a community of practitioners
what do thai massage therapist consider to be complete thai massage training in order to professionally practice thai massage? I have completed level 1 and 2(prone, supine, side lying, and seated) with over a year of practice. What schools are a good why to continue training that are recognized by the Thai massage community?
I am interested in seeing other responses to this question, but also thought I would go ahead and write a response since I feel like I have been "doing my own thing" with Thai Massage for the past five years. When I started my training I made sure to work with someone that has a teacher in Thailand and studies there regularly. I was told that I would have a complete "routine" to perform after the end of level 1 training. When I discovered how much I loved it after that training, I practiced until I felt like my work could be beneficial and then started advertising for it at my practice. I immediately took level 2 and some additional speciality training with a different teacher within the next three years where I learned so much I feel I could do a three hour session. After each session I practiced until I felt like my services were worthy of payment and started using them with my clients. These instructors that I have studied with offer "certification programs" for their work, but I broke my studies up with different teachers, so I haven't received that title. I have recently begun to dig a little deeper into theory to gain a better understanding of the many "why's" that get overlooked sometimes in technique classes. I even have a little intro class that highlights some of the beginner work I have been learning for others who are looking to start training too. My hopes now are to find a teacher in Thailand to study with and eventually start teaching others the work I have become so passionate about!
I am considering joining THAI in order to network more deeply within the thai communities in Thailand and here in the US, but haven't officially made the decision to. On the THAI website there are a list of schools that are already in this community and, although I have met some very legit instructors that have not yet joined that network, it seems it is designed to keep the cultural component of thai massage in tact and make sure that the teachings remain authentic.
Hope that helps some. I'll be staying tuned for other viewpoints that will hopefully further shape my understanding as well!