Thai massage has a long history of therapeutic practice. Practiced for centuries, its origins can be traced back to India some 2,500 years ago.
The first person to practice this type of massage is said to have been Jivaka Komarabhacca (the “Father Doctor Shivago”), a doctor, friend and contemporary of the Buddha.
The Chinese and Indians are believed to have strongly influenced the therapies and treatments developed in Thailand. The theoretical bases of Thai massage reside in the energetic lines that pass through the human body. Of the more than 75,000 lines of energy that are said to exist, only 10 are those on which we focus.
These lines are called SEN. Important points that acupuncture medicine uses are found on these lines. Body treatments, specific organs and treatments for various diseases are often performed using the Ten SEN system. Much of what is known today as Thai Traditional Massage has been passed down orally from generation to generation.
Many of the ancient medical texts were destroyed in 1776 with the destruction of Ayutthaya (the old capital of Siam) by the Burmese. In 1832, King Rama III rediscovered the old plates with the ancient inscriptions and to preserve the tradition put them inside the Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok where today is also the oldest massage school in all of Thailand.
Another important school is located in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, at the Old Hospital, where a softer style of Nuad Bo-rarn is taught that emphasizes stretching movements compared to acupressure.