The founder of Thai massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj, who is said in the Pali Buddhist canon to have been the Buddha's physician over 2,500 years ago. He is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine and for having treated important people of his day, including the Buddha himself.
In fact, the history of Thai massage is more complex than this legend of a single founder would suggest. Thai massage, like Thai traditional medicine, is a combination of influences from Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian cultural spheres and traditions of medicine. Even today, there is considerable variation from region to region across Thailand.