Uploaded on Oct 10, 2007
This is a video of our 165 hour training class in Professional Traditional Thai Massage (Wat Po - Chetawan TTM Schools) for the month of September 2007 which was held at the Salaya campus of Chetawan Health School in Thailand. The video was produced by staff of Chetawan Health School as part of the graduation ceremony.
Wat Po Traditional Thai Massage features safe and respectful massage techniques and positions which combine use of thumbs, palm, elbow, knees, and sole of the feet to apply pressure on appropriate muscle groups, together with yoga-like stretches.
While it is my intention to study the northern-style Traditional Thai Massage which involves a number of "advanced" stretches, Wat Po Traditional Thai Massage is a good entry point to a safe and effective practice. If you happen to buy the book, "Thai Massage - The Thai Way:Healing Body and Mind" (2nd edition)recently released by Jan Chaithavuthi and Kanchanoo Muangsiri, instructors from Thai Massage School of Thailand in Chiang Mai, you would find that they closely parallel the safe and respectful massage techniques and positions used also at Wat Po Traditional Thai Massage - Chetawan Health School network.
Further studies on the northern-style (Chiang Mai style) of Traditional Thai Massage can be considered "graduate studies" for experienced Thai massage practitioners, as they have to be more careful with some of the stretches.
That is why I highly recommend the 165 hour Professional Thai Massage Course at Wat Po - Chetawan schools. The 1-week course may be too short for new students of massage. Take the one-month course instead.
Theoretical work at the 165-hour Professional Traditional Thai Massage Course includes an overview of Western anatomy and physiology, history and basic framework of Thai Traditional medicine including the 10 major massage lines (Sen Pratan Sib). My classmates included Marcus from Germany, Kim from U.S.A., Nickie from U.K., and Simona from Italy. The Head teacher for our traditional Thai massage class was Mrs. Yimlak; Mr. Som Phong was our teacher for Rui Si Daton (Thai Yoga). There were other teachers which assisted us in massage practice such as Mr. Kitipath, Ms. Ant, Ms. Kai, Ms. Kannika. Ms. Tob was our teacher for Western anatomy and physiology.
There may still be a lot of academic work needed to integrate the Thai Traditional techniques with current theories and principles of pain control, such as the activation of the endogenous endorphin-enkephalin systems, gating princple of pain control. Many of the thumb/ elbow pressure techniques may activate these endogenous analgesia systems similar to Chinese acupressure.
Also, current knowledge on muscle pain receptors (especially so called polymodal C-fiber receptors) as well as proprioceptors (such as muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs) can better make students of thai massage more knowledgeable of how massage techniques work. Even the the stimulation of more superficial skin touch receptors and their effect on local reflexes, and emotions, should be included in any massage course.
The techniques are good, but more theoretical work is also necessary in future thai massage courses by simply reviewing the expanded body of scientific literature. Traditional thai medical theory and massage lines can sometimes make us remain suspended in mid-air guessing how things work as we try to understand the mechanism of action of the massage techniques. Indeed, like "nadis" of yoga, "meridians" of traditional Chinese medicine, the "sen" of thai massage were ancient guidelines for safe practice of effective techniques. With accumulated knowledge of modern science, we get a more colorful picture of how these massage techniques can work.
- Dante G. Simbulan, Jr. (Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Research Services, De La Salle University Health Sciences Institute, Dasmarinas,Cavite, 4114, Philippines). http://kaginhawahan.livejournal.com
Video was produced by staff of WAT PO - CHETAWAN HEALTH SCHOOL Salaya campus, Thailand. See also http://www.watpomassage.com/ to contact the school.