In Thailand, with regard to Traditional Thai Massage training curricula, one of the official governmental distinctions made is the study of Thai Massage Fundamentals of 60 hours, Thai Traditional Massage for Relaxation and Health of 150 hours, Thai Traditional Massage for Relieving Symptoms of 372 hours and Thai Traditional Massage for Therapeutic Purposes of 800 hours or 1300 hours.
Additionally, there’s also a Thai Spa for Health 500 hours program and a Thai Massage for Health for the Blind of 225 hours.
Topping all the above we find a Thai Massage Instructor & Specialist Training which takes a less strict number of study hours but of course it includes important parts of the study curricula mentioned and certain therapist working experience prerequisites.
1. Further Introduction
The Thai Traditional Massage for Relieving Symptoms (372 hours), the Thai Traditional Massage for Therapeutic Purposes (800 hours) and the extended 1300 hours studies are in fact the actual Thai Massage therapy trainings. Yet, mind that there are many additional labels in Thailand for Thai Massage therapeutic studies like for instance Professional Intensive Thai Massage, Professional Thai Massage for Health, Professional Thai Massage for Therapy, Thai Medical Massage, Thai Royal Massage, and so on.
Moreover, many other kinds of therapy trainings are offered by a vast number of teachers and schools in Thailand which however are not official curricula and in general consist of less study hours. That doesn’t mean they are not good or of lesser quality, certainly not, sometimes even the opposite, but they are just built and taught differently, with a specific focus or theme in mind, and often connected to a certain Thai Massage lineage or style.
Top level accreditation of Thai Massage and Thai Traditional Medicine programs in Thailand is done by the Thai Ministry of Public Health (study curricula and research), the Thai Ministry of Education (as for education infrastructure), and the Thai Ministry of Labor (requisites and permissions to practice Thai Medicine and Massage). Yet, we often see that actual certification is done by UTTS (Union of Thai Traditional Medicine Society) or TTMS (Thai Traditional Medical Society) compliant trainers.
The 372-hours training courses in Thailand are offered by a variety of trainers: Thai Medicine Colleges & Universities, Private Thai Massage institutes, Vocational training institutes, and individual Thai Massage instructors, to name the most important establishments.
2. The 372-hours Thai Massage Training
The actual duration of the course, counted in study days, varies significantly depending on the school or institute.
My personal experience is that 30 study hours per week (5 days and the weekends off) is a good amount of hours to digest Thai Massage teachings and recover body wise. That would suggest about 12 to 13 weeks of studies, let’s say about 3 months. The reality however is that many of the trainings offered take less time. I have even seen offerings of 20 effective study days.
Now of course, there’s a theoretic component in the studies that could be done off-class, but still. I would say that doing the 372-hours in less than 2 months time is a bit doubtful.
Also, don’t think that a school that offers the 372-hours Thai Massage training necessarily follows an official curriculum. This is Thailand and about anything is possible really. Keep that in mind and check well on the actual content of the offered curriculum.
But let’s take a look at what you can generally expect of this type of Thai Massage training:
- A theoretical part consisting of knowledge about anatomy, the musculoskeletal system and nerves, physiology, the history and concepts of Traditional Thai Massage and Traditional Thai Medicine, Sen Line theory, diagnostics, and topics concerning professional law and the Thai national health system.
- A practical part learning a set of massage techniques, treatment protocols, including acupressure, to be able to treat a variety of illnesses or discomforts such as migraines, dementia, shoulder pain, back and neck pain, painful menstruation, elbow, wrist, and leg and feet issues, ankle sprains, and more. You will learn Therapeutic Thai Massage for the whole body executed in supine, lateral, prone and sitting positions in addition to studying and applying Herbal Massage and Herbal Sauna techniques and treatments. Throughout the course you will most likely also learn Thai Yoga self-stretching techniques (Reusi Dat Ton) and you will often qualify to work as an official Thai Massage teacher.
- A kind of internship where you work under supervision of a qualified Thai Traditional Medicine specialist with real-life cases in a clinic, hospital or another traditional medical institute.
3. List of Thai Massage Schools and Trainers
Below we have listed a selection of Thai Massage trainers and schools in Thailand that offer the 372-hours Thai Massage training curriculum.