Thai Massage and yoga are part of the same family. About 2500 in the past 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, even though this term is not used at all in Thailand only by western practitioners.
First, yoga did not allow it to be in Thailand. There exists even a type of Thai yoga in Thailand, but it is not well 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 you can find quite a number of yoga schools in Thailand’s tourist areas, but almost all of them are run by foreigners for foreign students. Only in recent years possess the Thais began to take a desire for the Indian version of yoga, and now additionally, there are yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais mix in the schools, you might ask? One reason is the language barrier, as well as the other reason is that the Thais approach yoga in addition to life generally speaking in a more enjoyable, easy going way, whereas westerners get their yoga practice very seriously. The Thais feel that western yoga courses are more competitive rather than relaxed, social events.
Who popularized Thai massage recently? For centuries massage and herbal medicine were standard and effective treatments in Thailand until modern medicine appeared on the scene. During those times Thai bodywork became less popular. It was resurrected by foreigners who were captivated by this excellent healing art. They began to write books regarding it, they produced videos, and started schools.
The decoupling of Thai Yoga Massage from yoga had led to a degeneration of the quality 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 concurrently western therapists started to take it very seriously being a massage therapy. They reintroduced yoga principles, and made a huge demand by westerners for Thai massage education and treatments in Thailand. There are numerous massage schools in Thailand, almost all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government continues to be making a serious effort to increase the standard of massage education by putting together 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 just a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But with the help of yoga principles towards the massage, it ehitye be elevated to some true healing art. Mindfulness, understanding of one’s own body and also the client’s body, working from one’s “hara”, the energetic center right behind the navel, understanding of one’s breath, conscious channeling of healing energy, as well as an increased sensitivity of touch all greatly boost the quality and effectiveness in the treatment.
Thai massage can be much over a technique. The combination of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not only an ideal combination, however it brings Thai massage to its roots of yoga. In the end, they may be area of the same family.