Importance of Massage in Muay Thai
If you walk into any Muay Thai gym or the changing room at a Muay Thai stadium, the atmosphere is always filled with the enigmatic aroma of Thai massage oil. Massage is an important part of Muay Thai culture due to its various benefits, and the scent of Thai oil defines the sport uniquely.
Thai massage therapy dates back thousands of years combining Indian Ayurvedic principles, acupressure and assisted yoga poses. Over the years, massage found its way into Muay Thai and is now regularly administered for all Muay Thai fighters.
In Muay Thai, massages are complemented with traditional Thai boxing liniment oil. Also known as Namman Muay, the oil debuted as a commercial product in 1960 and has since become an essential item for all Muay Thai athletes and serious practitioners.
Benefits of Massage for Muay Thai
In modern Muay Thai, fighters are given massages after training and right before a fight. Here are the benefits of massage for Muay Thai:
Along with assisted stretching, pre-fight massages with Thai oil given to fighters help prepare them physically and psychologically. Warming up helps to prepare the body for the intense action of competitions. It increases heart rate and blood circulation, loosens the joints and increases blood flow to the muscles. These can help facilitate better athletic movements during fighting.
Massages can help to relieve muscular and joint aches by reducing production of compounds in the body known as cytokines. Cytokines are responsible for the feeling of pain as they promote inflammation. Training with acute muscle aches can lead to injuries. Regular massages when used in combination with Thai boxing oil, help to enhance recovery, minimize injuries and promote better training or competitive performance.
Massage has also been shown through clinical trials to improve the quality of sleep. Massages promote the release of serotonin which is essential for the production of melatonin, an important hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycle. Muscle recovery takes place when the body is resting thus it is important to ensure better sleep quality.
Start incorporating sports massages into your regime and experience the benefits first-hand.