Thai Healing Massage Academy | Thai Massage Online Courses

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Frequently asked questionsQuestions And Answers About Our Thai Massage Training Programs

In our daily interactions with our massage students, certain questions keep surfacing. Here are answers to the most frequent ones.

However if you don’t find the answer to your question, feel free to email us at shama@thaihealingmassage.com.

For technical questions please visit our help page HERE.

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Q: You teach Thai Healing Massage. Is this the same thing as Thai Massage?
A: We use ‘Thai Healing Massage‘ as an umbrella name for several modalities that are part of the family of bodywork that we have created, i.e. Thai Massage, Heavenly Head Massage, Abdominal Massage, Thai Rocking Massage, Thai Foot Massage and Thai Massage therapy. It all started with Thai Massage and then evolved from there, hence the name.

Q: Is your style of Thai Massage the same as the traditional style which is taught in Thailand?
A: Not totally, but quite close. We are leaning more in the direction of being a creative healing artist than a follower of tradition. Traditional Thai Massage has its strengths and also some weak points. We filled in those weak areas with other techniques.

For example Thai Massage lacks good abdominal techniques. So we use Chi Nei Tsang techniques instead. Also Thai Massage does not have a big repertoire of neck moves, so we use techniques from our Heavenly Head Massage system.

Traditional Thai Massage is often quite mechanical, so we added elements of yoga, energy work and intuitive healing processes. Our students often report that those improvements resulted in an advanced system that they cannot find elsewhere in Thailand.

Q: What is your Thai Rocking Massage?
A: Thai Massage uses a lot of direct, linear pressure. This can sometimes be quite painful, especially for sensitive persons, and has caused the perception in many people that Thai Massage is a painful system of massage.

Our answer to this was to replace most of the direct, linear pressure techniques with more flowing rocking techniques. They are more effective since they utilize more motion, they are painless, and they feel great.

THMA around the globe300Q: Can you actually learn massage from a video course?
A: Based on the feedback from our students, the answer is definitely YES. Our forum is full of success stories of students who have had success with our training.

We have made great efforts to make our videos resemble an actual classroom and go into such detail that anyone can learn the techniques. Check out this article for more details on this subject.

Q: How are your videos different from the hundreds of massage videos out there?
A: Most online massage videos suffer from one or more of the following:

  • Some just show massage techniques for the fun of it or for artistic effects but do not really teach anything.
  • Others attempt to teach, but the speed is too fast or there is not enough detail to really learn much.
  • Some are not organized and structured for effective learning.
  • Sometimes the audio is not clear or the presentation and the angles in the video are not good enough to learn from them.
  • Then there are massage DVDs that dump a ton of techniques on you, but then you are left alone with all the information without any follow up or support or learning environment.
  • Generally there is no student community for feedback and networking and questions.

We have solved all those issues in our training programs:

  • The setting is just like in a real massage classroom
  • The speed is slow enough that you can follow easily
  • The explanations are highly detailed
  • The course structure is methodical and logical
  • There is full instructor support via email, forum or even phone
  • There is an active student community for inspiration and interaction

Q: All your videos show you working on a floor mat. Can Thai Healing Massage training be applied to a table?
A: In Thailand massage is mostly done on floor mats. This applies to Thai Massage and even oil massage. You get better leverage on a floor mat, your ergonomics are better, and you can use a larger variety of techniques.

All our courses can be applied to a table to some degree, although this might require modification of some techniques. Many of our students are doing this. However for the sake of showing Thai Massage in its most effective and most complete original style, with the most techniques and best ergonomics, we demonstrate Thai Massage on the floor.

Some courses can be done equally well on the floor or on a table, like our Heavenly Head Massage and Abdominal Massage courses. In the case of Thai Massage there are some limitations on a table, but it can largely be done. 

Floor work allows you to use your body weight more effectively, and therefore work with less effort, but many western Thai Massage therapists use tables for their work. If you prefer table work, just use the techniques that work well in this setting and skip the ones that don’t. However we strongly recommend trying to practice Thai Massage on a floor mat, if possible.

Q: How does Thai Massage effect the health of the therapist?
A: If you work on a floor mat, Thai Massage allows you to work ergonomically in an almost ideal way since you can easily get on top of the client and use your body weight to its full advantage. You never have to lean over while straining your back muscles like on a massage table.

However the way how Thai Massage is generally practiced in Thailand involves a lot of linear sustained pressure that can be really hard on thumb and wrist joints. In our style we have eliminated this issue by replacing linear pressure with more round and flowing motions like rocking and circling.

Our style of bodywork is about as friendly to the therapist’s body as is humanly possible. We also include many options in our training to accommodate differences in size and weight between therapist and client.

Q: How is Thai Massage different from other massage styles?
A: There are quite a few differences:

  • It is done fully dressed without the use of oil.
  • It is traditionally done on a floor mat which is a big advantage for the therapist’s body mechanics.
  • The setup is more simple and less expensive since no massage table is required
  • It is more of a “three-dimensional” system since the client is moved into many positions instead of lying mostly motionless on a table.
  • Thai Massage uses massage moves, but also many stretches which look like applied yoga.
  • Unlike western massage which is based on anatomic principles, Thai Massage is based on the concept of balancing and improving energy flow through energy (sen)lines.
  • Thai Massage has many therapeutic applications. It includes elements of massage, acupressure, chiropractic, physical therapy and energy work.
  • It is more versatile than most other massage systems. It can be done in many settings without the need for strict privacy since it is done fully dressed.
  • It is a family of bodywork, including related styles like foot massage, and neck/head/face massage. 
  • It is more therapist friendly since you can use more of your body than in most other massage styles

Q: Thai Massage has a bit of a seedy reputation in some places, especially in Europe. How do you react to that?
A: It is a fact that here in Asia there are many opportunities to get a “happy end” tacked on to your massage if you are looking for this kind of thing. It is also true that quite a few Thai women have exported this to other countries.

But look at it this way: The fact that there is prostitution in the world does not prevent us from looking for genuine and satisfying relationships.

The fact that there are crooks and cheaters in the business world does not tarnish the image of honest and good businesses. The fact that knives can be used to kill people does not make you feel bad about using them to butter your bread.

Most things in life can be used for more than one purpose, and this goes for massage as well – and not just for Thai Massage. Professional massage and happy end massage run on two totally separate tracks, and they do not have to cross paths.

If your energy and intentions are clean and professional, people will know and respect that, and you will mostly attract clients who resonate with your energy and are looking for an actual therapeutic and professional massage. And if you happen to encounter someone who is looking for something else – well, that’s just life, and you have to make it clear what you do and don’t do.

Q: In my practice I find that I cannot get many clients interested in Thai Massage. What is your take on that?
A: The answer to this statement is that the real message which is coming through this: “My Thai Massage is just not good enough and therefore I cannot convincingly attract clients to it.”

If you really learn Thai Massage well, you will never have a lack of clients, and you will make a name for yourself as the therapist with the healing touch and outstanding therapeutic skills. You can learn this through Thai Healing Massage Academy’s online training programs.

Q: What’s so special about Heavenly Head Massage?
A: As the creator of this system, I can speak from personal experience. In pretty much every single session that I have ever done in this modality, my clients were transported into another level of consciousness, like in a deep meditation. They often tell me that they have never before experienced such deep levels of trance-like relaxation. Many students who have taken this course report similar experiences.

The secret is that this modality combines bodywork with energy techniques. It is so gentle and non invasive and profound that clients absolutely love it. I really does feel heavenly!

Q: What’s the difference between your Thai Massage course and your Thai Massage therapy courses?
A: The Complete Thai Massage course covers the entire body, all 4 positions (supine, prone, side and sitting) and is suitable for beginners and for experienced therapists who want to expand their skills. It will give you a complete Thai Massage education and enable you to do full body Thai Massage sessions.

The therapy courses focus in much greater depth on specific individual areas of the body like knees, hips, hamstrings, shoulders, or conditions like sciatica. They are meant for therapists who have already studied the basics of Thai Massage.

Q: Do you also do live training besides your video courses?
A: Thai Healing Massage Academy specializes in online training. There are already hundreds of Thai Massage schools in Thailand, so this is not our market. Instead we aim to provide worldwide quality online training for those who cannot or do not want to travel to Thailand.

Nobody else is offering interactive online training at the level we do, and supporting our worldwide student community and producing all the online training material is a full time job for us.

Q: Is your abdominal massage course identical to Chei Nei Tsang?
A: No. Full Chi Nei Tsang training takes quite some time. It is highly specific and includes lots of theory as well. Our abdominal massage course is designed so that it can be learned in a short period of time. It is a simplified version of Chi Nei Tsang which makes it more accessible, less expensive, and easy to integrate with Thai Massage.

Q: What is Chi Nei Tsang?
A: Chi Nei Tsang is a therapy that works exclusively on the abdomen. It is also called internal organs massage and was popularized by Mantak Chia who has his main center near the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Chi Nei Tsang differs from Shiatsu abdominal work. It works directly on the actual location of the organs whereas Shiatsu uses a map of reference points which are correlated with certain organs but are not in the actual location of the organ.

Mantak Chia’s style is an exclusive style, i.e. it is a standalone session where oil is used to work directly on the skin. My style does not use oil and can be applied through clothing. It is designed to be easily integrated with Thai Massage or Thai Rocking Massage, but it can also be used as a stand-alone therapy.

Q: I had a Thai Massage session once and it was very painful. Is that normal?
A: Absolutely not! It is only painful if the therapist is insensitive and works in a mechanical way. We teach a system that makes sure that the client never experiences strong pain. Guaranteed!

That being said, there is a difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain happens when stiff muscles or joints are challenged to release tension, but the degree of this ‘good’ pain should never exceed the ability of the client to relax into it. Good pain feels releasing and is quickly getting less intense.

Bad pain however is sharp, feels damaging and does not lessen in intensity. This should never be experienced in a massage session.

National Certification Board logoQ: Do you offer certification or CEUs for your online training courses?
A: Yes, we offer two certification options. Our larger courses are certified for continuing education hours by the National Certfication Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). You can find a detailed description HERE.

Q: What kind of support are you providing for your students?
A: We have the best support in the massage industry for online training. All students have direct access to the instructor via our forum, email, or skype. You can ask as many questions as you like and you will always get an answer, most of the time within hours, or even instantly. 

The answers are given by a highly experienced Thai Massage teacher, not by a faceless support agent with limited knowledge