500-hour Traditional Thai Massage Program

We ensure our students receive the specialized education, tools, and skills required to succeed as a traditional Thai massage therapist.

Bodhi Panya Institute~The Bay Area’s Only School Focusing On Traditional Thai Massage. After ten years, we observed a fast-growing Thai massage industry and an increased desire among our colleagues and Thai massage clients who want to learn the authentic, traditional practice of traditional Thai massage. Our intensive program offered year-round with a flexible schedule: full-time/ part-time.

The 500-hour massage program that provides the highest quality training, solid foundation in traditional Thai massage, and prepares students to take the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) test. After satisfying all applicable licensing requirements students will have gained the skills to pursue a career as a full-time or part-time professional massage therapist, either on their own, in a spa or with their own massage business.

Benefits of Enrollment:

  • Upon completion of our comprehensive 500-Hour Traditional Thai Massage Program students will be prepared for a career as a massage therapist (subject to compliance with state and local licensing regulations)
  • Students receive the skills necessary to teach, work for a massage business or run their own business.
  • Students learn massage, anatomy, body mechanics, ethics, and practical business skills such as marketing, billing, insurance etc.
  • Students receive training and practice in preparation for the requirements of the California Massage Therapy Council to become a Certified Massage Therapist (CAMTC) as well as other certifications by the Thai Healing Alliance, National Certification Board and San Francisco City/County.

anatomy, physiology & kinesiology (APK)

Prerequisite: NONE

This course includes an introduction to anatomy and physiology and the basic structure and function of the muscular and their action, skeletal and integumentary systems of the human body. Students will learn terminology and functional anatomical structures with a detailed study of the origin, insertion and action of the major muscles of the human body. Also study of the movement of the body parts. This course is perhaps one of the more critical courses in order for students to fully understand the human musculoskeletal system, how it functions along with its limitations.

Having completed 65 hours of instruction in anatomy, physiology & kinesiology, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the terms and concepts related to basic anatomy and physiology Including the structural levels of the body and the structure and function of cells, tissues, and membranes.

Pathology & Contraindications

Prerequisite: NONE

Student will learn how to assess a patient’s posture. Starting at the feet, then ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, neck and position of head they will begin to learn about how certain postures lead to pathological conditions that eventually lead to pain. In class a plumb line with horizontal lines as a backdrop will be utilized in order to assess each other’s posture. Utilizing the Egoscue Method, each student will determine which of four general structural conditions each classmate fits into. From determining the specific structural condition students will practice specific movement/exercises that can be prescribed to address the identified condition. 24 hours of instruction on massage cautions and contraindications.

Swedish Massage

Prerequisite: NONE

This course introduces students to the basic skills needed in Swedish massage therapy. Open to new students of massage therapy, this course will provide the foundation that the student will use throughout the program and into the field. Students will learn basic muscle manipulation.

Having completed 36 hours of instruction and practice in Swedish massage techniques, the student will effectively perform a 1 to 1.5 hr. full-body Swedish massage session with the traditional sequencing of Swedish massage strokes, and with attention to time management, safe and comfortable client positioning, proper draping, smooth transitions, professional client communication, and good body mechanics.


Prerequisite: Basic Thai massage (42-hr), Swedish massage (18-hr)

Thai aroma massage is integrates methods using a Western and Eastern modality, based upon ancient Thai massage philosophy. Student learns to integrate Thai-style deep massage, yoga stretching with western-style Swedish massage, and adapting techniques, develop a personal style.

The course will cover:

  • Introduction to Thai aroma massage Theories and Thai Culture
  • Body mechanics massage position,technique, step and procedure
  • Precaution and Prohibition of Thai Aroma Massage

Prerequisite: Traditional Thai massage (60 hours), Swedish massage (30 hours)


Prerequisite: NONE

Students learn the fundamental concepts, history, and philosophy of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing system in which Thai Massage has its historical roots. This course will be hands-on and gives the student an understanding of the use of pressure points and assisted yoga stretching to improve range of motion, which is a well-known benefit in Thai massage. Students will learn using thumb, hands, palms, elbows, knees and feet with bending and stretching in different yoga positions.

Thai massage techniques include:

  • Yoga stretching
  • Rhythmic rocking
  • Range of motion work
  • Joint rotation and decompression
  • Sen line theory: pressure along ten key energy lines

In this form of massage, the recipient is fully clothed in a loose-fitting top and pants. The massage consists primarily of bending and stretching movements that stretch the recipient in yoga postures. No oil used. The massage is performed in a completely open room, on a mat on the floor. Traditionally, a Thai massage sequence lasts 2 hours for health maintenance. Students will be able to customize a shorter session. At Bodhi Panya Institute, we teach 140 sequence Wat Po style traditional Thai massage for general health maintenance and well-being, like the way it is taught Thailand.


Prerequisite: Anatomy, Physiology & Kinesiology (36-hr), Pathology and Contraindications (12-hr)

This course will be hands-on and will give students an understanding of the use of deeper strokes. including trigger point, myofascial release, cross fiber friction, the ability to use variations techniques, stroke direction and depth, work fascia in all directions, work slowly and wait for the tissue to unwind, and smooth transitions.

Students will learn:

  • Techniques to treat myofascial pain and dysfunction, restoring optimal muscle resting length, and reducing or normalizing muscular tension.
  • Myofascial approaches to release fascial restrictions, reduce scar tissue, treat compensating structures and promote postural balance and pain-free movement.
  • General cautions, conditions, situations and contraindication that require session adaptations.
  • Client assessment: client interview, palpation assessment, posture assessment, range of motion assessment and making a plan to have the best possible massage session and , adaptations to address the client’s specific needs.


Prerequisite: Basic Thai Massage (42-hr)

Herbal healing has deep roots in Thai culture. Herbal heat compress is the best-known traditional therapy. This dates back to ancient times when it was the secret healing technique of Buddhist monks, local herbal healers and midwives. The herbal heat compress contains numerous healing herbs that complement the massage. Traditional Thai medicine uses herbal heat compression for the treatment of sprains, muscle pain, bruises and swelling. Used in postnatal care treatment: reduces swelling, drains waste, ideal for a mother recovering from pregnancy.

Benefits of herbal massage:

  • Relieves and soothes tired, aching muscles
  • Deep-heat therapy provides extra healing benefits
  • Stress relief
  • Relaxation


Prerequisite: NONE

Foot massage is an ancient Chinese massage and has been in use for more than 3,000 years. The theory is that the sensory nerves of the body’s inner organs are spread throughout the body and are connected to the most superficial layer of the body such as the skin. All sensory nerves are rooted primarily at the bottom of the foot. Massaging and pressing specific points on the soles of the feet associated with particular organs produces a therapeutic effect in corresponding parts of the body, helps stimulate activities of the inner organs and improves blood and lymph circulation. Massage techniques combine acupressure, lower legs stretching, massage from the feet up (including the knees), and reflexology using massage cream and oil applied with a wooden stick.


Prerequisite: NONE

Students learn to build a professional image as a massage therapist. Topics will include certification and licensing along with preventing inappropriate advances and contact of an inappropriate nature. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to apply laws and regulations regarding massage therapy on both the state and Local government levels. Students will know the difference between a Certification, Permit and Business license pertaining to conducting massage therapy. Professional organizations that provide insurance, tools for students to start and running a business are presented in this course. The means to access trade and professional information, science and information relating to massage and the profession are also presented. Students will be taught the ethics involved with massage therapy, and the best practices in addressing situations that they may be introduced to.


The Clinic is by appointment only; students will give the Clinic Supervisor his or her hours of availability to schedule clients.

Bodhi Panya Institute’s clinical hours are designed to give students hands-on experience with real world massage while under the supervision of our instructors. This practical requirement gives students an opportunity to apply their massage technique on varying body types. Students will work with clients, customer service, assessments, problem solve homework/self-care, notation, filing, client confidentiality, referrals, and working with physician notes.

Prerequisite: All core coursework must be satisfactorily completed before a student can schedule Clinic hours.