The precise origins of Thai Massage are unknown but most practitioners traditionally trace its lineage to Shivago Kumar Baj, a friend of the Buddha and doctor to his Sangha and King Bimbisara . It is believed that Doctor Shivago’s teachings reached Thailand at the same time as Buddhism, as early as 3rd or 2nd century B.C.
The philosophy of osteopathic medicine was developed in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Still’s research and clinical observations led him to believe that the musculoskeletal system played a vital role in health and disease and that the body contained all of the elements needed to maintain health if properly stimulated.
The combination of the relatively new technique of osteopathic medicine (136 years) and the ancient tradition of Thai Massage (approximately 2,500 years) is the development of Arno L’Hermitte and David Lutt, The co-founders of the College of Osteo-Thai in Les Auquiers, France.
The extraordinary techniques of Thai massage and the gentle touch of osteopathy creates a balanced treatment that approaches the human being as a global entity, with physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual aspects.
Osteo-Thai uses long leverage techniques across full muscle groups, acupressure points along sen lines and the precise techniques of the osteopathic theory to encourage range of motion, lubricate joints, move metabolic waste, invigorate the nervous system, lessen muscle tension, increase nutrition absorption, improve circulation of blood and lymph hastening recovery time, increase performance and lessen the potential for injury in athletes and non-athletes.
As an onlooker osteo-thai resembles a dance or a passive yoga session. Preformed on a mat the client is lifted, twisted, moved, and held. Allowing the receiver to let go of habitual movement patterns, the manipulation can stimulate more effective movement in muscles, joints, and energy. As the conscious mind releases an awareness of ourselves and our abilities deepen, a trust of our physical state as well as our emotional state develops.
My experience as a student, therapist and receiver of Osteo-Thai massage has been liberating and life changing. As a student I have had the opportunity to study in Chiang Mai and Koh Payham, Thailand surrounded by a culture of spirituality and wholistic therapy. I was instructed by the brilliant teachings of Amnat Manarat, Itiphon Manarat, and Arno L’Hermitte who have all dedicated themselves to the wisdom of Thai and Osteo-Thai Massage. As a therapist it has been my honor to witness the physical and emotional shifts and insights in clients. As a receiver, to experience in myself the opening and empowerment that Osteo-Thai Massage offers, reminded me that we are all complete and connected.