The founder of Thai massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj. He is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and also for having treated important people of his day, this also includes the Buddha himself.

The history of Thai massage is more complex than this legend of a single founder would suggest. Thai massage, like Thai traditional medicine more generally, is a combination of influences from Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian cultural spheres, and traditions of medicine, and the art as it is practiced today is likely to be the product of a 19th-century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over the kingdom. These days, there is considerable variation from region to region across Thailand. There would seem to be no single routine or theoretical framework that is universally accepted among healers.