A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science
examined the effects of Thai massage on physical fitness in soccer players. 34 competitive soccer players were randomly divided into two groups. The first group received three thirty-minute Thai massage sessions over the course of a ten-day study period, while the second group merely rested between their normal training sessions. The study found that Thai Massage provided some beneficial effects on physical fitness in soccer players, especially for VO2max, and facilitated muscle strength, agility and speed.
Another study, published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research
in 2014, examined the potential benefits of Thai massage for volleyball players, focusing specifically on vertical jump performance and flexibility in the knees and ankles. The researchers saw statistically significant improvements in vertical jump height, knee flexion, ankle plantar flexion and an ankle dorsiflexion.
It is important to acknowledge that both of these were small-scale studies, so they don’t provide definitive evidence that getting a Thai massage will boost your performance. However, they do suggest that a physical fitness boost is possible.