History of Thai Massage

It was Jivaka Komarabhacca, a doctor, friend and contemporary of the Lord Buddha, who is said to havepromoted massage as a form of therapeutic healing centuries ago.

The ancient art is believed to have started in India. Monks, sages and travelers eventually learned it and passed on the knowledge to the Chinese after traversing the Silk Road.

It probably reached Thailand through the Hindu Brahman practitioners, who may have come here as courtiers in the royal palaces of Khmer kings. Thus, traditional Thai massage is a combination of Indian, Chinese and Thai methods.

The theoretical basis of Thai massage lies in the theory that there are energy lines numbering at least 72,000 that run throughout the body. Practitioners focus on 10 major lines called "sen", which are also acupressure points. By exerting pressure on them, it is believed that common ailments can be healed and that different organs are able to function better.

Most of the records that detailed how traditional Thai massage evolved were destroyed in 1776 after Ayutthaya was torched by the Burmese. All that remained were carvings on stones that were discovered in 1832. To preserve the tradition, King Rama III had the stone inscriptions set into the walls of Wat Po.