THAI MASSAGE

(Investigator Magazine 195, 2020  November)



History

The roots of Thai massage can be traced back 2000 years to traditional Chinese medicine and has remained virtually unchanged since.

When the royal capital of Ayuthaya was destroyed in 1776, most of the ancient medical texts went with it. The remaining information can still be seen carved in stone and set in the walls of the Wat Poh temple in Bangkok.

Part of the temple serves as a clinic to treat patients and to teach traditional medicine and massage.


Theory

As with the vital life energy force concept known as chi or prana found in acupuncture and acupressure, Thai massage focuses on major lines and energy points. Blockages of these lines supposedly impede the flow of vital life energy.


Practice

Pressure using the fingers, thumbs, elbows and other parts of the body is exerted on the "blocked" meridian points as well as stretching all the muscles and yoga-like exercises. Essential oils are also used. Unlike many massage parlours servicing tourists in Bangkok, the massage is given on the floor with the client lightly clothed.


 Assessment

A few stretches, gentle exercise and physical manipulation of the body can be a very pleasant and relaxing experience. However, the concept of meridians, energy points and "blockages" has no basis in science.



References

American Massage Therapy Association. 1989. A Guide to Massage Therapy in America, Chicago, Illinois.

_________________ 1986. Applications of Therapeutic Massage. Chicago.
_________________ 1986. Sports Massage. Chicago, Illinois.
_________________ 1986. Stress. Chicago, illinois.

Kastner, M. & Burroughs, H. 1993. Alternative Healing, Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, California.

Man-Ch'ing, Cheng. 1981. T'ai Chi Ch'uan: A Simplified Method of Callisthenics for Health & Self Defence. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California.


From: Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc


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