Thai Bodywork Apprenticeship

Traditional Thai Bodywork Apprenticeship in Bloomington IN - Indiana.

Traditional Thai Apprenticeship


In-depth Traditional Thai Bodywork training apprenticeships in Foundations, Advanced, and Therapeutic Thai Bodywork emphasize the element of healing. Thai apprenticeships are intensive and focus on helping students think and treat at the therapeutic level rather than learning acrobatics and modern techniques. Unlike large massage therapy programs, students have the opportunity to study one-to-one with the instructor—courses are taught in Bloomington Indiana in a Thai-style apprenticeship through watching, practicing, and repeating as we believe that no teachers are better than time, practice and experience.


As in any studies, a solid foundation is necessary in order to build upon and expand one's knowledge, understanding and skills. Foundations Thai Bodywork Training introduces the student to the fundamentals of Thai bodywork and its relationship to Thai medicine, as well as developing sensitivity of touch and skills of listening and observation. Advanced Thai Bodywork Training expands the student's knowledge and provides a deeper understanding of Thai bodywork and its varied applications. Therapeutic Thai Bodywork Training refines student skills and focuses on treatments for specific conditions and long-term therapy. It is expected that students at this level will demonstrate not only skill but also compassion and a willingness to continue learning despite the knowledge they have gained. Perhaps most importantly, students will gain a cultural respect for the healing modality they are studying by practicing it and representing it with recognition of the Thai medical tradition which Nuad Borarn (Thai bodywork) is part of: It is not Thai Yoga, Thai Yoga Therapy, Thai Yoga Massage, Lazy Man's Yoga, or any number of other westernized marketing terms. The Thais are fiercely proud of their medical tradition, and we hope to honor and respect their ancient traditions rather than diluting them. 


  • Reusi Dat Ton is the foundation and origin of Nuad Borarn. Each morning training begins with a gentle Reusi Dat Ton practice as a traditional way to ready the body and focus the mind for the day ahead.


  • Learn treatment methods from Northern & Southern traditions of Thai Bodywork. 

  • ​Modifying and adapting for specific conditions, illnesses, age groups. Correctly and gently applying Thai skills rather overlaying westernized models of therapy.

  • Using the breath as part of a relaxed, contemplative, and therapeutic treatment. Less is more.

  • Understanding proper body mechanics and protecting the back, shoulders, hips, hands. Effective and safe use of thumbs, feet, elbows, knees, body weight.

  • Developing touch and sensitivity in Thai bodywork rather than simply 'attacking' a problem. Students will learn to observe the body and person as a whole and work accordingly. A strong emphasis is placed on proper palpation techniques, sensitivity of touch, correct acupressure points and wind-gate locations. All training levels emphasize these qualities as they are paramount in the Thai healing tradition. 

Nuad Borarn takes years to assimilate, refine, and learn to use safely. Traditionally, a student studied directly with a master-teacher for years (over a decade!) before being allowed to practice. The skills learned were not considered 'techniques' as we call them today—instead, they were part of the vast Thai medicine tradition which included: understanding and working according to Sen lines and 'Lom' blockages, an entirely different system from that of Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine; applying herbal compresses, tinctures, salves, or ingesting extractions and diffusions; addressing psychosocial issues and spiritual unrest; ensuring proper diet based on a specific understanding of the person as a whole.

To treat someone safely and gently, let alone using appropriate skills and knowledge, was not something acquired in a few days... It was a deep, heartfelt study, over years. Traditional Thai doctors, or mo'borarn, will still quickly correct or outright criticize a student after decades of study and practice if they feel that the work is ego-driven, inappropriate to the context and client indications, and based upon 'doing' rather than careful, thoughtful treatment.

Therapeutic Thai Bodywork training is a serious commitment, both mentally and physically. For your sake we ask that you be fit, well, and dedicated to your practice. Healing is an art. Learning a healing art is a path in sincerity, compassion, and dedication to one's practice. The body is a whole, the sum of its parts... and more. We work on a human being, not a body. Our teaching approach is mindful of the very important relationship between practitioner and client. As practitioners, teachers, and students, we must cultivate and practice patience, compassion and understanding. Perhaps the most necessary, yet difficult task is to master ourselves in order to be better students and practitioners. This said, students are expected to arrive on time, in good humor, and ready to learn.

Apprenticeship Requirements

*Apprenticeships are currently suspended due to COVID*

  • A minimum of two years is required for practice, reflection, and study.

  • Scheduling with the instructor must be done at least a year in advance, after an interview and acceptance as an apprentice. Admittance is limited.

  • Applicant must be a licensed bodyworker and have prior experience as a Thai practitioner. 

Nuad Borarn takes years to assimilate, refine, and learn to treat appropriately and safely. Traditionally, a student studied directly with a master-teacher for years before being allowed to practice. As pop-up workshops and online short-form courses become the new, accepted norm, we are withdrawing from providing regular CE approved trainings in an effort to sustain authentic teaching. Any further apprenticeships will maintain the required minimum two-year training period and will be offered at our discretion based upon a student's interest and commitment in maintaining the Thai tradition—rather than simply adding a new technique to their portfolio.