James Wise

I studied Thai yoga massage under Kira Balaskas at The School of Thai Yoga Massage in London. I was awarded my Practitioner Level Certificate in 2009 and in 2010 completed my ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Anatomy & Physiology. During my training I completed 60 hours of contact training outside of the classroom, as well as frequent practise sessions between classes, in what is arguably the most in-depth and comprehensive Traditional Thai Yoga Massage training in the UK.

My journey to Thai massage

It was through a few massages I received myself that led me to learning Thai yoga massage. The first, a Swedish massage in Egypt, showed me that massage could make you feel like you’d ‘had a holiday’. Even though I was on one, this single thing felt like it had done me more good than anything else. Then, on my second visit to Thailand in 2007 I had a “Seeing Hands” massage in Cambodia. This form of massage resembled Thai and was very firm, but conducted on a table. I was more amazed at the whole Seeing Hands project than anything else – Seeing Hands train blind people in massage so that they can make an independent living. It was at the airport before flying back that I had the Thai massage that convinced me to learn it. Unusually it was conducted in a chair and the practitioner actually washed my feet before starting! It blew me away – something in me just “lifted”. I realised that I needed this in my life, regularly and that the best way to do that would be to learn it.

A helping hand

Ever since I visited a Lahu hill tribe village on my first trip to South East Asia in 1999 I realised I wanted to help people. We helped heal a girl’s leg that she had burned on the village moped and had become infected. We just used a basic first aid pack we had with us, but the simple sense of pride this gave me, as well as the villagers’ gratitude showed me that there is no better feeling and nothing more fulfilling than helping people. When I decided to learn Thai massage I must admit I was mostly thinking about helping myself, but I did have a desire to help other people. I just googled courses and found an introductory day in North London – it was on this course that I met Kira and it seemed to me fortuitous that she had learned her skill in a Lahu village near Chiang Mai. So, following that one day course, I signed up for the Practicioner course.

Just the beginning

I realise now that this was just the beginning of the journey. It has led me to a whole world of complimentary therapists, new friends and colleagues all exchanging treatments, ideas and techniques. I have a growing client base and am learning more and more about treating people with every session I give. Most recently I attended a Thai massage with oils course and have now added this as one of my services.



Here you can see a vide of my teacher, Kira Balaskas demonstrating and explaining more about Thai yoga massage.