is a system of methods and practices, such as herbal medicine, bodywork practices, and spiritual healing that is indigenous to the region currently known as Thailand. While not all Buddhist medicine is Thai, Thai medicine is considered Buddhist medicine.
History Traditional Thai medicine stems from pre-history indigenous regional practices with a strong animistic foundation, animistic traditions of the Mon and Khmer peoples who occupied the region prior to the migration of the T'ai peoples, T'ai medicine and animistic knowledge, Indian medical knowledge (arriving pre ayurveda) coming through the Khmer peoples, Buddhist medical knowledge via the Mon peoples, and Chinese medical knowledge (arriving pre TCM) with the migration of the T'ais who came largely from Southern China.
In the early 1900s, Traditional medicine was 'outlawed as quackery' in favor of western medicine, however by the mid 1900s traditional medicine was once again being supported by the Thai government. The Seventh National Economic and Social Plan for 1992 & 1996 stated that "[t]he promotion of people's health entails the efforts to develop traditional wisdom in health care, including Thai traditional medicine, herbal medicine, and traditional massage, so as to integrate it into the modern health service system." Further, in 1993 the government of Thailand instituted the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine, under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health. The goal of the institute, expressed in its own literature, is to "systematize and standardize the body of TTM knowledge", to "gather knowledge, revise, verify, classify, and explain TTM knowledge", and to "compare and explain the philosophies and basic theories of TTM and to produce textbooks on TTM".
Divisions Regional differences between healing arts practitioners across Thailand and the recent codification of traditional Thai medicine by the Thai Ministry of Public Health have led to the existence of several variations of how Thai medicine is practiced. These can be understood as follows:
- Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM) - while this umbrella title is used to describe all traditional medicine practices in Thailand, it can also be used to describe the system of medicine as systematized and taught by the Ministry of Public Health.
- Traditional Medicine of Thailand (TM of T) - TTM is based on this system, which is based on ancient texts, and varies a bit between practitioners throughout the Kingdom.
- Local/Indigenous/village Medicine - Local practices based largely on oral tradition and local texts handed down from teacher to student.
- Lanna Medicine - A regional form of local/indigenous/village medicine requiring its own category due to the unique nature of being possibly the most preserved form of roots Thai medicine.
- Internal Medicine - Primarily the use of herbs and diet to promote health
- External Medicine - All therapies applied to the external body including but not limited to:
- Bone setting (indigenous chiropractics)
- Thai cupping
- Thai scraping (a practice similar to Chinese Gua Sha)
- Thai massage techniques including compression, Thai acupressure, beating, passive stretching and focus on sen channels (pathways of movement in the body such as tendons, ligaments, nerves and circulatory vessels)
- External application of herbs through balms, liniments, compresses and poultices
- Spirit Medicine - Use of amulets, incantations, sak yan tattooing and shamanistic involvement with spirits for the purpose of healing
- Divination - Use of vedic astrology, numerology, palmistry and geomancy to determine health predisposition and remedial measures
- Buddhism - seen as the mental health branch of Thai medicine.
Thai Herbal Compress Massage
is a multi-therapy massage treatment, combining traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy, and herbal healing. This massage therapy dates back several thousand years, and incorporates knowledge gathered and passed on for generations concerning the medicinal effects of plants, whether through ingestion or application to the body.
In Thailand, the herbal compress is called luk pra kob ("herbal pressing sphere"). An herbal compress is made by combining a number of healing herbs, bundled together in a muslin ball with a short handle, according to ancient recipes.
Originally, this herbal therapy was applied to relieve pain and inflammation, especially for soldiers after battles and for postpartum women suffering the aftereffects of childbirth. Nowadays, the application and massage of these compresses to the body are used more generally to relieve all manner of aches and pains, be it from injuries, disease, physical labor, exertion, or simply the stresses and strains of modern living.
The compresses contain a blend of aromatic and therapeutic traditional Thai herbs – up to 15-20 herbs – wrapped in cotton muslin and then steamed to release the potent qualities of the herbs, which impart both a relaxing and an invigorating effect on the mind and body after application.
A traditional way is to warm up the herbal compresses in a bamboo steamer; any heat-producing device or steamer, thus activating the medicinal properties of the particular combination of herbs inside. The warm compresses are then applied to the body in gentle pressing, circular and rolling movements, according to the experience and intuition of the massage therapist, and based on the sensitivities of the particular client. Most therapists rotate between at least two compresses, with one always being heated and then exchanged as the one in use cools down, concentrating on the afflicted parts of the body.
Most compresses contain the well-known and long-used herbs (see Menu Page) It is now increasingly well-known and accepted that these herbs contain many important properties, including being anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, and antioxidant.
Benefits The benefits of Thai Herbal Compress Massage are numerous and diverse (see website). The aroma therapeutic and thermal qualities of Thai Herbal Compress Massage are particularly effective in treating upper respiratory ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, and influenza. Relief is also offered to those suffering from headaches and sinus congestion.
Aside from the benefits to muscle and respiratory complaints, herbal compress massage also assists alignment and the postural integrity of the body, stimulates the internal organs, and is known to improve the circulation of blood and lymph. 
Mental benefits include the relief of stress, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as engendering a sense of deep relaxation while at the same time leaving one feeling refreshed and invigorated. This is a holistic treatment that aids with overall health, including generating feelings of well-being, relaxation, and positive energy. 
Medical tourists and massage professionals are traveling to Thailand to study the method - then, they are transferring these skills back to the West, where the method is appreciated as a safe, holistic, and beneficial treatment. 
Credit to Wikipedia for information