Thai massage (Derived From Buddhism) :
Wat Pho is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science, and literature through murals and sculptures. A school for traditional medicine and massage was established at the temple in 1955, and now offers four courses in Thai medicine: Thai pharmacy, Thai medical practice, Thai midwifery, and Thai massage. This, the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, is the first school of Thai medicine approved by the Thai Ministry of Education, and one of the earliest massage schools. It remains the national headquarters and the center of education of traditional Thai medicine and massage to this day. Courses on Thai massage are held in Wat Pho, and these may last a few weeks to a year. Two pavilions at the eastern edge of the Wat Pho compound are used as classrooms for practising Thai traditional massage and herbal massage, and visitors can received massage treatment here for a fee. Foreigners from 135 countries have studied Thai massage at Wat Po.
There are many medical inscriptions and illustrations placed in various buildings around the temple complex, some of which serve as instructions for Thai massage therapists, particularly those in the north medical pavilion. Among these are 60 inscribed plaques, 30 each for the front and back of human body, showing pressure points used in traditional Thai massage. These therapeutic points and energy pathways, known as sen, are engraved on the human figures, with explanations given on the walls next to the plaques. They are based on the principle of energy flow similar to that of Chinese acupuncture. The understanding so far is that the figures represent relationships between anatomical locations and effects produced by massage treatment at those locations, but full research on the diagrams has yet to be completed.
Wat Pho (Temple Stupa) :
Wat Pho, also spelled Wat Po (or Wat Podharam in the past), is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace. Known also aacs the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn. The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction of its older name Wat Photaram.
The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples. It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined. The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple is considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions has been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. It houses a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.
Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples. It existed before Bangkok was established as the capital by King Rama I. It was originally named Wat Photaram or Podharam, from which the name Wat Pho is derived. The name refers the monastery of the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. The older temple is thought to have been built or expanded during the reign of King Phetracha (1688–1703), but date and founder unknown. The southern section of Wat Pho used to be occupied by part of a french Star fort that was demolished by King Phetracha after the 1688 Siege of Bangkok.
More photos of Wat Pho here.
Our group trip photos in Instagram.