History of Thai Massage
Thai massage, an ancient massage, refers to the traditional method of Thai massage which is a therapeutic treatment from Thai medical sciences. The massage emphasizes stretching and acupuncture pressing as the main secret of treatment. The so-called ancient Thai massage originated from India. After entering into Thailand, the massage was developed, adjusted, and improved to perfectly match with Thai culture and society until it became the standard for the current Thai massage.
Thai ancient massage can be divided into two types based on the social status of clients including Royal and regular style.
Royal massage style targeted high social status clients all the way up to the Royal family members. Therefore, this type of massage allowed the use of fingers and hands only. Since the clients wore high social ranks, masseurs needed to proceed with politeness. Furthermore, the massage itself required many regulated details. Most of masseurs commonly lived and worked in the palace or the house of their own clients.
Regular massage style targeted the rest of the society. It did not require much of unique and polite movements from masseurs. As well as regulated details, the masseurs could easily proceed freely without considering the regulations. Furthermore, this style allowed masseurs to proceed with any other parts of their bodies such as knees, elbows, and feet. This was completely different from that of the Royal massage style. The main reason was to help the masseurs preserve some of their energy as the result of having more clients than the Royal massage.
Principle and Methodology
The correct method of massaging will prevent masseurs from getting tired and exhausted. It must be convenient and safe for both the masseur and the client. The correct procedure for Thai massage must start with the position of hands. The masseurs must place their hands with correct postures on the correct spot in each pressing. This is an art of controlling pressure and weight on each spot to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment. Therefore, posture of masseur’s hands and feet along with the way masseur sits are related to the degree and direction of the massage. The easiest rule to remember is the masseur must stretch out their arms, face straight ahead, and have correct degree of the angle between arms and the target spot.
Techniques of Thai massage characteristics includes pressing, rolling, squeezing, twisting, bending, hitting, pounding, chopping, and stepping. The general parts of human bodies that can be used to give a massage include hands, fingers, elbows, knees, and feet. Nevertheless, to give a royal style massage requires the use of hands and fingers only.
Thai massage is the uniqueness that represent Thai culture. To give a massage, masseurs always consider the appropriate manners. This is because massaging is an interaction between two people, the masseur and the client. According to traditional Thai culture, it has already been an inappropriate manners for touching other people’s body parts. With this reason, Thai masseurs always pay special consideration to this matter. As heritage from ancient principle, Thai masseurs always follow the same manners including pay respect to their massaging teachers, concentrate in effectiveness of the massage, and many more. This is why Thai massage is the most unique massage of all kinds.
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