Traditional Thai Massage
‘ Nuad Bo- Rarn’
Also known as Thai Medical Massage and Yoga Massage, it has a long history of therapeutic healing in Thailand. It has been practised for centuries and is still practised today by all levels of society. The roots of Thai massage can be traced back to India. It is said that the founder of the practice was Jivaka Komarabhacca, a doctor, friend and contemporary of Buddha, around 2,500 years ago.
Most of the ancient medical texts were destroyed in 1776, with the destruction of Ayutthia by the Burmese. What was left was literally carved in stone in 1832, when King Rama III, in hopes of preserving the tradition of massage, had stone inscriptions set into the walls of Wat Po temple in Bangkok. These may still be seen today.
The theoretical basis of Thai massage lies in the theory of energy lines running throughout the body. Out of the 72,000 energy lines said to be in existence, the focus is on ten major lines called Sen. Important acupressure points are found on these lines. The ten Sen are more closely related to the Indian system than to the Chinese or Japanese system of meridians.
The more practical aspect of Thai massage consists of a general rhythmic palm pressure for relaxation . This is followed by firmly and slowly moving thumb pressure along specific energy or Sen lines . The practice of stretching all the muscles of the body , a type of Yoga massage , is also an integral part of the treatment . The gross nervous system operates in the physical body and the subtle nervous system in the astral body . When this exalted system is blocked , disharmony of the body takes place . Thai massage helps remove these blockages so allowing freedom of movement again , and therefore improving vitality . The therapists use also their feet, elbows , thumbs and knees to help free the tension trapped within the body .
Thai Medical Massage is reasonably new to this country yet one of the oldest form of medicine that has been developed . It’s firm but meditative movements of pressing , rocking and yoga-like positions , have a distinctive quality of their own that is assuming powerful embracement of the western world like an old long lost friend.
(Many thanks to Niclaire Mann who has contributed this introduction to Thai Massage)