Studying Thai Massage in Arizona
With no licensing or regulation of Thai Massage in Arizona many massage therapists and yoga teachers have started to advertise that they practice the ancient art. Yet few local practitioners have significant Thai Massage training. The major limitation with learning Thai Massage from a person who has not received extensive training in Thailand is that these teachers usually rely upon a set-sequence, with the idea being that the therapist can simply learn the sequence. Sequences, however, demonstrate more the limitation of the practitioner and do not have any place in a serious Thai Massage practice. An experienced practitioner will tailor the treatment to the needs of the client on-the-spot and will not rely upon a sequence to guide the session. Learning how to give Thai Massage in this manner requires studying the more intuitive aspects of the practice with an experienced teacher.
Hamid offers private, one-on-one trainings for those interested in learning traditional Thai Massage in the style of his teacher, Ajahn Pichest Boonthumme. Hamid’s training is not a certificate program designed to give you a piece of paper to hang on your wall (though Hamid will provide a certificate if one is earned). Rather, Hamid is interested in helping each practitioner understand the energetic basis for this practice, to listen, and feel deeply. Training starts by learning self-massage and practice for the practitioner’s own body and the basics of the sen (energy lines). Meditation and chanting are part of this practice and healing oneself must always be the priority as a practitioner. A practitioner who is not well, either physically, emotionally, or energetically will transmit this to their clients but a practitioner who has a strong self-practice and is clear can perform seemingly miraculous healing. Once the practitioner’s energy is clear and open, students move on to working with others and developing effective techniques to move energy through the body. Sequences are not necessary, nor do they lead to an understanding of the body. Some background in basic sequencing may be taught to beginning practitioners but those who have a firm understanding of the body may not need the structure of a sequence to begin healing.
Students interested in learning Thai Massage from Hamid can send an inquiry through this site, or call Hamid. There is no set schedule as of now and Hamid only works with a couple students at a time. Hamid’s trainings are offered in the Phoenix area from Hamid’s studio and in northern Arizona by special arrangement (Sedona, Cornville, Cottonwood, Prescott). While Hamid offers what he believes to be one of the best trainings in Arizona, he does so only out of necessity and in reverence to spreading the teachings of his teachers. Anyone who can afford to spend several months at a time in Thailand, should consider traveling to the source and Hamid is always happy to guide anyone interested in such a journey. Contact Hamid if you feel drawn to this ancient practice and are ready to learn.
Yoga Alliance Certification
Hamid is a registered YACEP® (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider). For yoga teachers registered with Yoga Alliance, Hamid’s training qualifies as required continuing education. Hamid will provide necessary certifications for those who need to report continuing education to Yoga Alliance.
Studying Thai Massage in Thailand
Because it is very difficult to study Thai Massage in Arizona under the guidance of a teacher who has experienced the art in its native context, many people choose to travel to Thailand. It was these sets of circumstances that caused Hamid to begin his travels to Thailand to learn Thai Massage. During his first trip, he went through a 90-hour course at The Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, which provided a foundational background in Northern Style Thai Massage. This course required the completion of two massages under the close watch of the instructors, each lasting two hours. The positions taught included traditional back lying, side-lying, front lying, and seated. The Old Medicine Hospital style focuses heavily on working the sen (energy) lines, with diligent and effortless hand techniques. Hamid received certificates upon completion recognized by the Thai Ministry of Public Health, which allow him to practice Thai Massage under Thai law. Hamid also received a specialty certificate in Thai Foot Massage after attendance of a 2-day course at the Old Medicine Hospital specializing in work of the feet, including the major acupressure points.
Following completion of the basic course at The Old Medicine Hospital Hamid began advanced training with Ajahn Pichest Boonthumme in Hang Dong. Pichest’s training is unconventional and his techniques differ markedly from the techniques taught by other schools. After discovering Pichest and going through the unlearning process required to advance to the next level, Hamid knew he had found his teacher. During several trips to Thailand Hamid has now spent hundreds of hours studying with Pichest and plans on returning for continued experience. At Pichest’s students have daily dharma talks, extensive chanting, and lots of practice. Pichest is a living master whose understanding of the body exceeds that of many doctors and he can structure treatments to be simple and healing on the fly. While a Pichest massage may feel good, that is not the point. The point is to heal the body. In the west, massage is often thought of as a special treat but for Pichest massage is basic daily healing. It is from this point of view that Pichest teaches.
However, not all trainings in Thailand are worthwhile. In fact, the desire by westerners (who have money) for Thai Massage training has led to a proliferation of Thai Massage “schools,” some of them legitimate and others designed solely to get foreigners to part with their money. If considering schools in Thailand, it is important that the school be licensed by the Thai Ministry of Public Health. The Old Medicine Hospital, The Sunshine School, and Wat Pho are licensed. A few other schools are as well but it pays to check. Pichest’s training is not licensed by the Thai Ministry of Public Health because Pichest doesn’t believe in “certificates.” The important thing for him is that students have an understanding and practice, practice, practice. No certificate is going to give one the power to be a healer.