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Amy Schilt's 'Complete Thai Massage' progress report
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Amy Schilt
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July 23, 2015 - 7:46 am
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Module 26

I really like the pillow "face-cradle" invention.  

I had trouble doing the tiger-jaw move on the neck while working the trap.  Both hands doing a different move at the same time was a little bit of a challenge but I'll get it.  You taught us so many different techniques for the back, it great!  I'm going to have a challenge keeping my treatment to 50 minutes.  We offer 50 minute and 80 minute at our spa so I'll have to practice keeping it relatively short.

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Amy Schilt
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July 23, 2015 - 8:07 am
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Module 27

The shoulder stretches in this module amazing!  Watching your video made it look a little painful because the arm was stretched so far back while it was resting on your leg but once I tried it, it wasn't all that bad.  My partner said he could have used a little bit more of a stretch but I was hesitant to do more.  I'm sure I'll get more comfortable as time goes on and it wont seem so awkward.

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Shama Kern
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July 23, 2015 - 11:49 pm
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I saw a long time ago that the intense thumb work and the wrist-at-right-angle work in the traditional system is a potential hazard for therapists. I also heard from many clients that they prefer the style which I have developed. It is easier on the therapist and more pleasant for the client.

Keeping a Thai Massage session to 50 minutes is a real challenge. I have never done shorter Thai Massage sessions than 2 hours in my entire career. However in a spa environment you don't have much choice and just have to figure out how to fit it into this time frame. Let me know how this works out! 

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Amy Schilt
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July 29, 2015 - 8:54 am
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Module 29

I sat on my partners leg in side lying position while we were watching TV.  It took a minute to find the position which was comfortable to him but he said it was very relaxing.  

The hip work is so nice, I love percussion and the different techniques you used for that area.  I do a lot of hip work in my regular massage and felt that the original Thai class I took didn't emphasize it enough.    

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Amy Schilt
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July 29, 2015 - 9:57 am
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Module 30

The push-pull spinal twist was my partners favorite.  He is very tight and doesn't have much movement with some of the larger stretches but he really liked this one and said it was relaxing and effective at the same time. Granted, it took about 10 minutes to feel confident in my flow and the movement pattern so he got A LOT of twisting 🙂  

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Shama Kern
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July 29, 2015 - 12:01 pm
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You seem to be able to figure the techniques out so that they work for you and your partner. Do you mostly practice on the same partner or do you have several? Practicing on more than one person is really valuable because a technique might feel quite different on various body types, shapes and sizes.

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Amy Schilt
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July 29, 2015 - 12:16 pm
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Module 31

For right now I only have one partner but once I have completed the full massage sequence a few times on him I'll practice on co-workers.  A few of my co-workers have had regular Thai Massage and are excited to have this version practiced on them.  Their feedback will be great since they are massage therapists already and have had traditional Thai work done. 

The shoulder series was tricky, definitely one of the harder blocks for me to get the hang of.  The flow of the half-circle technique was tricky, I felt really off balance and I'm not sure why.  I think it was a combination of my foot positioning and not using my whole body.  I'd find myself concentrating on what I was doing then realize I wasn't using my leg for leverage.  

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Shama Kern
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July 30, 2015 - 1:07 am
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The first time around many of the techniques won't flow yet - that's not surprising. It definitely takes repeated practice and experimenting with your ergonomics until it feels right. Once you get to practice on the other therapists, it will take on a whole new dimension, I am sure.

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Amy Schilt
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July 30, 2015 - 8:20 am
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Module 32

I love how far I can get under the scapula with my partner in the side laying position.  I want to see how many of these I can incorporate into my regular massage when guests have shoulder complaints because they really do a lot for range of motion.  

Are there any chronic shoulder issues I should be concerned with when doing any of these?  Many people have Bursitis or Tendinitis so I was just wondering if you have come across any of these techniques that may make that type of inflammation worse?  Of course I'll communicate with my guest and all but just wondering from your years of practice.

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Shama Kern
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July 30, 2015 - 8:43 am
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If clients have such conditions, I generally start with plenty of rocking, swinging, compression and circling movements before doing any stretching. In other words I try to warm up the area first. Then I work closely with the client by asking if a particular move feels "good, bad, or neutral".

This tells me how their body reacts. If it feels bad, then I change my approach and/or I use the one-to-ten questioning method to see if I can reduce the discomfort by lightening up the technique. If it feels neutral, the area is desensitized but can handle the work. If it feels good, I am on the right track for sure. 

I use a lot of communication and let the client guide me with their feedback. They like this approach because it is very specifically tailored to what they need and how they feel. After all you as a therapist are not a psychic and cannot know exactly where precisely the problem is and which technique works best. That's why first of all you need to have a lot of techniques at your disposal to choose from and second you need to work closely with the client by using communication and feedback.

Sometimes when I find a painful spot I use very small and light fingertip wiggles or circles to check if that helps. If yes, I might progress to stronger circles with the heel of the hand or a compression move. If that works you can take it even further with stretches. With lots of client feedback you will always know where the limits are, which techniques feel right and which don't, and then you work accordingly.

In module 35 there is a lot of information about client communication.

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Amy Schilt
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August 1, 2015 - 12:12 am
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Module 33

Doing the spinal twist your way as opposed to how I was taught in my other Thai class was much easier and gentle to both me and my partner.  He has a tight back without much movement (we're working on that though, he just went to his first yoga class this week and really loved it.  Hopefully between Thai massage and Yoga he'll be able to regain a lot of flexibility that he's lost through the years).  Anyway, even though it is a strong stretch he said it felt really good.  The higher I raised his hands, the more he felt it along his chest and upper torso which will be great for all my clients who do endless amounts of work hunched over their computers.   

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Amy Schilt
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August 1, 2015 - 11:21 am
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Module 34

I really love that you explain how the sitting position is not a requirement for Thai massage. Sometimes people have a hard enough time getting up and down off the floor let alone sitting with their legs crossed, comfortably.  

The very first stretch (while it may look strange due to the full body contact aspect of it) was my partners favorite because it stretched his low back unlike any other stretch thus far and it targeted an area of chronic discomfort.  He loves it and I have a feeling he will be requesting this stretch on a daily basis 🙂  I'm not complaining, 'proof is in the pudding' as they say. 

You made the trapezius work look effortless, mine wasn't as graceful but he still liked it. I felt off balance at first but I think it's just because my leg wasn't in the right spot.  It was either too high or too low but once I had it right, it felt right (funny how that works)...

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Amy Schilt
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August 1, 2015 - 11:56 am
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Module 35

Last one! What a great class, thank you so much.  

'Tight muscle, tight mind' That's so true.  As therapist's we experience clients contracting their muscles and "helping" all the time.  My partner did this a lot so I had lots of practice trying to get him to release his muscles so I could work with them.  He's getting better the more I work with him but it's actually a conscious effort for him to relax. 

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Shama Kern
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August 1, 2015 - 1:37 pm
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Congratulations! You made it through all the certification modules, and your certificate is on it's way to you!

As you know, there are 15 more modules in the course. If you feel like it, it would be great if you would make a few posts about the rest of the course.

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