The revival of Thai Traditional Medicine and the promotion of Thai Massage: The reaction of villagers in Northern Thailand

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Recently, the Government of Thailand has been promoting "Thai Massage" as a therapy within the official category of "Thai Traditional Medicine." This promotional campaign contributes to both the medicalization of Thai society and the ideological reproduction of the Thai nation-state, as "Thai Traditional Medicine" (and "Thai Massage") is being constructed according to national standards based on both "royal tradition" and biomedicine, and as these standards are being spread throughout the country and applied by those in the medical professions. This paper describes the experience of a village in Northern Thailand and examines the reactions of the villagers to these developments. In this region, the legitimacy of "Thai Massage" is being created within the activities of a project promoting local "folk medicine." However, "Thai Massage" does not suit the villagers' way of life well because it clashes with their sense of values, body techniques, and etiology of disease; it also disrupts their social relationships. When they do adopt "Thai Massage," the villagers modify it to better fit the context of the village. Even within this project, in some situations, local knowledge can be revalued. When confronted with power, local villagers recognize authority constructed at a national level only within a specific context and within limited modes of practice.

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p> This thesis aims to answer the research questions: what’s the potential and problems of Thai Massage Business in China, base on a case study of Guangzhou Antoinette Cosmetic Co., Ltd, a company that runs Thai massage business in mainland China more than 10 years. The Thesis starts with reviewing Thai Massage business in current Thailand. That is, Thai massage is one of the main attractions of Thai tourism industry, which is the result of many effects, such as policy support from government, skill training support from massage school and training center, individual investment and so on. According to the case study, the problems of Thai Massage business in China are mainly lays on therapist. Language barrier , no higher salary, barrier of visa application, difficulty of skill training and so on, all these make the Thai Massage Business runs hardly in China. While in the same time, Chinese have raised their interesting on Thailand and Thai Massage, the tourism boom become an incredible phenomenon that shocking the world. And a new terms—“Ma Sha Ji” ( ??? ) , means “massage” was be created tells the popularity of Thai massage amount Chinese. The popularity of Thai Massage round the world have proved its benefit and attraction, though there are still barriers and difficulty, with the development of Thai Massage in modern time, more adjustment will be done. And there are limitation of thesis, further relate studies is worth of doing and yet remain undone, such as the would Chinese Tuina become a tourism attraction as Thai Massage, why could or why not? </p
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