Thai Massage Certification and Certificate Program Information

Thai massage is a type of massage bodywork, originating in India in the time of Buddha, which uses principles of acupressure and yoga. A certificate in Thai massage can often be completed in a year or less.

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Essential Information

Depending on the school, a high school education and an age minimum may be the only requirements for enrollment in a Thai certificate program. Nearly every state in the U.S. requires massage therapists to be certified, which requires work experience and a training program. Classes cover the different positions and styles used in this form of massage therapy.

Individual courses, often offered as part of continuing education, may also result in a certificate on completion. Some schools offer seminars that take place in Thailand, where students have a week of Thai massage classes from Thai teachers. A number of Thai massage programs in the U.S. were started by Thai professionals, and many courses are still taught by them. Some online courses and programs may be available.

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Certification in Thai Massage

In addition to the basic techniques of Thai massage, courses in this program cover the history of its practice and the theory of Eastern healing. The following courses are common to a number of Thai massage programs.

  • Seated and back position techniques
  • Side and front position techniques
  • Thai foot massage
  • Thai herbal and table massage
  • Theory of traditional Chinese medicine
  • Therapeutic Thai massage

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reports an expected 22% increase in employment of massage therapists between 2014 and 2024, which was higher than the national average for other occupations. As of May 2015, the average annual earnings for massage therapists were $43,170.

Continuing Education

Massage therapy certification can be earned by taking a test administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The certification is valid for four years and requires completion of continuing education classes and documented work experience in order to recertify. NCBTMB standards are also used to award licensure in many states.

As of 2009, 42 states required massage therapists to be licensed in order to practice professionally. Schools that have programs for Thai massage often have seminars and continuing education courses for practitioners. Attendees can learn new techniques and study other forms of massage.

Certification courses in Thai massage cover the techniques and history of this ancient practice and prepares student to enter the fast-growing field of massage therapy. Depending on where you live, state licensure a massage therapist may be required.

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