There have been many people who claim the best massage to ever try is traditional Thai massage. Unlike Chinese and Western massage practices, this massage is vigorous. Deep breathing by the person receiving the massage is just the beginning of the work done by the recipient. The masseuse trained in Thai massage will work hard to find and relieve every knot of muscle tension. Many people claim they feel like a new person once the massage is complete.
Training for this traditional skill takes a number of hours to master. Basic courses are generally 30 hours each. There are at least 4 of them, so plan on taking a minimum of 120 hours of training in order to qualify for a basic certification. These are only for basic courses in the country's traditional massage. They do not include advanced training or training in massage skills used in other countries.
To truly master this type of massage, advanced courses are recommended. Certification for a combination of basic and advanced courses takes up to 300 hours of training. These hours are spent in the classroom, learning the skills necessary to practice. Some schools do allow the general public to attend so students can receive practical work experience. Checking with the local school will tell the potential student how much practical experience they will receive.
Many traditional massage schools in Thailand have recognized a need to learn the skills of other cultures. Some offer training in massage techniques such as aroma therapy and hot oil massages as practiced in other countries. There are schools that offer specialized training for items such as foot massage. Each school is different, and students should take the time to explore all options before deciding which course they will take. Government certification is important for those that want to practice massage after they have passed their courses.