1.1 Statement of problem
The history of Thai massage can be traced back to the Buddhist era in India. Guru, Cheewakomalapaj was both a personal physician and masseuse to Lord Buddha. This knowledge was handed down to him by Smitthi the Hermit, massage guru. Buddhism then flourished and entered China down to Thailand by various priest. The oldest evidences of Thai massage were engraves on boulders found in a mango forest in the Ramkamhaeng era. Meanwhile, Thai medical science, particularly Thai massage, flourished during the Ayutthaya era. Civil service laws in 1455 stated that masseuses were given the position of right deputy with 300 acres of land and left deputy with 40 acres of land. Ayutthaya era’s French Ambassador La Lou pier France stated of this ancient practice as follows, “In Siam, if somebody got ill, their limbs will be stretched by professionals in this field and at the same time step their bodies as a way of massage using their bare feet.” This traditional Thai medical science was inherited from the Ayutthaya era to the Ratanakosin era. However, a large portion of documents and studies was lost to pillages and fire during the prolonged period of war. Those who have much knowledge on thai traditional medical science were kidnapped and captured with a few doctors in the main cities spared. To preserved this valuable treasure, King Rama 1 granted the statues of hermits depicting 80 massage acts be built and had the detail description of Thai massage engraved and illustrated into 60 marble pieces that was installed as decorative in the walls and pillars of the Phrachetupolwimolmungklaram temple. In 1854, during the reign of King Rama 5, civil service laws showed that there was still an official masseuse department. His majesty also serviced masseuse regularly, treating him when he got ill and they accompanied him during his travels.
By studying the evolution of Thai massage, we found that Thai massage gradually...