If You Want To Become Skilled in Thai Massage–or any style of bodywork––consider these tips…
There are different levels of skill. And whether you want to simply give a good massage or become adept at healing chronic problems, it all requires practice. To feel imbalances in the tissue and structure takes a long time, and to intuitively discern and understand subtle blockages and imbalances usually takes years of feeling normal and abnormal tissue. The reason why some Thai massage practitioners are so skilled is they work all day, pretty much every day, for many years. Their skill is mirrored by their experience. As with any skill that one practices sincerely over many years, you develop a sixth sense.
How I Learned Thai Massage
My education in Thailand was structured for practice and feedback over several years time. It started with learning the basic form, which I repeated many times. When I whet back home, I practiced many hours a day on my patients. After my teacher saw I was sincere, she allowed to assist her in teaching newer students. That helped hammer in the basics even deeper.
As I returned to Thailand, I was encouraged to work on my instructor and other Thai massage practitioners. Another part of my training was working on native Thai people. Those with problems were brought to me to see if I could help them. Finally I was given the opportunity to work on my teachers’ teachers.
I’ll never forget Kani Ka catching my eye and pantomiming to use my elbows with really hard pressure.
The point is Practice!
Love Of Bodywork
Practice is dependent on if you like and enjoy it. I often say that there are two kinds of people: massage people and non massage people. Massage people are born with a love for the art. With love the journey becomes effortless: it’s something you want to do, and this gives you the interest to really get into it.
Turn On Your Inner Senses
Approach your training as if you were blind. In Thailand, Japan, and many other countries, the blind are trained in massage, and they are often the best practitoners in the world. The blind must use their inner senses, however they perceive imbalances more clearly than those that are distracted by their eyes and mind. Therefore the blind see and feel at a much deeper level. This is truly one of the greatest secrets: don’t rely on the outer senses, use your inner ones.
Healing Is A Wonder
After you’ve had some successes, you’ll believe in the power of bodywork. Muscles, ligaments, tissue, and even bones and nerves can regenerated because the body is alive. Bones are not as you see them in the museum. They are living tissue, alive, breathing, regenerating. Tissue can be changed with the energy you put in through your loving touch.
Approach healing with wonder, it truly is a fantastic privilege to touch the human body for the purpose of healing.
Take care of yourself.
Bodywork requires a lot of energy. Eat well and get enough rest, and spend time in nature. Taking care of you, walking your talk, gives a good example to your patients. They’ll trust and believe in you more. Take especially good care of your hands. If you want to perform bodywork for many years you have to safeguard yourself and prevent overuse.
Healing is a great gig, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I really understood just how good it really is, or why.
People began contacting me, paying a personal visit, calling, or writing a card. Patient’s I hadn’t heard from, in some cases, for 20 years wanted to tell me how much our time together changed their lives. Maybe it was getting them out of pain, preventing an operation, getting them off medication, easing them through an emotional blockage, or helping them to open their heart. Some patients’ were old, maybe they wanted to thank me before they died. Other’s just wanted to tell me how much our time together effected their lives.
It was then I realized:
People loved me, I was in the epicenter of a tremendous amount of love.
I really got it: healing––if you are sincere––is a rare profession. You are in the center of an exchange of love, and it feels fantastic. Love is the most profound food that we exist upon.
Love Is All There IS
I’ll tell you a great secret that everyone knows, but few take it to heart: when it comes time to die, love is the only thing that remains important.
When you’re on your death bed your bank account will be useless; your perfect figure amounts to zero. Sadly, you will find the great majority of what you focused on in life is worthless.
Of the many pursuits we go after in life, on your deathbed, all that matters is the love you gave and received.
If you are full of love you’ll leave life rich. If you are not filled with love you’ll leave as a beggar.
Many patients have told me that I’m the richest man they know––though I’ve never had a lot of money. And they are right, I do feel rich. At least when it’s time to die, I know I’ll be full.
When I had a near death experience, there were only three things that remained valuable.
Did I give and receive enough love?
Did I do what I came here to do?
Did I leave the world a better place than I found it?
The second and third are dependent on the first.
What you came here to do is to share yourself at the deepest level, and how will you leave the world a better place? Only through love.
To realize this is when one becomes a healer, no matter what path of life you may walk.
Allow yourself to receive.
Healers sometimes seem to have a broken receiving mechanism, which is why they are so drawn to healing in the first place. In giving the healer gets a small reflection back and so they feel good. But many healers receive too little. Over the years I’ve worked with many doctors nd healers. It’s all too common, after years in practice, to burn out.
For a healer to go full circle they have to repair their receiving mechanism. Let yourself receive! Anytime someone offers you anything, a hug, a compliment, a kind word, take it deeply into your heart. The exchange of energy, the giving and receiving of love is the true currency of life. Then the healer is healed.