Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


No pain, no fame: Thai massage could get Unesco status

No pain, no fame: Thai massage could get Unesco status

BANGKOK: At Bangkok's Reclining Buddha temple Krairath Chantrasri says he is a proud custodian of a 2,000-year-old skill - the body-folding, sharp-elbowed techniques of Thai massage, which this week could be added to UNESCO's prestigious heritage list.

culturehealth
By AFP

Wednesday 11 December 2019, 02:36PM


The ancient practice of Thai massage could be added to Unesco's prestigious heritage list. Photo AFP.

The ancient practice of Thai massage could be added to Unesco's prestigious heritage list. Photo AFP.

From upscale Bangkok spas and Phuket beach fronts to modest street-side shophouses, Thai massage, or "nuad Thai," is ubiquitous across the kingdom, where an hour of the back-straightening discipline can cost as little as $5.

This week it may be added to UNESCO's list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage" when the body meets in the Colombian capital of Bogota (December 9-14).

Krairath, who teaches at the Reclining Buddha School inside the famed Wat Pho temple, helps thousands of Thai and foreign students who flock to the centre each year.

The son of a masseuse, he takes great pride in his role sharing the ancient discipline at a temple whose certification is a proud banner for any massage shop.

"I'm a continuation of our collective knowledge," the 40-year-old told AFP.

At Wat Pho's complex, trainees run through a catalogue of moves targeting the body's acupuncture points with thumbs, elbows, knees and feet also incorporating deep stretches and contortions.

Originating in India, doctors and monks were said to have brought these methods 2,500 years ago to Thailand, passing its secrets from master to disciple in temples and later within families.

Under Thailand's King Rama III in the nineteenth century, scholars engraved their knowledge of the field onto the stones of Wat Pho.

But the practice really took off in 1962 thanks to the formation of the school, which has since trained more than 200,000 massage therapists who practice in 145 countries.

Massage employs tens of thousands of Thais.

MACNELS SHIPPING PHUKET

The school's director Preeda Tangtrongchitr says they usually see an uptick of interest from Thais when the economy is bad.

"For many people who are disabled or in debt, this job is an opportunity because it requires no material, only their hands and knowledge," he says.

Today a therapist at a top-end spa can charge around $100 an hour inside Thailand, two or three times more in London, New York or Hong Kong where the Thai massage brand is booming.

But the training is "demanding", says Chilean Sari, a professional masseuse who travelled to Bangkok to learn the discipline.

"The technique is very precise, there are so many things to be aware of," the 34-year-old told AFP, as she made rotations with her palm on a fellow student's skull.

The teachings focus on directing blood circulation around problem areas to solve muscle aches - sometimes drawing winces from clients unaccustomed to the force applied.

Studies have shown it can help relieve back pain, headaches, insomnia and even anxiety.

For Matthieu Rochefolle, a nurse from Lyon, France, adding Thai massage techniques to his repertoire of skills could help his elderly patients aching for relief.

"It could also allow me to earn a little more," he says.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket health chief issues advisory over haze, air quality

Phuket Provincial health Office Chief: full ahead with even Mask 95 advice for that PM2.5 stuff. S...(Read More)


Freedom Beach vendors arrested

If you count the number of thai top Officials, a so here called 'high-powered' delegation, a...(Read More)


Freedom Beach vendors arrested

They'll be back. I've lost count of the number of times 'action' has been taken agai...(Read More)


‘Not enough water for 2020’, says Phuket water chief

So yesterday we read that the water problems are solved. Today they are talking about using water fr...(Read More)


‘Not enough water for 2020’, says Phuket water chief

Finally a Official who lays the Phuket 'water cards' on the table. Now the Governors have to...(Read More)


Slew of brown seaweed washes ashore Patong Beach

There is no seaweed in Pak Bang Canal. It can come from way out at sea or as Dek suggested Tri Tran...(Read More)


Phuket PWA receives B406.9mn for projects to solve water problems

Dont worry,according to K there is only 2 weeks of water remaining before everyone dies. ...(Read More)


‘Not enough water for 2020’, says Phuket water chief

And YET, the sprinklers are going in the middle of the day at Suan Luang Park and the golf course ne...(Read More)