“We pray for the one we touch, that they will be happy and illness will be released from them.” – Mantra to Dr. Shivago
My first experience with Thai massage was during my undergrad. I was traveling with a group of students for a service project around Thailand and it was our first stop after the long flight. Thai massage treatment itself is phenomenal for the body and unlike any other massage method practiced in the west. Balanced beautifully with stretching, reflexology, and muscle release movements you literally leave feeling like you’ve just been through and relaxing yoga session blended with a fusion of physical and energetic healing; all while lying down in different positions.
Working in the field of personal development and health, and open to new knowledge to add to my practice, I was inspired with the idea to learn the ancient practice of Thai massage. Remembering how incredibly healing it was for my body, within a few days everything fell effortlessly into place. I was booked, and ready to learn!
Upon arriving at ITM — one of Thailand’s most reputable international massage schools — I was greeted with genuine delight from the receptionist, and immediately felt at home. Little did I know how inspirational this journey of learning a new healing art would be. (www.itmthaimassage.com)
Like-minded people from all over the world joined as we began our mornings chanting mantras to Dr. Shivago, warming up the body with yoga and thai chi exercises, followed by community conditioning and mingling with the other 30 plus students. Lightness and oneness as the morning sun gleamed over the garden terrace. New students chat and meet over and fresh fruits and coffee, forming a collective commune of compassion. I knew this was exactly where I was meant to be.
Each morning on my commute to school I would walk down the morning market streets that were buzzing with life and colour. Under the impeccable January weather conditions, was a warm feeling of being completely lost in the right direction. Presence and wonder were alive and well!
The school days were busy with learning new techniques from 9am – 5pm. Balanced nicely with the history and ethics of Thai massage, then watching and writing notes on the new techniques. The majority of the day was spent practicing new movement in partner style team work. My brain was so full after only a few days, and it was so enjoyable! All day you are giving and receiving massages. At the end of everyday, we gather again to chant the mantras of Dr. Shivago — the father of medicine — have a coffee and snack then back into practice rooms.
80 hours of training later, I am now a certified in Thai Massage level 1, level 2 and Thai chair massage. Many years of practicing this wonderful healing art lie ahead, but one thing is for certain, my inner self has become more open because of this amazing experience. Inspiration is the key to awakening the infinite potentials that already exist within.