วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 8 เมษายน พ.ศ. 2553
Thai massage - involving the use of hands to massage various muscle groups of the body to relief pain and tension - has been in existence since ancient times. This is evidenced by stone inscriptions dating back to the reign of King Rarnkhamhaeng in the Sukhothai period which show illustrations of Thai massage. This form of traditionaltherapy, combined with the use of traditional Thai medi-cine, flourished greatly during the reign of King Narai of the Ayutthaya period, and there were numerous writings about these forms of medicine and therapies. However in the war of 1767, which brought the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, many of these writings were destroyed.The concept of traditional Thai medicine was revived again in the early Rattanakosin period, when King Rama Ill commissioned projects to gather information on a wide variety of fields, and one of them was traditional Thai medi¬cine. The information collected was then engraved on stone slabs such as those found today in Wat Pho (or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Traditional Thai medicine and Thai massage again become popular although there was a decline in its popularity after Western medicine was intro¬duced in Thailand. Today, traditional Thai massage is very well accepted, both by the Thais as well as the expatriates and tourists, as an 'in-thing' - whether it is for recuperative purposes after an illness, or just an indulgence over the weekend to relieve the tensions of a week of hard work, or simply to ease off the fatigue of jet lag.Massage fans may not know this but there are two forms of traditional Thai massage : the Royal Thai mas-sage and Folk Massage.Royal massage is for the king and member of the Royal family, as its name implies. The utmost standards of politeness, respect and in fact reverence are required of the masseuse. He kneels and moves around his patient on his knees. He massages only with his hands, thumbs and fingers and just sufficient pressure is applied, to ensure that there is no pain or discomfort. This form of massage is to improve blood circulation, stimulate the functioning of nerves as well as to treat problematic joints, which may have been caused by accidents.Folk massage refers to massage for the general public, the techniques of which have been practised throughout many generations. Essentially, this form of massage originated from the villagers who found it suit¬able to massage one another with their hands, as well as other parts of the body, without using any medicine to treat aches and pains. This form of massage is well-known in the Thai society today. Masseuses start to learn this form of massage by kneading a mixture of beeswax, plasticene and clay - to strengthen their hands and fin-gers and then they study the various massage techniques.Traditional Thai massage has developed into several forms. Thai massage Incorporates several distinct applica¬tions : stretching, bending, chap sen which means apply¬ing pressure to various parts of the muscle groups and kode chutwhich means applying pressure at specific points of the body to stimulate blood circulation to certain organs. Foot massage involves the use of hands and a small wooden device to massage the feet at various pressure points to enhance blood circulation. Use of hot herbal compresses - a variety of herbs are compressed tightly and bound into balls covered with muslin cloth, after which the bundles are heated in a hot pot or steamer. The hot 'compress' is then applied to various parts of the body to relieve aches and pains. Injury massage are massage techniques that will help patients who have specific health problems such as ankle or neck sprains. Oil massage begins with apply¬ing herbal oil on the body followed by the massage. This form of massage is especially therapeutic as it is enhanced by the warmth and quality of the herbal oils.
Mr. Preeda Tangtrongchit, Director of Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, said, "Thanks to the order of King Rama Ill to record Thai massage tech¬niques on stone engravings, traditional Thai massage has continued to exist to this day. The King wrote that records on Thai massage were for the benefit of humanity, and to pass on the legacy of the science, proper knowledge must be disseminated. For this reason, the Chettawan Health School, or the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Mas¬sage School, considers it its duty to pass to the next gen¬eration, proper knowledge of traditional Thai medicine based on the stone engravings at Wat Pho, which is also referred to as Wat Phra Chetuphon".Chetawan Health School offers 12 training courses, namely general massage, therapeutic massage, infant and child massage, women massage, oil massage and aromatherapy, foot massage, Thai pharmacy and medi¬cine, basic Thai massage techniques, 'intermediate Thai massage techniques, Thai massage for foreigners, spa for health, and ascetic self-stretching:Apart from Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School at Wat Pho, near Tha Tian, in Bangkok, there are three other branches: Chetawan Health School at Chaeng Wattana in Bangkok, Chetawan Health School in Chiang Mai, and Chetawan Health School and Tradi¬tional Medicine Clinic at Salaya in Nakhon Pathom.Thai massage is usually found in all spa services, whether they are day spas, destination spas, medical spas, or mineral spring spas. It also goes together with the use of Thai herbs.'Spa' is derived from the Latin phrase, `sanitus per aqua', means health through water. It involves applying water for health and relaxation, together with sauna for skin cleaning and nourishing through the use of herbs, aromatic oil, music, and other techniques to bring full re¬laxation to all the senses in the body. It can be said that the popularity of spas has grown together with that of Thai massage, since the two sciences bring about the feeling of relaxation in tandem with health care.If Thai massage is comparable to a tree planted in the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods, this tree has grown and is bearing fruit, although it was forgotten in certain peri¬ods of time. Thanks to the contribution of King Rama III, to restore and maintain the techniques of traditional Thai massage, it has become so popular that it has become a national icon of sorts, with its appeal spreading all across the globe.