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For your convenience, the entire video transcript is inserted at the bottom of this post.
Hi, this is Deon. I recently traveled to Thailand and visited with my friend and long time fellow teacher, Shama Kern. We talked about my journey from the corporate world, to Thai massage, to creating the deonThai method. It’s been a fascinating ride and I’d like to share that with you in this next video.
Hi, I’m Shama Kern with Thai Healing Massage Academy. And we’re sitting here in the studio of Thai Heating Massage Academy with my colleague, Deon de Wet. He’s the founder of the deonThai method. He’s from Los Angeles. He’s visiting here in Thailand. And we are going to exchange some thoughts about Thai massage.
So, welcome Deon. I’m glad to have you here. And we’ve known each other, really, for a long time. We met many, many years ago. I mean, we had this argument, how many years. We can’t even remember, so it’s a long time ago.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I mean, how did this all start for you? How did you get started? When was it, and what’s your story?
Well, first of all I’m really honored, happy, and grateful to be here with my friend Shama right in the heart of the north of Thailand, which is really the part that I would say my whole method of Thai massage really originates from, or comes from.
I have been on this path now for, probably, about 15 years. And it just grew very organically, very naturally. And I am happy to say that I have experienced enough of a feeling about this that I could turn it into something practical. And now helping other people turn it into something practical, as well, as in something that one can earn a living out of and do as a lifestyle.
Let me ask you this, when you started out, did you think, well, I’m going to become a professional Thai massage therapist and teacher, or did you just kind of get into it? And at what point did you decide, well, this is my career. This is what I’m going to do with my life.
Well, it was very gradual for me. I came to Thailand the first time on vacation. I was with a very special friend and we were traveling all around Thailand.
And I was on a beach in Ko Samui and I saw this being done on people. And I didn’t quite understand what it was because it looked like somebody was doing yoga with the client’s body. And I found that to be very fascinating.
And then I decided, OK, I’ll try that. And I had just started practicing hatha yoga at that point, it was in the year 2000. And I really enjoyed it. And I thought that this feels much better for me than just the regular table massages that I was used to.
So that’s how it began. And then it’s been a very gradual process of learning.
Initially it was a hobby because I had a really good job. I was an executive in a small company, I actually ran a company of about 50 people. And I certainly wasn’t looking for a career or something else to do.
I just took this on as a hobby, and little by little started to do it on people. And then I thought, oh, it’ll be fun. Maybe I’ll take a few months off and do this just to see what it feels like to wear flip-flops, and walk around with my yoga mat, and have lattes at 10 o’clock in the morning, and.
In any case, it kind of developed into something. And then after six months I thought, well, maybe I’ll do it for another six months. And I was practicing. And I was actually earning a living doing it. I thought, well, that’s fascinating.
So I kept doing that. And then eventually I started to teach. And then I started teaching a lot. And I traveled all over the world teaching and created a little bit of a unique approach to the system that really worked for me.
And that’s now what I’m doing. I’ve been teaching for several years and I really feel very fulfilled by helping other people learn how to do this very interesting, effective form of body work.
I hope you enjoyed watching my discussion with Shama. Continue watching the series. There are more excerpts that will automatically play on this youtube playlist.
Hi to you, Deon, it has been awhile, but I do think of the training I was fortunate to have with you at W. Y. C., N. C., and truly keep so much of what I learned in mind daily, especially as I practice yoga, learn through other workshops taken, ex. Anatomy, and other ones about different aspects of the body, and my latest, learning how to Assist our class students with the use of our body weight and proper stance, and enjoyed your workshop so much.
I am recovering, once again, from my injury that occurred sometime after we last worked in the studio, as it haunts me if I over-do my activities. Big, big lessons, as I thought I was toning it down and now have realized I am responsible for this God-given body and must do even less of the more inflammatory activities like even driving on long trips, even moving from the car and back into it during a long time w/ errands. It is terribly hard for me to take naps in the afternoon, so I schedule in PT, soon Thai massaage sessions, as part of the 2-hour time recommended to be lying down; I of course, may read and write.
So new year for me, I do not want to resort to another epidural to take me out of extreme pain as I had the same time, spring in 2015. The L4-5 disc began to bulge a bit and onto , of course, the Sciatic Nerve, causing warning signals I should take it easier- I thought I had, but no, it grew into intense sleepless nights until I could return from a trip to an island, lovely, NW of Seattle, Wa., where I could not even walk without causing a disturbance.
So this year, I knew I would face the dreaded epidural again, but as it did not work the first time, an immediate second one which is apparently helping but the radiating pain to my hips, opposite one now is the worst, go figure; so that is why I say this is my new year to re-create my routine, to get through P. T. with a wonderful person who is also an instructor of Anatomy at our school, and works on many yoga students and instructors.
I wanted to say hello, I loved your video and am happy for your success! I hope to see you when you are in Wilmington. I will be starting with a Thai Massage Therapist soon, recommended by several people. Perhaps you will also have time when you are here to offer massage times to people? This time I should be here. I believe in it, I need it, and I ,like you, had my first Thai Massage in Thailand and felt like a new person blessed by these Blessed Enlightened Massage Therapists. What a beautiful place, beautiful people, and I would love to return one day. We stayed in Bangkok as Jim was on a business trip consulting work with leadership training, and I was ion my own to explore the many temples and Buddha figures, while n a luxurious place by most standards, with my favorite massage therapist I found in the square where they all gather in their white outfits, coming to our hotel room. We flew out on our own, we do like to adventure, to Puket. It was the year before the tragic event – I truly felt my heart go out to the people there, and was stunned that the thought occurred it could have been us. Nothing is guaranteed, even life’s end.
On a positive note, yes I keep up with you! You are a great instructor, and I enjoyed hearing how you started it all for yourself. I think I have actually been practicing a few years longer than even you! (a little fun joke, but is’ true!).
I am embarking on my final workshop to complete all required for the 300-level to be certified along with my 200-hours I started/stopped/started/stopped after the trip to India; it all works out as it should. Wish me good fortune! Hope your travels are safe, and good, and that we meet again! With gratitude, Debbie Namaste’