Most people being massaged: Thailand breaks world record (VIDEO) BANGKOK, Thailand -- During an event organized by the Ministry of Public Health to promote the Southeast Asian nation's massage and spa industry, 641 massage therapists mass-massaged 641 people simultaneously for 12 minutes, setting the new world record for the most people being massaged at one time,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: A total of 641 Thai masseuses simultaneously massaged 641 people head-to-toe for 12 minutes, breaking the previous Guinness world record for the most people being massaged at the same time. Photo: AFP (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for the most people being massaged at the same time was 263 in an event organised by Tourism Victoria, (Australia) at Lavandula Lavender Farm in the Daylesford region of Victoria, Australia.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the longest massage chain: 1,223 - achieved by Have A Good Dream Co. Ltd and Thai Beverage Marketing Co. Ltd (both Thailand) at the Rama IX Park, Bangkok, Thailand.
The therapists more than doubled the previous Guinness world record — attained in Australia in 2010 — of 263 people being massaged at the same time for five minutes.
The world record attempt was the highlight of the opening ceremony of the three- day Thailand Medical Expo 2012, which showcases Thailand's readiness and ambition to be a leader of world class medical services.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over the spectacle, and a senior representative from Guinness World Records was on hand to certify the feat.
"It was easy because this is what we do every day for a living," said 53-year-old Chayanan Chanwuttisawan, one of the mostly female masseuses who took part in the event.
"I'm proud of myself and my profession. I never thought we'd have a chance to be recognized like this."
A traditional massage lasts two hours. An abbreviated version was on display during this record attmpt as therapists, dressed in traditional garb, demonstrated their skills on a sea of thin sky blue mats spread across the floor.
To a soundtrack of dreamy music that included the sound of chirping crickets, they went through their repertoire with a series of massage positions choreographed by the tinkling of a bell.
Chayanan said the therapists who participated were given a video from the Ministry of Public Health to practice with.
They are part of an army that the Health Ministry estimates numbers 50,000 nationwide and an industry that generates at least 13 billion baht ($415 million) annually.
Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri has said he wants to see the industry bring in even more revenue.
The National News Bureau of Thailand reported last week that the government "is aiming to make Thailand the world's ultimate destination for massage, with plans to improve the quality of the workers, offer more massage classes to the public and set up a massage center in every hospital."