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Curious Double Standard in Thai Massage

double standard in thai massage training

Here are some interesting facts about Thai Massage training which you might find amusing, entertaining, or shocking. They will also give you a totally new perspective.

Just so that you know where I am coming from with this statement – here is my story in a nutshell.

Thai Massage sign

I have spent 20 years living in Thailand, practicing and teaching Thai Massage. As a westerner, during all this time I had one foot in both worlds – the western world and the eastern one.

I know about the requirements and methods of learning Thai Massage in both worlds – and there are massive differences.

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Thai Massage Culture Shock

Thai Massage culture shock

I love writing about Thai Massage. I have been practicing and teaching it for two decades. And I have been living in Thailand, the homeland of Thai Massage, for two decades which gives me a very different perspective from the western one.

I could write nice sanitized, politically correct massage articles that pass muster with the American regulatory agencies and professional associations. However there is great value in opening our minds to other perspectives as well.

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Thai Massage and Thailand Stories

Thai Massage in Thailand

Thai Massage and Thai culture

I have spent most of my massage career in Thailand. Thai Massage is not only the main style of therapy here, but it’s also a part of Thailand’s culture.

When you get a Thai Massage session in Thailand, it is a very different experience than in the West. You learn something about Thai people, you get to know them on a different level.

And you will have to let go of judgments based on your own cultural standards from your home country.

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Strange And Unusual Massage Practices

image of an elephant performing a so-called Thai Massage

How strange, or even weird can massage get?

Most people in the western world are used to professional, clinical massage therapy, done by a licensed therapist in a clean and professional environment. The therapies are mostly variations of Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, Sports massage etc.

However there is an entirely new world out there with very different kinds of therapies. Let’s start with the more infamous ones like massage as come-on for not so professional services.

Here in Asia they call them “Happy end massages”. I leave it to your imagination to figure out what that means. Let’s just say that only men take advantage of this variation.

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My Search For Good Massage in Vietnam

Saigon spa

Reception area of spa in Ho Chi Minh City where I went for my massage

Coming from Thailand, the land of Thai Massage

Finding excellent massage therapists is not an easy task anywhere in the world. This even applies to Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is something like the center of the universe for Thai Massage.

The city is overflowing with massage ‘shops’ as they are called there. That’s good for customers since the intense competition keeps the prices  low – lower than anywhere else in Asia.

With all those Thai Massage shops you would think that it should be quite easy to find good massage therapists. Not so! The majority of therapists are neither highly skilled nor very intuitive. They do not have a lot of training, and what to speak of sophisticated training.

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Thai Massage Therapy on Dog Gains Trust of Client

Can Thai Massage be done on animals?

dog massageWhy should Thai Massage only work on humans? You are probably thinking that Thai Massage is a system of stretches, and that cannot be done on animals. But that’s not correct.

Let’s redefine Thai Massage. In contrast to Swedish-style oil massage systems that are done directly on the skin and require taking off your clothes, Thai Massage is done fully dressed.

Therefore it requires different techniques like pressure, kneading, rocking and stretching. Oil  massage does not require movement on the part of the client, but Thai Massage uses lots of movement oriented techniques.

While stretching is part of the system, it is not its main definition. It is entirely possible to do a full Thai Massage without any stretching.

Continue reading…Thai Massage Therapy on Dog Gains Trust of Client