When you’re a Thai Massage therapist or teacher, clients and students generally expect you to have a healthy lifestyle. This is not so strange, of course, because Thai Massage is about health. For instance, we expect from a doctor who tells us to stop smoking that they don’t smoke either. Makes sense — in some sort of way, doesn’t it?
But actually there’s no real relationship or necessity there. One could be a good doctor and nonetheless smoke cigarettes. Or one could be a very good psychiatrist and be somewhat cuckoo up there in the head (aren’t most psychiatrists?) And we could be an excellent Thai Massage therapist and overeat or smoke. Why not?
It’s basically just an idea people have … a kind of prejudice. It reminds me of Pichest Boonthumme, a famous Thai Massage teacher from Chiang Mai, Thailand, who at some point in his career was called the Chain-smoking Thai Massage Master. Indeed, some students were appalled, but others overlooked his “sin.” Because in the end it’s about what a teacher or therapist can actually teach or do.
Of course, it’s perhaps “nicer” when professionals “live what they preach.” But sharing valuable knowledge or helping to heal people is not about esthetics. We need to look past those types of prejudices.
Surely teachers and therapists are also human beings. Just like everybody else. We all have our faults, weaknesses, and addictions, in some way or the other. And we all seek some kind of stress-relief, and some of the things we engage in are not necessarily “healthy” in the common sense of the word.
But what I want to say is that by avoiding professionals because of our judgement of their personal way of life (notably, if their “sins” are harmless to other people) we may lose many interesting opportunities. So, the next time you see a smoking Thai Massage instructor, think about this: “If you want to be an angel, you’ll need to keep the devil in you satisfied.”