How can Thai Massage save a therapist’s career? That’s what you will hear about in this video. In it, I tell my own story of how I injured my thumbs when I started out learning Thai Massage over two decades ago.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise since it resulted in my creating a lot of innovative and unique bodywork, and a more therapist-friendly way of using it.
It also inspired me to set up Thai Healing Massage Academy to share what had proven so beneficial to me and my students through online training worldwide. So here is my story.
Longevity in the massage profession
Why does massage as a profession have a high drop-out rate, or you could say a low survival rate? One reason is that it can be hard on your body.
If you have small hands and you work on big, heavy, stiff clients, it can really take a toll on your hands.
Most therapists have to deal with this issue sooner or later. I have seen therapists who dunk their arms up to the elbows in icy water every evening, and I’ve seen therapists who had to give up their careers because of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
The issue of risking your own health can be prevented by practicing a system of Thai Massage which has some unique advantages.
The issue with overusing thumbs in Thai Massage
When I originally studied Thai Massage in Thailand, we were taught to do almost everything with our thumbs – thumbing up and down the legs, the arms, and the back.
That may not be a problem if you happen to have very strong thumbs. But most of us have hands that can handle only a limited amount of stress, and that includes myself.
In the beginning of my career, after doing a lot of Thai Massage on a daily basis, within about one year I developed a nasty joint inflammation in my thumbs, and I had a choice to make: Either quit massage or find a better way of doing it.
A therapist-friendly Thai Massage training system
I guess you know which choice I made because over 20 years later, I am still practicing and teaching Thai Massage. And not only that – I founded a major Thai Massage online training Institute, Thai Healing Massage Academy.
So what’s the secret of preserving your health as a massage therapist? It is ergonomics (body mechanics) – the art of using your body in the most favorable way and with the least effort.
You can do that to some degree on a massage table, but you are limited because you cannot get right on top of people. You will have to lean over that table unless you are the acrobatic type and can climb all over your table.
This is where Thai Massage has a huge advantage because it enables ideal use of your body. This can literally be a career saver, which it has been for me, and many of our students.
How is that?
Thai Massage advantages
There is a saying that it is better to work smart than hard. This applies to massage as well. Why use more effort than you need to? Why overwork your hands if you don’t have to?
Thai Massage makes this easy. Let’s look at three specific areas:
1. The more tools the better
In Thai Massage, you can use your hands, forearms, elbows, knees, and feet because you are working on the floor, not on a massage table.
Why is that so important, and how can it save your career?
Many times massage therapists are faced with a dilemma. If you have a big client who wants a strong massage, you have to choose between two options:
In Thai Massage, you do not have to make this choice. You could work for a long time on someone’s hamstrings, for example, and most of the work can be done with forearms, elbows, knees, and feet – without stressing your hands!
It is so much easier than using your hands for everything – and yes, it feels just as good.
However not every style of Thai Massage is therapist-friendly. Some schools teach very thumb-intensive methods.
For example, this is the case with the ‘royal style’ which consists primarily of thumb work and is the least therapist-friendly Thai Massage style.
2. The big advantage of body weight over muscle power
in Thai Massage, you can use your body weight much more effectively than on a table because you can get right on top of your clients instead of leaning over a table which can cause back problems.
You can let your body weight do the work for you instead of using your muscles.
This gives you so much more leverage and more power with less effort compared to working on a table.
The way how I and many Thai Massage therapists are working is often not how we originally learned it in Thai Massage school. We adapt it to preserve our health.
In my case, due to my thumb joint inflammation, I was literally forced to learn how to use my body in the most effective way, and without stress on my body.
These therapist-friendly skills are the cornerstone of the training that we provide at Thai Healing Massage Academy. This is designed to extend your career and preserve the health of your hands and your back.
Thai Massage techniques are the great equalizer for small therapists, or women working on big men, or anyone who doesn’t have very strong hands.
3. Accomplish more with less effort
Table massage styles require almost constant use of your hands for stroking, kneading, and squeezing. In contrast, Thai Massage uses lots of stretches and manipulations which require much less effort with your hands.
Additionally, when you learn our Thai Massage style, you can use many rocking techniques which are about the most therapist-friendly and stress-free techniques you can imagine.
Learn Thai Massage to benefit your clients and you
Our Thai Healing Massage system teaches you how to do more with less effort while preserving the health of your hands.
Our focus is on training you how to become more effective, more intuitive, more sensitive, and a more well-rounded therapist.
We have trained thousands of students in this system. There are hundreds of success stories posted in our forum. It does work. It is the most therapist-friendly Thai Massage style you can find.
If you have not yet investigated Thai Massage, you can enroll in our free introductory Thai Massage video series in the box below this article.
And if you already practice Thai Massage, you can take it to another level that goes way beyond basic Thai Massage education through one of our advanced online training courses.
Check it out. You might just fall in love with it, and it might prolong or even save your career.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 2 decades, and he is the creator of 20 Thai Massage online training courses.