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Ana Luisa Santos - Complete Thai Massage
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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 7, 2020 - 4:16 pm
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Beginning.... 

Just started the Thai Massage course a Week ago.

This is the first time i am studying an online course and so far i am loving it. Thank you Shama, your support has been amazing and i feel you are always available to help me when i need. 

So far, i studied and practice Chi Machine and Foot Massage. 

My experience with Chi machine: I must admite, when i first saw the video, i thought it was going to be quite difficult to do it on someone. But, when i practiced on my sister, it worked. I followed all the steps and i could see all her body moving. I did it for one minute and let her feel the effects, at the end she said "i am warmer than when we started and i felt tingling". 

 

FOOT MASSAGE:

I noticed the first time I gave the foot massage to my sister it took me the whole video (22min) to do it as i was following the steps one by one and watching the video. I then wrote the most important steps of the foot massage down and practice again on her and i felt more independent doing it.

 

The next day i practiced on my mum, my mum literally loves foot massages and she spends all day on her foot. I started with the CHI MACHINE and then I did the foot massage a bit more extensive so she could take more bennefits  of it (instead of only 3 repetions i did it for longer) and she felt amazing after, she said she could feel her feet lighter and the blood flowing from knees to her toes and then from toes to her knees. (i told her, its also energy :)). 

 

I had more difficulty with the second movement, where we add our body movement in anti clockwise circles and at the same time we squeeze the sole of foot and bend foot out + doing one foot at the time. It took me a long time to understand and get myself coordenated with my breathing while circling my body and massaging one foot at the time sqeezing and bending. I didnt get frustraded initially because i knew that was going to be a difficult movement to master and only a long practice and time will help me. But i found out, that if i had a song beat in my head while i am doing the exercise it helped! 

I also didnt know very well how "hard" i could bend and stretch their feet without causing any discomfort, so at the begining i was asking them questions while i was massaging. 

It was a surprise for me to feel how warm and hot our body gets while we are giving thai massage. 

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Shama Kern
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April 7, 2020 - 11:05 pm
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Hi Ana, welcome to the Complete Thai 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

It seems that the only thing that's missing is that you label your posts with the module numbers so that it is totally clear which module you are writing about. You can see in section 4 of the checklist how that's supposed to look like.

Aside from that, your first post is great!! I felt like you are taking me on a journey with your massage story. Smile

Many things will be a little challenging in the beginning while it is all new. Later on in the course all those things will fall into place naturally.

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 13, 2020 - 3:03 pm
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Module 4 

It is said usually the best things are kept to the end and i feel it happened with the last foot tecnhiques shared on this module. 

When i started massagem the inner ankles and the top of the foot my sister just commented "i am in heaven" 

It was also nice to know in one of your videos that usually clients in Thai massage speak and give feedback while we are giving the massage, so i kept asking questions to my sister about the pressure on the points which feel good or less good. 

My sister had a broken Toe on her left foot and althought i dont feel any differences while massaging (in bones strutures or any lumps in her feet) she says she can feel it. I keep massaging the same way as she says she doesnt feel pain, she just knows there is a difference between her left side and in her right. 

My mum is a tired directive nurse, working extra hours and countinuasly at the hospital during this hard pandemic, so she just keeps falling asleep while i am massaging her feet. 

I think as i am doing it, i feel more confident and it makes sense if i move foot to the left, then i should move to the right to the same technique on the other side of the feet. 

Its easy for me to coordenate my breathing with the exercises, althought i need more practice in exachange my position in a softer way. I also know now, i need a Thai massage Mat to make this positions changing smoothies (because i have to keep changing the pillow to use on my knees with my movemts too, which i feel can slightly disturb the clients relaxation.)

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Shama Kern
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April 13, 2020 - 11:18 pm
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That's a good start - you put someone into 'massage heaven' already! Smile

Definitely a good Thai Massage mat makes all the difference in your own comfort when working.  The move-the-pillow-around method works, but a wide mat is much easier.

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 15, 2020 - 1:28 am
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module 5 

Ho...  I must admit this was the technique i enjoyed the least.

Evertyime I watch a new module and i put it into pratice, i always start from the beginning (Chi Machine, Foot massage with all the techniques I learnt) so  I can start feeling i am more and more confident with this techniques and also with the massaging itself. 

I started practicing this module on my sister and the plan was then to do it on my mum. It happened that my fingers, thumbs and hands become a bit painfull after i did it on my sister and i felt I was not in mood to practice straight away on my mum. 

I managed to do all of the techniques and i also enjoyed the extra study on the muscles anatomy i did on my own. I also found very important the video shared about loosing our hands and the importance of warming up our wrists/fingers and also do some yoga work on them as on our toes/ankles. 

I also enjoyed a lot the idea of locking the clients leg with our foot, or using our knee/foot to lock their leg in order to prevent them to slide down. The use of my knee on my sisters calf to to stabilize her leg was not so easy, it needs practice. 

I am still learning how much pressure to apply into the muscles while using this tecnhiques, i guess it depends from client to client and the idea is to keep asking the client how they feel? 

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Shama Kern
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April 15, 2020 - 8:39 pm
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You mentioned "I must admit this was the technique i enjoyed the least" - which technique are you referring to exactly?

You also mentioned that your fingers, thumbs and hands became painful. After which technique did you notice that?

If done correctly, there should be no pain in your hands. There are several things you can try. First, while working, observe your hands and check if they are relaxed or if they feel like you are straining. Make sure that your hands are loose and relaxed.

Second, try to do the techniques very lightly and gently. Focus on gentleness and softness. For now, don't worry if the moves are 'not strong enough'. Imagine you are working on a little baby and you have to be super gentle. Once you get the feeling of softness in your hands and in your touch, you can always add more pressure later on. For now you want to practice working without strain - not working strongly.

Third, try to focus on your breath and visualize that you are transmitting healing energy with your hands. This will also make your touch more gentle and reduce any strain in your hands. In other words, for now forget about how much pressure you should use, and instead focus on the quality of your touch, on relaxing your hands, and on working without any strain. 

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 16, 2020 - 1:00 am
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I was referirng to the module in geral, not to a specific technique. 

And the hands/fingers became painfull by the end of the massage. 

I loved your response, is such a good away of seing it. I guess i like strong massages and with pressure, so I think thats why I was trying to massage a bit harder on my sister too. Thank you, your words have just changed my approach to this module in geral. I will take into my next practice this precious advice and will come back soon with a feedback! 

 

Thank You! 🙂

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 16, 2020 - 7:04 pm
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MODULE 6 

Shama i just want to say thank you so much for your last words again, it made such a diference to try to massage in a softer and more gentle away, just like i was massaging a baby and healing someone through my hands - i will keep this words in mind!!

I really enjoy to know more about SHEN lines location and to use my forearms to warm up legs. I love to rocking technique and it was easy to coordenate with my breathing and I remembered to keep my hands loose and also move my body coordenating it with the movements and my breath. 

It was very interesting to feel my mums addutor tendon and to try to understand the anatomy of the upper thight and calf. 

I could understand the importance of keeping my arms 45 degrees angle while working and her calf and also the importance of working with body weight. I need to work in keeping my back straight too, sometimes i find myself arching my back forward, but this is something i now i have to improve since a long time - work on my posture!

The elephant walking was a bit of a challenge, I need to practice this more.

I like that you show us so many movements and now we can use the ones we feel more comfortable and adapt them to clients needs and also their body structure. 

I really enjoyed mixing the knowledge i got from modulo 5 and 6 to warm up the legs. 

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Shama Kern
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April 16, 2020 - 7:55 pm
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I am glad that my last response worked well for you. You will get additional insights if you watch this video:
The Power Of Softness in Thai Massage

There will be additional information about the Sen Lines in this course, and there are also several articles and videos about it in our blog. Here are a couple:

Thai Massage And Traditional Sen Lines

Sen Line Therapy Introduction

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 22, 2020 - 3:22 pm
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module 8 

Thanks for sharing those links to the video and the blog, they really helped. I tried to look online for more information about sen lines but there are not a lot. I saw the course you offered as an online course, i ll check it after this course if i feel i still need. 

I found this module super interesting and the concept of hip pie really helps to understand the full range oh hip movement. 

I have two question, what means and what do I do if my client complains of sore points along the sen lines? 

Do you usually warm up the leg and then do the sctretches on this leg, or do you warm up both legs and then stretch each leg? 

Thank you 🙂

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Shama Kern
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April 22, 2020 - 8:20 pm
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1. Sore points along the sen lines: There is no precise answer for that. It could be all kinds of reasons. Don't try to get too scientific with this. The idea is to improve energy flow along the sen lines, and this will help improve all kinds of conditions. 

This is actually one of the main differences between the western and the eastern therapy approach. The western approach is to dig ever deeper into details and locations, and the eastern approach is more holistic, focusing more on improving the body as a whole or holistic system, rather than a bunch of isolated conditions.

2. Usually I warm up both legs and then get into the stretching. However you could also do it the other way by warming up one leg, then doing the stretches, and then repeating it all on the other leg. There is nothing wrong with that either. It's a matter of what flows best for you. I don't like making firm rules for how something has to be done. Thai Massage is a flexible, creative and intuitive system, not a series of fixed and rigid sequences.

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Ana Luisa Santos
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April 29, 2020 - 12:36 am
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Thank you for you reply once again. I find your teachings so informative and useful. So glad i joined this online course during my quarentine. 

MODULE 9

The whole concept of Thai massage strats now making much more sense in my mind and knowlegde. There are key words which i always have in Mind while practicing them: softness of the touch, my body position and feeling comfortable with my body, the healing energy through the hands, the connection with my breath and keeping asking feeedback from the clients. If before i tought about pressure and dig into soreness, now it all have changed. I love the hip pie concept!!!! Its easier now to understand the flow of the movement.

 

When i was practicing the 135 degrees sctrech i forgot to keep my sisters leg on my groin and we both found that something was not comfortable, something didint feel comfortable for both of us, is if funny how little adjustments can make the movement and stretch lighter and fluid. 

I love the idea of knowing diferents ways of stretching the muscles depending on clients flexibility and if they are taller or shorter than us. I feel i need to challenge my father for a thai massage as now, during lockdown i can not get other people to try apart from my sister and my mum. 🙂 I guess i can not complaint at least i have two people to practice. 

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Shama Kern
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April 29, 2020 - 11:03 pm
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It seems that you have the right keywords in your mind. Just this alone will make a major difference in how your massage feels! Smile

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Ana Luisa Santos
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May 2, 2020 - 11:39 pm
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MODULE 10

This module has very important concepts and techniques from Hara energy to the blood stop technique. Such a good lesson! Love every detail i learnt in here and even the 270 degree stretch and its variations.

My mum and my sister, they both loved the blood stop tecnhique on thier femural arthery and the calf stretch. Is so important a good warm up of the muscles for this techniques, and the communication with them to understand thier limits. 

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Shama Kern
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May 3, 2020 - 12:55 am
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I am happy to hear that you liked this module. Many students have a hard time with the blood stop technique because they are afraid of it. But you seem to have found out that first, there is nothing to be afraid of, and second, it is actually an enjoyable experience for the client. Smile

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Ana Luisa Santos
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May 3, 2020 - 3:15 pm
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I love it because I also remembered the feeling when I had it done to myself on the occasional experiences I had with thai massage.

My mum on the second time i tried, she asked if it could be dangerous and i first said no because i can still fell the blood pumping throught the artery ( I only do the 20 sec for safety and i felt the leg becoming warmer near the arthery, just as you mentioned!). After she asked me that I went back to the video and study material to double check and i saw that this blood stop technique is not suitable for people with blood circulation problems or varicose veins. What do you mean by circulatory problems? Should we avoid this technique to someone who had embolies or blood clots in the past? Strokes? Someone who is on anticoagulation therapy? 

 

MODULE 11

It is just what we needed at the end. I practiced on my sister yesterday at night at the same time I was watching the module on the computer and it felt great. There are details i know i need to improve and one is how to transfer my body position from one side to another without touching clients body parts and always try to mantain the contact with them. 

The calf stretches are very interesting too, they are knew. I like to start with gentle versions and slowly check with the clients if i can try the stronger version.. Communication is so important. 

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Shama Kern
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May 3, 2020 - 5:03 pm
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My motto is 'better be safe than sorry'. If you know that somebody has blood clots or similar issues, then I would avoid the blood stop. There is no way of knowing if this could possibly cause a problem, but why risk it!

There are so many techniques that we can choose from that we can easily skip some if there is any chance that there might be a problem. The blood stop doesn't really stop the blood flow, of course. It just slows it down a bit. But it is always better to err on the safe side.

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Ana Luisa Santos
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May 8, 2020 - 7:59 pm
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MODULE  12

I feel you were 100% right when you said it gets easier as we go foward in the modules.

This calves and ankle stretches are nice and easy to perform, and once again, i love all the variations you teach us depending how flexible the client is. 

Also the sacrum stretches are very nice, i feel i want to have them done on myself too. Is making me go and look for a massage for myself as soon as quarentine is over! 

I could not perform the strongest version of the sacrum stretch on my sister, althought i carefully tried to understand the concept. 

She loved at the end when we swing the legs lower and lower. 

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Shama Kern
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May 9, 2020 - 11:03 pm
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Actually there is some really good sacrum work coming up once you get to the face-down modules.

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Ana Luisa Santos
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May 9, 2020 - 11:04 pm
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MODULE 13 

Uauu such an important module. I had questioned you before what to do if a client complains of pain (or discomfort!) and i feel now i have the key words: wiggling, circling and scooping. To add the keys words i will keep in mind the 1-10 scale pain (i use it a lot during my nursing job so i am quite familiar) and also to work with clients and not on the client. 

It is so important and value to learn all of this stretches you show to work on different clients flexibility levels.

All this "massage world" is new for me, i have received massages as a client, but i have never been a therapist. As a client i like to receive deep tissue massage, so i also have to keep in mind all the times the gentle touch. I realy like the concept of rocking the hips, i feel it is safer than a lot of the stretches you show to us, as most of the clients wont have the flexibility the yogis have, although i hope i ll be able to work with yogis too. 

Another very interested module, thank you ! 

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