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thai romanization
Puzzled about
Thai romanization system ?



Traditional Thai Massage By Jasmine
 
   
T r a d i t i o n a l
By Jasmine / Photos by Inchan
 
 
The efficacy of traditional Thai massage in relieving muscular pain and stiffness is being accepted by more and more people who have tried it. There is a place in Bangkok which has gained wide fame for teaching massage and providing massage service, i.e., the Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School located inside Wat Pho* or Wat Phra Chetuphon, also known to foreigners as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. In addition, traditional Thai massage can be obtained at several leading hotels and massage parlours.

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*Wat Pho, a tourist attraction famous for its Reclining Buddha, is located behind the Grand Palace on Sanamchai Road, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, tel: 0 2221 2974 fax: 0 2225 4771. See map of Bangkok
 
Atlas of the body's essential massage points
 
Among the Thai people, Wat Pho is well known as the first university of Thailand. It was King Rama III (1824-1851) who ordered the renovation of the temple, and made the temple the centre of knowledge by having the temple walls covered with numerous stone tablets inscribed with writings about various branches of knowledge, so that the knowledge could be spread more widely and easily.

The king also ordered the attachment of pictures of traditional Thai massage showing various channels and points on the human body, and the placement of statues of Yoga postures and 317 marble slabs bearing 1,100 formulae of curative herbal medicines in the temple. As a result, Wat Pho became an appropriate place for providing knowledge on traditional Thai massage and a school for teaching this subject was opened over 40 years ago, being the first school of this kind in Thailand.
 
The building of the Thai Traditional
Medical & Massage School.
 
Wat Pho's Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School offers courses on Thai Traditional Medicine and Practice, Thai Herbal Drugs and Thai Traditional Massage. While the first two are open to Thais only, the last is offered to both Thais and foreigners. Traditional massage began to gain interest from people only a few decade ago.
 
Stupas in the Monastery
 
Recently, both Thais and foreigners have come in large numbers to learn massage or receive the massage service. The basic massage course takes 30 hours in which students will be taught a simple kind of massage for relieving fatigue, muscular cramp and nervous tension. Also the massage at this level is intended to make muscle and joints supple and to stimulate the blood and lymph circulation for physical fitness improvement.
 
A posture of the Thai version of yoga
 
After completing this course, students can further their study by taking the therapeutic and healing massage course which teaches the Thai fundamental massaging techniques for healing muscle pain, muscle sprain, muscle weakness and nervous tension. Reasons for study of Thais and foreigners are not quite different; some want to give massage to their family members and others hope to use the skills to earn some extra money.
 
Receiving a massage can help boost
the body system. (Photo by courtesy
of the Siam Heritage Hotel)
 
The efficacy of Thai traditional massage is proved by the increasing numbers of people who have come to take the courses and to receive services. The massage service that the school provides has a threefold purpose; to stimulate blood circulation, to relieve tension and to make the patient feel comfortable.
 
 
But it is not for curing disease. To improve its result, massage can also be conducted with the use of a bag of heated Thai medicinal herbs. People of all ages are welcome to receive massage except pregnant women, menstruating women and those who underwent a surgical operation less than one year.
 
Clients receiving massages at Wat Pho
 
A masseur or masseuse uses not only his or her hands, but also feet, knees and legs to give massage. How much force will be exerted on the patient's body depends on the strength of the patient's muscle.
 
Bags of heated Thai medicinal herbs will improve the effectiveness of the massage.
 
One who regularly exercises will have stronger muscle, enabling him to endure a more forceful massage than the one with weak muscle. Interested persons do not need any preparations before receiving massage except wearing a dress that is loose and comfortable. The fees for service and study are inexpensive here and you are recommended to have a try.
 

For the correct pronunciation of romanized Thai words, see
Romanization System of the Thai Language .

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