The secrets of working therapeutically in Thai Massage
Working therapeutically doesn’t mean that you need to know lots of special and unique Thai Massage techniques. But it does mean that you have to approach therapy sessions in a different way from doing regular whole body sessions.
When you want to do effective therapy work, you will often have to forego whole body sessions due to time constraints and focus on specific areas which need the attention most.
There are several elements that will improve your therapy work.
Element one – stay longer on one area
Therapy in Thai Massage is not necessarily a complicated affair. Often all you need to do is just stay longer on a particular area and keep working it.
Element two – modify your techniques until they work best
This gives you more time and a better feeling for figuring out what techniques or what kind of approach works best for the client.
Thai Massage is not a one-size-fits-all sequence, but it requires intuitive modification of your techniques. Not every technique will work for every client. Adaptation and modification versus standardized sequences is what distinguishes whole bodywork from specific therapy work.
Element three – use your energy and intention
This is not an esoteric principle. It’s a fact that most people can easily perceive energy. If you enter a room full of angry hateful people you will feel very different than if you enter a room full of happy and peaceful people. That’s an energetic perception.
In the same way, your energy will affect your clients. That’s why you need to focus it and make sure that you are projecting good, compassionate, healing energy. This is not difficult to do, it’s just a decision that you make, and a matter of practice.
Element four – client communication skills
Good verbal communication skills are an essential part of good Thai Massage therapy work. You need your client’s feedback, and you want to reaffirm and show the client that you are making progress with the therapy.
Good therapy work means that you are working WITH a client, not just ON a client. This can be accomplished with good communication skills.
Element five – work slowly to improve your sensitivity
Rushed Thai Massage work doesn’t feel good to the client, and it does not allow you to tune into someone’s body and listen with your hands. If you are quickly moving from one technique to the next, you will never really feel what is going on under your hands, so slow down and learn to listen with your hands.
Never start out with big stretches
Thai Massage is famous for the many different types of stretches which it includes. However, keep in mind that you should never start therapy work or any type of Thai Massage work with strong stretches.
You should start with warming techniques, probing with your fingers for trouble spots, using motion techniques like circling or rocking to loosen up an area. After doing all those things, you can then get into stronger stretching techniques – not the other way round.
Include your clients in the session
If someone comes to you with a problem, and you just do your work without ever saying a word, the client will not feel included. It is better to talk about the condition and the progress, elicit feedback and instill confidence in the client that you are helping them effectively.
This is different from a more general whole body session where such talking and communicating may not be called for.
Be open to intuitive information
If you work in a strictly analytical frame of mind, just thinking about anatomical features, or even worse, letting your mind drift to unrelated topics, you will block the reception of any subtle clues or information.
If however you intentionally open yourself to intuitive information and focus on feeling rather than on thinking, you might be amazed at what information you can spontaneously pick up in that way. This is just a matter of practice.
The essence of Thai Massage therapy
Therapy work is not just about good technique, although this is certainly a part of it.
For effective therapeutic work, it is not just important what you do, but how you do it, what you are thinking about, what your frame of mind is, what energy you are projecting, how you communicate with your client, and how much you are able and willing to tune into the problem, the body and the energy of your client.
I can’t show you specific techniques here, but I can show you the elements which will make your techniques much more effective.
If you want to learn the techniques and get a much more in depth Thai Massage therapy education, Thai Healing Massage Academy offers 20 online training courses which cover excellent therapy work in great detail.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for over two decades, and he is the creator of 20 online Thai Massage training courses.