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  • Nok Yung Thai Massage

Nuat Thai (traditional Thai massage) UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Thai massage, known in Thai as Nuat Thai , is a traditional massage that uses pressure, compression, and friction to increase blood circulation, reduce muscle pain, and relieve pain from conditions such as insomnia, depression, and rheumatism. It's manual therapy. , Parkinson's disease, office syndrome. Aromatic herbs and spices are often used as part of the massage, creating a blissful therapeutic session that blends carefully applied pressure with just the right amount of olfactory stimulation. Thai massage is so effective that the only common reaction after a session is a craving for more massages.


Thai massage seems to be such a panacea that a French envoy to the Kingdom of Ayutthaya once described it as a treatment in which "sick people are compressed and stretched, and pregnant women can give birth to babies with ease." did.



Herbs and Spices


As with most traditional medicine, certain herbs and spices are thought to alleviate certain symptoms. The formulation of compressed balls filled with herbs and spices often takes into account what the patient's specific symptoms are. For example, massage therapists know to use Bengal root, a relative of ginger, to reduce pain and inflammation. Kaffir lime peel contains fragrant volatile essential oils that reduce dizziness. Lemongrass promotes sweating and eliminates toxins. Tamarind leaves nourish the skin and reduce dryness and itching. Soap pods nourish the skin and soothe inflammation. Turmeric nourishes the skin and soothes all skin conditions. Salt helps reduce heat and brings out the benefits of other herbs. and camphor, which contains essential oils that give a pleasant aroma and help the heart function.


Pandan leaves, kaffir lime peel, pomelo peel, Java ginger, galangal, and eucalyptus are also popular ingredients for Thai massages.



Jivaka Komalavakka and the origin of Thai massage


Thai massage originated in the Indian subcontinent during the lifetime of Buddha. Jivaka Komaravakka, the personal physician of King Bimbisara and later the personal physician of Buddha, is considered the founder of the Hermit Movement (Rushi Dudthong), a series of poses that are at the core of Thai massage. Jivaka studied medicine in the city of Takkashila (also known as Takshila or Takshashila) and was known for treating patients with dignity, compassion and fairness and was loved by the community. (As a faithful Buddhist, he reached the state of sotapanna, the first of the four stages of enlightenment in Buddhism.) He passed on his knowledge, which spread throughout the South and Southeast Asian regions. Ta.



A quick look at the entire kingdom to spread traditional Thai massage to the general public


Traditional Thai massage was originally only used by aristocrats and royalty. During the reign of Ramkhamhaeng the Great , who ruled the Kingdom of Sukhothai from 1279 to 1298, a stone inscription was created detailing the use of herbs in massage. Later, during the reign of King Narai the Great , who ruled the Kingdom of Ayutthaya from 1656 to 1688, massage therapists were considered servants of the royal family and were given high status and land ownership rights to themselves.


Even before Thai massage became known as such, it gradually began to carve its own place in history. By the end of his reign, King Narai ordered a collection of herbal recipes and remedies compiled into a document now known as Tamra Osot Pura Narai (King Narai's Herbal Medicine Text). The importance of this document, which placed herbal medicine at the forefront of treatment, later resonated during the era of the Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782-present), when King Rama I (1782-1809) established the temple of Wat Pho , a popular temple. Ordered renovation. It will be central to the preservation of Thai massage and will include displaying herbal medicine formulas so that the public can also understand its use.


Then, during the reign of King Rama III (1824-1851), great strides were made in making massage therapy more accessible to the general public. In 1832 AD, King Rama III ordered the installation of 60 murals recording medical treatments on the walls of Wat Pho . He also ordered the erection of 80 statues modeled after hermit training and the construction of land to cultivate rare medicinal herbs and spices so that the public could visit and learn more about the art of traditional medicine.


Under the reign of King Rama IV (1851-1868), Thai massage spread to the south, with murals with poetic captions painted on the walls of Wat Klang in Songkhla province. During the reign of Rama V, a medical text was translated from Pali and Sanskrit into Thai and became known as the "Royal Massage Manual." During the reign of King Rama VII (1868-1960), as Western influence increased, a clear distinction was made between "modern medicine" and "traditional medicine," with Thai massage falling into the latter category. .

Thai massage is still in high demand today, and more and more certified massage therapy schools were opened across the country during the reign of King Rama IX (1946-2016). Seeing the popularity of Thai massage, King Rama IX encouraged the then-established Chetawan Massage School in Wat Pho to expand its range, constantly improving standards to meet local and global demand. while encouraging them to continue offering their four popular courses. Chetawan Massage School currently has four branches in Thailand: Wat Pho, Chaeng Wattana, Saraya and Chiang Mai.

Considering the history of Thai massage, it may not be surprising that there are currently two styles of Thai massage: royal style and commoner style. Royal style has traditionally been used to massage aristocrats and royalty. This type of massage is gentler and more elegant, using only the hands, as opposed to the more common styles that also use the feet, knees, and elbows. Royal style requires the person receiving the massage to sit, lie on their back or side, but never uncomfortably lie on their stomach. The general style of requesting a Thai massage can be less gentle, and as mentioned earlier, in this style, the massage therapist will treat parts of your body that are considered a little less refined, namely your feet. Sometimes used. , knees, elbows. Wat Pho massage style.



Traditional Thai massage through education and regulation


In 1982, Professor Wei Ketzin founded the Ayurvedic University of Traditional Medicine (which was later integrated into the higher education program of the prestigious Siriraj Hospital). Renowned therapist Naronsak Bunratanahiran taught Thai massage at the university. In 2001, the Thai Ministry of Health recognized traditional Thai massage as a branch of traditional Thai medicine.

Thailand's Ministry of Health requires all students in Thai massage schools to meet certain minimum contact hours before becoming certified therapists. For example, at Wat Pho, students need 153 hours to graduate from the basic massage therapy course and 380 hours to graduate from the intermediate course.

Research on traditional Thai massage is active not only in Bangkok but also in Chiang Mai, with 16 styles registered. 90% of our students each year are foreigners, which speaks to the popularity of Thai massage in the foreign community.



Thai therapist beyond Thailand


Massage therapy brings in billions of Thai baht in revenue every year, including revenue earned overseas. In Europe and North America, Thai massage can be a particularly lucrative business, generating up to $8,000 per month. In the United States, all massage therapists are required to carry a valid license issued by the US authorities. These require aspiring therapists to attend long and sometimes expensive massage courses.

While Thai massage may sound too good to be true, rest assured that our practitioners are under no illusion that massage therapy will always solve your problems. Despite the benefits of a massage, your therapist may require you to wait first. Particularly unfavorable times and conditions for massage include immediately after a meal, during pregnancy, if you have a more permanent illness or medical disorder, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, or high blood pressure. . In addition, people who have just recovered from an accident or fracture, have open wounds, or have recently had a prosthesis should also refrain from receiving massages for one month after surgery.

Thai massage works for the majority of people in most situations. However, since its main purpose is always healing, Nuat Thai should only be performed when the body is ready and optimally accepted.

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