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 knowledge of yoga and yoga therapy. Therefore the term Thai Yoga Massage is very appropriate, even though this term is not used at all in Thailand but only by western practitioners.
First, yoga did not allow it to be in Thailand. There exists even a form of Thai yoga in Thailand, but it is not well known and hardly practiced by anyone. Therefore the Thai Massage arrived combined with the yoga, however the Thai Massage Koh Samui flourished and also the yoga disappeared into oblivion. Nowadays you will 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 started to take a desire for the Indian version of yoga, and now in addition there are yoga schools for Thais.
Why don’t the foreigners and Thais add the schools, you may ask? One reason will be the language barrier, and the other reason is that the Thais approach yoga in addition to life generally speaking in a more relaxed, easy going way, whereas westerners get their yoga practice very seriously. The Thais feel that western yoga classes 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. At that time Thai bodywork became less popular. It had been resurrected by foreigners who had been fascinated by this excellent healing art. They begun 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 caliber of this healing art. Originally it was practiced by monks in temples. In recent decades it often was a thinly disguised come-on for sexual services. However simultaneously western therapists begun to carry it very seriously as being a massage treatment. They reintroduced yoga principles, and made a huge demand by westerners for Thai massage education and treatments in Thailand. There are countless massage schools in Thailand, virtually all catering exclusively to foreigners.
The Thai government continues to be creating a serious effort to increase the standard 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 simply a sequence of stretches and pressure points, a mechanical bodywork system. But by adding yoga principles towards the massage, it ehitye be elevated to some 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, awareness of one’s breath, conscious channeling of healing energy, as well as an increased sensitivity of touch all greatly raise the quality and effectiveness in the treatment.
Thai massage could be much over a technique. The combination of yoga principles with Thai bodywork is not merely a perfect combination, but it brings Thai massage back to its roots of yoga. After all, they are part of the same family.