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Massage Therapy And The Placebo Effect

placebo effect in massage

Massage therapy and placebo – what’s the connection?

Officially massage therapists, at least in the US and in several European countries, cannot claim that massage therapy heals anything.

However most of us who have been in this profession for a while have seen with our own eyes that our clients can and do get better, sometimes dramatically so.

This does not happen all the time which is not too surprising since there is not a single healing or medical modality that has a 100% success rate.

For the purposes of this article I will use the word ‘healing’ across the board for all therapeutic systems, from the jungle shaman to the heart surgeon.

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8 Proven Factors That Make Thai Massage Unique

Massage Styles

What makes Thai Massage or any other therapy unique? There are lots of massage and therapy systems to choose from, and that’s great!

But just like not everyone likes to eat the same kind of food, not every type of massage or therapy will work for all of us.

There are big differences. For example, let’s take Rolfing which is a highly physical and intense therapy that can sometimes be quite painful.

Now compare that with CranioSacral therapy which is very gentle, totally pain-free, and hardly involves any physical movement at all.

Or let’s look at Thai Massage which involves lots of physical movements like stretches, twists, traction, and passive yoga moves.

Compare that with Swedish massage which in its basic form does not use any of those movements.

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Courageous Touch: Yoga And Thai Massage For Chronic Sufferers

The following is a guest post written by Jillian McKee.

As more people embrace holistic therapies for improving health and fighting disease, yoga and massage are becoming more common among cancer patients and other chronic sufferers.

Yoga and massage therapies combine ancient philosophies with modern techniques to ease symptoms and optimize treatment effectiveness.

While most health practitioners do not endorse these therapies as a cure for cancer or a treatment for disease, they do support them as effective complementary therapies.

Many cancer treatment centers now offer yoga classes and massage sessions for cancer patients. And persons with other chronic diseases are utilizing their benefits as well.

Yoga and massage offer a courageous touch for the people who need it most. It has proven helpful for even those with the most aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma.

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Massage, Anatomy and Celebrities

How much Anatomy do Massage Therapists Need to Know?

In Thai Healing Massage Academy’s massage video training courses we use anatomical terms at a basic level only. There are three reasons for this:

1. Anatomy uses a scientific language which is not understood by most people unless they have studied the subject. Our video training courses are used by students from all over the world. For quite a few of them, English is not their first language.

Complex anatomical terms would make it more difficult for those students to follow the training. Therefore we intentionally keep it simple.

In other words, our online video courses are not exclusively targeted at massage therapists whose first language is English and who have studied anatomy and physiology.

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Loving Kindness, or Metta, in Thai Massage

One of the great joys of Thai Massage is the growth in spiritual freedom, understanding and love it develops within us as we continue practicing it.

This facet of Thai Massage is known as Metta, or Loving Kindness and is one of the four sublime states within Buddhist philosophy.

It is a term much used by western Thai Massage therapists in their advertising and can be very often seen described as an intricate part of their massage philosophy and offering.

To a client in search of love and/or reassurance which may be missing in life, this is a very attractive proposition: to receive Loving Kindness in a massage treatment.

To the potential student of Thai Massage it is also a very attractive proposition: to be able to advertise yourself as someone offering Loving Kindness in massage.

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How To Find Your Style Of Thai Massage

Did you ever get a massage where everything was technically right, but you felt that the therapist never really connected with you? Something seemed to be missing but you could not put your finger on it. What was it? Was it the therapist or was it you, or both?

Wow, AMAZING Thai Massage!

Many visitors come to Thailand and they are very impressed with Thai Massage because it is so different and it involves all those amazing stretches. If you have nothing to compare it with, then, yes,  it seems to be pretty amazing.

But when talking to my fellow expats who have been been in Thailand for a long time, they all agree that it is not so easy to find a therapist who can really make you feel good.

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Is Thai Massage Best When It’s “Traditional”?

Thai Massage back and shoulder stretch

Thailand is famous for its unique Thai Massage therapy system. Every year many thousands of people travel to Thailand to study there. Countless Thai Massage schools have sprung up all over the country in the last 15 years.

Most people assume that Thai Massage education must be best in its home country. The question is if this is really true.

Is “traditional” better than “non-traditional”?

Thais like to use the term “Thai Traditional Massage”, and it has become somewhat of a brand name. The idea is that ‘traditional’ is better than ‘non-traditional’.

At this point we need to take a closer look at the mentality of the Thai people. Thailand is a developing nation and few people have the means to travel to other countries.

The vast majority of Thai Massage practitioners and teachers here have had no exposure to any other therapy system than Thai Massage, and therefore no way of comparing it to anything else.

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