you feel discomfort at any time, let your massage therapist know.