1. What are the benefits to the giver?
Following proper training, the practitioner’s strength and flexibility will be greatly enhanced by regular practice. It’s like doing Yoga and strength training while meditating. Instead of leading to gradual repetitive stress injury over time, as is common in many other forms of bodywork, Thai Yoga Therapy actually contributes to improvement in health, vitality and wellbeing for the practitioner.
Since the giver acts as a facilitator for moving the energy in ever more harmonious ways, his/her body-mind organism becomes an integral part of the process.
When the practitioner performs the work meditatively, and mindful of body mechanics, he or she stays “in the zone” and feels the same good vibrations felt by the receiver.
2. How long does it take to learn to do this?
Depending on the teacher and the training aids, it is possible to perform a basic treatment after about 12 hours of training. Once the foundation has been laid, practice becomes more important than theoretical knowledge, so that takes over as the determining factor. As with most healing arts, it is only through consistent and ongoing practice that anyone can hope to master this modality.
That said, the deonThai METHOD is an amazingly intuitive system, so it can be easier than it looks. The practitioner’s intention and underlying sense of purpose is key.
3. Is it better to train in Thailand or elsewhere?
I learned in the West from a qualified teacher who spoke my own language. That was my personal path and I believe it saved me a lot of time. It also prepared me to better benefit from Master instruction I later received in Thailand. Most Eastern training systems are different than those in the West. Where the West follows a more sequential and logical way, the East has a circular and spiraling approach to education and learning. Considering the sometimes strong language barriers, I feel that I would have been unnecessarily challenged in the beginning had I not chosen training in English and based on a more familiar learning style.
4. What is the status of Thai Massage Certification in the USA?
Ancient, respected and long-standing as it is in Thailand, Traditional Thai Massage (in all its variations) is still a relatively new practice in the United States that is growing rapidly. Demand for it is skyrocketing as awareness increases and the Spa and Wellness industries acknowledge its usefulness as a highly effective means of relaxation and stress relief.
Although there are several organizations that have been created to appear as if they may be regulating, registering, or accrediting Thai Massage therapists or schools, there is no governing body in the USA specifically for Thai Massage.
Deon de Wet, Founder of deonThai™ YOGA has been certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork as an Approved Provider of Continuing Education (NCBTMB), which allows him to offer continuing education credits to participants in Thai Massage courses that he teaches. These CEC’s are valuable to those practitioners who need to satisfy the ongoing education requirements of their particular massage/bodywork governing authorities (usually city or state).
Certificates of Completion are provided to indicate that all the training hours have been attended by the certificate holder for a particular Thai (Yoga) Massage/Therapy class, course or workshop.
Eventually, once students/practitioners have completed all the requirements they may receive a deonThai™ METHOD Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner Certification. Although these certificates are a valuable indicator of a student/practitioner’s dedication to education in and the practice of the healing art, these and other Practitioner/Therapist Certifications only certify that the issuer is satisfied that the certificate holder has properly completed that particular training and practical experience line-up. It does not confer approval or endorsement by any type of governing Board for Thai Massage.
At the present time, there is no organization in the USA that has the authority to regulate, certify, register, or accredit Thai massage Practitioners/Therapists/ Body Workers or Schools.
As long as you follow your local regulations and laws related to massage or Yoga therapy, you are able to professionally practice Thai Yoga/Massage Therapy. So by all means, be diligent in your search for qualified training, but realize that the majority of the most respected and longest established teachers in the USA do not belong to any of these so-called Thai Massage Associations/Clubs and that membership in any of these groups does not necessarily imply an authoritative endorsement of the quality of instruction or special permission to practice once “certified”.