Techniques – the foundation of Thai Massage therapy
Massage, and especially Thai Massage, is often perceived as a series of techniques that need to be learned. In the beginning this is quite true.
We need to have a solid foundation of techniques, and in the case of Thai Massage this is even more true since it involves hundreds of often complex movements and stretches.
Taking massage therapy to the next level
But, if we stop at this level, we may be well trained massage mechanics, but we won’t be intuitive, tuned in, sensitive, perceptive, caring and highly effective healers. This is an entirely different level of therapy.
It is not something that can be totally understood and learned in a massage school since it requires years of experience and a desire to develop such qualities.
Some therapists develop them hardly at all, and some turn into almost shamanic practitioners and healers.
Athletes in a ‘flow’ state
We have all heard about a state of ‘flow’ that athletes can achieve when they are so absorbed in their performances and so totally focused that they achieve a natural ‘high’.
This is a state of mind that does not allow anything else to enter or interfere with their task. In this state they feel euphoric, full of energy and strength, and capable of achieving amazing results.
Massage therapists in a ‘flow’ state
In massage therapy you can achieve a very similar state of ‘flow’. Symptoms are that you feel highly energized, focused, intuitive, connected, creative and inspired.
You lose track of time and your body becomes the perfect instrument to intuitively do exactly what your massage client really needs.
I want to share some of my personal experiences with this concept within my main area of expertise which is my own style of Thai Massage.
My own personal ‘flow’ state case study
I have often had the experience that when I enter into such a ‘flow’ state, I spontaneously come up with new Thai Massage techniques which I had never done before, had never seen or practiced and had not even thought about.
But at this moment they are the exact perfect technique for this client that I am working on.
Many times I catch myself thinking “Wow, that’s a great technique. I wonder where this came from. I should add it to my repertoire of massage techniques”.
But in most cases, when the massage is over, I cannot remember anymore what I did. The ‘amazing’ technique has disappeared to wherever it came from.
But it does not worry me since I know that whenever I need it, it will manifest itself again at the right time.
Inner vision versus outer vision in massage therapy
When I am working on a Thai Massage client, I often keep my eyes closed. I am not intentionally closing them, they just close by themselves.
I can feel so much more with my body than I can see with my eyes. It is like an inner radar or vision. The open eyes are just distracting me and are simply not needed.
I feel like I am working in a very meditative or almost trance-like state. My perception becomes highly sensitized and I can feel things in my client’s body which under normal circumstances I would not detect at all. With my eyes closed the inner vision takes over from the outer vision. It is a beautiful feeling.
Spontaneous ‘knowing’ in the flow state
Another experience I have often had is that when entering into such a ‘flow’ state, I just spontaneously ‘know’ things about my massage client. I see or hear or feel a certain information, and often clients are quite surprised how I knew that.
Of course I have no idea where the information came from, but it is generally exactly what I needed to know, what the client needed to hear, and what helps the massage session to be a success.
These are a few of my personal experiences with being in the ‘flow’ state while massaging. Early on in my career I was lucky enough to have studied extensively with several highly intuitive and shamanic Thai Massage teachers, and I learned at least as much from their mental or energetic state than from their techniques.
The magic of the ‘flow’ state
I cannot even imagine doing massage therapy just on a purely mechanical level. The flow state is a wonderful, peaceful, exhilarating, inspired and creative state of being that takes massage techniques to the level of a true healing art. It is what can make massage truly magical.
The flow state does not happen to me all the time – certainly not in every session. But it happens often enough that it keeps me inspired to continue to provide one of the most wonderful services I know of – the magic of the human touch.
I know there are many therapists who have had such experiences. I would love for my colleagues to share some of your experiences with such states in the comment section below.
Is the ‘flow’ state something you can learn?
Now the question might come up if you are born with such an ability or if it can be learned. I can say that I was definitely not born with any special massage talent. I was certainly NOT the ‘Mozart of massage therapy’.
It took me several decades of my life before it dawned on me that I could develop such skills. Yes, I gradually developed them over time.
I did not fall out of bed one morning with some special intuitive skills, and neither did some guru tap me on the third eye to wake up this energy.
It helps to have an inclination, or even better, a passion for massage, healing, and energy. And to some degree this is a learnable skill. I have taught it to many students over the years.
How to develop intuitive massage skills
I used to teach classes to guests at a high end spa which I called ‘interactive energy games’. It was a popular class and many people caught on to the concepts although they had never done any type of massage or healing work in their life.
If you would like to learn how to improve your sensitivity, develop an inner vision, and learn how to enter a ‘flow’ state during your massage work, I have created an online training course that will teach you many methods which my students and myself have successfully used for two decades decade.
Take a look at Magic Touch Secrets. It might take your work, your sense of satisfaction and your skills to a whole new level.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 18 years, and he is the creator of 20 online Thai Massage training courses. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org