NUAD BORARN Thai Massage is one of the most ancient healing arts known today.
The word "Nuad" means "Massage", "Borarn" means "Ancient". It's roots can be found in
Indian Ajurveda, Chinese Traditional Medicine and local Thai medical knowledge. Important figure in Thai massage tradition is Dr. Jivago (Jivacca Komarapaj). There are ancient Buddhist scripts talking about Dr. Jivago, a man of the greatest medical knowledge of his time, and who was personal physician of Buddha Sakyamuni 2500 years ago.
   Dr. Jivago is considered to be the founder of Thai Massage, by Thais referred as the "Father Doctor". He is source of inspiration and guide for Thai therapists. It is a custom to perform the Wai Khru - short prayer to Father Doctor before giving a treatment as a mental preparation and way to focus energy. This prayer is also practice at the beginning and the end of the day in massage schools in Thailand today.
   Ajurveda, Indian medical tradition  was brought to Thailand by Buddhist monks and for
centuries was practiced in monasteries from where it spread and merged with local traditions. Together with some influence of Chinese medicine it formed today known traditional Thai massage techniques. This knowledge was practiced by village healers and "Ruesi" - Thai hermits-yogis, preserved and passed often within families from generation to generation until present days.
   When French sailors visited Kingdom of Siam in XVII century, they reported about popular practice of walking and kneeling being exchanged among locals.
Massage was integral part of Thai medical tradition and was one of it four branches:
    -  herbal medications used internally
    -  diet coordination
    -  external therapies: Thai massage
    -  rituals and meditation
Dr. Jivacca Komarapaj 

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   In 1767 Thailand was invaded by Burmese, the royal capital was destroyed and all the libraries were
burned. Thus almost all ancient medical texts disappeared. The only remained documents were some
manuscripts written on palm leafs.
   In 1823 King Rama III ordered  to carve them in stone and place them on the walls of the temple
Wat Pho in Bangkok. This diagrams are today major source of theory of NUAD BORARN. Together there
are 60 figures, 30 representing the front of body and 30 of the back. Even though they don't reflect
anatomical structure of human body, they show the patterns of energy lines and points and how they
should be used in therapy.
   During the reign of King Chulalongkorn known as Rama V (1868 - 1910) Thailand was modernized
and many hospitals were build with equaly western and traditional Thai medicine used in treatments
and medical training. During that time many ancient texts on traditional Thai medicine and massage
were revived and training centers established.
   After king Rama V passed away, western medicine in Thailand was favored and centers of training in
traditional medicine and massage were dissolved. For the next 70 years Thai Medicine was banned and
practitioners had to hide themselves, destroying original texts to avoid prosecution.
During the Vietnam war their reputation of Thai massage was damaged as it was associated with
   In 1985 Thai government established "The Thai Massage Revival Project" aimed at revival,
standardization and popularization of Thai massage as proffesional alternative therapy bringing benefit
for the community.
   Because of large number of tourists visiting Thailand every year, today Thai massage
is well known and increasingly popular in the world. However, main factor should be seen
in establishing schools with standardized program teaching Nuad Borarn like Wat Pho in Bangkok 
and Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai in the 1960-ties, on the other hand - passion and devotion
of western pioneers who learned and popularized Thai massage as we know it today. The main figure
among them should be mentioned: Asokananda (Harald Brust) - dedicated researcher, teacher and
author of books about Thai massage, who lived for over 20years in Thailand and in fact introduced this
ancient tradition to the West.
Thai Yoga Massage
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Aleksander Skwara © 2019
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