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hai society sometimes offers few opportunities for blind people. Yet, in the southern tourist town of Phuket, 12 found each other and a way to survive.

On a city side street, 12 blind Thais spend their days in a windowed massage shop. Trained in traditional Thai massage at a Bangkok school for the blind, they use only four senses to navigate their world. When the last customer leaves, the cramped, bare shop becomes their home.

Together, they are a self-sufficient community, using their collective vision – from complete darkness to blurry images – to thrive.

For most blind Thais, two blind eyes see only a life of loneliness and confusion. But for these certified masseurs, 24 blind eyes together ensure a future of independence and pride.


Interactive Healing Ailments with Thai Massage

Thai massage combines yoga stretching movements and pressure application to achieve full body relaxation and healing. The foundation of Thai massage is in the 72,000 invisible “sen,” or lines, throughout the body. The lines represent the body’s flow of energy, which can be interrupted for various reasons including injury and stress. Masseurs use their hands, feet, knees, elbows and arms to apply pressure with their whole body weight to specific points along sen lines.

Shown are the ten major sen related to specific ailments. Roll your mouse over each ailment to see the sen line used to treat it.

History Thai Massage

Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, an Indian doctor and contemporary of the Buddha, introduced the art of Thai massage to Thailand in the second or third century B.C. The first Thai Buddhist temples were not only spiritual establishments, but also centers for education and medicinal practices where the methods of Thai massage were passed down by word of mouth between monks. It is not until recently that Thai massage is practiced outside of temples.
What is Thai Massage?

Caulfield School for the Blind

Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability

World Health Organization: Blindness


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