The First Collaboration between Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj and Bodhi Panya Institute, San Francisco, USA in developing Traditional Thai Massage Program to meet International Standards

 | Sat 24 Jun 2023 12:23 ICT

June 22, 2023: Chiang Mai – Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj held a “Wai Khru” ceremony to pay homage to the venerable teacher “Shivagakomarpaj”, the master of Thai traditional medicine, to enhance auspiciousness in professional endeavors while unveiling the Traditional Thai Massage Program from Old Medicine Hospital, designed to meet international standards in the United States. This exclusive program is offered solely at the renowned Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the esteemed Bodhi Panya Institute in San Francisco, United States. It is designed to develop and elevate the potential of Thai massage, with a particular focus on expanding employment opportunities in the labor market for the Northern Style Thai Folk Massage, fostering its broader acceptance and recognition on a global scale.

The ritual pays homage to Master Shivagakomarpaj and other Thai traditional medicine instructors, expressing deep respect and gratitude for generously imparting their invaluable knowledge to their students. By preserving and passing down this academic heritage, students are empowered to effectively apply their learnings in their professions, leading to personal growth and future success.

Ajahn (Master) Sintorn Chaichakan is honored as the founder of Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj in Chiang Mai. Established in 1962, this institution is the first Thai massage school in Chiang Mai. In addition, Ajahn Sintorn Chaichakan is also the discoverer of the Northern Style Thai Folk Massage – a traditional form of bodywork that incorporates stretching, compression, and acupressure techniques. This unique massage method originated exclusively from this school and has been practiced for over 60 years, solidifying its status as the oldest Thai massage school.

Currently, the school is under the leadership of “Ajahn (Master) Wasan Chaichakan,” a second-generation executive with over 30 years of teaching experience. Following in the footsteps of his father, “Ajahn Sintorn Chaichakan”, he continues to emphasize on the Northern Style Thai Folk Massage program and strives to elevate the skills of Thai massage practitioners to meet international standards. This emphasis has significantly caught interest and become popular among students worldwide, who wish to learn this practice. In addition, it has contributed to the growth of Thai massage teaching businesses in Chiang Mai while preserving the local wisdom and rich heritage of Thai massage as well as placing importance on local herbal knowledge to be widely recognized. To date, the institution has successfully trained and certified over 30,000 professional Thai massage therapists with more than 20,000 Thais and over 10,000 foreigners. The teaching methods incorporate healthcare practices ensuring the utmost safety within the massage industry while upholding the principles of traditional healthcare. The comprehensive program consists of four levels, each specifically focusing on body massage techniques, as well as covering the history and philosophy of Northern Style Thai Folk Massage. These techniques have been developed and documented over the past 50 years. Students also learn theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and practical applications for treating common ailments, with a strong emphasis on the application and improvement of Thai Folk Massage techniques which utilize herbal compresses, a therapeutic technique involving the use of herbal balls, to enhance the muscle massage experience. Upon completion of each level, students will receive a certificate of completion and a pin of honor as recognition of students in the Shivagakomarpaj lineage from Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj in Chiang Mai.

During the event, an official announcement was made regarding the collaboration between Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj and Bodhi Panya Institute, San Francisco, USA in developing Traditional Thai Massage Program that can be expanded to open businesses in different countries. Managed by Ms. Pratapjai Duangpatra, Bodhi Panya Institute, San Francisco, California is the only Thai massage school approved by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) in the United States. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certification recognized by the United States.

Bodhi Panya Institute focuses on developing Thai massage with global recognition while also aiming to enhance employment opportunities and elevate professionalism of Thai massage practitioners. The mentioned program is the development and refinement of ancient massage techniques, including Thai hermit exercise “Reusi Dat Ton” and herbal compress massage.

For those interested in studying the Traditional Thai Massage Program, you can find more information at The program comprises a comprehensive 500-hour curriculum, divided into 378 hours of hands-on practical training and 122 hours of lecture classes. Students have the flexibility to either enroll in the full course at Bodhi Panya Institute or choose a 122-hour online lecture classes available worldwide with an additional 378 hours of in-person instruction at Bodhi Panya Institute. The tuition fee for the program is $8,500 or approximately 200,000 baht. To cultivate expertise in Thai massage, students who enroll this program will gain exposure to both Eastern and Western massage skills, ultimately becoming professional massage therapists, while also covering other important modalities such as Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and other Western massage techniques. Additionally, the program includes courses in business/ethics, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and practical experience in a student clinic. This comprehensive approach equips students with the in-depth knowledge and practical skills required to become professional massage therapists and preserve the heritage of the Northern Style Thai Folk Massage, passing down from one generation to another.

For any inquiries regarding Thai massage courses, please contact:

Old Medicine Hospital Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj

Address: 238/8 Wua Lai Rd, Haiya Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100


Tel: 096 259 8874

Bodhi Panya Institute, California, United States


Tel: 415-994-5232