Thai Massage and yoga are part of the same family. About 2500 years back Thai massage was introduced in Thailand by an Indian physician, a contemporary of Buddha. He brought with him his expertise in 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 failed to make it in Thailand. There exists even a type of Thai yoga in Thailand, however it is not widely known and hardly practiced by anyone. And so the Thai Massage arrived together with the yoga, but 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 hold the Thais begun to take an interest in the Indian version of yoga, now there are also yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais blend the schools, you may ask? One reason is the language barrier, and also the other reason would be that the Thais approach yoga in addition to life generally speaking in a more enjoyable, easy going way, whereas westerners take their yoga practice very seriously. The Thais believe that western yoga classes are more competitive instead of 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 had been resurrected by foreigners who were fascinated by this excellent healing art. They began 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 caliber of this healing art. Originally it had been practiced by monks in temples. In recent decades many times, it became a thinly disguised come-on for sexual services. However at the same time western therapists began to take it very seriously as a massage therapy. 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, just about all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government continues to be creating 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 best combination. In their basic form, Thai massage is only a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But with the addition of yoga principles to the massage, it ehitye be elevated to some 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, and an increased sensitivity of touch all greatly boost the quality and effectiveness in the treatment.
Thai massage could be much over a technique. The mixture of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not only a perfect combination, however it brings Thai massage back to its roots of yoga. After all, they may be part of the same family.