The History of Traditional Thai Massage.
Traditional Thai massage was a valuable and indigenous wisdom of Thai ancestor. It was seen that Thai massage had an important role for treatment from past until now. It wad believed that Thai massage was originated to cure by themselves within the family, for example, husband giving massage to his wife, children giving massage to their parents and grandparents. They gave a massage by using some parts of the body such as elbows, knees and feet to self-massage, In addition, Thai-style exercising (Rue See Dad Ton) was used to adjust anatomy by oneself easily. The development of massage. Due to the fact that they had a skill of massage within the family, they could give a massage to neighbors. Finally the clients or patients trusted that Thai massage was popular, efficient and respectable curing, it became one of the famous occupations.
From the historical evidence of the oldest massage on the stone inscription, it was found that Thai massage was to treat some illnesses from Sukhothai period in the reign of King Ramkamheang. However, Thai traditional medicine especially Thai massage was the most prosperous in Ayutthaya period in the reign of King Narai. The evidence of Lalubaire’s dispatch indicated that the Siamese used Thai massage to cure some illnesses, to relieve pain or to give birth easily. Rattanakosin period, Thai traditional medicine was descended from Ayutthaya period. During the war some document and textbooks were vanished, however, a lot of folk healers still existed in the rural area, In the reign of King Rama I, 80 statues of hermit, Thai – style exercising and the inscription of Thai traditional massage were created at Wat Po (Medical School) In the reign of King Rama IV, the textbooks of Thai traditional massage and traditional medicine were reviewed and revised. After western medicine came into Thai society in the reign of King Rama VI, Thai traditional massage had been neglected from the royal palace. But folk massage had still an important role for villagers.
Thai traditional massage was continuously evolved and developed. Currently, Thai traditional massage is divided to two patterns; royal Thai massage and folk massage.
Royal Thai massage refers to massage which applying to King , his royal family and his aristocracy. It’s considered that royal Thai massage is very nice because it uses only hands and fingers to control the weight of massage, directly pressed on the pain point. It is said that its characteristic is special unique and the masseur must be expertise and know the theory of 10 Sen, the concept of invisible energy lines running through the body. Royal Thai massage consists of basic massage, arms basic massage (outer and inner arms), shoulders basic massage, massage to Trapezius, head massage (front and back head), massage to rectus abdominis.
Folk massage refers to massage which applying within the family or general public. It is said that its characteristic depends on local culture. It is suitable for villagers to massage each other by using hands, elbows, knees , forehands and the edge of feet. So, folk massage is well know and widespread in Thai society for a long time.
Thai massage focuses on the muscoskeletal system (the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue) and the way in which it inter-relate with the body as a whole. It combines modern scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology with oriental medical disciplines.
Thai massage treatments generally fall into one of two categories; full body routines which can last from between 1 to 3 hour and localised therapy. The treatment is carried out on the floor which the patient remains fully clothed. A number of gentle techniques using the feet, elbows and thumbs are applied to release tension and allow energy to flow freely.