Thai Massage is an ancient therapy that has been practiced in Thailand for thousands of years. It is believed that Thai Massage was developed more than 2500 years ago by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha ( Shivago Kompara ) a friend to the Buddha who had tremendous knowledge of medicine. Shivago is believed by most Thai healers to be the inventor of Thai traditional medicine. He is also referred to as the ‘Father Doctor” and the Thai healer practice the ethics of giving thanks to the Father Doctor before and after massage.
If one traces the evolution of the techniques of healing-massage practiced in Thailand, one discovers the astonishing fact that the earliest roots of Thai massage lie not in Thailand but in India. The teachings of Kumar Bhaccha probably reached what is now Thailand at the same time as Buddhism – as early as the 3rd or 2nd century B.C.
The theoretical foundation of Thai massage is based on the concept of invisible energy lines running through the body.
Along a network of energy lines, the Prana Nadis, the human being is then supplied with this vital energy. Out of these energy lines Thai massage has selected 10 main lines on which there are especially important acupressure points. Massaging these lines and points makes it possible to treat a whole range of diseases or to relieve pain. The 10 main lines are sufficient to conduct practical treatment for the whole body and its internal organs. Disturbances in the flow of energy result in an insufficient supply of Prana, which will in turn lead to sickness. Working on the energy lines with massage can break the blockades, stimulate the free flow of Prana, and help to restore general wellbeing.
The Principles of Thai Massage
Thai Massage is very different from the other massage therapies that usually involve tissue manipulation. It is a dry massage therapy and does not use any oils or lotion. Instead it is performed using deep compressing, rhythmic pressing, and stretching actions. The pressure, tension, and motion or vibration movements used during massage improve regional blood circulation. The Thai Massage is performed using different body parts such as palm, thumb, fingers, forearm, elbow or even feet.
Thai Massage used a variety of yoga like stretching positions that is believed to cause its therapeutic effects. Thai massage is based on principles of correcting the energy balance through the body. The basic principle of Thai Massage is to start with from the extremities of the body (laterally), work towards the core of the body (medially), and then back to the extremities. This ensured the flow of energy though the energy channels called meridians, and also improve blood circulation throughout the body.