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Abigail Guzman's Thai Massage Hip Therapy
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Abigail Guzman
Trinidad and Tobago
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August 31, 2018 - 2:43 pm
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Module 1

After watching this video I got a better understanding of the mechanics and anatomy of the hip. I usually refer to this body part a lot during my yoga classes as I understand it to be an integral part of an individual's mobility and flexibility. This video has further equipped me with techniques to figure out imbalances in the hips. Even though it was easy to tell which hip is tighter during a Thai massage session, the anatomical tests using the feet is such a great way to determine this before starting to work on the hip area. 

You mentioned that when there is a problem or restriction it is generally an area and not a muscle. Could it also be that when someone has pain / restriction, the site of the pain is not necessarily where the problem is? 

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Shama
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August 31, 2018 - 3:30 pm
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Hi Abigail, welcome to our community and to the Thai Hip Therapy certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

Certainly the problem can be elsewhere and not where the pain is. A good example is sciatica where the problem might be in the lower lumbar area, and the pain is felt all along the leg.

Another example could be if a women wears high heels, shortening her calf muscle and achilles tendon, and in the process throws her entire spine out of alignment which could result in all kinds of back or neck pain.

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Abigail Guzman
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September 1, 2018 - 5:19 am
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Module 2

A very great reminder that the pressure is generated by leaning in and using body weight. This is something that I have to polish up in my practice.   Now that I know how to check for the imbalance in the hip I tried the hip rocking before applying pressure on a client and she loved the change. She is quite sensitive and tight in the hip area so the rocking made a great difference. It made the area less tense so I was able to work on it with more ease. I am also glad that you explained how to treat with the internal rotation and external of the hip. Usually I would do the same movement on both sides but this clearly makes more sense because both sides may not necessarily need the same type of manipulation. The different rocking techniques are really important as previously I generally not do too much manipulation with a person who is bigger than I am. These give me many different options. Will be doing a massage on a weightier client next week and I hope to use these rocking techniques. 

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Shama
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September 1, 2018 - 12:24 pm
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The rocking techniques really open Thai Massage up to a much larger clientele. They can be done on very sensitive or very stiff clients, and in general they are great for leading into stretches. On very tight people it can be best to only do the rocking.

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Abigail Guzman
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September 10, 2018 - 8:31 pm
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Module 3

I like the variety of techniques to create pressure on the hip area. I usually used the heels of the hands and it could be a bit challenging when working with someone who is bigger. The use of the knees and the feet are great because it saves my hands from over use. I also feel like I am saving my own energy by using those body parts that can generate more pressure. One of the things that I am grateful for in this lesson is the attention to the angles when working on the hips. It is something that I have never really paid attention to. I have a question concerning working on male clients hip area: Is it only the angled position where the knee is bent over your leg that is to be avoided on males or anything that is too near the hip? In my training we were cautioned to generally stay away from men's hip area. I have not had many male clients and with those that I have had, I generally stay about halfway down the thigh area. I am also very cautious in advertising to males. Maybe it is my western upbringing and what constitutes a taboo? What are your thoughts on this? 

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Shama
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September 10, 2018 - 10:27 pm
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My thoughts about this subject are expressed in this video:

'Touchy' Issues In Thai Massage

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Abigail Guzman
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September 12, 2018 - 8:10 pm
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Thanks for the video on Touchy Issues.  It puts things into perspective from a therapist's point of view as my no list zone was blocking me from doing a good massage that has fluidity to it. I think that that having all those preconceived notions can transfer to the client as you mentioned and interrupt the flow. I have never looked at it that way. It is something I need to work on but this helped a lot

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Abigail Guzman
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September 12, 2018 - 8:32 pm
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Module 4

I am glad for this information of using the pie to divide the range of motion of the hips. I have to admit that this gives many, many more options for working on the hip area than what i had done in my previous course. I  tried the pie technique on a client and it made a big difference. This is because there is the option to rock before applying pressure which my client really liked. Usually the hips  - especially on the left side are a tough area for her but when I tried it, the hip muscles were able to relax a lot easier. I would love to explore Thai rocking massage more. I only know about it from what I have done thus far in this course but as far as I can see it works wonders. 

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Shama
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September 12, 2018 - 9:05 pm
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The rocking is an essential part of my style of Thai Massage. I don't have to convince you since you figured that out already. Smile

I guess you know that I made a Thai Rocking Massage course which goes much deeper into the various rocking options. You might consider that for the future.

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Abigail Guzman
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September 13, 2018 - 9:03 pm
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Module 5

I am definitely considering the  Thai Rocking Massage course as my next course. I found that the steps in this lesson are easy to follow. There are so many options that I can adapt to suit the different body types and I am also glad that it gives me different things to do rather than the same routine. Was  able to practice the stronger abductor stretches on a fellow yoga instructor and she really loved it as her hips are more open.  For my regular client with tighter hips I wouldn't venture into that just yet. She is quite content with the rocking as it is lighter pressure. I have one concern with the blood stop. During my previous training we were told that it should not be used on persons with heart problems or women who are on their menstrual cycle. What are your thoughts on this? I know you said in the lesson that it is not really a blood stop, it just lessens the flow. Are there contraindications to consider? 

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Shama
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September 13, 2018 - 9:19 pm
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The 'blood stop' is kind of an unfortunate name. It should be called something like 'Chi flow accelerator' or 'energy flow booster', then it wouldn't scare the living daylights out of people. Frown

It does not stop the blood flow. It creates a temporary slow down which results in an accelerated blood and energy boost for a short while. There could be contraindications like blood clots, strong varicose veins, or heart problems. There are no hard and fast rules here, but a good general rule is that it is better to be safe than sorry. Or - if in doubt, get out (this rhymes better). In other words, if you have knowledge of any condition which might be negatively impacted by this technique, just skip it. Like all Thai Massage techniques, this is an option to choose from, not a mandatory sequence.

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Abigail Guzman
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September 13, 2018 - 9:53 pm
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Yes I remember you mentioned varicose veins in the lesson. I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry. 

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Abigail Guzman
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September 24, 2018 - 2:34 am
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Module 6

The first stretch in this video for tight hips really got great reviews. It is very effective as it is a great way to tell where the tight spots are located in the hip flexors. The person I practice on has really tight hips so I could not use a lot of pressure. I found that even with little pressure it is effective. The pie slices are also great because they allow for checks with every possible range of motion. I think it helped me to give more effective massages as I am able to quickly notice tight areas and work on them. I can't stop talking about the variety of options that help me navigate different body sizes and weights that are different from mine. There are so many that my massages feel different to my regulars.

I appreciate the feedback from a previous post where I expressed my concerns with massaging men. I know I have a long way to go but I was able to book a couple massages with men and felt quite comfortable with the advice given.

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Shama
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September 24, 2018 - 12:00 pm
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This sounds encouraging. You have more options, you are becoming more effective, and you are more comfortable with working on men. This is clearly going in the right direction. Smile

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Abigail Guzman
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September 25, 2018 - 9:23 pm
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Module 7

Slice 7 is with the leg extended is a favourite among my yoga clients as the intensity of the stretch is more at their level of flexibility. The last stretch that you showed for slice 7 is a definite no go zone for some of my clients. It is very powerful and I know that it will do more harm than good. You mentioned that we should ask clients to state how strong the stretch is. Sometimes my clients fall asleep during the massage. In such cases, I gauge the stretch by physical feedback. I look for signs that it may be too much for them or I simply start off with minimal pressure and build to moderate. I know it is more effective to ask but I feel like I should not disturb them if they have relaxed to such an extent. Is it ok to assume that the fact they are sleeping suggests that the pressure is just right?

The rolling technique used in the last slice of the pie is definitely going to take me some time before I incorporate it into a massage session. I feel a bit clumsy as I am not quite getting the rhythm. 

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Abigail Guzman
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September 25, 2018 - 9:27 pm
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Shama said
This sounds encouraging. You have more options, you are becoming more effective, and you are more comfortable with working on men. This is clearly going in the right direction. Smile  

Yes it is definitely going well. I don't feel stuck in a rut doing the same routine. Before starting this course I was actually taking a break from Thai massage but this has given me new zeal.

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Shama
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September 25, 2018 - 9:30 pm
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I always consider it a good sign if a client falls asleep, and I would not use a 'sledge-hammer' technique on a sleeping client! Laugh I also would not wake up a sleeping client just to ask a question. This is okay if the client is awake, and if you are working with a client through a particular issue, but if the questioning pulls someone out of their blissful 'massage heaven', then this is obviously not the right thing to do.

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Abigail Guzman
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September 25, 2018 - 9:49 pm
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I agree. Once I get to the hips or the back most people are asleep. I do all of the turns and rolling just so they do not have to get up. 

I forgot to mention that although I learnt the last slice position in my previous course, I never used my knee to block the foot from slipping. The masseuse's stance in that position was a bit different. This is much better as I can have more control over the leg just with the position of my knee

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Abigail Guzman
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September 28, 2018 - 12:44 am
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Module 8

The techniques used in this module are quite simple enough to perform yet very effective. Using the butterfly hands and the gallop rhythm together with the body weight before going in with the thumbs really help to loosen and warm up the area. Previously I only used a thumbing technique with a bit of rocking in the side position.  It is nothing compared to these different techniques as I always felt it was a bit clumsy to or like something was missing. I think the butterfly and gallop are great before the thumbing. When I tried this on one of my regulars she really loved it. I have been working on her tight hips to help ease her back pain. 

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Shama
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September 28, 2018 - 4:13 pm
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Sometimes just a little refinement can make a big difference and make it all much more elegant. You won't find the gallop rhythm in Thai Massage training outside of Thai Healing Massage Academy. Smile

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