Thai Massage and yoga are part of the same family. About 2500 years ago Thai massage was introduced in Thailand by an Indian physician, a contemporary of Buddha. He brought with him his knowledge of yoga and yoga therapy. Therefore the term Thai Yoga Massage is quite appropriate, although this term is not used at all in Thailand but only by western practitioners.
First, yoga failed to allow it to be in Thailand. There is even a form of Thai yoga in Thailand, but it is not well known and hardly practiced by anyone. Therefore the Thai Massage arrived combined with the yoga, nevertheless the Thai Massage Koh Samui flourished and the yoga disappeared into oblivion. Nowadays you can find a large number of yoga schools in Thailand’s tourist areas, but almost all are run by foreigners for foreign students. Only in the recent years have the Thais started to take a desire for the Indian version of yoga, now there are also yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais add the schools, you might ask? One reason will be the language barrier, and the other reason would be that the Thais approach yoga along with life generally in a more enjoyable, easy going way, whereas westerners get their yoga practice very seriously. The Thais believe that western yoga courses are more competitive rather than relaxed, social events.
Who popularized Thai massage recently? For hundreds of years massage and herbal medicine were standard and effective treatments in Thailand until modern medicine appeared on the scene. During that time Thai bodywork became less popular. It had been resurrected by foreigners who were captivated by this unique healing art. They begun to write books about this, they produced videos, and started schools.
The decoupling of Thai Yoga Massage from yoga had led to a degeneration of the standard of this healing art. Originally it had been practiced by monks in temples. In recent decades many times, it was a thinly disguised come-on for sexual services. However concurrently western therapists begun to carry it very seriously being a massage treatment. They reintroduced yoga principles, and developed a huge demand by westerners for Thai massage education and treatments in Thailand. There are many massage schools in Thailand, just about all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government has become building a serious effort to increase the conventional of massage education by establishing training facilities for Thais, licensing therapists and schools, issuing official certificates, and promoting higher standards.
Thai Massage and yoga – the ideal combination. In their basic form, Thai massage is only a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But by adding yoga principles to the massage, it ehitye be elevated to your true healing art. Mindfulness, knowledge of one’s own body and also the client’s body, working from one’s “hara”, the energetic center right behind the navel, knowledge of one’s breath, conscious channeling of healing energy, as well as an increased sensitivity of touch all greatly increase the quality and effectiveness from the treatment.
Thai massage may be much more than a technique. The combination of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not only an excellent combination, but it brings Thai massage to its roots of yoga. In the end, these are area of the same family.