The aim of this study was to examine the function of Thai Massage schools for foreigners in the process of Thai Massage becoming a global health culture. Currently, Thai Massage attracts widespread popularity as a relaxation or health therapy. In the background, there is the Thai government's policy, which has institutionalized Thai Massage as “Thai Medicine” since the 1990s. As a result of this policy, Thai Massage has enhanced its medical value, cultural value and economic value, and become globalized.
Another important factor must also be considered in the context of globalization of Thai Massage, and that is the global interest in Indian Yoga, Chinese Tai Chi and other various eastern health therapies or body techniques. This is a strong focus of the present paper. People who have a great deal of interest in “self-care” and their practical communities are another important factor of Thai Massage globalization. These practices are not restricted to national institutions, and are more fluid and transnational. “Health” is a concept that has developed in modern national systems, and “health culture” has emerged from this in relation to the power of modern nations. However, health culture created by people who practice Thai Massage and other eastern health therapies can be seen in a different dimension. This study focuses on Thai Massage schools for foreigners as specific foci of this dimension, and the process of Thai Massage can be envisaged as a global culture by analyzing the historical and cultural background of Thai Massage schools for foreigners and dealing with the actual situation ethnographically.
In conclusion, it can be said that Thai Massage schools have structurally contributed to the globalization of Thai Massage by being gathering places for knowledge and techniques related to the body, to which humans universally aspire. It is now evident that these “health communities”, which differ from hospitals and clinics served by medicine, are places at which people can engage their bodies and health independently.