Which Age Groups Is Thai Massage suitable for?
Can it be done on children or on older persons? Do you need to exclude the elderly from this modality? In this video a highly experienced native Thai Massage therapist is weighing in on this topic.
Thai Massage is often misunderstood. Many people think that it is primarily a system of yoga-like stretches which is not suited for elderly people.
While it is true that Thai Massage contains a large variety of stretches, it is not true that this is all there is to this system. The surprising fact is that a Thai Massage session does not have to contain any stretches at all.
This is news to many – even those who have experience with this modality. Most schools teach it largely as a series of stretches in a rather mechanical way.
The gentle version of Thai Massage
However there is another aspect which is not as well known. This is an impressively large repertoire of non-stretch techniques. They include leaning, squeezing, “elephant walking”, circling, rocking, rolling and percussion.
With these techniques you can work in a very gentle way which is entirely suitable for even quite elderly clients – or young children as well. No age group is excluded from receiving Thai Massage, and nobody’s age is an obstacle.
Both my wife and myself have been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for over 18 years.
Both of us have worked extensively on elderly clients throughout our career.
They appreciate and enjoy the sessions just as much as younger clients.
The flexibility of Thai Massage
The opposite can also be done. If you work on a yogi client who really enjoys stretching techniques, you can change the ratio to include mostly stretches. Or you can create a balance between stretch and non-stretch techniques.
Thai Massage is a highly flexible system which has been used for centuries by the population of Thailand to address a large variety of health issues. Young, old, or any age in between – this system is suitable for any age.
It all comes down to the therapist’s skills
The only requirement is that the therapist has to be well trained in those different kinds of techniques and has to be sensitive enough to feel which techniques are suitable for a particular client.
It is unfortunately true that there are Thai Massage therapists who only work strongly, even brutally, and who have no idea how to use those gentle, sensitive techniques.
Such practitioners would obviously not be suited to work on elderly clients. The no-pain-no-gain attitude does not reflect on this modality as a style, but on the skill and sensitivity (or rather the lack of it) of the therapist.
Send your clients into massage heaven with Thai Massage
It is quite possible to do very gentle sessions, even if you include stretching techniques. You can put your clients to sleep or into this beautiful trance-like state which makes you feel like you are walking on clouds after the session.
If you would like to learn how to work in a more gentle style which can include all age ranges, then Thai Healing Massage Academy’s online training courses will give you all the skills you need.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy, and the creator of 20 online Thai Massage training courses. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 18 years.