In this blog I am sharing some easy ways to instantly improve your Thai Massage. Of course to become a good Thai massage therapist takes training, a lot of practice and touching many and massaging a lot of people. It is not only improving our massage skills though, that will help us to become a better Thai Massage therapist. Today I am sharing some tips how to improve as a Thai massage therapist without do extra training. With the exception of one technique that I am suggesting to start your Thai massage with, for this I included a video tutorial
Talk and most important listen to your clients;
Part of being a good therapist is giving your client time at the beginning of their session to talk to them. Ask them how they feel, give them time to express if they have any issues with their bodies, pains, discomfort (it is possible to do this with help of a form), and show interest by follow up questions, and actually try to listen to what your client is telling you. For a lot of people already expressing themselves and being felt they are listened to, is an important part in their process of healing. Follow up questions can be easy. If somebody talks about shoulder pain, ask them where they are feeling it, what kind of pain, if they pain is continuous, or comes and goes. A lot of health practioners do not take the time and sometimes that can make a client feeling frustrated.
Create save boundaries for your clients;
Trust is very important in our work and when you client is feeling save with you and in the environment you are massaging, he/she starts to trust you and as an effect your client will be able to relax more easier. Before every massage I tell my clients: ‘If anything does not feel right, too painful, or maybe I work an area that feels like it is really helping, maybe you are getting cold; Please tell me so I can adjust according to your needs. If you get emotional, not to be shy as it is perfectly normal to have an emotional release during a massage’. If somebody told me that he/she has a shoulder problem, I will explain that I will focus more on it in my massage, but that I will massage other parts of the body first
Adjust your massage according to what your client tells;
Based on what your clients tells you adjust your massage. Thai Massage is taught as being a sequence and I see many therapist who are just following their sequence and see their sequence as the massage. Let’s say somebody comes to you and complains about shoulder pain and after sharing this with you, you just do your Thai massage sequence. Spend a lot of time on their legs (Thai Massage as an over focus on legs) and just address the shoulders for a couple minutes. Probably your client will feel disappointed that her problem has not been addressed.
Unbalanced boy Unbalanced Massage
Now instead of doing your whole let’s say 1 hour sequence, do less leg techniques and spend the last 20 – 25 minutes of your Massage, working on the shoulders. After the massage you client will feel that you have actually helped him/her. Remember part of healing (or helping) is that client is feeling that you address his/her problems and not ignoring them. So do not be rigid in your sequence, you can let go of it. I have been doing full hour massage just working around a problem area of the body of the client.
Listen to the body of you client during the massage;
Let’s come back to our client with the shoulder problem. Once we are massaging the shoulders (of course not only when we massaging the shoulder but during our whole massage) start to listen what the body of the client is telling you. With your fingers, thumbs, palms start to listen what the body is telling you, maybe you can find ‘tight’ or ‘sensitive’ areas, and if you do start to work those areas longer (in an non aggressive way) maybe you notice how the texture of the tissue start to change (or maybe not changing). Also notice what kind of feedback the client is giving in a non-verbal way, maybe reaction on the face, maybe breathes changes, maybe clinching the hands or maybe another cue. If clients react like this you may be on a sensitive spot and maybe it can be a sign to stay there longer, maybe a sign to be more gentle. Also what I do when working around an area where my client has an issue I encourage them to tell me if I am reaching a spot that really feels like it is helping them. We cannot feel everything….
Use the first 5 to 10 minutes of your massage to relax your client;
We can tell our client 10 (or even 1000 times) to relax, but just saying it to them, will not help them to relax. If you are client is not relaxed your massage becomes much more challenging, the client keeps their guard and keeps protection up, and sometimes it can feel like a fight instead of a dance. The moment your client can relax, you clients’ nervous system goes into the parasympathetic nervous system and you client starts to surrender herself and you massage becomes much easier. Also there are deep healing benefits when the nervous system goes into a parasympathetic state. In every Thai massage I do I spend the first 5 to 10 minutes of my massage doing techniques which helps my clients to go onto a deep state of relaxation. Once my client are relaxed my massage becomes much easier and can become a dance. A technique I use (see tutorial below) very often is called the Chi Machine. And maybe, only in with the exception of rare cases, within minutes my client is into a deep relaxation.
Also remember maybe your client has had a busy day with a lot stress and that is not always easy to let go off. But with the Chi Machine you client will be snoozing in minutes.