Now back to the website of the Association of Thai Massage. Their rules state that the article cannot be shown anywhere else, that they have the rights to the article, as I have to submit documentation which I have studied Thai Massage with, plus I have to present evidence that I had a certain amount of study and practice hours, and at least one of my teachers, massage has to be approved by them as a qualified teacher of their standards.
I almost fell off my chair when I read, and decided to pursue various venues. Too much trouble in my opinion. But it is their website and their rules, and they can make up whatever rules they like. I have no problem with that whatsoever.
You can see, i live in Thailand, and we do not have so many rules here, and if there are too many or too complicated rules, no one will bother to follow them anyway. They call it the sabai sabai ormaipenrai, roughly meaning "take it easy", "it's cool", "everything is okay" or "no worries mate" If you are living in Australia. I find it much easier to live with, but that's just my personal perspective.
But here's the funny thing: If these same rule-obsessed Westerners coming to Thailand, suddenly everything changes. They ask their favorite Thai Massage Therapist, where she learned all these good things. When she tells them that she learned it from her grandmother, the Westerner nod recognition and admire Grandma's skills.
My main thai massage teacher is an absolute genius. He is intuitive, something mentally, very creative, and all around very good at what he does. But he is also quite strange, at least from the Western perspective. Class was supposed to start at 9, but can actually start at 9.30 or 10 am, or when he feels like. The teacher will then sing mantras for half an hour and then proceed to dispense his wisdom via extended conversations about his Outlook on life.
When all is said and done, he will take a cigarette break right in the classroom, and then finally get around to demonstrate massage therapy techniques. He will keep smoking and even take NAPs when he feels like it. but no matter what you think he is one of the best Thai Massage teachers and many students come back year after year to study with him. Well, there are a few who freak out and can't handle it. it's their loss.
It is not us of A here, it's a different world. If you try to apply your standards for how you think things should be, you are in trouble, because things here are the way they are here and not how they are elsewhere. What that say again? "When in Thailand do as Thais." But I think that the Romans have a trademark proverbs.
So these rules obsessed Westerners have no problems with their grandmother learned the therapist and their chain smoking and storytelling master teacher in Thailand (and not get me wrong, he's really a master teacher). But now let's turn the tables. If I show up in the West and tell people that I can make a great Thai Massage because my grandmother taught me well, they will call the police on me and throw me in jail cell block, which is reserved for those who dare touch someone without proper documentation, licensing, education, CEUs, disclaimers, insurance and various paid professional association fees at State and national level (have I forgotten anything?)
Even if I manage to create a Thai Massage class in the West (which of course I am well qualified to teach), and I show up an hour late, tell lots of clever stories (at the expense of teaching time), puff cigarettes in the classroom and NAPs, I'd be thrown out of the plant, all students would demand their money backand they will sue me for tactile malpractice (a serious offence).
So as you can see, there's a pretty double standards in world Thai Massage. But variety is the spice of life, and I stay safely on my side of the fence here in Thailand. Perhaps you should visit too. Chances are you'll have a great time!