Why do Thai people put their hands together like a prayer?
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
You may have seen on TV, in Movies, and possible in person that when a Thai person meets someone they put their hands together in a prayer position and bow slightly.
This is called.......
Thai Geeting - Wai Kru - Thai Hand Prayer
Wai is a Thai etiquette of greeting and honouring each other. It expresses the meaning of greeting, thanking, apologizing to someone or saying goodbye.
First, put your palms together in front of your chest so that each finger is touching its counterpart. Then, bring your hands to touch the middle of your chest and slightly bow your head so that your index fingers touch your nose; this is the basic Wai, and resembles a slight bow.
In Thai Massage we also use this etiquette and greeting when we want to pay respect to our teachers from past and present, our fellow students, and our customers.
When you have a massage Thai Massage Therapists will put their hands together and say a mantra/prayer either silently or out loud, a ceremony of respect, this is called Wai Kru.
Although the word prayer is used, Thai Therapists actually recite a Mantra 'Oh NAMO Shivago', where we invite the spirit of Dr Shivaga founder of Thai massage and ask for knowledge, and guidance to do the massage.
We express respect for our customers and wish for wholeness and health in the body of our clients. Whilst also paying respect to teachers, present and past.
There is a different variety of 'Oh Namo' mantras, which are also used in the temples, as it is not only associated with Thai Massage, it is a cultural way of expressing gratitude and honouring teachers, formalising the student and teacher relationship.
Performing this mantra and paying respect, allows the therapist to ground themselves and focus on the intention of giving a good massage.
"Warm mind, warm heart and warm hands!"