Increased Flexibility From Thai Massage

It’s rare that I stretch often enough to see significant progress. It takes 2 – 3 weeks to gain enough additional range that I feel the effort has been worthwhile. One Thai massage causes more progress.

Tukta worked a new area yesterday, the lower ends of the Latissimus Dorsi. She didn’t stretch the muscle in any way I’m familiar with, nor did it feel like the muscle was stretched. But this morning the my lats were sore like I’d been lifting weights. Tried a lats stretch this afternoon and discovered I have equaled the maximum range of motion ever achieved on my own. It’s like somebody stuck a key in my back and wound it the wrong way, releasing the tension.



Is most of what we know about stretching wrong? Conventional wisdom on stretching is to stop when it gets tight and certainly don’t go into the pain zone. Thai massage is all about the pain zone – or at least that’s what it seems like. I’m rarely sore after stretching but it sometimes takes two days to recover from a massage. Maybe it’s because the massage seems to emphasize work on the ends of the muscles. Maybe it’s because releasing muscle knots and tightness uses a different physiological mechanism than stretching. Don’t know why or how it works so well, but do know I’ll be back.

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4 Responses to Increased Flexibility From Thai Massage

  1. inspiritual says:

    Cool! Must be painful, though, such a massage?

  2. Ellen says:

    IMX, a strong thumb put into the insertion point of whatever muscle is tight, then held there, fixes the problem. I learned this from a physical therapist I used to go to who was also a bodybuilder. He was Asian, I think maybe Japanese.

    One night at work I was having a problem in my upper back and I asked Erwin (Yes, that Erwin. Please don’t mention the company name.) to stick his thumb in at the point I showed him, I kinda freaked him out, he was afraid to do it hard enough to really fix the problem.

    • fourletternerd says:

      I’ve fixed muscle knots the same way. What impresses me about Thai massage is that the entire muscle is loosened, including the parts I didn’t know were tight. Also my masseuse is clearly working a sequence, as if some muscles have to be loosened before others can even be started on. I expect after a few months of this to resemble a Dali clock face.

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