Thai massage is one of the most popular and ancient forms of massage in the world. But you may actually wonder, what is Thai massage? It is derived from Ayurvedic Indian Massage traditions which date back to the 3rd century AD.
Unlike Indian Massage, Thai massage is also influenced by Buddhist principles. It began with Puja, which is paying respects, partially in remembrance of Jivaka. The modern manifestation of Thai massage is accredited to three instructors: Phaa Khruu Samaii Mesamarn from the Wat Buddhai Sawan lineage Aachan Boonsorn Kitnyam from the Wat Po lineage and Aachan Sintorn Chaichgun from the Buntautuk tradition.
Some believe Thai massage was developed by Jivaka himself, who was a physician to Buddha more than 2,400 years ago in India. But Thai massage owes as much to Chinese medicine as it does to the ancient Ayurvedic techniques of India. It has been compared to Yoga because the therapist uses all their limbs to manipulate your body into certain positions. It is quite severe and may even be uncomfortable at times so it is recommended you do not eat for one hour prior to the massage.
The reported benefits of Thai massage include:
- reduced stress
- improved circulation
- more energy
- improved range of motion
- centres the mind and body
Some Thai massage therapists take up the discipline in order to atone for bad karma acquired in previous lives. By helping other people to feel healthier, they relieve themselves of the karma and can reincarnate in a higher form, closer to nirvana.