In my role as a Thai Massage practitioner and teacher, I sometimes get questions along these lines:
- I am over fifty, can I still practice Thai Massage?
- I am not so flexible, can I do this?
- I am small and light, can I do Thai Massage on bigger and heavier people?
All good questions. Let’s look at them one by one.
Is there an age limit for practicing Thai Massage?
I know several Thai Massage teachers who are in their 50s and 60s, and I have known a couple who were over 70 years old. Personally, I started doing Thai Massage when I was in my mid-forties, and now I am in my late 60s.
That’s certainly not a problem for me. Actually doing Thai Massage can keep you young and in good shape.
You use your body a lot, and the older you get, the more this is essential. Many of my students are over 50 and some are in their 60s.
One of them started a whole new Thai Massage career and opened a Thai Massage school. He did this when he was almost 70 years old and he was in great shape.
Or how about Evelyn Blackburn from England who still practiced massage when she was 98 years old as part of a 60-year massage career? Here is her inspiring story.
Don’t ever allow an old person to live in your body. You know the old saying “If you don’t use it you lose it”. This applies to both your mind and body.
I have always compared Thai Massage to a dance where two people move or are moved in a beautifully synchronized way, just like dancers. That’s why it is very appropriate to watch this clip about one of the most amazing dancers I have ever seen.
The big thing about this story is that she is 80 years old. This video will make you laugh and cry and forget about your so-called limitations.
Are you flexible enough to practice Thai Massage?
Many of my students told me in the beginning of a training course that they were not flexible enough, their ankles were too stiff, their knees did not cooperate, etc.
In almost all cases those problems went away with practice and they ended up being able to do Thai Massage just fine.
Here’s another inspiring example. According to Guinness World Records, Tao Porchon-Lynch was the world’s oldest yoga teacher at 95 years of age. She was also an excellent Tango dancer. And, by the way, she had a hip replacement which didn’t hold her back either.
If you want to check out her story, here is an article about her from the Huffington Post.
There are others like Australian Bette Calman who has been teaching yoga right up into her 80s or Bernice Bates from Florida who has been going strong with practicing and teaching yoga right into her 90s. So practicing Thai Yoga Massage in your 50s should sound a lot less daunting by now.
Can you be too small or light for Thai Massage practice?
Let me tell you that in Thailand the average female Thai Massage practitioner weighs around 50 kg or 112 pounds, and some even less.
I know excellent and effective therapists who weigh between 45 and 50 kg or between 100 and 110 pounds. And many of them work in tourist areas on foreigners who weigh up to twice as much as they do.
I know one therapist colleague of mine who has a physical handicap that does not allow her to do massage therapy with her hands. So she founded a successful business where she is practicing and teaching massage with her feet.
It appears to me that there are very few real limitations, or at least a lot less than you might have been thinking when it comes to learning Thai Massage – or any other massage as well as yoga.
Often our limitations are mostly in our own minds, and we can do a lot more than we give ourselves credit.
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 Thai Massage online training courses.