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Ali-Reza Djassemi’s progress on Thai Foot Massage
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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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December 30, 2018 - 3:42 pm
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Hi all, I am so excited to be here. Seven years ago when I started my path into health practices, as I call it mind and body cultivation, I was sure to add some sort of massage to my knowledge and daily routines but I was unsure which one to decide on. So I decided to stick with the saying: first things first. 

I am a qualified Yang-Style Taijiquan and QiGong teacher, Wing Tsun Instructor. I nearly finished my Psychology Bachelors Degree at the Open University. Besides that I managed to take part in several certified courses in sports, fitness, wellness and health. Last year I took refuge in Lama Ole Nydahl from Kagyue lineague and started right away my practices of Ngondro which I find a supportive supplementary in my daily routines. 

I am living in the north of Germany. I am married to a wonderful wife and I am father of an awesome son. 

I am really looking forward to become educated into the foot massages that I was lucky to receive in Krung Thep so often. I loved these treatings and I hope to be able to pass a lot of them to my students and thirds. 

Best regards

Ali

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Shama Kern
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December 31, 2018 - 1:56 am
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Hi Ali, welcome to the Thai Foot Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

As per the first item in the checklist, please fill out the bio section in your forum profile so that I have a better idea about your background. You have quite an assortment of exotic skills! I am curious, where are you from originally? I can't place your name. We have students from all over the world in here, and it is always fascinating to read where they are all from, what skills they have, how and where they practice, etc.

I grew up in the south of Germany (Baden Baden), but left the country over 40 years ago. Where in Germany do you live?

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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December 31, 2018 - 9:39 pm
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Dear Shama, 

yes, I guessed you must be from Germany somehow. Actually, I live a gipsy kind of life. I am working on Sylt and Niebüll since we have there a family business running. But I live with my wife and son close to Buchholz in Jesteburg in Lower Saxony. 

I checked the Certification Checklist and finished my profile settings. Laugh

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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December 31, 2018 - 10:01 pm
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Module #1

Yesterday I tried the work on the enrgy lines on my wife´s feet before I proceeded with a whole deep tissue body massage. I found the squatted / sitting position quiet easy working for me. Before I tried the position I experimented with kneeling positions which I found not supporting my upperbody specially my arms. This meant I had to use muscle power from shoulders, arms and hands. Which felt uncomfortable instantly. Thus I switched to the regarded squat. It felt so much more easening and supporting all movements. After 15minutes of caring my partner´s feet I found my ankles and feet hurting a bit. What I find quiet challenging is to avoid my left thumb to become to much bended in the process of pressing on the lines. Occasionally, I had to minimise pressure to avoid my thumbs to be overworked. 

My wife liked the treatment a lot. I massage the plantar arch of my wife´s feet frequently since her metatarsus is quite stiff. Especially ,she has two trigger points that hurt her much which I am working on to make them more soft and painless. The massage yesterday did not hurt her at all. Thus she was likely to refer me to her friends. 😉 

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Shama Kern
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December 31, 2018 - 10:35 pm
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You certainly have an interesting background with a wide variety of skills (I just read your bio).

Regarding your thumbs, especially in the beginning you definitely have to be careful not to overwork them. However the good thing is that many techniques in this course do not use thumbs at all. Your thumbs will strengthen with practice, but try to really follow my tips on how to reduce stress on them. This will make a big difference. The big thing is to lean in with your body instead of muscling the technique, and to wrap your thumbs in such a way that they are supported.

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
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January 1, 2019 - 1:22 am
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Dear Shama, 

I appreciate it a lot that you respond that fast and personally. Great. ????. I am looking forward to the next lessons. Kap kun krap. 

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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January 2, 2019 - 4:53 am
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Module #2

Today I tried the methods from the second module. I must admit that I find massaging with the nuckles and the elbows easier and more relaxing than massaging with palms and thumbs. My wife however prefers the techiques demonstrated in module 1 and the first in module 2. Thus, she found the ones utilising thumbs, fingers and palms more effective. She had some sharp sensations in her knees and in her hips when I was working with my knuckles. However, I sensed that she was more relaxed when I was using my elbows on her feet. Her body felt more eased and soft. I was able to move her whole body by pressing into her feet softly. 

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Shama Kern
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January 2, 2019 - 7:26 pm
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There are two issues here:

1. We have to first and foremost work in a way that preserves our own health, since we won't be able to help other people if we burn out our wrists and thumbs

2. When working with knuckles and elbows it takes some time to develop the sensitivity in these body parts to make it feel really good. However this is definitely possible and desirable. It just takes some practice and experience, but it will come.

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
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January 3, 2019 - 7:47 am
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Dear Shama, kop khun krap for both advises. I will deliberately consider the first issue and excercise on the second one as much as possible. 

What I experience through my training in body awareness from Wing Tsun and Taijiquan is that I can utilise elbow, forearm and hands easily, quite effecient and sensitive. That is that I am able to feel when I am using my whole body or when I am using muscular power and joints that are weak. On the one hand, I have developed a good feedback system and on the other hand, the method of using orchestrated body mechanics is familiar to me. 

Interestingly, I found myself swiping the sole of my wife’s feet with my knuckles instead of pressing with my body. This is probably due to my self-massage method from Taoist teachings known as Bone Marrow washing. When I realised that I changed the technique and found it more relaxing for my wrist. 

However my wife seems to prefer the work of palm and thumb. Today she told me that it feels more punctuated than knuckles and elbow. I guess I will blend the techniques depending on a) client and b) my own performance on a particular day. 

Warm regards

Ali

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Shama Kern
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January 3, 2019 - 7:26 pm
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So your background is helping you a lot with the use of those various body parts - excellent!

Regarding the swiping the soles of the feet with the knuckles instead of leaning in with direct pressure, this is taught in the second section of this course, in the Thai Reflexology section where we use oil which makes the swiping much easier on your knuckles and more pleasant for the client as well. If you swipe without oil, it can create too much friction for the client and not feel so good. That's why I only show the direct linear knuckle pressure in this part of the course.

Once you have all the techniques available to you, it will be easier to choose which ones work best for a particular person or situation. Smile

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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January 7, 2019 - 5:46 am
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#Module 3/4

Dear Shama, indeed. And the new modules provide new movements that I need to practise often in order to a) have them as tools available whenever I need them b) to make them feel as good to the client as my handwork. 

The energylines of the feet we are working on what are they responsible for? What connections do they have to the rest of the system? Do the lines correspond to the meridian system of traditional chinese medicine?

Can you recommend any literature according energy work in Thai massage? 

Two days of massage experience:

I started working on a massage table. I did this a) to understand the difference b) to experience work with a client lying on a table (in case someone does not want to ly on the floor). It is quite different in terms of using body mechanics and supporting with body weight. Some of the postures are not accessible due to the table and some need creative workarounds. What really worked good was pressing the fist in one straight line into the sole of the feet. And what I sense more easing is working on the fleshy parts of the feet instead of the skinny and boney parts. 

In one complete body massage I started with a feet massage which was irritating to my model. The same person received another whole body massage two days later. There I started with the back. I massaged the feet shortly towards the end which was appreciated much by the individual. My model experienced some sharp pain underneath the ankle on the insides of her feet. There is a tiny bulge one thumb underneath the ankle joint on a diagonal path to the heel. It feels like a knot. 

Generally speaking, most of the women I massaged yet, did not like me working on their painful spots. Those muscle fibers or tissues that feel like rock hard, solid, strings. Men sometimes withdraw when it comes to a painful event, too. I understand that I do not want to harm someone. But can the massage be supportive when it does not tries to loosen up the tissue? 

Warm regards

Ali 

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Shama Kern
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January 7, 2019 - 11:13 am
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The energy lines are similar to the Chinese meridian system, but not identical. The Chinese system is more precise and developed in terms of the theory behind it. There isn't much literature about the Thai sen line system (at least not in English) compared to lots of literature about the meridians. If you want to dig deeper into the sen lines system on the feet, you might as well look at a meridian book. It will be similar, albeit not identical.

I suggest not to focus on working the knots out on the feet, but on providing a pleasant experience to the client. Think of your massage as a system to improve the energy flow in the feet rather than eliminating a particular problem. That may well come later, but first you need to create a sense of well-being and enjoyment in the client. That will open them up to more foot work and reduce any resistance.

First make them feel good, and get into more therapy later. That lays the groundwork for your therapy. Remember that you are working on someone's mind as much as on their bodies. The therapeutic aspect needs to be blended with a feeling of well-being and enjoyment.

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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January 8, 2019 - 3:36 am
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Dear Shama, 

I really appreciate your comments and feedbacks. ????. 

I think what I sometimes really forget is the sunshiny, happy, positive well-being aspect that will do the most work. As you said the mental aspect. Good you mentioned that. Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to work with a woman that experienced a burnout last year with a heavy depression. In consequences her family system is distorded. She has a hard time to recover and find her way back into work. Thus I have to focus on the feel-good mood more than on the muscle tone. 

Awesome. Just the right advise at the right time. Cheers. 

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Shama Kern
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January 8, 2019 - 11:23 am
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I am glad that my advice is useful to you! Smile

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
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January 11, 2019 - 6:19 am
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The massage worked nice on the mentioned client. She actually asked me not to work on her feet on the first meeting thus I was not able to practise any of the learned thechniques on her. But I was able to establish the moody kind of environment. Thus she enjoyed her massage and was quite relaxed after 45minutes. Unfortunately the room (which is actually a winter garden full of lovely plants) was not really warm. The room temperature does not become warmer than 21-22 C. Thus she felt cold at a certain time. I thought it may be a good idea to mount a radiant heater for babys‘ changing table to the ceiling. What do you think about some focused heat spot? 

Best regards

Ali

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Shama Kern
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January 11, 2019 - 2:12 pm
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Definitely a good idea! Being cold during massage is not much fun, and typically the body temperature goes down during massage anyway, so being in a chilly environment is not good. The heater sounds like a good solution to try.

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
Jesteburg / Sylt / Niebüll
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January 14, 2019 - 5:26 am
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Module #7/8

Actually, today I had the opportunity to try the reflexology massage twice. I did the first one without looking on to a reflexology map. Thus, this was an entire foot massage combined with reflexpoint penetration and some foot mobilisation as suggested by you, dear Shama. I worked roughly one hour on the feet while talking about some personal issues the client had. The client was crying several times during the massage and I asked her if we should progress or we need to break up the massage. She enjoyed her foot massage and felt easier when she left. She was sitting in a recliner while I had a meditation pillow to sit on. I needed one towel for my leg which support her leg and one towel to wrap up the foot that I did not work on in order to stay warm. What really felt enjoyable was the mixture of Jojoba oil and coconut oil, flavoured with some citron oil and Arnika oil. Additionally, I warmed the mixture in a hot water bath. 

The second massage was with the same oil mixture, warmed. But know my client (wife) was lying on our sofa. I placed one foot at time onto my leg. This time I used a reflxology map to practise special parts and to train which part is related to which foot part. This massage lasted for one hour. There I was able to work on all suggested techniques and methods: bodyweight instead of arm and handwork, utilising different parts of the hands instead of using only the thumbs. 

Massaging makes me hungry and thirsty. Thus, I have nuts, dried fruits and tea or water between the massages. ?

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Shama Kern
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January 14, 2019 - 7:31 pm
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For sure doing massage sessions takes energy - nothing wrong with replacing that! Smile

You can easily do a one-hour foot massage session, and you are only half-way through the program. When you are done with the course, you might do two-hour foot massage sessions. Laugh I have had a few of those!

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
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January 15, 2019 - 2:18 pm
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Sounds fantastic to me. ??

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Ali-Reza Djassemi
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January 19, 2019 - 5:27 pm
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Module #9/10

Well, I worked trough the reflexology maps several times and I gave some massages my own feet. But I must admit I have not internalised all parts and their correspondences. So, I am going to order a poster chart that I am going to place close to the massage table that I am going to work with. I think this is most commonly done since it helps to memorise on long term. Obviously, I would need to give a bunch of reflexology massages to memorise all parts fast and safe. But as mind is changing on long term the memory may be mixed with other information and at the end everything may be mudded up.

The mixture of coconut cream and JoJoba Oil works lovely on the feet. It takes time to be absorbed and keeps the skin smooth a long time. I think I sould not forget to ask the client whether they liked me to wipe the extra oil of at the end of the massage or not. As you explained it may feel uncomfortable slippery. Laugh

Concerning sequential working I think I am going to use the techniques freely in order to feel how the feet of the individual is feeling and what it may tell me about the persons constitution. Having "read" the condition the client is in I would adjust my work. And work through the different parts of her feet. A fixed routine may deindividualise the person. In my opinion it may cause me thinking about "just flesh and bones" instead of whole person with complex background, emotions and social qualities. 

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