In this article, we’ll take a look at the best known Thai Massage and Thai Healing Arts training networks across the globe.
Thai Massage training networks typically train future Thai Massage practitioners, but perhaps more important — future Thai Massage teachers. It’s especially the latter activity that in fact gives a boost to the “Network” and keeps it alive and growing.
After their training, most of the newly formed Thai Massage instructors become affiliated or otherwise associated to their network and teach more or less the same study curricula, accepted as valid “certified” studies within the network.
Mind that certification through Thai Massage networks generally give no specific legal rights to practice therapy, massage or bodywork within the practitioners home countries, and in the majority of cases additional local country or state massage therapy requirements need to be satisfied.
Nevertheless, many of the network teachers themselves or through their network, offer their courses as valid Continuing Education or Continuing Professional Development courses, which depending on the country, may be accredited by, for instance, the NCBTMB (USA), NHPC (Canada), FHT (UK), or other massage and bodywork accrediting organizations.
Okay then, below you’ll find the list, and a brief discussion of the best known Thai Healing Arts Training Networks around the world.
ITM Chiang Mai
The International Training Massage School (ITM) is a Thai Massage school located in Chiang Mai (Thailand). ITM, founded by Chongkol Setthakorn, is one of the most established Thai Massage schools worldwide. Over the years, many thousands of students from more than 130 countries have taken Thai Healing Arts courses at the institute.
The school runs a Certified Advanced Practitioner & Teacher Training Program, known as the CAPT-program. It takes about 11 weeks and guides you through Thai Massage Level 1 up to Level 5, teaching you also Thai Herbal Compress Massage, Foot Massage and Reflexology.
Graduated Teachers can become part of the ITM Franchise program and there are quite a number of “ITM Schools” to be found in various countries around the world, notably in Japan, Europe and in the USA.
TMC Chiang Mai
The Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai, better known as TMC, is like the ITM school, one of the most renowned Thai Massage training schools in Thailand and around the globe.
TMC students come from all over the world and the school claims to have had about 20,000 students since their opening in 2012. An important characteristic of the school is their affiliation program. TMC has a Government Certified Teachers (GCT) program that forms Thai Massage teachers (typically students from abroad) who affiliate with the TMC school and after graduation teach the TMC curriculum in their respective countries.
The Sunshine Network
The Sunshine Network, founded by the late Asokananda (Harald Brust), is one of the largest Thai Massage training networks in the world. Headquarters of the network are located in Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand), in the Huey Nam Rin Lahu Village.
Thai Yoga Massage classes, courses, and retreats are offered in the Lahu Village and on many other locations around the world, notably in Thailand and in Europe. Today, the supervision of the network is carried on by three senior Sunshine Network teachers: Andrea Baglioni, Kira Balaskas and Laurino Bertelli.
To become a Sunshine Network Thai Yoga Massage teacher one needs to go through an “organic learning process,” which means that there’s no fixed or set time in which one can become a Sunshine teacher.
Loi Kroh Massage & Yoga
Although the Loi Kroh Massage School international network is not as large as those of ITM, TMC or Sunshine, the school, founded by Mrs. Tassanee Boonsom, is one of the most accomplished Thai Massage training centers in Chiang Mai.
One can find quite a number of Thai Massage teachers abroad who followed Loi Kroh’s in-depth Professional and Teacher Training courses and offer training to students in their own countries.
The Ancient Massage Foundation
Rahul Bharti is the principal teacher and director of the Healing Hands Center and The Ancient Massage Foundation. The center’s base location is currently in Kathmandu (Nepal), after seven years being based in India (Pondicherry).
Over the years, the schools has formed many practitioners and Thai Massage instructors who teach and give therapy in a variety of countries around the world.
Ong’s Thai Massage school
Ong’s Thai Massage School, founded and owned by Srida Shiomi, is a medium-sized school (with about ten teachers) located in the north of Thailand, in Chiang Mai.
The school has been growing significantly in the past ten or so years and offers Thai Healing Arts Teacher Training courses in a variety of Thai massage and other Thai bodywork modalities offered by the school.
Ong’s school boasts quite a number of Thai Massage teachers in Brazil and in Japan, but also some in other countries.
Osteothai is the integration of Osteopathy into Thai Massage, and was developed by David Lutt and Arno L’Hermitte, who both originate from France. David and Arno are authorized Sunshine Network Thai Massage teachers.
OsteoThai work gained significant popularity in recent years and is practiced and taught by a growing group of Thai Massage practitioners and teachers.
The Thai Bodywork School of Thai Massage
The Thai Bodywork School of Thai Massage in Evanston (USA), founded by Chuck Duff, runs a certification programs called Certified Thai Bodywork Practitioner (TBP & CTBP) and Coaching The Body Program (CTB).
Chuck’s school has gained some popularity in the USA, and there are a number of Thai Massage teachers associated with his certification program following the teaching curriculum.
Naga Center Teacher’s Guild
The Naga Center Teacher’s Guild has its roots in the Naga Center, which is founded and run by Nephyr Jacobsen. The Teacher’s Guild is an affiliation of Thai Healing Arts instructors trained to offer certain Naga Center courses.
Instructors from the guild comply with specific lineage teachings, and are committed to studying, practicing, and teaching the Thai Healing Arts as historically practiced in Thailand. Headquarters are based in Oregon, Portland, USA.
Universal Healing Tao Instructors
The Universal Healing Tao Instructors (UHT Instructors) are an organized group of Universal Healing Tao Arts teachers who follow the UHT Healing modalities curricula as developed and taught by Master Mantak Chia (Chiang Mai, Thailand).
In fact, the UHT Taoist Healing Arts consists of 5 branches: Tao Energy Cultivation, Cosmic Healing, Chi Nei Tsang (Thai Abdominal Chi Massage, Detox and Internal Organ Massage), Internal Martial Arts, and Inner Alchemy.
On the UHT Instructors website one can find UHT instructors (of various levels of authorization and certification) teaching around the globe. Most of the teachers are to be found in Europe, followed by the USA, and Asia.
Dynamic Thai Massage
Although so-called Dynamic Thai Massage is not entirely new, the name is coined for a hybrid Thai Massage style based on the work of the late Ajan Chaiyuth Priyasith, an important Thai Massage master from Chiang Mai of the last decades.
David Lutt, a Sunshine Network Thai Massage instructor, is one of the main initiators of the current Dynamic Thai Massage movement. Krishnataki (Takis), like David Lutt also a Sunshine Network teacher, works closely together with David in further developing and teaching Dynamic Thai Massage.
Quite a few Thai Massage teachers, notably from European countries, have adopted Dynamic Thai Massage as part of their teaching curriculum.
Chiangmai Classic Art Thai Massage School (CCA)
SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies®
SomaVeda® is a system of natural therapeutics, designed and developed by Anthony B. James. The Thai Yoga Center, based in the United States, is at the core of SomaVeda®Thai Yoga Therapy, one of the modalities of the ensemble of SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies®.
The goal of SomaVeda is to educate, train, certify and develop degree and diploma programs based on integrative approaches to traditional systems of healing and medicine, such as Thai Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda, SomaVeda®Thai Yoga Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Indigenous and/ or Native American Medicine, and or any healing modality from any tradition concurrent with the aims and beliefs of the SomaVeda organization.
In the past the network was better known as ITTA, the International Thai Therapists Association.
The Lotus Palm school, founded in 1995 by the late Kam Thye Chow, is a renowned Thai Yoga Massage institute based in Canada. Kam’s style was influenced by the late Asokananda (Sunshine Network), Chaiyuth Priyasith and Pichest Boonthumme. Since 2011, the school is owned and run by Sukha Wong.
Today, Lotus Palm is a large, influential school in notably Canada and in the USA (but also in other countries) having educated a large number of Thai Massage practitioners and also Thai Massage teachers.
Thai Yoga Massage School Metta
The Yoga Massage School of Thailand Metta in Bangkok, run and founded by master Kong, has a number of authorized and affiliated Thai Massage, Reusi Datton and Foot Massage & Reflexology instructors in various countries (notably in Japan and in European countries) offering training following the school’s curriculum.
The school is closely associated to the well-known Thai Traditional Medical Services Society (TTMS) from Thailand.
Traditional Thai Massage Association Japan (TTMA)
The TTMA promotes the dissemination of activities concerning Thai Traditional Ancient massage, including Thai Massage curricula and certification standards, followed by an impressive number of Thai Healing Arts schools in Japan.