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HISTORY OF THAI MASSAGE

18.09.2015

For centuries, Thailand was under the cultural influence of neighbor countries. Thai massage, which united in itself the best medical practices of many countries, has become the result of such influence.

One of the most significant moment of Siam’s history (former Thailand name), was the appearance of Buddhism that came from India about 2500 years ago. Buddhism brought not only religious teachings, but also doctors who practiced Ayurveda and yoga masters. Thus, Thailand has formed a set of practices, absorbed endemic medicine Thailand, Ayurveda and yoga and became the basis of the Thai health-system which has been used till today. These practices include herbs and other different preparations of natural ingredients treatments, the essential oils sauna, yoga, Thai massage, herbal bags compresses, etc.

Doctor Jiva Bhikku Kumar, Indian doctor,   is considered the Founder of Thai massage. The Thais call him gently and with love as "Doctor-father." Doctor Jiva Bhikku became famous for being the personal doctor and friend of Buddha himself.  Doctor Jiva Bhikku still deeply revered among the masters of Thai massage, so before each session the master must read the mantra dedicated to Dr. Bhikku.

Traditions of Thai massage came to us mostly due to transmission of secrets verbally from master to master, because now there is very little amount of known ancient written sources describing the techniques of Thai massage. There were only few treatises, which were stored in the city Ayutthaya, the old capital of Siam. But in 1776 the city was attacked, looted and partially destroyed by the Burmese, after which a significant part of the written sources was destroyed. Therefore, the King of Siam Rama III had to perpetuate the texts that were saved in the stone and place these artifacts in the walls of the monastery Wat Po, which is located in Bangkok. These stones, which are diagrams of bioactive points and stripes indicating the power line, can be seen today. Due to the fact that the monastery Wat have been keeping secrets of Thai medicine all the time, today this is the most influential school of Thai massage.

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