Traditional Thai Medicine & Traditional Thai Massage
Traditional Thai Medicine or Traditional Thai Massage, as it is taught and practiced today, has in fact only existed since the mid-1980s (AD).
Traditional healing methods have been around in Asia for thousands of years, but with the advent of Western medicine they have been pushed into the background or even banned altogether. Thus, the laws passed in 1923 and 1936 respectively (“The Medical Act B.E. 2466” and “Control of the Practice of the Art of Healing Act B.E. 2479”) made the free practice of traditional healing methods in Thailand punishable.
Similar to traditional martial arts, the illegalization of traditional healing methods led to the loss of large parts of this field of knowledge. Only on the advice of the WHO (see “Alma Ata Declaration” of 1978) this ban was loosened after more than sixty years and a “revival project” was started under state leadership. Among other things, this measure was intended to provide a legal professional alternative to prostitution and, on the other hand, an attractive offer for wealthy tourists from all over the world.
However, the newly created curricula for traditional Thai medicine and traditional Thai massage (nuad thai) only contain a tiny fraction of the original healing-knowledge. Entire subject areas and sub-areas have been removed or not even found in the course of creating this “new” curriculum of Traditional Thai Medicine. The result was a newly invented, wellness-oriented form of medicine, which has since been marketed as “Traditional Thai Medicine” or “Traditional Thai Massage”, but no longer has much in common with the original healing knowledge.