“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new’” Socrates
Some of you may have noticed, both on courses and workshops that you have attended, or through the blogs I have written recently, that I am mentioning things like ‘Elements’ and ‘Layers’ to you, these aren’t words often found in the regular Thai Massage trainings offered.
Whilst there are some students that find fulfilment knowing how to give a relaxing massage and stretch their clients, and that is fine – I felt this for a long time too, there is a lot of benefit in a good massage and some passive movement, but…
Something that I have noticed over many years of teaching is that I frequently have students who contact me to ask me ‘what should I do about this’ or ‘my client has … (insert ailment/condition/pain) going on, what do I do?’
When clients arrive at the door in pain, or have trouble with hormones, digestion or migraines. When they have injuries, anxiety, cant sleep or they can’t get warm or cool down, or when things just aren’t right, what do you do? Does the regular sequence of Thai Massage, starting at the feet and working up to the head each time seem effective when faced with problems like these?
This is where Thai Massage used to feel limiting to me, but this is where the changes coming into place with future training gets uber exciting…
Thai medical theory has not long been translated from ancient medical texts; most of what has been taught over the years was a corrupted version with many of the more difficult practices taken out, so that it was quick and easy for tourists to learn. This explains why the information that has been out there has felt inconclusive and incomplete. Only a fraction of the whole and complete medical system has been available.
Because of the supposed lack of theory, philosophies from other countries were added into the mix as a substitute which is why Thai seems to resemble Ayurveda, Yoga, Acupressure – and it all became quite confusing, leading to the question ‘what is it that makes it Thai’?
Thai bodywork is MUCH more than massage and stretching. It involves, for example, pulse and tongue diagnosis, using tools such as cupping, scraping, scarves, herbs, oils, and balms. It can be relaxing, or invigorating, nourishing or supportive. The only real sequence is one that works through the layers of the body. Practitioners also need to understand Thai element theory and other spiritual aspects, so that each session, whether it be 15 minutes or 2 hours is built from using this knowledge to direct the treatment. For example Thai bodywork can be focused on a shoulder problem for the entire session, no matter how much time there is available; there may be minimal or even no stretching, it might be that oils are used.
Whilst EVERYTHING is energy, so any method of touch is touching an energetic body, Thai bodywork is not an energy-based treatment. Everything is structural and based on anatomy.
Fear not, existing Thai practitioners, the techniques you have learnt are absolutely valid (a little tweak here and there might be necessary – but you will still palm, stretch, thumb, apply traction). The reasons you do things, why and how, well they ARE going to change. BUT, I can tell you from experience, you will be as excited as I am to be able to get such significant results with your clients and work remedially. You will not get bored, frustrated, tired or unfulfilled by the work.
For newbies coming to the Thai bodywork field, you have arrived at the perfect time to learn the real deal from scratch right now. So join us, training starts in November