Learning something new can be a tedious task, especially a movement practice like Thai Massage. Not only is ones body learning to move in a new way, developing strength and flexibility, there are also hundreds of positions and techniques to learn. These nine "ways" are here to assist your learning.
1) Wai Khru
- Rooted in Buddhism, Thai Massage can be very ritualized. Before and after a treatment, the practitioner will recite the Wai Khru mantra or prayer to Father Doctor Shivago. This non-religious prayer is a way to respect the lineage of the practice and to focus the mind in preparation for massage.
- Representative of with whom and with what materials students use to learn. It is highly recommended to learn from practitioners that are more advanced. There are also countless videos and books that are available. Some of the most well-known schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand are:
- Although some movements are simple, others have many steps. It is important to watch demonstrations from many angles to get a clear picture of body mechanics and position. It is also recommended, with permission, to watch professionals give massage in order to see the flow from beginning to end.
- It is as important for students to take shorthand notes during class because only a picture or a phrase, like in most texts, are not enough. Taking notes in ones own language will better help them to understand more complicated movements.
- "Practice Makes Progress!" New moves are constantly being created and not all moves will be used in every treatment. To remember all of the positions, it is important to practice as much as possible. In addition to practicing, it is recommended to switch partners frequently or to work on many different clients. This will help the practitioner adjust pressure and style to best meet clients needs. Working on oneself is another way to review. Tracing Sen Energy Lines is a good way to find comfortable pressure.
- During my training sessions, I recommend all students to color their workbooks in order to differentiate the practitioner body from the client. The more ways one studies, the greater their understanding becomes.
- "Warm Heart & Warm Hands." Practitioners want to provide services with positive energy to enable clients to fully relax. To start, practitioners will rub their hands together, generating heat, before placing hands on the clients body.
- As one receives massage, especially one as long as Thai Massage tends be, providing blankets or towels will keep your clients happy and comfortable.
- As professionals, it is our job to maintain certain standards of cleanliness. Before and after each session, both client and therapist should wash both their feet and hands.
- It may be worth considering
- This modality is different from other massages in that the receiver is fully clothed for the entire duration. Because of the focus on stretching, the most suitable clothing to wear are loose fitting pants and shirt, athletic wear, or "yoga clothes." Throughout the massage, ones feet may be lifted over their head or stretched in a way that if one were to wear shorts, they may become exposed; pants are preferred. If one were to wear a revealing top, the therapist reserves the right to cover the client with a towel or will offer a towel in case the client becomes cold.
- "When in doubt, leave it out!"
Before each session, one should take a detailed client history in order to rule out any cautions or contraindications. Since bending, lifting, twisting, and stretching are all apart of this modality, be careful not to exceed either your or your clients limits. This massage should be comfortable, not painful. If one can not do a position, there are other positions to work the same area.