Think of how you are giving your body punishment just to play professional poker for so many hours a day and almost every other day? When other players and the game itself start to stress you out, you might need to treat your body to some good old Thai massage to help your body and mind relax. Thus, helping you concentrate more on your game rather than those aches and pains.
Remember when poker hotshot and poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu relaxed his body while receiving more than an hour of massage from a therapist? The entire time he was playing at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Negreanu focused on the game and indulged at the same time.
Jonathan Little, two-time World Poker Tour winner and poker book author, is also known to work with massage therapists, especially when he feels he needs to loosen up right before a big game. He said, “I get massaged at the poker table whenever I am feeling sore. This usually ends up being twice a week, depending on how much I play or how hard I work out.” Little added that pain relief afforded by massage therapy allows him to perform better on the table.
In 2014, Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino hired 300 licensed massage therapists from Professional Massage Inc. to provide therapy for the players.
Massage is a commonly measured part of complementary and integrative medicine. It is presented more and more as a standard treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions. Studies show that massage can provide effective treatment of pain, muscle tension, and stress.
Thai massages can relieve joint pain by placing an individual in yoga-like positions during the session. Some practitioners employ flexibility stretching. Others use application of pressure on muscles and joints. Prolonged sitting while playing poker can cause several joint pains, massage can help relieve them.
Poker players are often anxious. Are their opponent’s hand better than theirs? Will this call and raise cost them much of their stack? This anxiety can impede their concentration and focus while playing. Thai massage employs gentle pressure and stretching methods to help calm the senses. A study in 2015 found that Thai massage can cause reduction of stress markers found in the saliva.
When the stakes are high, and the odds are not in your favour, it is possible to get headaches. Thai massages that focus on the head, neck, and shoulder area can help relieve headaches.
Massages can afford fatigue reduction and help improve sleep. This relaxation helps in the restorative stages of deep sleep to ensure the body becomes well-rested.
Poker players can have massages before, during, and after playing poker, and the benefits are just the same. Thai massage focuses mainly on stretching and deep massage. Here are the different types of Thai massages poker players will love:
The most popular and most classic of all Thai massages, this method is also known as the “Yoga Massage.” Massage therapist performs this massage while you are lying down on a padded mat on the floor. It employs the practice of acupressure and yoga together. It is beneficial for individuals with muscle tension, joint pains, and tendonitis. It also best for promoting complete relaxation and improving vitality.
If you prefer to experience a smooth massage with therapeutic oils, then Thai oil massage is for you. In terms of relaxation, this massage is far better than the traditional Thai massage. On a stretcher, the masseuse will place a towel over your body. This massage will stimulate the energy lines of your body through acupressure. The use of aromatherapy oils, your blood circulation will improve, your skin will soften, and your mind will calm down in no time.
This method of massage combines the benefits of traditional Thai massage with ancestral healing methods. The massage uses plant pouches and places them all over the body to facilitate the flow of energy. Pindas or the hot poultice with medicated herbs target the acupuncture points to relax and calm the body. Aside from improving blood circulation, it also helps relieve joint and muscle pains.
This massage uses oil while applying pressure on the different areas of the soles. These areas correspond to the various organs of the body. According to Thai belief, application of pressure on these points helps rid the body of toxins while improving overall function.
The answer is yes. It affords tons of benefits. Some may argue that it is way too expensive, but they often overlook that its benefits outweigh the cost. You see, high stakes games often require your full concentration. What if, in the middle of the game, you suddenly feel a shooting pain to your back? Due to this, you cannot concentrate and eventually make bad calls. Would you risk paying thousands of dollars over a $120 on-table massage? Sitting day and in out in poker tables, trying to make money can put so much toll on your body. Why neglect it and scrimp on the massage?
Besides, getting a massage is possible before and after the event. While it is highly beneficial to have during a tournament, poker players can also have it before or after the event. The effect of a massage is often long-lasting, particularly if done regularly. Professional players receiving on-table massages are not acting like spoiled brats. They really need the massage. Poker players, especially those who join week-long tournaments, often spend hours seated to win the jackpot.
Prolonged sitting can cause aches and pains. Chris Kolba, a physical therapist from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, stated that sitting for long periods can weaken the spinal support. In time, this will make poker players develop lower tolerance for stress and force. Thereby increasing their risk of injury.
He said “Over time, they start to develop these aches and pains, headaches and things that go along with these poor posture positions and the lack of muscle activity. And then, you go to do something outside of playing poker, where maybe you jump in the pool or run around with your kids, and all of a sudden, you are pulling a muscle or straining your back or your neck.”
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself with a Thai massage. You can choose from any of the Thai massage poker players will love, and you are off to a great tournament!