Convention Class – Thai Massage

Welcome to a whole new, ancient way of doing massage! My first experience of Thai Massage in 1996 was an inspiring revelation of the power and versatility of using feet and knees on a mat on the floor to provide phenomenal compression and stretches. It intuitively felt like a natural way to help clients and save my body long-term. Working in side position, inverted, sitting, supine, and prone positions, empowered me to help my clients more successfully. I immediately wanted to study Thai Massage with the best master teacher in Thailand.

My first Thai Massage was in Bangkok, past the saffron robed monks and golden temples, amidst pots of water filled with cut flowers, in a makeshift enclosure with no roof. The exotic scent of Thai herbal compresses and power of the Thai lady’s massage initiated me into the world of Thai physical therapies, which have continued to light up my healer’s heart.

When I began to study in 1999 in Thailand with my master teacher, Mr. Pichet Boonthumme, I was instantly impressed by the deepest massage I have ever received, along with his graceful and effortless style. Another student was a certified Rolfer from Colorado who told me that Thai Massage was a Thai version of Rolfing, or structural integration.

We highlight yoga-like stretches, to provide powerful muscle compression. In 2001, when I created the highly successful Thai Massage program at a world-class destination spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this point was underscored by one of my clients. He was a businessman who had traveled the world and experienced every type of massage, yoga, tai chi, and spa treatment. In the first few minutes, before I had done any stretches, and while I was warming up his legs with palm compressions and thumb walking, he lifted his head and exclaimed, “This is a fabulous massage!”

Likewise, a nurse commented, “The stretching of muscles and positioning allowed for much greater relaxation and relief of sore/aching muscles.” Another client said, “Very surprising! I came out limber and relaxed, but not numb or sleepy.”

I have been honored to use Thai physical therapies to help thousands of clients, including those rehabilitating from injuries. One client said, “Seemed to cure a problem that I have had for 4-6 months and had treated before by several massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.” Another said, “I was rear-ended and my Camaro was totaled… your treatment has helped me dramatically.”

Thai physical therapies are one component of Traditional Thai Medicine, which includes medicinal sciences, spiritual precepts and psychological approaches to improve wellbeing. Thai medical theory includes element theory, Sen (line) theory, and release points. We also use herbal compresses, balms and liniments, or cupping and scraping, and other techniques.

A professional ballet dancer and yoga instructor summed up Thai Massage by saying, “The most complete massage experience I’ve had…I had a sense that my whole being was massaged, rather than just muscles.”

James Peckham

James Peckham has been a full-time professional massage therapist since 1991 where he started in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a 1000-hour massage program. Since 1996, James has passionately devoted himself to Thai massage. During six study-tours to Thailand, he studied with and completed apprenticeships with top Thai master teachers. After practicing Thai massage for five years, he was approved as an instructor in 2001. He is an Instructor and Registered Thai Therapist with the Thai Healing Alliance International (THAI), the professional association for Thai massage. He has been a member of THAI at the highest level since its inception in 2006. James created the Thai massage program at Ten Thousand Waves, a world-class destination spa, and has been the resident Thai massage therapist at Ojo Caliente Spa. In addition, he has taught Thai massage extensively around the United States, and many students travel to study with him.

To reserve your spot in class, register at Regonline.


Course Description

Participants will learn Thai massage techniques and protocols selected from the 64-hour Thai massage basic certification course. You will learn to give a 50- to 80-minute customized Thai session. This experiential Introduction to Thai Massage will be taught in a safe and gentle learning environment, and will be rewarding and worthwhile, whether you choose to continue studying Thai Massage in the 64-hour course, or simply to broaden your understanding of this wonderful, one-of-a-kind form of massage.

You will experience the unique and comprehensive Thai approach to massage and bodywork, which is with inspiration and creativity. Thai massage is the bodywork component of traditional Thai medicine, which includes herbal remedies and a mind-body-spirit approach to healing. It differs from Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Learning Objectives:

  • To work effectively and comfortably on a mat on the floor, with clients clothed.
  • To combine pressure points, compression, joint movements, and stretches, to engage deep layers of muscle and myofascial tissue, and relieve clients’ physical pain and stress.
  • On clients in more positions than on the table, in supine, prone, side-lying, inverted and sitting positions.
  • To effortlessly use body weight for the maximum therapeutic benefit of our clients, and to save our bodies with sustainable body mechanics using our feet, knees, forearms and hands.
  • To add your own special blend of mindfulness, loving-kindness and healing intentions (that you already bring to individual massage practices).

After you’ve done much practice-practice-practice outside the classroom and you will develop your own personal style of deep massage and graceful moving meditation. All are welcome to join in this unique class, as we think outside the table-box and take our massage practice to the next level — on the floor, connected to the Earth.

To reserve your spot in class, register at Regonline.