The Traditional Thai Massage

Thai Massage


  The origin of this massage style traces back to the time of the Gautama Buddha in the region now extending over India and Nepal. It is believed that Dr. Jivaka Kumar Baccha, a contemporary of the Buddha and physician at the Sangha, created this method and is revered in Thailand as the “Father of Medicine”. As Buddhism expanded about 2,000 years ago, the knowledge of Thai massage reached Thailand, where it has been preserved ever since. The technique was preserved through oral tradition (from master to disciple), and just a few of its written records survived time.

  The Thai massage art has two main styles: the Southern style from the Wat Po School in Bangkoc, and the Northern style from the Old Medicine Hospital School (Shivago Komarpaj Foundation), the one whose masters I learned from.


The Technique

The traditional Thai massage, more commonly known as Thai massage, focusses more on the energetic field than on the physical field. Out of the huge network of subtle channels (sen) through which vital energy flows, they use the 10 principal ones therapeutically. The physical body is the vehicle through which one works to restablish the energy flow and to heal the bodies on other levels.

Through deep pressure along these sen, besides muscle stretching, joint maneuvers and torsions, vital energy stagnations and blocks are released.

  The several maneuvers used in Thai massage have been conceived to loosen up and stimulate intrinsic energy currents, releasing blocks that could hamper the balance which is essential to keep someone healthy and free of pain.

As pressure “tools”, hands, thumbs, feet, knees, elbows and forearms can be used. For torsions and stretchings, the body is used as a lever in maneuvers which are similar to Yoga asanas. The Thai Massage enables one to press muscles and move joints, balancing energy levels, increasing flexibility and harmonizing the effects in both sides of the body. The sensation of well-being is produced from the release of endorphin. All through the massage session, a sense of flow, rhythm, integration and companionship is felt. Each maneuver intertwines with the next one as in a choreographic sequence.