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Mud to Lotus 200 Hour Thai Massage Training

May 4 to June 1 2024

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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“Suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud... the best thing we have to offer another person is our true presence.”   


No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering - by Thich Nhat Hanh

Why Professional Thai Massage?

Thai massage, a beautiful artful bodywork modality with deep historical roots, is practiced typically on a mat on the floor with both client and practitioner fully clothed, usually without oil. 


The practice of Thai massage offers profound benefits for both client and practitioner, naturally cultivating deep sensitivity, vitality and mobility for the whole body, often described as moving meditation, a beautiful dance, offering:

  • Deep myofascial therapy

    • efficient stretches free stuck fascia

  • Tissue vitality

    • compression encourages healthy circulation, bringing nourishment and clearing waste

  • Joint mobilization

    • restore balanced healthy ranges of motion

  • Use of body weight, leverage and traction 

    • release adhesions in shoulders, low back and beyond with sensitivity and control

  • Flexible body positioning

    • choose to work in supine, side, seated with many ways to adapt for clients large, small, tight, flexible...

  • Specific acupressure techniques

    • use appropriate anatomical tools for sustainable and powerful specific point work 

  • Abdominal massage

    • gentle yet powerful work with belly tissues and organs in support of mobility and digestion

  • Deep parasympathetic activation

    • support deep healing and rest - clients commonly fall asleep

  • The beautiful experience

    • our practice is artful as it is skillful

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It's a great delight and honor to invite you to join us in Santa Fe this spring for the first Mud to Lotus 200hr Professional Thai Body Therapy training!

This program offers a unique and practical opportunity to go deep together on increasing our understanding of the body and our practical skills of how to work therapeutically, especially emphasizing support of healthy movement patterns.  

I'd love to help you develop your skills and cultivate your practice. 

For me it is truly a dream coming true to share my passion for the body and this practice with you and to build community with you and other body-wise professionals as we move forward and support each other on our paths to professional and therapeutic excellence with Thai massage.

If you have any questions, please reach out, I would love to hear from you, and thank you for this opportunity to support you on your journey!


- Ahna Ma

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Our Method

Even in Thailand today there are many "traditional" styles - northern, southern, royal, common - and in the last 30 years, Thai massage has become popular worldwide, now practiced and studied by osteopaths, yogis, acrobats and movement artists, many of whom now teach and bring additional layers of understanding to the practice.  Where do we begin?

We begin with a simple question for the client:  "How are you feeling in your body today?" 

Our style of Thai massage emphases at it's core a practice of deeply listening, sensing, feeling.  We move together with the client's body as one, such that the assessment process is continuous, even during the practice the deeply therapeutic techniques we remaining relaxed and tuned in, present and listening.   Many practitioners describe their practice as a deep moving meditation.  

We also study, deepening our understanding of how our bodies move, where the limits are, where things might get a little stuck, and with time we gain insight how to apply movement and therapeutic techniques skillfully to unlock deep therapeutic benefits.  

The techniques themselves do not need to be so fancy - anybody can learn how to work with these fundamental principles of how to move from the core in a relaxed way, how to use body weight not only to push but to pull and lean, how apply specific pressure efficiently by stacking bones and moving from the hips.  Anyone can learn these principles as not only the foundation for effective and efficient Thai massage but the principles may also be applied to any bodywork modality, including the table massage.  

They say best massages are with practitioners who are "highly intuitive" - if that's the case, how might we cultivate our intuition?  Simply, we practice.  We practice on many bodies - we practice until at some point along the way we know without thinking the techniques, we can feel the body and know intuitively how to move together.  

The purpose of the Mud to Lotus method is to train the skills and embodied understanding to perform intuitive therapeutic Thai massage on any body professionally and sustainably.  

The method is based on an integration of 20 years of ongoing study and practice of movement of the body, and the techniques and sequences are refined, effective, efficient, proven, practical, and professional.  

What is it mean to be professional in the West today, practicing a traditional healing art from the East?  It is more than just to take a trip, take a course and charge money for a service.  We honor the traditional intentions and boundaries of traditional Thai massage, while also honoring the therapeutic intentions and boundaries of the Massage Therapy profession in the United States.  We honor and respect both the Massage Therapy Code of Ethics as well as the codes of ethics from the Buddhist medicine roots of Thai massage, as well as all of the local and state laws governing our profession.

In honor of all these perspectives, we emphasize the importance of a strong, clear, healthy therapeutic relationship where the practitioners hold a stable safe container - a necessary condition for the client and therapist to both enjoy maximum benefits and healthy integration of their practice. 


200 hours.  One month.  Your Professional Thai Massage Journey Includes:

Thai Body Therapy Student Clinic

The capstone experience for the program experience is for students to work in a clinic, supervised by their instructors, where they will have the opportunity to work on many different bodies. 

The students may also invite their family and friends to book sessions at the clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico - clinic days for the next class are May 22- June 1 

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Our Team

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200 Hour

Thai Body Therapy Training

All classes run six days a week.  We will organize a shared food option for healthy breakfasts and lunches.  Sundays are days off, students may elect to join day trips to gorgeous Northern New Mexico during these days off.  

Week 1

Technique Development

In the first week, we embody the key principles of a sustainably effective and efficient professional practice.  Each day we have a movement practice, anatomy lectures, palpation exercises, techniques for the foot and ankle, the leg, the thigh and knee, the pelvis and hips, guided sequences, and on the sixth day for review and extended student practicum.

Week 3

Sequencing & Clinic 1

We begin week 3 with focus on sequencing, learning and practicing how to give a complete session within a specified time period.  We will emphasize the 50, 75, and 90 minute session length formats, how to pace ourselves and give balanced sessions with a clear opening and close.  The students have at this point a practical exam where they massage a teacher and are evaluated for clinical readiness.  The latter part of week 3 the students begin work in the supervised Thai massage student clinic on real clients.  

Week 2

Technique Development

We continue learning Thai massage technique in the second week with techniques for the abdomen and chest, the spine and ribcage, the head, neck and jaw, the shoulder and arm, the elbow, wrist and hand.  Each day we will move, study, practice, and integrate, culminating in a review of all techniques and a final extended student practicum.

Week 4

Herbal Compress and Clinic 2

The last week begins with a two day course on the herbal compress, learning how to make and use them therapeutically.  The last part of the week the students return to the clinic where they may incorporate the use of the herbal compress with their Thai massage.  

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"Thai massage is something I knew absolutely nothing about before taking the courses with Ahnama.  It has turned into one of the coolest, most practical and effective ways to work.  I love moving my body in ways I didn't know I could, using techniques that are powerful and effective integrating the science of anatomy and kinesiology to guide my approach to treatment.  I recognize the benefits to client and therapist, and I love having the opportunity to be part of this amazing practice."

Thai Body Therapy Student November 2023

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