Thursday, April 25, 2013

Professional massage training in Thailand

The massage schools of Thailand attract a high number of western therapists-to-be. The cost of living is cheap, the country and its people are beautiful, and it's quite easy to combine your training with a tropical holiday, with many massage schools close to popular holiday resorts and tourist attractions, so there is little wonder why so many flock to the 'land of smiles' for some massage education. However, while Thailand does have a strong culture of massage and wellness, studying massage therapy here doesn't guarantee you'll be learning from the best, and in many cases you may find yourself achieving a certificate or qualification which is not acknowledged elsewhere.


There are hundreds of massage schools in Thailand and some will still advertise that their certificates are accepted worldwide, though on closer inspection you'll discover these qualifications will not count towards achieving your massage license. Many will sell themselves as being traditional massage schools, but this still doesn't guarantee any level of quality or qualification. If you want professional massage training in Thailand, then it pays to go to the best. 

Despite the warnings above there are many massage schools in Thailand which do offer excellent training, some from masters and gurus well respected in their field. With so many schools you'll want to avoid, and many great ones offering their own techniques and philosophies, it pays to do your research. Here are some of the best recognised massage schools in Thailand and a taste of what they have to offer:

The name Wat Po is well known for the Wat Po temple, often referred to as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, as well as being the country's first open university. Wat Po Massage, also known as the Wat Po Thai Traditional Massage school, uses centuries of Buddhist knowledge, passed down through the ages, teaching ancient herbal drug recipes, traditional diagnosis and treatments, and age-old massage techniques taught direct from inscriptions, drawings and ascetic statues. Open since 1955, Wat Po was Thailand's first official medical school and is acknowledged worldwide.

The TMC - Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai was founded in 2001 and is now one of several well respected massage schools in the Chiang Mai area, along with its sister school, the Thai Massage School of Thailand (founded in 2002). Run by massage 'gurus' Chaithavuthi and Kanchanoo Muangsiri, the TMC teach traditional Thai massage and ethics to the highest standards, with great emphasis on preserving the ancient arts and promoting the integrity of Thai massage. Both schools can be found on the banks of the Mae Khao Canal, just outside the city of Chiang Mai. 

Accredited by the Thai Ministry of Education and Public Health, the International Training Massage school is used by a number of Thailand's 5-star hotels and massage resorts to train their staff in the healing arts of Ancient Thai massage. The school takes a very 'hands on' approach, with students taught predominantly through doing, emulating their teachers, under constant supervision and mentorship. 

The Chiva-Som International Academy puts a lot of emphasis into the theory of massage, as well as plenty of practical teaching and examination. All training is given at the facilities of the world famous Chiva-Som Spa Resorts, and as with the spas themselves, the course has several notable awards to its name. The academy promises to train therapists to the highest levels of excellence and professionalism. This would be some name to have on any spa therapists resume!


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