With the ever-increasing popularity of massage therapy, it will not come as a surprise if most people who regularly go to a spa house to avail themselves of it don’t have sufficient knowledge regarding the massage type of their choice. This, perhaps, is a product of the fact that for most individuals, what matters is what the massage does to and for them.
While the aforementioned attitude is okay, no doubt a bit more knowledge always pays. If you are a fan of Thai massage, you might find the following facts interesting:
Thai massage is recognized as a branch of traditional Thai medicine.
Said to be founded by Dr. Jivaka Komarabhacca in the 5th century B.C., Thai massage is one of the three branches of traditional Thai medicine. The other two are meditation and nutritional healing.
It is regarded as a medical discipline by a lot of people.
This notion may have resulted from the fact that it is widely utilized as a form of treatment for various ailments. Another contributory factor is the fact that traditional Thai medicine or TTM is recognized, regulated, and monitored by the Thai government. However, although this is the case, it is important to note that there are a lot of non-medical practitioners of this TTM branch, especially in Western countries, and nowadays when it has become more popular than ever.
It has its roots in Ayurvedic healing and Chinese medicine.
Most accounts detailing the birth of this branch of traditional Thai medicine support the theory that it is a combination of both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The first clue that points to this conclusion is that Dr. Komarabhacca was an Ayurvedic healer prior to founding Thai Massage. His travels led him to an appreciation of Chinese medicine, which – when he arrived at Thailand – he combined with his healing expertise to come up with what is now known as traditional Thai medicine.
The second, more obvious clue lies in the procedure employed by Thai massage practitioners. The sen lines – where the various massage techniques are focused on – are similar to the Ayurvedic/ yogic notion of nadis or energy centers. Others, though, find that these “lines” bear a semblance to the meridian/energy theory in Chinese ancient medicine; the only difference is that in the Thai concept, sen lines are not connected to the person’s internal organs.
There is a touch of Indian philosophy in Thai Massage.
Ayurvedic philosophy – particularly that pertaining to the concept of tridoshas – plays a crucial role in the success of a genuine Thai massage session. This is because determining the constitution or nature of the recipient – that is, whether he/she is vata, pitta, or kapha – precedes and dictates the type of yoga postures that will be used by the practitioner in order to induce a sense of balance in the person on whom the massage is being done. If the recipient is a pitta, for instance, the practitioner will assist him/her into a yoga position known as cobra; if he/she is a kapha, the plough position will be used instead; and if the person is a vata, the palming technique will be employed, with focus on the recipient’s shoulders.