Giving a genuine Thai Massage session can be quite a physical exercise for both receiver and practitioner. And in the long run it definitely means physical changes for the practitioner also.
The most obvious change is the fact that a practitioner who gives regular sessions, simply gets stronger. Gets more power—in the thumbs, hands, arms, feet, legs, the belly, the back, the chest, the shoulders. One cannot deny that.
I think it’s strange that some Thai Massage teachers claim that one doesn’t need much power at all— “… with proper body mechanisms” (for instance using your body-weight to give pressure), they say, “… one can do the job.” Well, certainly there’s truth in this, but “to use proper body mechanisms” is just one part of the story.
Because look, if you give a session to a 100 kilograms guy and you want to do a particular technique lifting him, well, I assure you, besides proper technique, you do need strength. And of course teachers of the proper-body-mechanism-school would immediately object saying: “… then don’t use this technique, use another one which gives the same result, but doesn’t involve lifting.”
Yes, true, I agree, to some degree. But you know: I want to use this particular technique, because another one, although similar, will never give me the exact same result. So I, from the get-a-stronger-body-school say— “… you just need to grow more power.”
I think it’s something often a bit underestimated. Not fully recognized. Not often taught. And growing stronger comes with a price. It’s like doing professional rugby, or playing professional soccer or any professional sport for that matter—one needs proper techniques, proper body mechanisms, proper ergonomics, but also—power!
Strength! Growing power. The body changes. Undeniable.
It also means one needs to change ones lifestyle—eating differently, living healthier in general, taking enough rest and recovery time, doing exercises or side-sports, say physical activities to counterbalance repetitive movements.
Being a serious practitioner means living it. But it’s not a sacrifice, it’s no punishment—it comes natural if one loves the job. No choice.