Ananda Apfelbaum is a national and international Thai Massage instructor, a certified Thai Massage therapist and a New York State licensed massage therapist. She is the author of one of the foremost books on Thai Massage, “Thai Massage, Sacred Bodywork” (Avery of Penguin & Putnam, 2003) and is the producer of “Thai Massage, Sacred Bodywork,” 2003, a Thai Massage instructional DVD. Ananda currently is on the staff of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where she teaches Thai massage. In addition, she runs her own training programs for Thai Massage Sacred Bodywork studies and maintains a private practice of NYC clientele.
Ananda was an instructor at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY for a decade (1993 – 2003). She also taught the Thai Yoga Massage Training Program at Ashtanga Yoga Shala, NYC from 2002 – 2007. Ananda has taught Thai Massage courses, classes and workshops at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, Worcester, MA, The Breathing Project, NYC, The Yoga Studio, Toronto, Canada, the Body of Truth, Kingston, NY, the Academy of Massage Therapy, NJ, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC, Casa Yoga, Laredo, TX, Dzen Spa, Sofia, Bulgaria and at the Fujin Center, Kyoto, Japan. For more information on workshops, click here.
Ananda began her massage studies at the Swedish Institute of New York City and graduated from there in 1989. She then traveled to Thailand, China, and Japan to study Eastern bodywork. In Thailand, Ananda trained with some of Thailand’s foremost Thai Massage masters, including the late Ashokananda, the late Chaiyuth Priyasith, Chongkol Settakorn at the Institute of Thai Massage, and master healer and teacher Pichest Boonthumme whose style she now emulates. Ananda created the original manual used by Pichest Boonthumme to teach his students Thai Massage and has often been his teaching assistant. In 1992 Ananda received certification as a Thai Massage therapist from the renown Buntautuk Traditional Hospital in Chiangmai, northern Thailand. To book a Thai Massage Session with Ananda, click here.
Ananda also studied Shiatsu at the Ohashi Institute, NYC as well as in Japan at the Kansai Shiatsu Center and the Asahi Cultural Center. She also studied Tuina in China at the Yue-Yang Hospital in Shanghai. Back in the US, Ananda studied reflexology at the Laura Norman & Associates Reflexology Center in New York City.
Ananda has been featured for her Thai Massage work in Time Magazine and on Canadian television in Toronto Tonight, Toronto Today, and Toronto Life.
Ananda has been a professional dancer and an award-winning photographer. She received a BA in dance from the prestigious Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Madras, India and was awarded scholarships three times from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for advanced training in Odissi (a style of Indian temple dance). Ananda performed Odissi in India, Europe, and the US. Ananda later received a grant from the American Institute for Indian Studies, Chicago to photographically document Odissi dance. Ananda also was awarded a grant from the Lyman Fund to photograph Tibetans. Her photography has been exhibited at the India International Center, the American Embassy, Lalit Kala Akademi and the Omega Institute. In 1999, her Tibetan photographs were published, as a calendar and card-line called, “In the Heart of Prayer,” by Amber Lotus Publishing Company, San Francisco.
Ananda is also the founder and director of the Tibetan Relief Project, Inc. (TRP), a non-profit organization established in 1997 to help destitute Tibetans with education and medical care. Her project has helped many Tibetans in India, Nepal and Tibet. Ananda created an educational slide show on Tibet to raise awareness of the Tibetan situation. She recently studied Tibetan language for two semesters at Tibet University in Lhasa, Tibet.
Ananda currently lives in New York City where she continues to practice and teach classes on Thai Massage. Side by side she continues her work as the director of the Tibetan Relief Project.