Do Thai Massage therapists benefit from their work?
Everyone knows that clients can benefit greatly from a good massage session. But what’s in it for the therapists? Why do they do it? What do they get out of it?
The answer which comes to mind most easily is ‘money’ – massage therapists can charge $70.-, $80.- or even more per hour, at least in most Western countries. But…
Let’s exclude financial rewards for the time being
The focus of this article is everything except money.
After having done massage therapy for many years, I know that money alone is not a good enough reason to be in this profession.
My primary specialty happens to be Thai Massage, but the concepts in this article apply equally to any massage therapist.
What is massage all about?
Good massage therapy is not just about techniques, anatomy, kneading knotted muscles, client intake, filling out forms, complying with regulations, searching for scientific evidence, etc. Look at the following two scenarios:
- Have you ever experienced a massage session where everything was done right by the therapist, but in the end you felt like you were just an object that was pushed around, kneaded, and squeezed?
- Have you ever experienced a massage session where you could feel the energy, attention, the love, and the passion of the therapist, and in the end you felt like in massage heaven?
Both might look like the same massage on the outside, but the results and the feeling will be totally different.
How to recognize good Thai Massage therapists
How can you tell if a therapist is involved with heart and soul and not only with the hands? Good therapists are not just good technicians, they love their work. Here is a list of symptoms by which they can be recognized:
- They really want to make a contribution, they want to do their part to make the world a little better place.
- They sincerely want to help people
- They believe in the power of a loving and healing touch
- They have an energy about them that makes you feel at ease
- People naturally trust them, like them, and confide in them
- Good therapists have a passion for their work
- They keep learning and improving their skills
- They have some miracle stories they could tell and they have loyal and devoted clients
- They don’t need to advertise much since people are drawn to them by word of mouth. The quality of their work and their touch speak for themselves.
Passion instead of burnout
Sure, professional Thai Massage therapists have to make money, but those therapists whose primary motivation is how much money they can earn will be lacking most of the above-mentioned qualities.
They will get bored with their work and they will suffer from burnout sooner or later. Their work will have a mechanical quality, there won’t be any love in it, and nothing magical happens in their world.
Rewards besides money
Thai Massage therapists who have a calling, a passion for their work, can develop personally by becoming more sensitive to energy, more intuitive, more kind and empathetic. Such therapists are artists in their field like gifted musicians, painters, or dancers.
They all thrive through the connection they experience in their profession, and they all know about those almost magical coincidences where sometimes everything just falls perfectly into place.
Such therapists put their heart and soul into their sessions. They often have wonderful experiences with their clients who are many times grateful, appreciative, and uplifted by the work they received.
The therapist can get as much satisfaction from the reaction of their clients as from the money they get paid.
A calling versus a job
Good Thai Massage therapists make the world a little better place every time they work on someone, and in turn they themselves get positive energy and inspiration from a higher source in some way.
Any interaction with human beings is essentially an exchange of energy. This can be totally unconscious and mindless, or it can be intentional and inspired. Good therapists instinctively develop a sensitivity for energy exchange, and they learn how to direct it in a positive way.
Massage mechanics and healers
Good Thai Massage therapists enjoy their work. They develop their technical skills along with their personal growth. Rather than being “massage mechanics” they take on the qualities of healers.
They might get paid very well for their work, but they also get rewarded by who they are becoming in the process, namely a more intuitive, loving, sensitive, and compassionate human being who plays an active part in making this world a better place to live in.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the author of 20 Thai Massage online training courses. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for over two decades.