Module 14 about rocking the hip is awesome. I've realized how much it relaxes the client. But it also strengthens my back and shoulders, especially since I do not use just a certain part of my body while rocking but my whole body. I have noticed that if it is done with just my arms and not muy whole body, you develop trigger points on your back and shoulders and it wears you out quick. Thai massage has opened up a whole new dimension for me since now I am developing more flexibility in my body while working on a client, even when I'm working on a table performing a regular massage.
One thing I noticed is the importance of keeping the subject's legs together while performing the rocking, especially if the client is a little larger than you are. Again, I have observed that while I work on my client, I also experience the stretching in my body as well. It is absolutely fantastic!
You are right, if you just use arms and muscle power, you will wear yourself out and develop pain in your own body. So many massage therapists have such problems since they never really learned how to take advantage of their natural body weight and how to work with the entire body instead of just with the arms. It sounds simple, but it can literally save your career. And it is not only applicable to Thai Massage, although there you can use it most effectively if you are working on the floor.
Module 15 is very important. The abdomen is a very critical part of the body where critical and important organs are located. Also, it is the center of the body, where energy and positive sources are located as well. One thing Shama mentions is how much this area is neglected even in different kinds of massage modalities. After watching the video, I had a thai masaage myself concentrating specifically on my abdomen. The next day I noticed that it even helped with a minor upper back annoyance I had caused by stomach acids spread in that area. It is amazing how the fluidity of thai massage from your feet to your head can bring so much physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Thanks Shama.
Abdominal work can definitely help with especially lower back issues. The abdomen is one of several areas in the body that are related to and impact many other areas. Those are feet, hands, ears, and abdomen. Foot work is well known for reflexology. It is less well known that hand and ear work has a similar effect. The far reaching effects of abdominal work have been documented very well in the Chi Nei Tsang system of bodywork, which is what my abdominal work is based on.
Bottom line is that you can work on one part of the body while impacting many other areas in the body. So massage, and definitely Thai Massage, is not just a localized method of manipulating tissue. It is a holistic system of moving energy while working on the body.
As always, the importance of the anatomy of the move and maintaining contact while transitioning are mentioned on Module 16. I have learned how to concentrate on my hara, feel the flow of energy from there. It really brings a sense of freedom, flexibility, power, energy flow, and transmission of that energy onto the client. On a side note, I felt a little strange the first time I put my foot under my subject's shoulder, on the armpit. I felt like I was going to cause some pain but after following Shama's instructions, I asked my client how they felt and the answer was very encouraging since they said it actually felt amazing, very relaxing for the shoulder. It was easy for me since I worked with my whole body. The same thing I felt when bending the client's elbows and hand on the mat. It is a little frightening when you do it the first time but getting feedback from the client is very reassuring.
Yes, some Thai Massage moves appear frightening when you have never seen them or done them. But as long as you follow the "Anatomy of a Thai Massage Move" principles, they all feel good and are effective. However if you don't follow those principles and do them in a mechanical way, they can feel as frightening as they look. That's why I place so much importance on those principles and why I talk about them so much. Without them Thai Massage can potentially be a painful and unpleasant experience.
Chapters 17 and 18 are very challanging but enjoyable too. Working on the amrs and hands is a great experience for many people. I myself enjoy that very much. One particular point Shama mentions is the importance of transition while massageing a client. The connection and the spiritual and energy flow should not be lost while doing that and this is something I pay much attention to. The therapist ideal state of relaxation is also a VERY important key. Many clients are intuitive too and can pick up your state of mind right away. Thanks again Shama.
I have completed chapters 19-21. 19 is a n overall reveiew. 20 and 21 are awesome ones about legs work in prone position. Each chapter is filled with challenges and excitement. I find myself discovering ways to improve my practice and to help my clients receive a massage that is unique and fulfilling. Following Shema's instructions brings a sense of assurance and confidence when trying new things. Thanks again!
Thanks for your support.
I have completed mod 22 on the prone legs and 23 on sacrum. I like the variety of stretches and the rocking and percussion variations. I use them now quite often. It works well for my height and weight. Practicing your guidelines is making me stronger than I am and I have noticed that it is also perfecting my balance. Thai massage is never a boring routine.
Good, you are 'getting in the groove' now. It is true, you develop better feeling, better balance and better ergonomics over time. Especially once you know the techniques well enough that you don't have to think about how to do them, you can focus more on other things like the 'anatomy of a massage move' principles.
Thanks so much Shama.
I have completed modules 24 and 25. It is unbelievable how much you can preserve your thumbs, hands, etc. when you follow the instructions on the videos, especially when you work on a big client. I have been using my arms for a while now, but watching Shama do it on the videos have broadened my knowledge. I had never used my knees to massage anyone, I was a bit hesitant when I tried it the first time. Of course, following Shama's guidelines really makes a huge difference. Moving on!!!!
I work on a big, massive, stiff client several hours every week. If I would have tried to do all this with my thumbs and hands, I would have been out of business a long time ago. In these sessions I use about 70 percent non-hands techniques. And he thinks it is great. Why otherwise would he keep coming back?
I know that many therapists have these ideas in the beginning, like "it is not polite to stick your foot under the arm", or " knees or elbows are too strong and painful", or "you cannot sit on someone's thighs". Well, I have been doing all those things for 14 years, nobody has complained yet, and people seek me out for therapy sessions. That should tell all those hesitant therapists something .
If you have the right skills, clients will actually admire you for being able to work in such unusual and effective ways. All they want is results, not the prettiest and most politically correct way to touch them! Clients would rather keep their favorite therapist than lose him or her to joint infections from overuse of hands and thumbs.
Wow! Shama really puts you right there where you need to be with his instructions and guidance. Modules 26 and 26 reassure the importance of ergonomics, body weight, and the use of not just your fingers or hands but also how much easier it is to work with your forearms. Also of importance is the variety of techniques you are presented with that you can use when working with slim people or big people. I find that very helpful since here in the US and especially in Florida where I live, we have lots of big people and working on them is not always easy. But Shama's orientation and instructions and examples shed new light onto how to go about different types of bodies. Once again, THANKS!!!!!!!!!
Yes, working with large clients has its challenges. That's where Thai Massage shines since you can get so much leverage on people and you can use so many body parts to work with. This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all system. Thai massage is incredibly adaptable and can be modified in so many ways. I choose forearms over the hands whenever possible on big clients. We have to protect our hands if we are to stay in this profession for a long time.
Thanks again Shama!
I have completed Modules 28-30. Great positions and techniques on 29 and 30. Loved the part about working on the legs with the client on the side position. By the way, what is the best type of Thai Massage Mat to use, since there are so many variations and kinds out there? I'm loving this more and more each time. Peace!
Regarding specific mats, I don't think I can be of much help since I have been in Thailand for so many years. I know exactly what mats to buy here, but I am not so familiar with what's available in other countries.
Just a couple of points: The mats should be fairly firm. Especially when you do techniques where you are standing, if the mat is too soft and wobbly, you cannot keep your balance. Second get the mat as big as possible. It is so much easier to work on a large surface. Personally what I do in my place is that I put two mats next to each other and then cover them with a big sheet.
I am so happy that you love this course and the practice more and more each time!
Thanks for all your support and guide Shama. You are a great instructor and a very inspiring person.
I have completed Modules 31-33. I was able to experience what you say on the videos about how uncomfortable the side position can be, but it certainly has some advantages when working on the shoulders. It takes some getting used to but once you master it, it's not so bad. Of course. as you mention on the instructional videos, getting feedback from the client is very important as well as your use of the whole body and ergonomics. I also agree with you on the part that ending the massage in a sitting position is not the ideal way since not all clients are flexible or very bendy. Great lessons.