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What Does It Mean to be On a Spiritual Path

My new book, Compassionate Touch: Giving Massage for Optimal Health, Thriving Relationships & Spiritual Awakening is now available on Amazon.

This post is dedicated to readers who want to share what it means to you to be on a spiritual path. I think this is a great way to learn from and be inspired by all the amazing ways we are called to share our love and from the heart.

Please post below and get the conversation going!

Here’s how I summed up what it means to me at this particular point in time to be on a spiritual path.

It includes being dedicated to:

  • Living a better life
  • Surrendering to Spirit or God
  • Living a life of service
  • Letting go of ego’s grip
  • Wanting to be happy and feeling happiness in every fiber of my being
  • Pursuing my deepest dreams for a fulfilling life
  • Doing a regular practice, which to me these days includes a mix of self-massage, yoga, meditation, hiking and rollerblading (yes, there’s still at least one of us left!)
  • Having more meaningful connections with everyone in my life, especially the people I love and care about most
  • Exploring and embracing what it means to be empathetic and supportive
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Embracing the role of vulnerability and leaning into it as a way to accomplish all of the above

 

Much love!

Shai

 

Why Thai Massage Rocks!

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book: ‘The Missing Link: How to Give Massage for Personal Health, Deeper Relationships & Spiritual Growth

Giving Thai massage as compassionate touch is about as great a way as any to fine tune your awareness. It’s a wonderful way to help shift from the head to the heart. It helps bring to life all of the benefits of your personal practice. Compassionate touch helps you to share the best of yourself with another person. It aids in transcending ‘otherness’ and that vail that says there’s a separation between you and I. Instead it shows you what life is like to merge, to become larger than the sum of our parts. To be moved by giving, by Spirit, by another person and the wonder of it all.

Giving massage from a place of comfort and caring is the antithesis of stress and the patterns that might have caused so many of those issues to begin with.

Compassionate touch has also been a way to show I care when I cannot find the words. That can be especially true when massaging family members. Sometimes it might be massaging someone I’m angry with or who are frustrated with me, or with whom I feel blocked in knowing what to say in difficult or tender moments. This kind of touch gives me a whole other way to relate and very often that can spark the creativity and the words needed to mend fences, and get closer and become more appreciative of one another.

Giving compassionate touch is a way to help someone you care about while also helping yourself. And that helping yourself is not just lip service, massage helps you on just about every level. You get physically stronger from giving, you get more confident in your abilities from helping another, you improve your ability to communicate, you explore non-sexual intimacy and break down barriers of fear and get more comfortable in your body, with your body, and with another person’s body. You share spaces of reverence with your partner, with yourself and with Spirit. Those moments of stillness and touch will be alive with life and the knowledge that you are part of something more.

When you give compassionate touch in this way, you get to experience the right brain so bright and so clear. You become aware of what it means to be connected and how meaningful it is.

And as you continue to give massage regularly, especially with the same person over an extended period of time all of these benefits increase exponentially. You are not the same person as when you started, you blossom.

 

I am just putting the finishing touches on my latest book and aim to release it on Amazon in July 2017. This is a personal book that shares why giving massage is such a radically powerful way to transform your health, help your relationships with loved ones and deepen your connection to Spirit. It also teaches a sweet flow that includes the secrets to giving an incredible massage. And it’s something you can learn in one afternoon at home.

If you want to be among the first to know when the book is available please click here!

 

 

 

Alleviate Back Pain With One Great Thai Massage Move (Learn Thai Massage)

Prayer Pose -or forward bend- is the answer to the trivia question (99.7% of the time), ‘Shai if you could receive just one move what would it be’?

When you put someone in a forward bend with a customized massage it is a total all in one move that stretches the back, the hips, the legs and neck. And at the same time you get a great back and shoulder massage that gets rid of all kinds of deep rooted tension.

It’s amazingly effective in helping alleviate lower back pain, tightness in the sacrum area and all the pain in the shoulders that come from sitting at a computer all day.

What can I say? This is one sweet move!

When learning and giving it the biggest tip I can give is to have a lot of pillows nearby. Ideally ones of different size and thickness to help make your partner comfortable. With that on hand you can put pretty much anyone on the flexibility-stiffness scale into this pose.

Leave your comments below and let me know how it goes!

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

Give a Relaxing Neck and Head Massage [Learning Thai Massage]

I am convinced that the tension we hold in our necks is the number one source of pain in our whole body. From the thousands of massages I’ve given, I’ve seen how neck tension leads to shoulder pain and tension headaches. And shoulder pain leads to arms and hand and back pain. Headaches are a pain all to themselves but also lead to grinding our teeth and clenching our jaws.

And it doesn’t have to be that way. If we do a few simple things every week with a partner to massage our necks and heads we can reverse this pain loop and instead have necks and heads and shoulders that are pain free. We can literally take that weight of the world we feel and let it go and then keep it away.

This video gives you an amazingly effective and simple massage in the palm of your hands that you can learn in less than eight minutes and then give to your lover, your kids, your friends, just about anywhere.

And of course if you learn with someone then you get the benefits of a really great exchange.

So what are you waiting for?!

 

 

 

How to Give an Incredible Hands-Free Shoulder Massage in 5 Minutes

Look mom no hands! In fact the best way to massage those shoulders that hold the weight of the world in stress and tension is with your forearm!

It makes massaging so much easier and fun, not to mention more effective. Both you and your loved ones are going to love this one!

This move is called the Rolling Pin with the idea that you transform your forearm into a massage tool. In this video I take you step by step on how to do this.

Practice on your own thigh to get the hang of it, remember the principle of ‘how slow can you go’ and easing into things and you are about to know one of the real tricks of the trade. Within a few minutes you’ll know how to give the most incredible shoulder massage imaginable.

BTW, it’s also a great way to make friends 🙂

Click here to watch you on YouTube

Happy massaging!!

Shai

 

 

Learn Thai Massage at Home: Foot on Foot Massage

This super simple foot massage is incredibly effective and will leave your partner feeling relaxed and blissed out!

It involves using your feet to give a massage making it easy to give as little or as much pressure as you like – and you’ll be able to get into all kinds of therapeutic places.

If you’ve never even thought of using your feet to massage before, you’ll wonder what took so long!

This video walks you through everything you need to know 🙂

One caveat is that it’ll feel so good to give and receive you may want to give it everyday!

Click here to view on YouTube

 

 

How to Give an Incredible Back Massage [Learning Thai Massage]

Up to 80% of Canadians and Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. It is the second most common reason to visit a medical professional. But most problems are a result of lifestyle choices and that means the best way to fix the issue is also through changes to lifestyle.

Exchanging high quality back massage on a regular basis with people you care about is some of the best preventative medicine you can do to alleviate many symptoms and to avoid having any back issues at all.

This video teaches you how to give an incredible back massage that will leave your partner in bliss and feeling like they have a whole new body. And best of all when you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t have to hurt you to give either. Quite the opposite, you will feel energized and rejuvenated just from giving massage. That is what giving a great massage is all about!

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

 

 

 

How to Create a Loving & Supportive Atmosphere in Your Massage

Three Questions To Ask At the Start of Every Massage

Those first few moments of your massage are essential to establishing the right kind of communication, expectations and rapport with your partner.

Get this part right and you are well on your way towards giving an incredible session.
It can be hardest to establish this with loved ones, friends and family, because you know each other well.

Boundaries get blurred, patterns of communication are already well set.

But if you follow and build off of the approach presented here you will build an exchange founded on love, harmony and caring. And that can also spill over into other parts of your life and relationships.

Click here to view on YouTube

 

 

4th Pillar: The Secret to Giving a GREAT Thai Massage

I am revealing the most important secret of my Thai Massage school and life’s practice.

Knowing and applying this secret to giving a massage is what allows you to learn at home. It can make the difference between giving an incredible massage versus one that is painful for both you and your partner. It will set you on the path to success when it comes to giving massage in a way that also does wonders for your physical and spiritual health.

The fourth pillar of Thai Massage is all about understanding this one sentence and applying it to how you touch: “How slow can you go, how high can you fly”

Check out the video to know exactly what this means and easy steps for how to put this knowledge into action.

Practice! Love! Share!

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

 

 

3rd Pillar of Thai Massage: Leverage Through Rocking

This Thai Massage lesson teaches you all about rocking.

You want to rock your body as you massage in order to create leverage. This means your whole body helps you to massage and your hands or whatever you use to massage (elbows, forearms etc.) becomes on extension of your core.

The other reason to rock is to help facilitate an exchange of energy. It brings out the dance and the rhythm of the massage.

Combining the first three pillars of Thai Massage: Meditation, stances and rocking means you have set an incredibly strong foundation to help you feel great and strong while you give massage.

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

 

2nd Pillar of Thai Massage: Stances and Body Mechanics

If you are going to learn to give Thai Massage you need to know how to use your whole body to help give. This makes massaging as fun and comfortable as possible.

The second pillar of Thai Massage is called stances. These are the positions to put yourself in when giving the massage.

Get on a mattress, thick carpet, or yoga mat covered in blankets and practice these stances.

When you start learning some massage techniques, you will start by putting yourself one of these stances – the one helps you use your whole body.

Watch on YouTube

 

 

The Heart of Thai Massage: Meditation & Metta

We begin! t’s time to shift gears and start teaching you some Thai Massage essentials that help you to start massaging at home and becoming your own teacher!

Over the coming weeks and months I will continue to release a video every week or so that covers a topic or a Thai Massage move that you can teach yourself and start massaging with.

These videos will be on the blog and in playlists on YouTube.

We start with the foundation of the practice… The four pillars that you need to learn in order to start teaching yourself how to give an incredible massage. The first pillar is meditation and metta and it defines everything we do in the massage.

This video breaks it down for you and also includes a guided meditation. Come back to it often, just like we do at the start of every class. It will help bring calmness and presence and help you get in touch with your own body and all that incredible energy and metta flowing within!

The one thing I want to ask of you is help spread the word! Lets get these videos into the hands of everyone you think would benefit and enjoy learning massage 🙂

Click here to watch this on YouTube

 

 

Why and How You Can Teach Yourself to Massage at Home

You already possess the skill of touch and can easily learn to give a great massage at home.

This video shares some stories of how massaging helps your relationships.

You have three teachers that are here to help you learn how to give amazing massages.

The first is yourself through the four pillars which give you the tools you need to be your own teacher.

The second is your partner who will help guide you on exactly what she or he likes

The third is your teacher and the techniques I share after more than 15 years of teaching thousands of students of four continents.

Buckle up and lets enjoy the ride!

BTW, this is the final segment in the current series. you can watch the whole playlist as one on YouTube by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

Ayurveda Meditation on the 5 Elements & 3 Doshas

Learn about Vata, Pitta and Kapha and the five elements from the inside out with this guided meditation. Shift from the head to the heart and body to get a real sense of how we have space, air, fire, water and earth within.

Perfect for anyone learning about ayurveda and wanting to bring this wisdom into your life to give deeper meaning to what it’s all about.

Guided by Shai Plonski, founder of Still Light Centre school of Thai Massage…

Part of our Thai Massage training includes learning the fundamentals of ayurveda -timeless Indian medicine- and how to incorporate it into customizing Thai Massage. Our viewpoint is that giving a great massage is all about seeing and treating your client as unique and tailoring the massage specifically for them on the physical and energetic level.

Ayurveda gives us essential tools and language to do just that. And meditating on the core aspects of ayurveda, namely the 3 doshas and 5 elements helps you to create a deeper relationship with the medicine in your hands and body.

To do this meditation, find a quiet place and put yourself in a comfortable seated position, be it on a chair or on a cushion with your back straight, shoulders relaxed and able to take full breaths. Press play and away you go!

Click here to view this on You Tube

 

Change Your Life, Exchange Thai Massage

In this video I ask you to dream and think of how your life would change if you gave and received massages regularly? How would that affect your relationships, your body, your connection to spirit?

I would ask you to consider how valuable massage is to a healthy, vibrant life and for you to know how accessible it is and how you can teach yourself from the comfort of your home.

Leave your comments below and share what exchanging massages over the course of your lifetime would do for you…

Click here to view on YouTube

 

 

Why is Thai Massage as good to give as it is to receive

In this video I break down how amazing it is to receive Thai Massage. I give a quick overview of the benefits of receiving massage that makes it one of the best things ever

And then I make the point that GIVING Thai Massage is at least that good. And the way you learn to massage is from a place of comfort and from what feels good for you. That way of giving is so essential in sharing and elevating love, both in you and with another person.

Giving massage is like being in a classroom of the spirit where you learn to share love, inside and out. It is felt, it is real, it breaks down the illusions of our separation and we are changed forever.

Click here to watch this on YouTube

 

 

Thai Massage is An Experiment in Love and Compassion

In this video I talk about the role of Thai Massage in building relationships and connections from a loving whole place.

And how the gift of touch and massage is an incredible way to connect with spirit and the people you love and care about.

It’s all about taking the ideas of love and turning it into action.

Thai Massage takes out us out of our head and into the heart. To a place beyond words where you get to unite with another person and that is about as good as it get.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below!

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

Love versus the Ego and How (Thai) Massage Fits In

In this video I weigh in on how much giving Thai massage helps one to embrace love and let go of fear and ego.

I share how giving massage can be an essential tool in helping to shift into Love along with other personal practices such as meditation, yoga as well as learning from great spiritual teachers.

As much fun and as interesting as Thai Massage is, it can be so much more for someone on a spiritual path. Someone who resonates with the teachings of people like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, A Course in Miracles, Oprah etc. and is dedicating themselves to unlocking this wisdom in themselves and living in the world from this place.

In fact it is a great tool, an amazing key to help us shift from the head to the heart and make that our lived reality. Because by definition that is the meaning of giving a great Thai Massage

Check it out!
Click here to view on YouTube

 

The Role of Great Teachers in Our Life

In this video I start to get personal. This is the first in a series where I start to share some of my life story, challenges with depression, and with my life long journey to bring spirit and love and God into the foreground of my life.

I share some of the teachers that have helped along the way and the importance of having great mentors and teachers in ones life to help open those doors.

In future videos I’ll be sharing how massage has helped thousands of people on a spiritual path and how easy it is to access this knowledge as a way to help love and spirit become the essence of your life.

To view this on YouTube click here

 

A Sweet Taste of Maine: Thai 101 & Intro March 2016

In March I made my first trip to Maine. It’s been a long-time dream to make it to this incredible state, and it’s also best when I can mix Thai Massage and nature. What’s the difference really?

Everything about the trip was more than I could have ever imagined. So many new friends including my hosts, the owner of Om Land Yoga Terry & Eric and their sweet dogs Buddha and Mooki.

Our intro course was bursting out the door with 36 amazing students and then we got down to business and taught Thai 101 to 12 incredible people. As you can see from these pictures, it was all heaven personified.

Thank you Maine!! Can’t wait to be back soon 🙂 🙂

 

 

Crash Course on Advanced Thai Massage Training at Still Light Centre

In this video I takes you through some of what we teach and the benefits of the advanced trainings we offer on the path to honing your Thai Massage expertise.

The idea here to help you decide which courses to take next once you’ve completed your Primary Certification (or an equivalent) and are aiming to deepen your skills and understanding of Thai Massage.

Our program is built on flexibility to pick and choose the courses that speak to you. You can take any of these courses mentioned in any order. We welcome students from any Thai Massage lineage.

There are 10 courses altogether that we teach in two day formats to delve deep into the subject matter at hand.

Check out the video below and click here to learn more and register for classes.

To help us plan our 2016-17 calendar, click here to fill out the survey and let us know what you’d like to study next!

 

 

The Heart of Thai Massage- Webinar Replay

Celebrating 15 years of teaching… In this webinar, I peel back the layers and explains what Thai Massage is all about from a personal, indepth point of view.

A great Thai Massage needs to be as good to give as it is to receive and in the webinar I dissect certain postures to explain how that comes to be.

I explain what makes Thai Massage such an intelligent form of bodywork and get into the whole notion of love is nature’s most powerful medicine and how Thai Massage turns that energy into a healing flow.

He talks about the energy aspects of the massage and how to incorporate that into the massage and explains from both the giver and receiver point of view what Thai Massage is all about.

There is a great Q & A at the end that tackles some advanced questions.

At the end of the webinar I announce that we are celebrating 15 years of teaching by offering our upcoming Thai 101 in Toronto at 2001 prices. Take the class for $495 instead of the regular $635. Class is happening Feb. 6-7 / 20-21.

To sign up for courses and learn more visit http://stillightcentre.com/category/courses-calendar/

 

 

The Nature of Thai Massage- Down Under!

October 2014 was my last trip Down Unda! I went to Melbourne and Canberra Australia to share some Thai Massage. I taught Prenatal and Elderly, Table Thai, Restorative/Hatha Yoga & Thai Massage. And I was overwhelmed by the warmth and beauty of all the people I met who also became my teachers.

This photo album tells some of the story 🙂 Enjoy!

 

Mixbook - Create stunning photo books, cards and calendars! | Design your own photo book with Mixbook’s easy online editor.
 

Recent Study Shows Thai Massage Alleviates Short and Long Term Effects of Migraines & Chronic Headaches

headache

 

In a recent study reported on in the US National Library of Medicine, an experiment was done on 72 test cases which reveal how Thai Massage had excellent results in reducing headache intensity and increasing the pressure pain threshold (PPT) of people suffering from chronic headaches.

Some of the details are as follows:

  • Everyone in the group had been diagnosed with chronic or migraine headaches
  • Age range of 20-50 years old
  • To qualify the person had to have been experiencing headaches for at least the previous three months for at least fifteen days a month and at least two headaches a week
  • The subjects received nine 30-minute sessions of Thai Massage throughout a three week intervention period. The routine consisted of 25 minutes of localized Thai Massage for the head, neck and shoulders and five minutes of passive stretching.

The study measured each person’s pain threshold, the intensity, frequency and duration of headaches at four distinct times; before the three week treatment period, right after, three weeks later and nine weeks later.

The results demonstrated that there was a significant increase in each person’s pain threshold and a significant decrease in headache frequency and intensity at each post-intervention assessment.

As such the authors of the study conclude that these results indicate that Thai Massage can improve both pain thresholds and headache intensity during both the short-term of treatment and during the relatively long-term of post-treatment. (And it can) be promoted as an alternative treatment for patients with [chronic tension-type headaches] and migraines.”

These results were first reported in Massage Magazine which is the leading massage publication for the entire massage industry.

 

[Free Video] Ultimate Thai Massage for the Back

In this video Shai Plonski the founder of Still Light Centre demonstrates an expanded Thai Massage for the back.

In total Thai Massage glory, it’s great for your body and will give you all the tools you need to get into every nook and cranny of tension on the back. You use your hands, forearms and elbows and even learn how to give yourself a stretch while you massage.

This one is great for your clients, but equally awesome to practice on your friends and loved ones!!

It’s part of the sequence we teach in our Thai Massage 201 level course. Check out dates and more details here.

Click here to watch this on YouTube

 

[Free Video] Learn a Complete Shoulder, Neck and Upper Back Thai Massage

 

These videos are part of the series we are sharing from our advanced Thai 201 training. In the first video we shared the objectives and overview of the course.

In this video you learn a complete neck, shoulder and upper back massage. We demonstrate in detail how to give some of the best techniques for targeting this area of the body where clients carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

The second video is a short clip where Shai explains how this course helps you take better care of your body so that you are able to massage for 20, 30, even 50 years!

Click here to view this clip on YouTube!

Click here to view on YouTube!

 

 

 

Thai Massage 201 Course Intro and Objectives

In this short video, Shai Plonski the founder of Still Light Centre introduces what we teach in our second level training Thai Massage 201. Although it is called, 201, as Shai explains, it provides a quantum leap in your practice and will help you feel creating highly customized sessions for just about anyone.

Click here for upcoming dates

To watch on Youtube please click here

 

 

 

Thai Massage 101 Seated Shoulder & Neck Massage- Professional Teaching

In this in-depth video Shai Plonski, founder of the Still Light Centre and international teacher of thousands of students since 2002 brings you into the classroom.

You learn how to give a professional level shoulder and neck massage. It is the same one he teaches in his Thai Massage 101 class. It is one you can do on a mat, on a bed, standing behind your partner or with your partner sitting in a chair.

He follows it up with a short Q & A from his students and a closing meditation.

Click here for upcoming classes

To view this on Youtube click here

 

A few more details about Thai Massage and the 101 course:

Thai Massage is an ancient and timeless therapeutic approach which combines yoga with an extensive range of touch techniques using your whole body to help give. It is amazingly effective in promoting deep relaxation, easing all manner of aches & pains, improving circulation, boosting the immune system, and balancing the body energetically, thus facilitating mind-body integration. TM incorporates an integrative form of yoga for the practitioner as well as the recipient, enhancing one’s sense of alignment, vitality and health.

Thai 101 will show you how to tap into your own innate abilities to give a sensational massage. In this 4-day course, you will learn a complete 90-minute massage, focusing on:

• Safe and effective massage for shoulders, head, back, hands, legs, abdomen, and feet;
• The secrets of developing outstanding and intuitive touch as it applies to Thai Massage;
• Assisted yoga postures;
• Loving touch; and
• How to get started on a successful career giving Thai Massage

Perfect for people without any bodywork experience, this training is also invaluable as continuing education for yoga teachers and massage practitioners. The gift of compassionate touch is empowering, incredible, and available to everyone ready to discover it.

This is the first class in our Professional Training Program. Complete two classes and a series of practice massages in order to qualify for Primary Certification. Still Light Centre is accredited with CMTO, NCBTMB & NHPCanada

Click here for our upcoming dates all around the world

 

How to Roll and Care for your Metta Massage Mat

This video shows you the easy steps for taking care of and rolling up the Metta Massage Mat.

For more information on the mat and how to purchase one visit http://www.mettamassagemat.com

 

The Helping Power of Thai Massage- Students who give back

This week I share some stories of Thai Massage students in New Hampshire who came together and dedicated their practice massages to raising money for charity. It’s amazing how much they accomplished in the 2 months after completing Thai 101.

On top of raising that money, they had some amazing experience with their clients. I share one story of how one woman found relief from neck pain after many years of visiting acupuncturists, massage therapists, you name it. And the student who helped her was a massage newbie who had learned just one 4 day course in Thai Massage and had only been practicing for a few weeks.

It speaks to our innate power to help and heal. These are skills that these woman, and most of us cultivate over the entire course of our lives. Thai Massage then becomes a method in which to direct them.

Furthermore, many of the people that were massaged as part of the fund raising efforts have gone on to become regular paying clients.

These 4 women have changed my life as they lead the way in demonstrating some of the incredible potential in Thai Massage to help and to heal and support us on our journey.

So I am also asking students –and practitioners- to come together and share their success stories and volunteer in small groups with your classmates and peers for a more effective way of making a great and power difference with Thai Massage. Use your class lists, our private Facebook group or contact us if you’d like to give in this way.

Leave your comments below! And if you’d rather watch this video on YouTube then click on the link: The Helping Power of Thai Massage- Students who give back

 

A Song for my Hero- AKA ‘I think this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever watched’

At least it feels that way. Most of the time I post about things directly related to Thai Massage, but sometimes I have to share a post like this and go a little deeper.

I have taken to listening and watching inspirational talks while I clean the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite meditations. And with a 3 year old running around, I get chances to meditate several times a day!

My all-time favorite place to go has been www.onbeing.org because Krista Tippett is the best interviewer I’ve ever heard and the way she unravels complex topics with her guests has been the greatest gift.

And when I’m looking for something slightly lighter, or perhaps at a different speed, these days I’m all about WTF with Marc Maron. His ability to share his soul and his humanity is also unparalleled genius and totally inspiring.

But I’ve pretty much maxed out on both of those lately, so I’ve taken to the old standard www.ted.com  And I randomly scrolled down the list of most popular talks when I came to this. And it left me bawling, barely able to stand and still now, hard to type. But all in the most amazing way.

It’s the story of, Tori Murden McClure an amazing woman who tried (and failed) to become the first woman to row across the Atlantic all by herself.

I won’t spoil it for you, but I will just say this. I think her story would resonate with any adventurer. The quest to know ourselves and to live our dreams is so strong and filled with so many challenges.  How many blows have you taken in that pursuit? Has it meant that you had to abandon the journey? When I watch this talk I think of my life and people I love who are fighting the good fight to live meaningful lives. What Tori physically had to endure, we have all gone through one way or another, some more than others. So let’s not forget the words of Muhammad Ali that close the story.

I love Thai Massage for so many reasons. The healing that flows both ways, the deep unbroken connections that are reaffirming with every quality touch, the love that is shared, but I think most of all it’s because of the support and insight it has provided on my journey into knowingness, into growing up, into being more honest, into living a rich and fulfilling life.

 

Share your comments below! I have a few more that I’d  like to share, but I’m waiting until you’ve watched this first!

 

 

Heavenly Foot Massage!!! Sneak Peak at Thai Foot Reflexology

In this week’s video you can check out free teaching where I share a piece of our Thai Foot Reflexology training. There are some great techniques that you can instantly put to great use!

If you have clients and family members who love getting their feet massaged then this video is for you.

This video is a portion of our Thai Foot Reflexology training where you learn to give a full 1 hour Thai foot massage. The massage is out of this world and will help pamper, relax, destress and rejuvinate.

This is also a great sequence to give and learn because you are more stationary and that makes the transitions a snap. Plus you can easily give this on the mat or on a table. And no experience is required.

I filmed this course in Canberra Australia, but we also teach it in our centre in Toronto and in various locations around the world. To find out when and where we’re teaching this course next please click here

And if you’d like to see more free Thai foot massage training then let me know in the comments! I would love to share with those who are interested 🙂

P.S. Heartfelt thanks to Ariela Grodner who taught me this incredible sequence!!

 

 

New! Earn Documented Massages for Assisting!!

New! Earn Documented Massages for Assisting!!

A student who recently assisted Thai 101 asked if it could count as a documented massage towards certification. My first thought was to say no, but in thinking about it and the value that comes from assisting and how it helps improve and deepen your massage, I had a change of heart. Assisting is at least as valuable as massaging when you are working towards certification, so it makes total sense.

In fact when I was first learning I can confidently say that assisting classes might have been the most important way to integrate all I was learning. There is something irreplaceable about coming back a second or a third time to be in class and have the vantage point of watching everyone practice and having the experience of already the class under ones belt. When that is how you enter class then it becomes all about refinement and deepening ones knowledge. As a result you can take huge leaps forward in your understanding and your massage. It is powerful stuff!

 

Here’s how it works:

  • Assisting on one weekend counts as 1 documented massage (whether you come for 1 or two full days).
  • Assisting on two weekends (for example, for all of Thai 101) will count as 2 documented massages.
  •  For Primary Certification, the maximum number of documented massages that can be replaced by assisting Thai 101 & 201 courses is 4 (out of the 20 required documented massages)
  •  For Advanced Certification the maximum number of documented massages that can be replaced with assisting 300 level courses is 8 (out of the 80 required documented massages)
  •  You can only assist a course that you have already taken.

 

If you would like to assist a class, the best way is to look at our calendar and email us at least 2 weeks ahead of time to save your spot

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My Voice is Touch- A Thai Massage Poem

I’ve been thinking about why I love Thai Massage alot lately and want to share this poem I wrote a little while ago. I share some of what quality touch and massage is all about and how this little thing can have such a profound impact both inside and out.

I have never shared a poem in such a public way before, but something is calling me to put it out there so I am excited to share it with you.

I was inspired to write it after watching spoken word artist Shane Koyczan share his piece ‘This is My Voice’. He has such a masterful way of getting in touch with the deep, the profound, the meaningful. I highly recommend checking out his work by click here and scroll down to check out the poem.

Let me know what you think and why you are called to learn more about Thai Massage. What is the need it fills in you and your community? How has it helped with your fears, your hopes, your dreams? Is there anything unexpected or surprising you get from learning and giving Thai Massage?

 

 

 

Paul Grilley, Anatomy & Thai Massage

In this blog & video I introduce some of the teachings of one of my teachers, Paul Grilley. He has an incredible ability of presenting anatomy principles in a way that is laid back, fun, profound and crystal clear.

The main reason I am so drawn to his work is because of how aligned it is with my methods of teaching and giving Thai massage. Anatomy for him proves and brings clarity into each person’s individuality and so he espouses that yoga and the asanas that one practices should be centered on the individual as opposed to a preconceived norm.

That is exactly how I feel and what I teach with regards to Thai Massage. From the very beginning of our training, we teach methods such as ‘how slow can you go’, ‘easing into what you do’ and bringing lots of dialogue into each session both before and during a massage so that you can meet your partner where they are and massage your partner safely and effectively. And in higher levels when questions arise with regards to how to treat clients who present with an injury, I will always advise that you don’t want to treat the injury ahead of the person. What I mean is that two people could have the same injury and depending on a host of factors- the approach, the pressure and the stretches you incorporate may differ vastly.

Paul’s video: ‘Anatomy of Yoga’ will help you add an important layer to this teaching. He introduces some core anatomy principles and with that comes more knowledge, more confidence and peace of mind. And one of the main themes that he presents is how essential it is to understand the difference between ‘compression’ and ‘tension’. In this blog video I give you an introduction into the topic and how you can use that to help give Thai Massage. I really believe that watching his lecture series (at least once!) is essential for any serious practitioner. I am not trying to sell you something, and I am not making money on this. I just know how much it helped me bring Thai Massage and all the methods I teach and use to the next level.

You can check out Paul’s website and links to purchase the video by clicking here

If you have any questions about anatomy, about compression vs. tension or anything else then post them below and I will be in the community answering questions!

 

 

 

Thai Massage and Fibromyalgia

In this video I give an overview of how to give a Thai Massage to someone with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic pain and extreme sensitivity to pressure. It can also be accompanied with depression and anxiety. The video offers options for students and practitioners of all levels: i.e. those with a more basic understanding, others with Ayurveda and Thai massage training as well as those as well as those well versed with incorporating the sen lines.

Given the very nature of Thai Massage as a metta -or loving kindness- based massage, it is my belief that anyone who has learned even a little can massage someone with fibromyalgia.

My advice is to incorporate the information here that is at your level of expertise. Stay within your comfort zone! At the same time,  a word to the wise…  The information contained in this video is for educational and recreational purposes only, and should not be used to replace professional medical advice. People who put this into practice are solely responsible for how they choose to utilize this content.

This video should not be relied on in diagnosing or treating a medical condition.  It is best to seek advice and attention from your physician or qualified healthcare professional. Always consult your physician before beginning a new treatment or fitness program.

If you have any questions or stories you’d like to share massaging someone with fibromyalgia please leave your comments below!

 

 

 

 

Thai 302 Exploring the Thai Massage Energy Lines (Sip Sen)

Here is a video that explains why anyone who wants to advance their expertise in Thai Massage needs to deepen their relationship to energy and the subtler aspects of giving. I also give a brief overview of what you learn in our Thai 302 training!! This course is all about learning the sip sen or 10 energy lines that are used for creating therapeutic treatments. We’ll map out all of the sen lines, practice giving sen line massages and learn how to combine this potent knowledge with ayurveda and Thai Massage postures in order to give outstanding massages. This is an essential component for anyone interested in a career of giving Thai Massage.

To register for this class at Still Light Centre click here: http://stillightcentre.com/category/courses-calendar/

If you have any questions or would like to share your story integrating sen lines into Thai Massage leave your comments below!

 

When to Treat Injuries with Thai Massage

In this blog video post, I share my story of a recent injury and some important rules to consider when treating clients who present themselves with injuries. I talk about the acronym -RICER and explain why you want to consider this before massaging clients or loved ones and family members.

I was in a considerable amount of pain and could hardly move my neck for about 4 days. The stiffness remained really painful for about 2 weeks so there was an ongoing discussion in my family about how long I should wait to see someone like a massage therapist, chiropractor or an osteopath for help.

Share your stories- whether you are a professional or have been on the receiving end of treatment after an injury and let us know how it went and what you learned. I will also be here to answer any questions in the comments below!

 

Fascia and Thai Massage

In this video I give you an overview of what Fascia is and why it is important to treat the fascia as part of any advanced Thai Massage treatment.

I also mention that we teach a course on Fascia and Thai Massage. The next one is coming up May 2-3 and you can click here to find the latest dates and to sign up for the class. In the meanwhile you can incorporate fascial work into your Thai Massage just by identifying and building a relationship with the fascia in the body. Look for superficial fascia around the thigh, the forearm, the neck. You can find it just below the layers of skin. Keep the pressure light and move it around through gentle circles, rubbing, sweeping and squeezing the area. You’ll be amazed by the efficient and profound results from this lighter approach to touch!

And if you’re interested in taking it further, then come and take the class. It is a game changer for how you see the body and how to give Thai Massage!

 

 

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness Meditation & Thai Massage

Do you know that feeling when you hear someone talk and the truth just lights you up?  It helps show you the way or confirms some kind of meaning in your life… I’ve always said that putting the benefits of giving Thai Massage is difficult to put into words. Well, in this video I talk about Jon Kabat-Zinn and his On Being interview with Krista Tippett where he describes mindfulness meditation as heart-full ness. I make the link that this is exactly what is at the center of giving Thai Massage and that’s what makes all the difference in the world.

Here is the excerpt of the interview where Kabat-Zinn talks about mindfulness as heartfulness:

“…when you hear the word “mindfulness,” if you’re not in some sense automatically hearing the word “heartfulness” you’re misunderstanding it. And mindfulness in any event is not a concept; it’s a way of being. And it’s a way of being awake. It’s not a big deal; it’s just that we’re never taught that this is part of the human repertoire. So what does wakefulness mean? It means resting in a kind of awareness that is so stable that it’s not thrown off by the comings and goings of events within the field of awareness. So that you lose your balance when things go this way and things go that way, but you actually stay grounded when things go your way, as we put it.

And when things don’t go your way, it doesn’t mean that you have to rocket yourself or spiral into depression and hopelessness and a sense of despair…”

To listen to the entire interview, please click here

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear if you have tried meditation and what you’ve experienced as its benefits!

 

 

 

 

Thai 301 Explaining the Side Lying Sequence

I made a little video that explains and shows you some of what you learn in our Thai 301 training!! This course is all about giving a 60 minute Side Lying Sequence as well as therapeutic applications for giving a Thai Massage. This is an essential component for anyone interested in professional training and customizing for clients with back, neck, and shoulder issues. It is similarly great for massaging pregnant and larger clients.

To register for this class at Still Light Centre click here: http://www.stillightcentre.com/category/courses-calendar/

 

 

What’s in a name? Why are we called Still Light Centre?

And where is this centre of which we speak!?

In this video, Shai Plonski, founder of Still Light Centre pulls back the curtain on the name of the school and why this name is at the heart of what Thai Massage is all about.

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think of our name and what Thai Massage means to you!

 

Thai Massage and Determination

In today’s video I talk about how Thai Massage can help those who learn it with more than a great skill. It can help with your outlook, with your confidence and your determination to get things done. So many people learn it who are not interested in a massage career because it helps to foster a positive attitude and you get to give something that helps others to feel so good while helping yourself at the same time. And in that way Thai Massage is priceless.

Check out the video and the podcast and then leave your comments and stories below. I’ll be in there participating in the discussion as well!

 

BTW, CBC doesn’t allow embedding of podcasts, so you can check out the interview with Aakif Azeem by clicking here. It is really worth it!!

 

The Power of Touch (& Thai Massage)

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. The power of touch is quintessential to the human experience. The ability for compassionate touch to positively affect people is probably the #1 reason I love teaching and giving massage. The ability of a simple helping hand to soothe, to help relax and remind us that we matter and we are part of a something bigger than ourselves is often forgotten when we think of all the benefits that come from giving massage. It is also one of the reasons why those on the receiving end of a Thai Massage find it so hard to put how great they feel and why that is so hard to put into words.

The idea for this teaching came after watching the video for the song Same Love by Maclemore & Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert. The last few moments of the video are a powerful reminder of how essential touch is to anyone’s overall health and well being.

Check out both videos and then leave your comments and stories below about how compassionate touch impacts you and your loved ones. I’ll be in there answering questions as well!

To watch on Youtube, please click here

 

 

What is Thai Massage & Why I chose it

Depending on who you talk to, the answer can be quite different. One of the first things I ask my students is to explore different ways to answer this question that get to the heart of the matter and that excite the person they’re explaining it to. Check out my latest video for my answers to this fundamental question along with a little story on what first interested me pursuing this style of massage above all others.

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Have a question? Would you like to share your answer to this question? Is there a topic you’d like me to teach in these videos? Please leave your comments below and I’ll be in there answering questions as well!!

To watch on youtube please click here

 

 

Take your Thai Massage Marketing to a new level (Part 3)

Dec. Newsletter

Editor’s note:

This article is part of an ongoing series on the business of Thai Massage. For more ideas on building the ultimate Thai Massage business please check out other articles I have written. You can find them here, here and here.

Click here to read Part 1

Click here to read Part 2

 

Alrighty everyone, time to tackle the big kahuna, the elephant in the room.  What do we do when we encounter clients who feel the price is too costly for them?

Is this an insurmountable road block in the business of Thai Massage? Well that depends on how you look at it… I really believe that is one of the most important parts of this conversation. That is, if your energy surrounding this question is negative, doubtful or full of fear, it is understandable, but it is also not constructive.

The old adage of where there’s a will there’s a way is of great importance. And so is remembering what it feels like when you meet a challenge head on and then get to experience the other side of having achieved your goal. It is invigorating, inspiring, confidence building and rewarding.

It is so important to keep in mind that our thoughts play a big part, perhaps the biggest in shaping our reality. So even against all instincts, which in many instances are old patterns of fear and not having enough, or being told we’re not good enough, we have to let that go as much as possible. Breathe through it when those moments happen. They are the waves of resistance that come up, but we don’t have to be carried away by them. They too shall pass and they’ll pass quicker when we believe it, when we know it in our hearts and trust the process.

I think it is fair to say that for many of us, we are going to encounter this challenge in our business – a lot. And the better prepared we are with a strategy and consistently taking steps to answer this question, the better we’re going to do. There are short term approaches and long term ones. But as you’re about to see, there are good answers out there and it is up to us to implement them.

Education is a must!

Your newsletter is a great forum to teach your clients and potential clients and so is social media. In the last post I talked about some of the topics you could include to provide outstanding content for your clients, but there are a couple more that we can add that are specific to this topic.

  1. Train your clients about the choices that clients are making with their money. I would write a post that asks “how much do you prioritize your health and well-being now and in the future versus your indulgencies?”. It is not that those treats should be avoided, but especially if price is what keeps you from getting Thai Massage every 2 or 3 weeks then what are some things you could reduce in order to have the funds to pay for a session? Are there things like having coffee at home instead of at a café, drinking less alcohol, less fancy dinners, fewer cigarettes etc. that you could try in order to get a massage? Perhaps it’s as simple as one less night on the town or 10 less drinks or 1 less cup of coffee a day? I would put it in real terms to help people understand how small changes can add up to the money needed for more massages and the kind of positive impact that can have on your life.
  2. Do you see a natural health practitioner regularly? One great idea – and I thank my student for this- is that you should also be seeing a specialist as often as you’d like your ideal client to visit you. When you do that, there are many benefits. First of all you are aligning yourself with the same energy you’d like in return. And I think there is something very powerful in that. Secondly you become an authority on what that experience is like (and of course you get to experience all the benefits). So then you can be more honest with yourself and with your clients as to how important it is to be as regular as you’d like them to be. Perhaps that may even shift some of your earlier notions as to how often you’d like your clients to come and see you. This also gives you great topics to write about when you are emailing your students. You can have a regular series that takes them on the journey with you. And in so doing you are teaching and training your clients new habits and ways to look at how they can take care of themselves. Something that many students in our field do is work out exchanges with those professionals, so that may also be something you want to try in order to make this happen.
  3. Similar to the last idea is that you can have your clients who are your regulars write regular posts detailing their experiences. One of the most powerful tools in your pocket to help in this process is social proof. When your clients see other like-minded people doing it, then they are more receptive to take action. In order to recruit people to do this, you may even decide to make it a contest or offer a special price on sessions while they are writing for you

Giving specials on the price.

There are different avenues you can take and you may want to try out more than one system and see what works best for you. For example in the past I wrote about the 50-25-10 method of pricing yourself. You can click here to read all about that, but essentially you have a low price to bring people in and you end up rewarding your regulars who book at the end of their session (When they are most likely to rebook)

Another approach is to have a regular rate and then once in a while offer a special. If you take that approach (or even if you use the 50-25-10 method), then you are offering some kind of discount that is out of the norm and therefore it is important not to offer it very often and there needs to be a defined end date. The shorter the better. Scarcity definitely compels people to act. I would recommend giving people 5-10 days tops to take advantage and book. And it is also important that you follow up during that period with extra emails to remind people that the special is ending.

Combining these ideas

Even more powerful would be to start combining some of the ideas we’ve been talking about. if you send out a newsletter or two with some great content then you could have a P.S. at the end along the lines of keep your eyes posted for an announcement that you’ll be making next week.

Then you can offer your special, perhaps along with a story of a regular and the benefits that person is receiving (some social proof)

And then you would continue to gently remind your community of the special part way through and then on the last day. It is vitally important to send that last short reminder, because in many cases that is when the bulk of people sign up, so it should be front and center

You earn more and clients pay less

The last idea is to find ways to offer your services that help people to pay less for a shorter or group session. This way you won’t actually make less for your time. The two things that jump out at me would be to

Thai Massage tune-ups. These are 30 minute sessions that target a specific part of the body. And for some of my graduates they have proved very popular for bringing clients in more frequently. So lets say you have a client who wants a 90 minute massage every month, then you can let them know that once or twice in between the longer sessions they come in for the tune ups that will target the shoulders, the back etc.

Restorative Yoga & Thai Massage sessions.  If you are a yoga teacher, enthusiast, or are trained in Thai Massage, then you could take my weekend course in Restorative Yoga and Thai Massage and start offering that service. In that scenario a client could pay something like $30 or $40 for a session that could be anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours (depending on how long you want the session to be and what you think is best for your clients). Having 4-6 clients come in at a time you can easily make at least as much for that time as you would for a private session, and possibly more.

That way of giving is such a nurturing way to offer Thai Massage and it has so many benefits. One is the reduced price, but it is still so incredibly effective at promoting deep relaxation, renewal and re-energizing. Another is that it becomes a great way to get more people into Thai Massage by lowering the bar on the price without compromising your earning potential. It can also attract new potential clients who may not be comfortable with a full massage, but would like to get massaged while in relaxing yoga postures.  Even if you do not have the space in your current place of business it is easy to rent space in most neighborhoods at a very reasonable rate.

Hopefully you can take some or all of these Thai Massage marketing ideas and ramp up your business. Being successful is often an exercise in removing barriers so that everything can flow with grace and ease. On the one hand there is your personal mindset that involves believing in your success and that what you have to offer is amazing. On the other it is having options that make it just about impossible for your clients to say ‘no’. Then it is about taking action and trying not to worry if it is perfect. You just have to get started, be consistent and tweak and improve as you go. One of my mentors puts it so well and I’ll leave this series with the same message; “incremental steps add up to huge exponential changes in your life and your business.”  To your great success!!

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Like what you read? Want to contribute to the conversation? Leave your comments below!

 

 

The Discipline of Gratitude

Hey everyone,

I want to share with you this amazing teaching that one of my teachers recently shared with me. Please check out the video below and leave your comments.

Just a thought, this is the kind of thing that would be great to share with people you care about so that you can do it together and compare notes and see what kind of impact it is having on you.

Yes in this video I am asking you to spend at least a month on the discipline of gratitude, but truth is it is a practice such as yoga or tai chi. I know when I first started going to my yoga teacher I felt like it was pretty good. I enjoyed it, but I also didn’t really get that much out of it. But I figured I would stick it out for a little while. I remember after about a month or 6 weeks it got to the point that I said to myself that unless something dramatic changed then this would be my last class. Well sure enough, on that night it was like the dam burst and I felt my body and the benefits of that practice like never before. And that teacher? 18 years later he is still my teacher to this day and I thank my lucky stars I have him in my life.

So I implore you to go on this journey with me and make this simple exercise a part of your life- first for at least a month, but then forever. You may forget about it at some points, but when you remember come back to it and then lets keep talking about it- in a year, or two or 15 and lets see the kind of impact this has made on us!

Happy thanksgiving and much metta!

Shai

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Like what you read and watched?? Please leave your comments below!!

To watch on youtube please click here: http://youtu.be/DGoSu4Lz-x4

 

 

Take your Thai Massage Marketing to a new level (Part 2)

SONY DSC

Editor’s note:

This article is part of an ongoing series on the business of Thai Massage. For more ideas on building the ultimate Thai Massage business please check out other articles I have written. You can find them here, here and here.

Click here to read Part 1

 

In this series of articles we are addressing ways to excite and revive your client list to help increase the frequency your clients rebook with you.

At the heart of building a successful Thai Massage business we should set out to find clients who have a real need for your service. Once you have found those clients, it is then all about showing you care and delivering amazing service. It is about getting to know your clients and working on refining and improving how well you communicate with them. The more you can treat each client as an individual – treating him or her as the amazing person that they are while delivering an outstanding massage where they can feel the tangible benefits- the more they will book with you.

In a world where our clients have so many choices, while having limited funds and time, it is important to know that giving an amazing massage is not always enough. For a multitude of reasons, clients who initially showed tremendous excitement about their treatment(s) don’t always come back and we are often left wondering why. As such from our perspective, those little extras and going the extra mile can mean so much. It can literally mean the difference between a struggle to have as many clients as you’d like, and having a growing waiting list.

To help in the process of getting to know your current and past clients and to help renew communications, in the last post I suggested sending out a survey. Now it is time take a look at what to do with the results!

I suggested 4 reasons that your clients are not coming in as often as they (or you) would like:

1)      I keep meaning to, but then keep forgetting to book

Essentially a client who has indicated this is the reason they aren’t coming as often as they’d like is asking to be reminded. I would think of this as a doctor or a dentist. When you haven’t been to see a health professional in a while then you can expect a friendly reminder. So for these clients you should feel confident that sending them a direct email or better yet a reminder phone call from time to time is not only appreciated, it’s exactly what they’re looking for. My suggestion would be to contact them every month or two.

Going forward I would also suggest making it a policy of talking to your first time clients about this service that you offer and you only do it for those who opt in.

2)      I am just too busy- as much as I would like to keep coming

One of the great reasons to run a survey and include a contest is that your clients have to leave their name and they should be expecting to hear from you. As such you don’t only have to contact the winner. You can either write or phone your clients and lead with the following…

Thank you for taking the time to answer my survey. I am always looking for the best ways to help you and your health. You didn’t win the contest this time, but I did notice that you said how you’ve gotten really busy and that has been preventing you from coming as much as you’d like. I’d like to make the following suggestions:

a-      Lets book the massage well in advance before your calendar fills up

b-      How about instead of you coming to me, I come to you. In that case for an extra fee I can massage you in your home

c-       Lets try a shorter session, even a tune up of 30 minutes where I focus on specific parts of your body in greatest need would be great if you are having a hard time squeezing in a longer session

One thing I will say about clients in this camp is that this is the group that requires some extra assistance to make taking care of themselves with a massage an integral part of their life. Your role here is to train and remind them on the importance of massage to take better care of their body. As such one of the best things you could be doing for these clients is to be in more regular contact with them through your newsletter and/or group emails.

Many people are hesitant to send too many newsletters to their clients. I understand that and I can be like that as well. I hate ‘spam’ as much as the next person. At the same time, when you treat it as though you are having a conversation with your clients and are sending content that people find valuable then they are more likely to open the newsletter. And even if they don’t always read it, they still won’t find you to be a nuisance. Just think about it, I am sure there are some newsletters, alerts, or even websites that you visit or read regularly because you enjoy their presence in your life. Well if you can provide good, useful information then you can have that relationship with your clients.

There are many angles you can take in crafting this content. Here are a few ideas:

1)      Write about Thai Massage and its benefits. You could even paraphrase some sections from my books, website or other online resources to help with that

2)      Have a featured Thai Massage posture. Describe a posture and how it benefits your clients

3)      Have a featured issue such as back pain. Describe it and some of the postures and ways that Thai Massage helps

4)      Share a client’s success story

5)      Have a featured stretch that would be good for your clients

6)      Feature specific activities that are healthy: ex. Meditation (or even write about the different kinds of meditation, or tai chi, or yoga etc.)

7)      Feature recipes

8)      Inspirational quotes

The good news if you find writing a chore is twofold… On the one hand we know that these clients are busy, so it does not need to be long at all. Just focus on one idea at a time. A paragraph or two might be all that you need. Secondly with many of these topics, you could make it a video instead of written. As such you would make a 2 or 3 minute video which would hopefully take you only a few minutes to get done.

Then once in a while –perhaps every 4 or 5 mail outs- you can be more direct and talk about booking your next session. At that point your clients are more likely to act and the reasons are many. One reason is that your message is getting through so they realize they need to get massaged more often. Another reason is that they will feel more connected to you for all the good ways you’re helping them, so they’ll be likely to book with you.

The key here is that I am suggesting emailing quite often: daily or perhaps weekly to remain on the radar and take care of your clients with good content. Then by reminding them every 4 or 5 emails to book, that means you get to mention it every few days, every couple of weeks or perhaps once a month, but you are not forcing these reminders down anyone’s throat. Far from it, you’ll have earned respect and turned yourself into a voice of reason and authority in your client’s life.

I am going to save what to do with client’s who tell you that the price is too high for one more newsletter on this topic, because it is a big one. So I’ll end by discussing what I would do with clients say that that they are just not interested anymore.

For those clients, one thing to keep in mind is that as long as they remain on your newsletter list that they are still clients. It is certainly possible that they may just as easily change their mind and become more active down the road. So for those clients what I would do is send them a personalized email thanking them for their time and letting them know that even if they are not interested in coming for massages that you would like them to keep an eye on your newsletter because of all the amazing things you’ll be sharing going forward. What you might also try with these clients is to send them a birthday wish and a special deal to help them come back from time to time.

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Like what you read? Want to contribute to the conversation? Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

Take your Thai Massage Marketing to a new level (Part 1)

I love Thai Massage-web friendly1

 

Editor’s note:

This article is part of an ongoing series on the business of Thai Massage. For more ideas on building the ultimate Thai Massage business please check out other articles I have written. You can find them here, here and here.

 

This post is born out of my recent visit to teach in Australia and a conversation I had with a practicing Thai Massage practitioner. She lives in Queensland and she is a yoga teacher and a Thai practitioner and is very good at supporting her clients. In fact she adopted many of the principles I have written about previously in terms of how she communicates with her clients during the practice. She adapted the 50-25-10 principle for her own needs, she is an excellent communicator and has set up a great system of follow up and touching base before, during and after her massage. She would get such amazing feedback from clients during the sessions and they would swear that they want to make this a regular part of their health routine.

However they would not take her up on the offer to book in the moment and then they would not end up booking again for a very long time, if at all. As such it has been a slow crawl to build up her regulars and revenue to the level she’d like. She is feeling stuck and looking for ideas on what to do.

I have a feeling that she is not alone out there. This is a place that many Thai Massage practitioners, body workers of all stripes and private yoga teachers find themselves in. That is especially true if you cannot provide insurance receipts to students, which is the case for many of us. And if you find yourself in the same camp I would really like to hear from you. The best way to get out of the circle is to share. Share your frustrations, share some of the things you’ve tried and be part of the conversation as we exchange positive ideas on how to evolve. I hope this thread persists for years to come. This is definitely one of those times that more heads are better than one. What are the things you are doing in your practice or would like to do?

You can leave your comments below or better yet click here if you are a Still Light student or an aspiring one and would like to be part of our private community on Facebook.

Personally I have many thoughts and lots of ideas- too much to share in just one article so I will be spreading it out over two or three posts. But let’s get started with some of my suggestions to help take your marketing to a whole new level:

The first thing I asked her is if she had made an email list of her clients. Thankfully she has been doing that.* I also asked her if she sends them newsletters. She said she did, roughly every month or two.

I suggested that she send her clients a short survey and in our brainstorm, to help encourage a greater number of responses it could also include a contest and anyone who completes the entire survey would be entered in a draw to win a free massage. To help entice a higher response level you may also decide to award multiple prizes. That way you increase your client`s odds of winning and they may be more likely to fill it out. The basic goal of the survey is to learn from your clients, to take the mystery out of the equation as much as possible and then craft solutions based on those answers. So fundamentally the main point of this survey would be to find out why her clients who as best as she knows really love their massages aren’t coming back more regularly.

This can be a very short survey. Perhaps have a question or maybe two to find out how much and what they like best about their massage. Maybe a question to ask is if there was anything they didn’t like about the massage? Then getting to the main point I would ask in your ideal world how often would you like to come for a session? I would be specific about it and include options such as daily, every other day, weekly, every two weeks, 3 weeks, etc. Part of the point of that is for you to suggest ideas for how frequently they could be coming for a massage and that may already help influence future choices for coming more regularly. Finally the kicker is to ask what is preventing you from coming as often as you would like in your ideal world. You could suggest some options and then leave room for your clients to write other reasons.

The 4 options I can think of that I would include are:

A)     I keep meaning to, but then keep forgetting to book

B)      I am just too busy –as much as I would like to keep coming

C)      The price makes it prohibitive

D)     I am just not interested anymore

Don’t forget that since you are running a contest you will make it a requirement for clients to leave their name and email.

As such when you get the answers to these questions you will also know exactly what each person answered. You can then craft specific strategies that address each of these different answers and clients.

In the next postings I will share with you what I would do in each case, but in the meanwhile I want to hear from you. Post your answers below and on our Facebook page! If you also find yourself wanting to boost your business then I would strongly suggest running a survey right away. In a couple of weeks I`ll post my next article and we can tackle more strategies of what to do in order to bring more clients back. So together we will help remove this obstacle from our business and turn it all around!

Now just so you know there is an amazing service out there called Survey Monkey. http://surveymonkey.com/

If you haven’t seen it before here are some of the reasons it is so amazing:

1)      It is free (awesome!- There is also a paid version, but totally unnecessary for our purposes)

2)      It is really easy to set up a survey. It is basically like building a Word document

3)      It creates reports that makes it easy to get the information you’re looking for

4)      You will know which of your clients responded to your survey and exactly what their answers were which can help you with your follow up communication to customize your responses

5)      Getting clients to fill out the survey is as simple as adding the survey link to the email you will send out to them

*If you haven’t been up to date with getting your client’s email addresses, please note that it is never too  late to start! Those who study with me know that part of your requirements for documenting massages in to keep client notes that helps you to keep track of that. You can download the client notes from our private Facebook group

 

Leg Massage: The Forgotten Zone

This leg stretch might just be the best of all!

This leg stretch might just be the best of all!

When I first introduce massaging the legs here is what I usually explain to my students:

The legs are the forgotten zone of the body. Most people come to us for shoulder issues or back issues. Lots of people get reflexology treatments or get manicures and pedicures because they want their feet worked on. And these days folks will spend extra money on expensive haircuts (guys too!) for the added value of a good scalp and head massage.

An incredible full body twist

An incredible full body twist

It is the rare client that comes in because of how much their legs are in need. And yet the biggest bones, muscles and tendons of our body are all located in our legs. That is no accident. Our legs are in fact the work horses of our body. They support our weight with everything we do and they also store loads of tension and emotions. In fact they work so well that you rarely hear them complain. It is only once we’ve packed them so full with work and stress that things start to creep out and we feel something come up in our backs and then think- ‘hey I better go get a massage!’

The reality is our legs are the epicentre of so much activity and what’s more it is even a misnomer to think of them as ‘legs’. The word leg (or back or head or any other ‘part’ of our body for that matter) is a construct that we started learning as soon as we could walk. It is one of the first things our parents started talking to us about. The fact is our body never learned that lesson. And to look at our body’s anatomy we can see that most of the muscles and ligaments and tendons in our back extend into our legs and vice versa. They are intimately connected and so when we see clients with back issues, there is so much we can accomplish by massaging the legs. It is quite possibly the most vital part of the massage both as a way of promoting deep relaxation and also as a way to help unwind many of the knots and key problem areas that our clients want us to address.

In Thailand massages regularly last 3 hours or longer and most of that time will be time spent on the legs. I think a big part of that is cultural in that this is a 2000 year old massage and for most of that time the people getting massaged were spending most of their days on the feet and their work was very labor intensive. But another reason for that is because of the very nature of our legs. Since they are generally less sensitive than our backs and they work so much it is a great place to get the energy flowing again in the body and the overall affects of a massage that involves lots of time spent on the legs is dramatic. There is much we can learn from these results, even if our needs tend to be more back and shoulder centered.

Because of the many directions and ways our legs work, along with the myriad places that tension can build up, it was also a very difficult area of

This quad stretch will rock your world

This quad stretch will rock your world

the body for me to make sense of in developing my practice over the years. There are alot of ways we can massage the legs depending on if our clients have lower back issues, sacrum issues, problems with their hips, tight hamstrings, tight calves and knee issues. It is quite possibly the most complex part of giving a quality massage.

That is also why I developed an advanced course that takes time out to examine the legs. At the Primary level we gather a strong pool of stretches and techniques to massage those legs. But in the advanced course by spending a whole weekend massaging the legs (and feet!) we can really dissect this part of the body, look at those diverse needs and come up with amazing treatment plans and at the same time add some very essential new stretches and techniques to your tool belt.

One of those aspects that makes massaging the legs a challenge is the hip. It moves in so many ways and so much tension gets locked in that area of the body. Freeing our hips is akin to feeling so much more free in our bodies, and this is one of the most exciting aspects of this class. A collection of stretches that therapeutically target the hips that can be received by anyone regardless of their flexibility.

We learn some amazing new foot massage techniques too!

We learn some amazing new foot massage techniques too!

Some of my absolute favorite stretches are taught in this class, both as the giver and the receiver. Walking on the legs, the Dancer, Demi-Diamond, Knee stretch, Foot Spinal Twist… The list goes on and on. In fact when I think of some of those postures it makes me think of Homer Simpson when he thinks of donuts (mmmmmm donuts!) I know that is a strange analogy and definitely reveals my age, but the comparison is apt because once I teach you some of these postures you’ll have your clients begging – nay drooling- for more!

Thai 303: Advanced training for massaging Legs and Feet along with Therapeutic applications is taught once a year at the Still Light Centre

 

 

The next course is coming up June 21-22 2014! Class times are 10am-7pm daily. Click here to register for Thai 303

 

For our full calendar of courses please click here