This is an excerpt from the Big Program Manual. . .
At the beginning of every Thai treatment, take the time to ground yourself, set your intention and give wishes or prayers for healing. Take your time and do not rush this process. First, position yourself between the feet of your client. If you are comfortable on your heels, sit in that way. If you prefer sitting cross-legged or Thai style, that’s fine as well. Close your eyes and take a breath. Check in and scan your body and note your connection to the ground. Feel the sensations. Flow with the breath. Note any internal tension, let go what you are able and be okay with what you cannot. Note your mental state. Are you happy, sad, excited, nervous, tired, energized, or any other emotion you might feel. Don’t indulge them and don’t push them away, simply note them as they make themselves known in your body and mind. Once you have a clearer sense about where you are, take time to bring up feelings compassion for yourself, setting the intention to take it easy on yourself in the session. Know that you will do what you can but that you are only human and you can only do the best you can. Know that there is no way to know what benefit will come from the session but trust that it will help you and your client on both of your healing paths. Imagine yourself going through the session with ease and with strength and power. Imagine a happy experience for you and your Client.
Continue the compassion and lovingkindness meditation for your Client.
If you wish, you can do the Om Namo either a loud or silent, depending on your comfort level and the comfort level of your Client. You can do the whole thing or you can just repeat the last line three times. Na-a, Na-wa, roka, payatee, vina santi (I pray that all sickness and disease will be released from whom I touch).
Then, when you are done you can beginning rubbing your hands together to bring energy to your hands (don’t forget that you can do this at any time during the practice whenever your hands feel dull or tired).
The purpose of initial touch is to quickly establish an atmosphere of trust and caring with your Client. To let them know, through your touch, that you will be listening to their body. It is a reminder to yourself to soften and pay attention to their body as you are working.
To begin, rest your hands on the feet or legs of your Client and relax your fingers and palms. Don’t DO, just BE. Are you comfortable or are you holding in your body? Can you find a different position that would be more comfortable? Do you notice that when you are more comfortable you are more able to BE with your Client, that you are more sensitive to the reactions of your Client, and that your Client can more easily relax?
Use Initial Touch to adopt a meditative attitude that you can come back to on a regular basis throughout the massage. As you touch your Client’s body for the first time, feel the skin – is it smooth or rough, warm or cold, moist or dry? Feel the contours of the bones and note their shape. Feel if there is any resistance to your touch or if you notice any holding in their hips, legs or feet. Don’t try to fix it. Just note it. Breathe in and breathe out. Note if any tension in your body came up when you made your first contact. Where is that tension coming from? Is it possible that they are tense and you have taken it on? Is it possible that they have expectations that you are not sure if you can meet? Do you feel like you need to heal them or fix their pain (talk about putting pressure on yourself!) If this is the case, note it, exhale and let it go.
As the treatment begins and you move around the body, use Initial Touch when you can. In other words, every time you move to a new place in the body, wait a moment while you check in with yourself, note tension in your hands, body or breath, and in this way you once again remind your Client that you are listening.
Initial touch is a good time to come to grips with these emotions and feelings so you can be clear about them and be more present when you move forward with the meditation of the massage. It is a good time to remind yourself to pay attention and soften your body and mind. It is a time when you are establishing the groundwork of the non-verbal communication that you will employ for the duration of the treatment. It is a time to establish trust and the allowance of two-way communication. It is when you silently tell your Client. . . “my hands are listening”.