Traditional Thai Massage gains UNESCO heritage status
In 2019, Thai Massage was added to Unesco’s Intangible Culture Heritage of Humanity list in 2019. According to UNESCO, the practice has its “roots in self-care in Thai peasant society of the past, [where] every village had massage healers whom villagers would turn to when they had muscle aches from working the field”.
“Traditional Thai massage (Nuad Thai), is regarded as part of the art, science, and culture of traditional Thai healthcare. Nuad Thai therapists perform a combination of manipulations using their hands, elbows, knees, and feet, together with herbal hot compresses to reduce inflammation,” UNESCO wrote on its official website.
In addition, UNESCO has mentioned that “Nuad Thai has its roots in self-care in Thai village society of the past; every community had massage healers whom villagers would turn to when they had muscle aches from working in the field. Over time, these experiences have evolved into a formal system of knowledge.”
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul (2019) also welcomed the announcement as a success for the Thai people and the kingdom “in making local wisdom become globally known”.