In modern times, more and more modern massage chairs are integrating traditional Thai stretching and various other methods such as Swedish Massage, Japanese Shiatsu, and more. Therefore, in this article, Shopdepre will share the origins and characteristics of the traditional Thai massage method.
Origin of Thai Massage
The traditional massage profession in Thai is called “NUAD,” a therapeutic method founded by the Great Physician Bhaccha – the personal physician of King Magadha Bimbisara, around 2500 years ago.
The knowledge and experience of traditional massage techniques among the Thai people have been orally passed down from one generation to another. These practices were recorded on palm leaves in Pali script when writing emerged and were preserved in libraries in Ayutthaya – the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1350 to 1767.
In 1767, Thailand was invaded by Myanmar, causing significant damage to structures and destruction of documents. In 1832, King Rama III requested monks to collect the remaining knowledge of this traditional massage method, which was then engraved into 60 drawings.
By 1871, King Rama I relocated to Bangkok and reconstructed Wat Po temple to preserve the knowledge related to traditional medicine in Thailand. Consequently, this method has been passed down to the present day, and Wat Po temple remains a center for traditional medical education.
Characteristics of Traditional Thai Massage
According to the traditional Thai massage method, a healthy body achieves balance and harmony with natural energy. Imbalance in the body’s energy can lead to various ailments.
In the human body’s energy pathways, known as meridians, when manipulated, they promote the clearing of blockages and restore balance within these pathways.
Characteristics of traditional Thai massage include:
Targeting the body’s meridians and acupressure points.
Combining precise movements that involve muscle and bone stretching (similar to Western massage).
The duration of a Thai massage session is typically 60 to 180 minutes, affecting various organs in the body and serving as both preventive and therapeutic measures for illnesses.