This therapeutic healing practice has existed in Thailand for more than a thousand years. Thailand, at the crossroads of China and India, has been influenced by many different civilizations, from which many interesting cultural and religious practices come. Chinese concepts of traditional medicine (including acupuncture and acupressure) in theory and practice and Taoist philosophy and practices both influenced the practice of the traditional Thai massage. The knowledge about the massage was passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth. Finally, the practice, including detailed descriptions of Traditional Thai Massage, was recorded on palm leaves. There are altogether 60 figures. Traditional Thai Massage is based on the concept of the body's vital life force energy that flows along “Sen’’ channels. Chiropractic and physiotherapy practices are similar to Traditional Thai Massage but they ignore the energy channels and points in the body and are based on the anatomical structure. Traditional Thai Massage is similar to reflexology and the concepts of stretching. It enhances the knowledge and experience of specialists in the use of therapeutic massage in treating certain diseases. In the Thai Massage understanding, the human body remains healthy when it maintains its balance of energy in relation to the energy of the universe. Working on the energy points can relieve blockages and imbalances in the energy channels. When energy flows and is in balance, well-being is restored. The combination of pressing and stretching promotes the flow of energy, helping to maintain health and preserve youthfulness.
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Maneewan Chia BSc., DSc. (Honor) is the co-founder and Director of the Healing Tao Center, Inc. She was born in China in 1944 and moved to Hong Kong after the Communist Revolution where she spent her childhood. Later on she and her family moved to Thailand where she attended Mahidol University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology in 1971. Throughout her life she has been very interested in Feng Shui and nutrition. She learned Chinese traditional herbal health food cooking from her mother, a system passed down in her family over generations. She has also been strongly influenced by Buddhism and Taoist qigong meditation practices. In the '70s she married Mantak Chia and together they moved to New York, USA where they founded the "Healing Tao" system of Qigong and meditation practices, bringing to the west the teachings of Taoism. She co-authored with Mantak Chia most of the Healing Tao books and managed the Healing Tao Center, helping build it into and International community with hundreds of independent instructors all over the world. She and Mantak went their separate ways in 1998 and she now lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she continues to write and teach. This book is a collaboration with her son Max Chia M.D. Max was born in New York, USA in 1978. He moved with his parents to Thailand in 1994 where he continued his education. In 1998 he attended the Faculty of Medicine Chiangmai University and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2004. Since he was young, he has wanted to study medicine and use his knowledge to combined modern western medicine and traditional medical practices or "holistic fusion" such as Traditional Thai Massage.
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