“What is today called “Thai massage” or “Thai yoga massage” is an ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures. The founder of Thai massage was an Ayurvedic doctor named ชีวกโกมารภัจจ์ Jivaka Kumar Bhacca, who is revered still in Thailand as the “father of medicine”. Born in India during the time of the Buddha, he is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and for having treated important people of his day, including the Buddha himself. The Father of Thai massage is believed to be the personal doctor of Buddha. The massage was originally practiced in the temples with the aim of relieving the soreness the Buddhist monks felt after hours of meditation and contemplation.
Having developed in such a spiritual atmosphere has given Buddhist philosophy and meditation a very special role in Thai massage. An example of this is that a Thai massage therapist recites a prayer to Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha every morning, pleading his help and protection during the workday. Apart from the Indian culture, Thai massage has also been influenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine, as can be observed for instance in its concept of energy lines in the human body.