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 quite appropriate, although this term is not used at all in Thailand but only by western practitioners.
First, yoga did not make it in Thailand. There is certainly even a kind of Thai yoga in Thailand, however it is not well known and hardly practiced by anyone. Therefore the Thai Massage arrived together with the yoga, however the Massage Koh Samui flourished as well as the yoga disappeared into oblivion. Nowadays you will 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, and now in addition there are yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais mix in the schools, you may ask? One reason is definitely the language barrier, and also the other reason is that the Thais approach yoga as well as life generally 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 as opposed to 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 those times Thai bodywork became less popular. It had been resurrected by foreigners who have been fascinated by this unique healing art. They started to write books about this, they produced videos, and started schools.
The decoupling of Thai Yoga Massage from yoga had resulted in a degeneration of the standard of this healing art. Originally it had been practiced by monks in temples. In recent decades it often became a thinly disguised come-on for sexual services. However simultaneously western therapists begun to take it very seriously being a massage therapy. They reintroduced yoga principles, and created a huge demand by westerners for Thai massage education and treatments in Thailand. There are numerous massage schools in Thailand, virtually all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government has become creating a serious effort to boost the conventional 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 the basic form, Thai massage is only a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But with the addition of yoga principles towards the massage, it ehitye be elevated to a true healing art. Mindfulness, awareness 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 raise the quality and effectiveness of the treatment.
Thai massage may be much greater than a technique. The combination of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not merely an excellent combination, however it brings Thai massage returning to its roots of yoga. All things considered, these are part of the same family.