Thai Massage

Thai Massage

(Nuad Bo-Rarn)

Certified by International Training Massage School (ITM), Chiang Mai, Thailand

What is Thai massage?

Thai massage is very different from 'oil massage', that's what they call Swedish massage in Thailand.  Thai is performed on a mat, on the floor, with the client fully clothed.  There are no long flowing strokes, as there are in Swedish massage, so no massage oil or massage cream is needed. Compression, stretching, and rocking are the only techniques used. Compression is done using the hands and the feet primarily but forearms, elbows, and knees can also be used.  Nicknamed "Lazy Man's Yoga" Thai massage is much like an assisted yoga session where the client is completely passive and relaxed throughout.  In Thailand, a Thai massage is 2 hours long or longer, but here in the U.S. most people only want a 1-hour session.  I believe that is a carryover from the traditional Swedish massage which is usually 1 hour.

History of Thai Massage

Naud Bo-Rarn or Traditional Northern Thai massage was started by Doctor Shivago who is said to have been the physician to Buddha, 2,500 years ago and is known as the Father of Traditional Thai medicine of which Thai massage is an integral part. Chiang Mai, the former capital city of Thailand, was the center of Traditional Thai medicine.  Chiang Mai is still 'the' place to go to learn tradition Thai massage today.  Unfortunately, most of the written history of Thai massage was lost during the many years of Burmese attacks on Siam (Thailand). Following WWII Thailand became popular with tourist making Thai massages a worldwide known technique.  In the mid-1980's Thai massage began its rise in popularity in the United States. 

Thai Massage Mantra (Prayer)

Thailand is 95% Buddhist and there are over 40,000 Buddhist Temples in Thailand.  Every town has several Temples and many towns have many temples.  In Thailand, every young man is expected to serve in a Buddhist monastery as a monk for at least 1 year.  Buddhism in Thailand is much more than a religion, it is a way of life.  It is intricately woven throughout every minute of every day, throughout everything that is done, every day.  As such, there are Mantra's (prayers) that are said before doing certain things and massage is one of those things.  Below is the Mantra said by the therapist before performing their massage.  I have written the translation first, below that is the Mantra in the original language, just in case you would like to read it. I learned Thai massage at the ITM school in Chiang Mai and we recited this Mantra in that language at the beginning of every day's lessons.

Mantra to Doctor Shivago

We invite the spirit of our Founding Father, Doctor Shivago, who comes to us through his saintly life.  Please bring to us the knowledge of all nature, that this mantra will show us the true medicine of the Universe.  In the name of this mantra, we respect your help and pray that through our bodies you will bring wholeness and health to the body of our client.

The Goddess of healing dwells in the heavens high, while mankind stays in the world below.  In the name of the Founder, may the heavens be reflected in the earth below so that this healing medicine may encircle the world.

We pray for the one whom we touch, that he (she) will be happy and that any illness will be released from him (her).

* denotes a pause

Om Namo * Shivago * Silasa * Ahang * Karuniko *

Sapa Satanang * Osata * Tipa Mantang * Papaso *

Suriya Jantang * Komalapato * Paka Sesi * Wantami *

Bantito * Sume Taso * Aroka * Sumana Homi

Piyo Tewa * Manus Sanang * Piyo Proma*

Namut Tamo * Piyo Naka * Supan Nanang *

Pinin Siyang * Nama Mihang * Namo Puttaya *

Navon Navien * Nasatit Nasatien * Ehi Mama *

Navien Nawae * Napai Tang Vien * Navien Mahaku *

Ehi Mama * Piyong Mama * Namo Puttaya 

Na A * Na Wa * Roka * Payati * Vinas Santi