Did you know that there have been quite a few World Records for massage? To be considered for a Guinness World Record you need to submit a proposal and explain to the adjudicators how they can measure the results. When it comes to massage, it can be challenging to evaluate how a treatment is performed. For example, for simultaneous massage (when several people get treated at exactly the same time) all practitioners must follow the same massage sequence to qualify. For continuous massage (a massage treatment that goes on several hours without interruptions), the quality of the technique must be kept constant throughout.
Let’s look at the massage world record events that have happened so far, in chronological order.
In 2007 in London 154 qualified massage therapists performed a short onsite seated massage sequence on people simultaneously. This record was subsequently beaten in 2010 in Washington, USA, with 167 people being massaged at the same time.
An American licenced massage therapist called Barry Green based in San Diego broke the record for 46.5 hours of continued massage. His record totalled 186 treatments.
In 2009 in California, Costa John gave continuous onsite chair massage for 50 hours, beating Barry Green’s record.
In 2010 in Thailand 1223 people formed a chain, massaging the shoulders of the person in front.
In 2012, again in Thailand, 641 Thai practitioners massaged 641 people simultaneously for 12 minutes.
In 2014 in Bali 1000 people received a 15 minute massage simultaneously.
In 2014 in the Philippines, 1600 trained massage therapists set a record massage chain. The event was organised by The Philippine Association of Licensed Massage Therapists, where each person sat on the ground and gave a shoulder rub to the person in front, creating a chain.
In New Zealand, Alastair Galpin performed the longest full body massage for 25 hours and 4 minutes in 2015.
In China in 2015, 1000 people received a facial massage at the same time.
In 2017 about 400 Canadian midwives gave the largest baby massage lesson.
The record for simultaneous Thai massage (a 12 minute sequence) set in Bangkok is inspiring. The event took place at the Thailand Medical Hub Expo 2012 and it was covered not only in the national Thai press but also in international media like CNN. It brought much deserved attention to the Thai massage profession and the medical applications of Thai massage.
Only fully trained and qualified massage practitioners were allowed to take part in this event, which was organised by the Ministry of Public Health. The objective of the world record event was to raise the profile of therapeutic Thai massage and to promote Thailand’s spa industry, ultimately putting Thailand on the map as the must-go destination for massage.