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4 Methods How to Learn Thai Massage

Nowadays many massage therapists want to learn Thai Massage in order to expand their repertoire. What is the best way to go about that? Here are four options to consider in order to get Thai Massage training, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

1. A local massage school

There are two kinds. One is a regular massage school that offers courses in many modalities. In this case you would want to get a good idea who the teacher is, how long he or she has been studying and practicing, and how much of their practice consists of Thai Massage.

The other option is a school that specializes in Thai Massage training exclusively. This can often be a better choice, since such teachers are generally highly experienced and passionate about their work.

They have often developed a unique style which is more advanced than basic traditional Thai Massage.

Advantages: All your training counts towards certification or CEUs. Communication with teachers is easy, standards are generally high.

Disadvantages: The most expensive method. Most courses are fairly short, and long term study programs are often financially out of reach for practitioners.

2. Studying Thai Massage in Thailand

Thousands of people travel half way around the world every year to learn Thai Massage. There are hundreds of schools in Thailand, some being a hole-in-the-wall operation, and some being highly reputable institutions.

The course fees are substantially lower in Thailand, but when you include airfare and other travel expenses you don’t really save much compared to studying at home.

Advantages: You can combine your studies with a vacation in an exotic place, many choices of schools, many opportunities to practice on fellow students/vacationers, low course fees compared to the West which allows you to study for longer periods of time.

Disadvantages: The quality of the schools varies greatly, the teachers often do not speak good English, the hours and certificates are in most cases not valid for certification in your home country, or they only count for CEUs, and even this applies only to very few schools.

3.  Private Thai Massage training lessons

This option is really only feasible in Thailand since the cost in western countries is simply too high. Private lessons are very effective since you can learn at your own pace.

You can practice on the teacher which is the best feedback you can get compared to working on an inexperienced fellow student.

Advantages: most direct learning method, best feedback, fastest way to learn

Disadvantages: you only get to practice on one body, you miss out on the group dynamic, companionship and networking

4. Online Thai Massage home study training

Online Thai Massage video-based training courses can be an excellent choice, if these conditions are met:

  • The course is not just a DVD with loads of techniques being demonstrated, leaving it up to you to figure out how to implement it.
  • The course provides real support, i.e. you can contact the instructor and ask questions
  • The course has a structure, a learning environment, a plan that you can follow
  • The course enables you to be part of a community of students so that you can share your experiences and questions and you can network.

Advantages: The most cost effective solution, the best method for retention (you can always watch the videos again), the most convenient method (no travel, fits into your schedule, no time pressure)

Disadvantages: If you are not disciplined enough to follow through with your practice, the videos will end up gathering dust on your hard drive.

Combining methods

If you want to learn Thai Massage, you can determine which of these four options would work best for you. Of course you can combine some of them.

For example an online course can be a great complement to a physical course. After a live course you generally go home with a course manual full of hastily scribbled notes that you have a hard time deciphering a few weeks later. The online training material however are a permanent asset.

Or you can take a basic course in the West or in Thailand and follow it up with private lessons to fine tune your skills. That’s what I did when I started my Thai Massage career in 1999, and it was a great choice.

Thai Healing Massage Academy logoAt Thai Healing Massage Academy we are catering to those who are comfortable with option #4, the online training. 

If you want to find out more about this option, you can enroll in our free introductory video series, or check out our most popular training program:


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author's pictureThe author, Shama Kern, has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 18 years. He is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the creator of 20 online Thai Massage training courses.

22 thoughts on “4 Methods How to Learn Thai Massage”

  1. I’m interested in traveling to Thailand… Is it possible to get information on your live workshops in Thailand..


  2. Dear Sir,

    Thanks to you beacuse of creating this website and sharing your experiences with others.

    I am going to travel to Thailand for one week, I will reach there 23rd of november and will be there for one week.
    Do you know any skilfull Thai massage school in Bangkok?

    Perhaps I have to take private courses, beacuse normally public class starts on monday! and I reach on friday.

    Looking forward your kind response.


  3. Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips, any personal guidance or any other institute where you can guide me to join as to make my carrier

  4. hi
    dear shama
    i wana go to thailand for one mount. do you know thai massage school in pattaya and is it enough time ?

  5. I would like to learn Thai Massage for another Modality to offer clients. I also do Sports Massage whiech is a lot of stretching too! thanks

  6. I would like to learn Thai Massage and other eastern techniques. I love to help people to feel good and relax! thanks, Sonja

    • Hi Sonja, then you are in the right place. That’s exactly what we offer here – home study training for Thai Massage and similar eastern techniques.

  7. I am want to do thai massage certificate course at pattaya. I stay in India but can stay in pattaya for fifteen day. Can you suggest me a english speaking school or a private tutor from where i can learn and get certificate.
    Thank you
    Mom Dasgupta

    • Sorry Mom, I live in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. I have never been in Pattaya and don’t know anything about what’s happening there.

  8. I’m interested in pursuing a career in both massage and yoga therapy internationally. I don’t have any current massage training or experience, although I do have yoga teaching experience. What schools do you recommend for professional training in Chiang Mai?

  9. Thanks for sharing and try to help and explain to people who is interesting about massage.. im in thailand and i stay in pattaya i really try ro fain a good school to can learn thai massage please if you can advise me let me know where i should go. You can contact me alsow in 0910300209 thanks

  10. Dear Sir!

    Would you be kinde to send me a comprehensive info of your offering, also your Video for me to know all I need to know before I commit my self.

    Thank you an with my best wishes and

    Kind regards,

    Lali Puskas

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