Thai Massage in Thailand

I’d heard about the Old Medicine Hospital from teachers of Thai massage that I had studied with here in the states. Really good teachers who had studied there and seemed to really know their stuff. While I had learned a lot from them I had always hoped that I would one day make it to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study at the source.


Northern Style Thai massage (called Nuad Boram in Thai) is an ancient system of bodywork originating in Chiang Mai. It combines practitioner assisted Yoga stretching exercises, trigger point therapy and deep tissue energy work. Sometimes called Thai Yoga Massage, this modality enhances the free and natural movements of the body, balances meridian energy and promotes blood and lymphatic flow, thereby increasing flexibility and range of motion. It is performed with recipient wearing loose comfortable clothing. No oil is used.


This work is therapeutic for both receiver and practitioner. The practitioner needs to use her/his body in a way that strengthens it over time and that limits the possibility of injury. They also need to stay in a meditative state in order to be able to notice what is going on with the client’s energy.  In many massage styles, the person lies on a table and you rub one side then the other. With Thai Massage, you are physically moving and re-positioning the client’s body, hence the nickname of ‘Lazy Man’s Yoga’.


Thai Yoga Massage

My Teachers at Old Medicine Hospital


Most traditional Thai healers trace their lineage back to the “Father Doctor” Jivaka Komarabhacca, the Buddha’s personal physician. In addition, one’s direct 
lineage of teachers is considered an important indication of authenticity and a 
mark of high quality. The Shivagakomarpaj Lineage at Old Medicine Hospital is one of the most respected and widespread lineages of Thai massage in the world today. It was the first in Chiang Mai to teach students from the west who wanted to learn Thai massage.


Why learn in Chang Mai when we have very excellent teachers here in the states? Prices in Thailand when converted from dollar to baht are extremely reasonable. Not only for the cost of instruction but also for the prices of food and lodging.  In Thailand there is a strong practice of Buddhism and Thai Massage and it is filled with classes, courses, immersions, master teachers, a strong spirituality, but more important, the myriad of courses are incredibly affordable. You may not spend much more for those continuing ed hours than you would have to learn the same thing at home.


I chose to go to Chiang Mai for The Old Medicine Hospital, The instruction was excellent, the teachers were personable. But it is also a wonderful place to visit.


The Old Medicine Hospital is not about medicine, nor is it a hospital, but a school with a clinic attached. Check out their website.



Karen Kessler LMP ABT

1104 Main Street, Suite 306
Vancouver WA 98660
360 735 9432 or contact

Karen has been practicing Asian Bodywork Therapy for over 20 years. Using shiatsu, tuina and thai massage she can help you in your quest for good health. She works both energetically and structurally to reduce pain and stress, and to promote healing and injury recovery.