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A brief history of Thai Massage

Sona and Uttara are the names of the first two missionaries sent by Indian Emperor Asoka to preach Buddhism in Suvarnabhumi, the Land of Gold, in the 3rd century BC. The Land of Gold is believed to be the present Nakorn Pathom district, about 60 km west of Bangkok, Thailand, place of the oldest Pagoda in Thailand and to this day, the highest of the World. The Indian monks were skilled in the art of massage, practiced for healing light illnesses like headache and neck ache, fever, back ache, nervous and muscular tension and stress. Because of its many benefits, the use of massage, became popular and widespread, from village to village, far and wide throughout the Region. For this reason the original roots of Thai Massage are closely linked with religion and the Indian yoga theory of energy.

The Thai Massage consists, primarily, of an acupressure on ten energetic lines that Thais calls Sen lines. According to this theory the Sen lines are made of points in flux that bring electrical impulse, the stream of vital force, to the Chakras.

Chakras are like mill wheels that spin and push the energy throughout the body.

So the aim of Thai Massage is to make the energy flow freely through pressure techniques that deliver the Sen lines from all blockages, allowing an unobstructed path.

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In addition to the Thai Massage release, there is also a reflex action that benefits the corresponding organs of the treated points; using stretching movements from yoga and pressure techniques, acting on muscles, tendons and deep tissue.

Thai Massage is always practiced on the floor, on a mattress, with comfortable, loose clothing (oils are not used) and the masseur can use elbows, forearms, knees and feet besides the hands.

The benefits for the recipient are relaxation, relief of muscular fatigue and pain, regaining muscular and joint mobility, reducing tension, improvement of blood and lymphatic system circulation, improvement of mood and increase in energy.

The Wat Po in Bangkok (Wat in Thai language means Temple), famous for its impressive Reclining Buddha, was Thailand’s first University to be opened.

The Temple was founded in the 16th century, during the Ayutthaya period and turned into an open University by King Rama III (1824-51). It became the center of Thai knowledge and art, filled with ascetic statues, massage inscriptions, drawings and frescoes, and was the place where all wisdom on Thai Traditional Medicine and Massage was gathered and collected.

In 1955, with Wat Po already the base of Thai Medicine, the Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School was opened, the first Thai Medical School under the approval of Thai Ministry of Education.

The school presently offers 4 basics courses of Thai Medicine: Thai Pharmacy, Thai Medical Practice, Thai Midwife Nurse, and Thai Massage.
About The Thai Massage Courses:

Basic

General Thai Massage (30 hours)
Foot Massage (30 hours)
Advanced Courses (School’s General Thai Massage course is a prerequisite)

Advanced Thai Medical Massage Therapy (60 hours-theoretical and practical sessions)
Oil Massage and Aromatherapy (30 hours)
Infant and Child Massage (21 hours-theoretical and practical sessions)
Professional Courses

Professional Thai Massage for Health (c/o Salaya, Nakorn Pathom; 100 hours practical sessions and 65 hours theoretical sessions and examination)

Today, The Wat Po Thai Massage School in Bangkok has 4 affiliated schools: in Tatien, in Chaeng Watthana, in Chiang Mai and in Salaya.
Check the “massage courses” for updated information on courses and certificates at Wat Po.