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 understanding of yoga and yoga therapy. Therefore the term Thai Yoga Massage is very appropriate, even though this term is not used at all in Thailand only by western practitioners.
First, yoga failed to make it in Thailand. There is even a kind of Thai yoga in Thailand, however it is not widely known and hardly practiced by anyone. And so the Thai Massage arrived along with the yoga, however the Thai Massage Koh Samui flourished and the yoga disappeared into oblivion. Nowadays there are quite a lot of yoga schools in Thailand’s tourist areas, but almost all are run by foreigners for foreign students. Only in recent years hold the Thais begun to take an interest in the Indian version of yoga, and now additionally, there are yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais blend the schools, you may ask? One reason will be the language barrier, as well as the other reason is the fact that Thais approach yoga along with life in general in a more relaxed, easy going way, whereas westerners place their yoga practice very seriously. The Thais think that western yoga courses are more competitive instead of relaxed, social events.
Who popularized Thai massage recently? For thousands 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 was resurrected by foreigners who have been fascinated with this amazing healing art. They started to write books about this, they produced videos, and started schools.
The decoupling of Thai Yoga Massage from yoga had triggered a degeneration of the standard of this healing art. Originally it was practiced by monks in temples. In recent decades many times, it became a thinly disguised come-on for sexual services. However simultaneously western therapists began to bring it very seriously as being a therapeutic massage. They reintroduced yoga principles, and created a huge demand by westerners for Thai massage education and treatments in Thailand. There are many massage schools in Thailand, almost all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government has been making a serious effort to raise the conventional of massage education by setting up training facilities for Thais, licensing therapists and schools, issuing official certificates, and promoting higher standards.
Thai Massage and yoga – the ideal combination. In the basic form, Thai massage is only a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But by adding yoga principles towards the massage, it ehitye be elevated to a true healing art. Mindfulness, knowledge of one’s own body as well as 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, and an increased sensitivity of touch all greatly increase the quality and effectiveness from the treatment.
Thai massage may be much over a technique. The combination of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not only a perfect combination, however it brings Thai massage to its roots of yoga. All things considered, they are area of the same family.