All this has been part of daily life here for centuries. Before the arrival of modern medicine, herbalists filled the role of doctor and pharmacist. Originally, village doctors were monks or former monks, since Buddhist temples were the center of learning also of worldly matters such as medicine.
Thai traditional medicine holds that the body has four elements: wind, water, earth and fire, and ill health results from an imbalance between them. To remedy an ailment, the village “doctor” would make a herbal pack for the patient to ingest, rub onto the skin, or add to a steam compress. Another major component of traditional medicine is energy. When the energy lines are blocked, the individual will become ill, physically or emotionally. A traditional Thai massage or sauna would be prescribed.
Traditional Thai massage is a proven physical therapy that dates back to ancient India sometime before the lifetime of Buddha. It has been practiced here for centuries, and many swear by it as an effective cure for common ailments such as aches and pains, fevers and nervous strains. Most hotels rated three stars and above offer traditional massage as part of their health and fitness services. All the spa resorts include it in their therapy programs.