About Us


What is lineage?

Most traditional Thai healers trace their lineage back to the "Father Doctor" Jivaka Komarabhacca, the Buddha's personal physician. In addition, one's direct lineage of teachers is considered an important indication of authenticity and a mark of high quality. The Shivagakomarpaj Lineage is one of the most respected and widespread line ages of Thai massage in the world today.

About the "Old Medicine Hospital"

The Old Medicine Hospital is located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai is a center for the study and practice of traditional medicine of all types. There are perhaps more Thai massage clinics per square kilometer in Chiang Mai than anywhere else in the country. Among these, the Old Medicine Hospital has the most long-standing and prestigious reputation. It has long been one of the most prestigious traditional medicine centers in Thailand, and was the first in Chiang Mai to open its doors to Western tourists wishing to learn Thai massage.

About Ajahn ("Master") Sintorn

We honor Ajahn Sintorn Chaichakan as the founder of our tradition of Thai massage, and as our primary teacher. (Ajahn is an honorific title given to respected teachers, and is usually translated as ("Master").

Ajahn Sintorn was the founder of the Old Medicine Hospital and of the Shivagakomarpaj Lineage. He first studied traditional Thai medicine at Wat Pho in the late 1950s. Upon completing the degree in 1958, he stayed on as a teacher for four more years. Before that time, Wat Pho did not teach Thai massage, and at the personal request of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), Ajahn Sintorn was instrumental in starting the massage program to complement the herbal training Wat Pho had offered for many years.

In 1962, he returned to Chiang Mai and began to practice medicine at small dispensary on the grounds of several city temples. At this time, the government of Thailand was only interested in supporting Western medicine, and Thai traditions were kept alive by their association with Buddhist institutions. Living in the north of Thailand, Ajahn Sintorn adapted his practice of massage and herbal medicine to incorporate aspects of northern culture. One important change he made to the Wat Pho massage routine was to slow it down, he says to suit the "laid-back style" of Chiang Mai natives. He also focused on local herbal knowledge, incorporating treatments that were not part of the Wat Pho tradition into his pharmacopoeia.

In 1973, Ajahn Sintorn purchased land just outside of Chiang Mai center and established the current facility. With only a small grant from the government to start up, the institution was quite small at that time, with only 10 in-patient beds. From these humble beginnings, the institution's traditional medicine hospital grew to the current size. In the 1990s, the program graduated an average of 60-70 Thai students per year in traditional medicine, and the Western students of Thai massage numbered well into the hundreds. Today, the Old Medicine Hospital is part of both national and regional efforts to standardize and regulate the massage industry, to improve safety and authenticity of traditional healthcare in the years to come.

Ajahn Sintorn remained the director of the Old Medicine Hospital facility until his passing away on Oct 19, 2005. His son, Ajahn Wasan is the current directors.

Our Mission

To achieve the established objectives, The Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj has laid out the mission which is to be implemented under the following principles:-

Development of the curriculum

To improve the essence of the text, teaching means and assessment so that they are suitable and up to date as well as acceptable to the majority of the public and other official units.

Development of the area

To provide suitable studying tools and environment to accommodate teaching and studying

Development of Human Resources

To provide innovation, practical wellness and health knowledge and providing welfare to boost the love of the institute.

Public Relations

To provide academic cooperation to other association, implementing road shows, marketing material and advertising by various means in order to make it widely known to the public

Our Educational Philosophy

Thai Massage School Shivagakomarpaj is dedicated to providing our students with opportunities to challenge themselves to learn and grow academically, peresonally and professionally.

Our School Values


We are committed to developing, following and modeling the best practics, experiences and skills with our students.


We acknowledge that the education is grounded and enriched by the wide variety of life experiences and learning styles of our students and teachers


We continuously seek to improve ourselves in an effort to become better teachers, learner and professionals in our fields.


We are conserved the Thai Heritage of Thai Massage, because of it's indigenous knowledge.