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Massage With An Inner Vision

massage with an inner vision

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.

vision just ahead

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.

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The author, Shama KernThe 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 shama@thaihealingmassage.com

Related Reading:
The Magic of Touch Experienced
How Massage Can Touch Bodies, Hearts And Minds
Secrets For Developing Better Thai Massage Skills

10 thoughts on “Massage With An Inner Vision

  1. Hi Shama,
    First of all I would like to thank you so much for bringing all us ,massage therapists from around the world, together under the loving umbrella of your amazing site. The state of flow you describe happened to me many times during my massage sessions. At first I was a bit scared of what was going on and whether I was losing it or not, you know. As you very accurately mentioned, it is a state that goes beyond techniques and body manipulations and was hardly accepted by the logical western mind that I had been so far.

    As time went by it kept coming over and over again even in the most noisious circumstances. Then I started searching and finally I found out what it was all about. The synchronicity of the facts that took place from that point on was amazing. All the right people at the right time kept coming to me to bring me a step closer to understanding, accepting and believing in what was going on.

    It was all about energy mates. Energy that brings us together, energy that binds and unites. As a long standing massage therapist and teacher I think that it is learnable by anyone having the inner urge to go a step (or many steps) further in all aspects of life. I also strongly believe that this is leading us to the healing arts of the future. More energetic, more human friendly, more unifying and less invasive as you very well teach us in the Magic Touch Secrets video course of yours.Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to share my experience with all of you folks. Summer greetings from sunny Greece.

    • Hi Vaia,
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt response. I totally understand when you say that when this ‘flow’ state first happened to you, you were wondering if you were losing your mind.
      I think you WERE losing your mind, but you lost the rational, left brain type mind, and instead tapped into a different level of consciousness. That’s a wonderful thing, and anyone who has ever experienced even a little of this ‘flow’ state knows that it is an amazing feeling. I ‘lost my mind’ many times as well, but it was the mind that I did not need during the session, and tapped into something else that was much more useful than the rational mind.

  2. This is a great entry! You put into words something I have a difficult time describing. A client and I recently had a discussion of this phenomenon as she related to me her experience of being thrown from a car during an accident and how time seemed to slow down and it took ages for her to impact the ground. Then we went on to talk a bit about the Theory of Relativity, the man-made construct of time and how emotional states can affect our perception of it.

    After more than seven years of practicing massage, I still have not found a way to fully “anchor” this state of flow. The other day I had six clients scheduled back to back and flowed easily through each session with co-workers asking, “How are you doing so many massages back to back like that?” I only said, “I just do them.” I felt great after each session as well as at the conclusion of my day. There have been other times where having a schedule like that is exhausting for me and I often wonder what was different about it.

    Thank you for sharing this article and a course with information on how to access a magical state. 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting on my article Anastasia!
      I have to admit, I also have not found a way to anchor the ‘flow’ state each and every time. I think it is not possible. That’s the issue with all energy healing, ‘miraculous’ healing, shamanic healing etc. The scientists are trying to press it into a formula that can be repeated consistently under laboratory conditions, and this is just not possible with such energy states.

      I am pretty good at entering the ‘flow’ state, it is something that I really enjoy and look forward to. But there always have been and will be times when the mind gets in the way, or circumstances do.

      There is no perfection with this, but it is an ongoing journey with challenges along the way, like life in general.

      Regarding being able to work many hours, I can pretty much always do a session and feel good while doing it. But I know what my limits are, and when I go beyond them, it is like temporarily borrowing more energy than I have available, and then comes payback time, meaning I crash after the one-too-many sessions. So I have learned how much I can realistically do and still keep my energy balanced.

      Or in other words, I have learned to not abuse the ‘flow’ state by reconciling my energetic household with my physical household.

  3. I’ve often wondered about that… the anchoring. In regards to athletes and the rigorous training they undergo before competition. Often they speak about experiencing the same sensation of flow. I know runners who talk about having “runner’s vision”, or seeing things in slow motion which aides them in in overcoming obstacles on the way to the finish line. I suppose it’s a natural side-affect of mental and physical conditioning.

    There are certainly days when I am pushed to my physical limit (as soon as I am done I can allow myself to feel tired and my feet to hurt), but I often find I am able to work so much when I let go of the “work” aspect of it and it just gets done. I feel like more of a channel than a manual therapist.

    When I first started practicing I worked for chiropractors and they would book me back to back for hours at a time, most of these 30 minute full body sessions. I would get a half hour break and then go back to it, only getting another break if someone was late or didn’t show up. I can very much see how working in this manner can cause one’s practice to deteriorate into a rote routine and less of an art.

    Today, I am grateful for that experience because it gave me the opportunity to touch a lot of different body types with a variety of ailments AND figure out how to provide focus on the area they or the chiropractor specified while at the same time providing them the satisfaction of receiving a full body session in only 30 minutes. It also made it necessary for me to learn how to use my body in a way that I could give quality sessions without sustaining injury.

    It was at this point that I started to learn more about listening to the clients concerns, taking that in before beginning the work then letting it go so the session could progress and I could focus on remaining “present”, moment to moment, instead of thinking about the sessions before or after, worrying if I was helping them and if I would have enough time to do all they requested, when I could have lunch, what I was going to do for dinner, etc. It becomes quite like a meditative state, similar to what I’ve achieved experienced in practicing Tai Chi.

    I certainly agree that it is an ongoing journey, and I am aware that attaining “perfection” is something I still struggle with as my ongoing challenge.

    Thank you for an engaging and thought provoking discussion.

    • Anastasia, you wrote “I feel more like a channel than a manual therapist.” That’s a good indicator for being in ‘flow’ and is the state where massage becomes a healing art rather than a physical manipulation of someone’s anatomy.
      Regarding perfection, I never see myself arriving at such a place, but for me perfection is being on a path of continuous improvement that allows me to feel the ‘flow’ state more and more.

      • 🙂 This is wonderful, regarding perfection. Yes! It’s something I have to constantly remind myself of. To paraphrase a quote, “A moment is the most one can ever expect of perfection.”

        Congrats on your NCBTMB status!

  4. Hi Shama,

    I really admire your passion of doing Thai massages and putting into words the way you feel about it. It actually help people to understand the benefits of it as well as learning from it. Keep up the good work!

    Mike

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