In this chapter, I focus on the relationship between Thai Massage and health tourism in Thailand and examine how the Thai government promotes Thai Massage as a health tourism resource. In recent years, attention to health tourism has been increasing, especially in Asian countries, where tourists often enjoy a variety of traditional medical practices or therapies. Such ‘healing arts’ as Tai Chi, Zen meditation, and Yoga are popular. Thai Massage has also joined the group of traditional medicines, and attracts many tourists as a ‘spiritual’ practice based on Buddhist philosophy. The main destination for such Asian health tourism is the spa; traditional healing arts are often mentioned in health promotion programs. The ‘modern spa’ is a health resort that is different from modern medical facilities. The inclusion of traditional healing arts is an important component of the ‘modern spa’. This article discusses the historical process and socio-cultural context of how Thai Massage has come to be a core activity of health tourism in Thailand.
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