Thai Massage Intro -09 Formation

Traditional Thai Medicine practitioners have a guardian spirit they pay homage to: Shivaga Komarpaj, the Ayurvedic practitioner who treated the Buddha and is considered the father of Thai traditional medicine,. An important ritual among practitioners of Traditional Thai Medicine is the wai khru, or paying homage to Shivago and the unbroken lineage of masters who have kept the tradition alive. The devotee recites mantras and makes offerings (usually incense) at an altar, taking care never to turn his or her back on it after the ceremony. The wai khru, which opens with the words Om namo Shivago, is performed in schools and massage facilities throughout the land.

Unknown to many, Thailand has its own version of yoga-like stretches known as ruesri dat ton or ” hermit’s self-stretching.” These exercises are similar to Hatha Yoga, and a link between the two is obvious.  Many schools in the country still teach this little-known gem of Traditional Thai Medicine even though many locals are unfamiliar with it.  A master of Thai Yoga, a ruesri or rishi, was traditionally the same as an ascetic, hermit, seer, etc., who practiced meditation and developed the powers on the path to spiritual realization. The ruesri is depicted as a hermit wearing a tiger’s skin, symbolic of his accomplishments and mastery. Some have suggested that Thai massage originated in individual yoga practices such as Ruesri Dat Ton and Hatha Yoga. Many Thai massage positions resemble yoga poses.