I stumbled across an article from the Naga center in Portland, OR. I’ve been familiar with them for over a year now, occasionally returning to their website to check out the structure and well, to feel like I’m visiting family.
When I ran across the above article I felt somewhat sad. It brought home to me just how alone I feel at times. In the bodywork world, I’m a fringe of a fringe. What do I do? I know I engage in some of the most healing bodywork on the planet. Let me say that again, I engage in some of the most healing bodywork…on the planet. I was taught by my teacher and absorbed everything I could over the course of several years. As a teaching assistant I watched like a hawk and continued to apprentice myself to glean any information I could about this healing work I’ve grown to love.
Who gets it? Not many. If you’re reading this in and around Austin, TX most of our citizens don’t even know what Thai massage is. Those that have had it, may not have had a session that was any good. Who is the teacher? How long was the course? Are they a licensed therapist? The list of questions go on but here’s my opinion on the matter folks. I’ve lived in Austin, TX for six years and you know who gives me bodywork? My students. I can barely find anyone who practices this healing art and after conversations with my teacher, took up the banner and decided I’d pour my being into creating a dent in Austin, TX. You may not know what Thai massage is now but give me 20 years and it’ll be as common as swedish and deep tissue.
Should Thai massage be regulated beyond the usual massage licensing board in the state of Texas? I put my palm gently on my forehead and lament whatever thoughts come up. I recently started teaching anyone who wants to learn through the Austin Thai massage group on Facebook. Why? Why would I give it away? Quite simply because someone gave it to me.
My holding up the banner is because I was taught traditional Thai massage by a competent and thorough teacher who gave me her blessing to start teaching others. When people want it, here you go. Your sincerity is enough, let’s get to healing. There’s no need for you to be a licensed massage therapist to practice this work. I honor, obey and follow the rules and regulations of the state of TX but reading the article from the Naga center I realized how alone I’ve felt. Six years I wandered around knowing nearly no one knew what I did, where it came from or what its benefit was. Massage is done on a table, cream is used and the client is naked. The first obstacle new students who are massage therapists face is they come to me and I say, “get rid of your table, get rid of your cream and leave the clients clothes on.”
I will continue teaching and promoting this healing work because it’s needed. Need, not want. People are in pain, they suffer. Who gives them relief? I remember Jesus’ saying, “Come to me ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” We should be following the advice of great teachers. I’ve said it before to a group of massage therapists and I’ll say it again, If Jesus returned to earth today and performed healings, he’d be put in prison for practicing medicine without a license.
Thai bodywork, Thai massage has a home in Austin, Tx. I’m helping to promote, educate and preserve this tradition. No fluff, solid substance and deep healing. Massage therapists, do yourself a favor. Come see what the fuss is about.