As a therapist, what role could a Thai Massage career play in your life? How could it affect your lifestyle, your thought patterns, your attitude, your health?
Would it be just something that you do to earn a living, or would it go deeper than that?
Here are seven ways in which your life could be affected when you learn Thai Massage and practice it.
Thai Massage and the yoga connection
1. Thai Massage has it’s origins in yoga. Yoga is not just a system that teaches you how to turn yourself into a pretzel or stand on your head.
It is a process to reconnect with your higher self, your spiritual nature, your divine essence, or whatever else you might want to call it.
It’s not about religion or arguing about which kind of God we are talking about. Yoga is a process that helps you to raise your consciousness to a higher level.
Learning Thai Massage can have a similar effect since you don’t just work with physical body parts, but also with the body’s energy system. You work with your breath, your intuition, your energy, and your intentions.
All these elements lead you to refining and raising you energy, your empathy, and your sensitivity. Actually Thai Massage done right is a mindful or even meditative experience for the practitioner.
Thai Massage and yoga therapy
2. Thai Massage, just like yoga therapy, aims to balance and improve the body’s energy system and improve disease condition.
The goal of both systems is not just to manipulate and massage or stretch body parts.
Both systems teach you to feel energy, work with energy and re-establish good energy flow which in turn leads to improved health.
Although externally Thai Massage and yoga therapy look like a series of stretches and/or pressure points, internally there is a lot more going on.
Good therapists know how to use their breath, their intention, their energy, and their thoughts to produce results that go way beyond a stretched muscle.
Here again, Thai Massage shares the healing intentions of yoga therapy, and both client and practitioner benefit in the process.
Thai Massage therapy and your clean energy
3. Unless a Thai Massage therapist embodies a cleanliness of spirit, peace of mind, loving and healing intentions, their work will remain at a mostly mechanical level.
Thai Massage is much more than just a sequence of techniques.
Healing is not a merely mechanical process. It is a function of a more developed consciousness which recognizes the nature of energy in life.
This energy is what the Thai Massage therapist learns to move, channel and improve.
Although the therapist is working on balancing the energy of the client, this cannot be done very effectively unless the therapist has a balanced energy him or herself. Therefore both client and practitioner benefit.
Thai Massage therapy and effective communication
4. Thai Massage therapy and any other massage therapy involves dealing not just with people’s bodies, but also with their emotions and their minds.
At this point some therapists might object and say that they are not psychologists, and the mind is not their area of expertise.
While this might be true, you can’t get around the fact that massage therapists need to establish a rapport with their clients. Trust and faith in the ability and intention of the therapist is an important part of the session.
Another fact is that massage can sometimes bring emotional issues to the surface. The massage therapist cannot just sweep them under the carpet, but must deal with them in a positive and productive way.
This means that interpersonal skills and effective verbal communication are an essential part of a massage therapist’s tool chest.
These listening skills, the empathy, and the communication skills benefit the client, but they also affect therapists in a positive way.
It helps them to become more sensitive, to tune in more, and to become more intuitive about their clients needs.
Massage therapists and their job descriptions
5. What kind of massage session would you enjoy more:
- A treatment with a professional but exclusively clinical therapist who does his or her basic job
- Or a session with a therapist who radiates kindness, empathy, peace, understanding, a sincere desire to help you, who is a good communicator and who is able to give you good advice about taking care of your body and health?
For most of us, the answer is obvious. Some therapists might say at this point that this is not part of their job description.
If you want to become excellent at what you do, maybe you should consider modifying your job description and include some skills that set you apart from those who subscribe to a more mechanical model of massage.
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Massage therapy beyond the call of duty
6. Many times I have given clients some homework after a massage session. It might have been some yoga exercises, an energy technique, some advice about healthier eating.
Or it might have been tips on how to change detrimental thought patterns, a reference to a helpful book or a tip on how to access information about a particular self healing modality like EFT or Qigong.
Did I have to do that? Of course not. Did my clients appreciate it? Most of them certainly did, and they kept coming back to me because the knew that I really cared.
How do I know about all those things? I went the extra mile and took courses, read books, listened to seminars and educated myself as much as I could.
These additional skills helped me a lot in my own life, and I am able to use this knowledge in my Thai Massage therapy practice and in my teaching. I has definitely helped me to become a better person.
The physical impact of Thai Massage on the therapist
7. When you first learn Thai Massage, unless you are a yogi, you quickly find out that it requires some degree of flexibility and that you need to be in decent shape to practice it.
Thai Massage involves a lot of movement on the part of the therapist, good balance, good body mechanics, and correct use of body weight.
When students learn Thai Massage (on a floor mat), they often find the various positions and stances challenging initially. But typically their flexibility increases, and they become more aware and connected to their own bodies.
I have often seen that new students had physical issues and aches and pains which improved and resolved themselves after practicing Thai Massage for a while. So they became healthier while helping their clients.
I have also often seen that students took up yoga practice to support their Thai Massage work which of course also benefited themselves.
Yoga and Thai Massage are an excellent combination, and it is for this reason that many yoga teachers feel inspired to add Thai Yoga Massage, as it is often called, to their repertoire.
It depends on your circumstances
In all fairness I have to admit that some of these suggestions, like going beyond the call of duty and using refined communication skills are a lot easier to implement when you work for yourself.
If you work in a strictly regulated environment where you have a boss, have to follow rules, and are on the clock, or have to work on a table, you have less flexibility for applying some of the elements which were mentioned above.
You can still work in the spirit of these elements, and your life as a therapist will still be affected in a positive way.
The connection between Thai Massage and my life
By now it should be obvious that Thai Massage therapy or any kind of healing work cannot be separated from your life.
For me, Thai Massage is not just something that I do, it is something that I am.
This does not mean that I spend all day long talking and thinking about massage.
It does mean that I have become a more conscious, better educated, more empathetic and loving person because of my studies and practice of Thai Massage and other healing arts.
Learning Thai Massage and practicing it in a profound way has helped me to learn more about life and energy and love and compassion and the goodness in people. And this has helped me to become a better therapist and teacher.
It has helped me to serve my clients and students better and make this world a little better place, session by session, class by class.
Would you like to learn Thai Massage? Thai Healing Massage Academy can help you with an in-depth online training program that will turn you into a well-rounded, holistic, and highly competent practitioner.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the creator of 20 Thai Massage online training courses. He has practiced and taught Thai Massage for 20 years and has trained over 1000 students.