November 1, 2015
Re: Module 1 video.
As I geographically & culturally live somewhere between the Western & Eastern world parts (i.e. Central Asia, ex-USSR), it was interesting enough to realize the difference between 2 approaches to massage.
In my country we have spa-centres, and before devaluation there worked some employees from Thailand, whose massage & attitude to service impressed me positively. But the procedure was rendered on a massage table as it was stipulated in their contracts, I suppose; thus, not all techniques could be applied...
Having visited Bangkok in 2013 I knew what a Thai massage is and 'was like in heaven afterwards 🙂 - no table was used...
My partner studied massage a couple of years ago and I was his assistant in his practicing at that time, and I can remember he used touching, kneading, compression, etc, but not stretching. Also he used his fingers, hands, but not feet or knuckles, as he was taught a western type...His approach was scientifically oriented - anatomically based.
What I once fell in love with was REIKI - a Japanese healing system, as all know. What I use there are my hands as a listening instrument, and I always try to feel energies in the human body. At the times of getting that system I did not know anatomy or physiology properly, but several people were saved, and they avoided serious operations and even organ transplantation was not required. In my childhood it was subconsiously done. After, I was lucky to systemize all this. So, I can understand what is the main principle of the Thai massage. But what I worked with is holding. Never being a massage therapist, I did not work on other techniques, mentioned in the 1st Module video.
I am definitely pro doing the massage on the floor, as it allows the right ergonomics. When I used to teach English to the white collars, they claimed that their bodies were twisted, tired, or whatever, due to uncomfortable positions at their work place. I absolutely agree that a massage therapist should feel quite comfortable while doing the job.
As per breathing, in dancing we teach the beginners to breath in & out in a correct way so that movements flow naturally as it is explained in the video material 🙂
Playing the piano, I also liked the comparison between Thai massage & music, which can't be created without the notes formed together according to some harmony rules 🙂
thank you & your team for the introductory video, very imformative & intersting one.
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 2 video:
Thank you, Shama, for the practice having started 🙂
Using a Chi Machine Technique, I sat in a Japanese position - butts on heals, which was quite convenient after several introductory yoga classes with my instructor. Together with my partner we use quite a compfortable surface, so no problems arose in the way of comfort.
My 1st mistake as a massage therapist was that I started using too much force being afraid of my partner's weight. The ratio is 2:1. It was a technical mistake. We discussed this issue as no gym is required, which had been explained in the video... I just should have rocked my hips more, and it worked well in a couple of seconds. As a result, my partner asked me to continue when I paused :)))
It is what he said to me being asked about how & what he felt during & after:
Legs & hip joints relaxed in a maximum way, and a lumbar zone, either. My partner mentioned pleasant traction in the spine, esp.his lower back.
What I felt energetically, he was filled with the feeling of happiness & relaxation after a hard working day, as though he swam or flew 🙂
He is waiting for the next session and others during the near 4 months & further, he said 🙂
Thank you, Shama, for this excellent first step!
And thank you for your fascinating first post with cultural insights and personal stories!
You seem to have quite a wide range of skills. Especially interesting is that you are from a country which many people in the world cannot even locate on a map. You are my first student from Kazakhstan.
By the way, one of my Thai wife's best friends worked for several years in Kazakhstan as a Thai Massage therapist.
It sounds like you are getting a good start with the course. Size/weight issues between client and therapist are quite important in Thai Massage. You will hear a lot more about this throughout this course.
And one question - are you posting just to share or are you going for a certificate? I am not sure, because your posts follow the format of certification posts but I did not see a certification registration from you which we need for our records. If you are just posting to share, then you don't need to do anything. If however you are going for a certificate, please watch the second video on this page:
November 1, 2015
thnx for a 24/24 hrs assistance 🙂 I'm surprised.
I guess, we are talking about the same Thai massage therapists. Here's the link to check the personalities out: http://chabaspa.kz/our_experts/ (Once I was given a gift-certificate to that spa-centre. On the photo my specialist is the second one from right to left. I really miss her...she taught me the word "kophunka")
It is not the first time I study online, and nobody usually knows the location of my country 🙂 when I mention the ex-USSR, people associate it with Russia (the country we bord on the north :))...I am happy to be the 1st student from the territory 🙂
I was not aware of a separate registration form to be filled out. Though, I saw the link in the manual...THNX for the video. Sorry for not following the instructions correctly...
Consequently, in the forum I am registered as ANASTASSIYA aka JODDY, but in the certification form I have registered as ANASTASSIYA KOZINA as it is stated in my passport. Shoul I edit my name in the forum so far?
ra tree sa was
I edited your forum name to bring it all in line. Sometimes members used their legal name for the registration form, and something totally different for the forum (like "happy yogi"). And then I have to play detective and figure out who is who. That's why I had to come up with rules which make it possible for me to keep up with hundreds of members and thousands of posts and match it all up with the certification registrations.
I did not see my wife's friend's face in the picture of the Chabaspa spa. Who knows when that picture was taken... Our friend left there many years ago and came back to Thailand.
November 1, 2015
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 3 video.
1) To begin with, I liked the notice about the fact that the first impression has no second chance. It is a very good piece of advice in the way of psychology & the related business;
2) The techniques took some time to practice, which was definitely worth - my partner got completely relaxed after the complex.
I'll share some details of our cooperation referring to each technique:
a) in "Alternating out-bending of the feet" the second point gave to my partner a complete relaxation of legs; whereas the 1st & the 3d ones worked locally - feet only, as he said. When I was done the same technique, I felt my feet hurt in all three points...My partner did not feel anything unpleasant;
b) in "Circular foot bending & twisting technique" my partner did not feel so much difference comparing to the previous movement, but he liked the feeling of general relaxation :);
c) As my partner's ankles had been injured, in "Bending both feet in at the same time", he felt the feet being pulled & ligaments stretched. A very useful technique for him;
d) The same feeling of stretch was felt in "Bending both feet forward at the same time"; but in "Bending both heet forward at the same time" he could not feel enough stretch in Achilles tendon & calf muscles as we cosidered because of our body weight ratio: me - 48 kg & my partner - 92 kg... Here I started using my muscles, which should have been avoided... And I asked my partner to switch the roles to catch my feeling of the last technique - I felt 100% my Achilles & calves being stretched... I concluded - yes, the problem may lie in the body weight difference...
e) As with the previous case, in "Push-pull-rotate technique for foot & leg" it was not so easy to push, yet, my partner felt joint hip rotation & leg relaxation while my pulling;
f) My partner liked "Twisting the feet out one at a time" cause it relaxed feet 🙂
g) The peak of relaxation & pleasant feeling he experienced when being done "Shaking the foot up & down". He started wanting to sleep 🙂
As we guess, this set of techniques can be done within hours, which is very pleasant & relaxing 🙂
Lucky we are to experience all this!
Shama, kop kun kap for sharing your knowledge 🙂
Regarding paragraph d) - as you said, the weight difference will make it hard for you to stretch the achilles tendon with this technique. However there will be two additional modules in this course where you learn alternative techniques which will enable you to get this result, even on much heavier people.
Not every technique works for everyone, so it all comes down to you choosing the appropriate techniques for a particular client. That requires going through the entire course and learning all the techniques so that you have plenty of options to choose from. So this will develop over time.
Paragraph d) - the same applies here. This technique is difficult to do on someone twice your size. There is nothing wrong with skipping techniques that don't work well on much heavier clients. There are hundreds of techniques in Thai Massage. You will never be able to use them all in one session. But you will learn how to tailor your sessions with the appropriate techniques.
One important advice is to practice on different body types since a technique which doesn't work on one person may work perfectly on another person. If you only practice on one person, it is hard to develop a sense of adapting to different body types, sizes and weights.
November 1, 2015
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 4 video:
What a great deal of pleasure did my partner get!!!
1) Being a dancer, I can definitely state that real art is not only techniques, and their mechanical sequence, it's feeling. No dancer without feeling touches a spectator's heart. I know a lot of performers who are brilliant in technique, but they do not impress me personally cause they are empty inside. Dance should be done from heart & soul. and I agree that the same should be practiced in massage as it is art. and really, the whole body of the therapist must be in action, not just its isolated parts. It's like unity to be shared.
2) Regarding the techniques themselves:
a) "Kneading the soles of the foot by rolling up the thumbs" brought to my partner nice feeling of pleasure. He noticed point #1 felt the best;
b) "Circling the innerside of the heel counter - & clockwise and pulling up inner edge of the foot" gave complex relaxation to feet :);
c) "Circling the top of foot with thumbs & fingertips" discovered some weak points in my partner's feet. Having injury in his left ankle, he felt sore when touched the hollow part on top...We concluded we should continue his rehabilitation;
d) "Rotation & wiggling of the entire foot in both directions" was like heaven, either :). My partner described it like passive work of muscles, followed by loosing up. He enjoyed!!!
3) Transitions were practiced, too.
thank you for some kind of paradise appearing in our life 🙂
What a sweet comment about paradise appearing in your life! Thank you!
Your comments about dancers and techniques are spot on. If Thai Massage is just a series of techniques it feels soul-less, mechanical. I often compare it with a dance, with music, or with Tai Chi.
There has to be feeling, intuition, sensitivity, and energy flow for Thai Massage to feel really good. Many practitioners never develop these qualities, and that's the reason why Thai Massage sometimes has the reputation of being painful or even brutal. The problem is never the Thai Massage, but the lack of feeling and sensitivity of the therapist.
In Thai Massage we are not just dealing with a physical body, we are also dealing with people's minds and their energy.
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 5 Video:
1) Being choreographers & dancers, we never start any session without being well-stretched...As I see, I've started learning a new dance style - a Thai massage 🙂 It seems, my artistic & flowing expression found new horizons :);
2) Must confess, I can't be flezible or intuitive enough by far...When study & practice all the techniques ,I'll feel more what may work better with who. I realize it'll take time. But this is good news that I can variate the sequence depending on different factors;
3) Though your explanation, Shama, is absolutely clear & 100% understandable, I was glad I am aware of such terms, as 'quadriceps', 'calf muscle', 'hamstrings', 'gastrocnemicus', 'adductors', etc. 🙂 In fitness industry I teach stretching and I am happy to be directly related to some aspects of the Thai massage :);
4) As per breathing, it is a very important issue for a therapist, as in dancing many performers forget about it at all, and it impacts the heart...Not to mention energy flow;
5) Regarding the techniques: in general, my partner got pleaure in all of them today!!! pity not for hours 🙂
a) I liked the note about the left-right hand position in "Butterfly technique on quadriceps"; then -for me, personally, this techniques was the most convenient to do; my partner pleased more when I worked on the upper part of the thigh than close to his knee;
b) As my partner is not so flexible now as he used to be, we corrected the angles in the next techniques. He enjoyed "squeeze & roll up calf muscle" and "gastrocnemicus adductors inner hamstrings" the most. I could not relax him in "Roll up the hamstrings towards the adductors"...;
c) "Lean into muscle with your palm & roll it up" gave the feeling of complete relaxation;
d) in "PUsh - pull thigh technique" he said it was superb loosing up :);
e) "Squeeze, pull & roll up calf muscle" was even more relaxing than technique a), as I noticed;
f) The last technique "Squeeze & roll up on the IT bands" is very important for my husband as he attends gym, and it was very healthy and relaxing, either 🙂
6) Dear Shama, you mentioned "Energy lines" several times...I heard about the meridians.. Do you mean the same or? Should I find extra materials or you'll take of the exact lines in further videos?
Have a nice evening & hard-working, serious students
Regarding breathing - this is not something which is taught in traditional Thai Massage. However I added it into my style since it is a perfect fit and clearly an improvement over working without breath awareness.
Regarding the energy lines - I suggest you read this article to understand how I relate to this topic:
For me, Thai Massage is all about working with energy. It's just a matter of how to do this. I do not follow the traditional style as you saw in the article, but I use more energy concepts than you will ever hear about in any traditional Thai Massage school.
The Thai energy lines are not identical with Meridians although the concept is very similar. So for practical purposes we can say that we are dealing with the same concept, although there are differences when you get into the details.
You will hear a lot about this throughout the course. There is even an entire bonus course, Magic Touch Secrets, which is all about using and working with energy.
November 1, 2015
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 6 Video:
1) Nice there are alternative forearms techniques not to harm fingers & thumbs. In my case it's crucial as my partner is heavier than me and his muscles are quite stiff so far :);
2) In general, I am getting used to the power of softness...that feeling of sinking in came to me. I do not press down anymore! My entire body works!
3) I learned about 5 lines with great interest!!!
4) As regard to the techniques themselves, I'll split my experience into 3 groups: a) those techniques, which brought relaxation & pleasure to my partner; b) the techs my partner liked the most; 3) one technique I could not do properly for some time...
4a) My partner was quite pleased with "Rocking technique" in free swinging (push & pull). His upper thigh loosened up effectively; massage on appr.Sen Lines 1, 2, 3 relaxed medial quads, adductors, and lower edge of adductors, relatively. Outside Line 1 area massage gave the feeling of pleasure in the lateral edge of the quads;
4b) My partner went to paradise one more time when I was working in the area of the outside Line #2! - he said his hip joint was aboslutely loosened up; and calf muscle leaning in - was the best technique for him;
4c) Only one technique did not work for pleasure- "the elephant working" as it hurt. I immediately transferred to gentle calf muscle rotations, which gave a proper result straight away!
5) Sometimes I ask my partner Ruslan to do the same for me...and I made a conclusion - he could be an excellent Thai massage therapist. I advise him to be certified in then future, too. The problem is he does not speak English as well as me, which does not allow to make posts in teh forum...but his potential in the sphere is promising, in my mind...We'll consider the issue.
Dear Shama, thank you for this inspiration in our family!
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 7 Materials:
1) Neither of us ever thought about feet -hip indicators. This kind of evaluation does a significant job, really! This observation of body clues impressed me, personally :);
2) What is also good in the system is that we can always put a pillow handy for support. We r both quite stiff due to overtraining & some traumas in the past, and this makes wonder in the way of more comfort :);
3) What I couldn't do properly was the "Elephant walking up & down the thigh & calf" - it brought hurting feeling. Ruslan (my partner) felt the muscles being pressed too much, though I used my body weight only...I tried different parts of the palm, but it didn't work for relaxation...Yet! it was the only one technique, practiced in an unpleasant way :);
4) Others were done before his sleeping and I am sure his sleep will be 100% healthy tonight as:
a)"Butterfly triangle stretch" was superb! Loosing up by means of gentle rocking movement as an alternative worked brilliantly!
b) Both "Right angle foot-hip stretch & right angle foot-hip walking stretch" felt just really comfortable;
c) "Hip lift cross pull stretch" relaxed his buttocks well. I also applied rocking & circkling as a nice alternative. This "circular hip lift cross pull stretch" was very pleasant!
5) We concluded that all these stretching techniques are very healthy for us personally and we, as sportspeople, can use them as cool down after overloading 🙂 Very nice feeling of relaxation 🙂
6) Dear Shama, my Mentor, thank you for reading all the reports, giving advice & commenting. I am really thankful to God for teachers in my life! I am very lucky in education! Your course in very serious and what is very important for online studying is practical!
November 1, 2015
RE: Module 8 Materials:
1. Introduction to the module:
1a. With regard to the general introduction, I'd confess I am happy that the Thai Massage is not a one-size-fits-all system! Why I am not an English teacher for all in my country? - people have got used to be taught in a group by means of only one book...I tailor a programme depending on a student's needs. That's why I am an individual tutor. All say, income is much higher when you work with a group. But what I consider is an individual result, a brilliant one: when the goals of the student are hit. For me personally, spa procedures & massage is a very specific activity focused on energy-flow-exchange, not to mention individual organism issues. And this energy should be swapped between a client and a therapist in an individual way. I am pro conceptual thinking rather than following the sequence mechanically, as they do with one book for the whole group with different ages, interests & level...
1b. Hope, by the end of this wonderful course I'll know enough techniques to choose from not to be stuck with those I may have problems with. During practice sessions with my partner I've realized it's important as I am double less than him.
1c. As I love eating, I'll always keep in my mind the "Hip Pie" concept! 🙂 Those 8 slices are easy to memorize :)))
2. As per techniques in general, today my husband was highly pleased in all the techniques, including the alternatives! In all o them I heard "Superb! Excellent! Wow! Cool! Such a relaxing thing!"
2a. Among his favourite ones were "working on the calf muscle", "compressing - rotating gastrocnemius muscle between your palms" and"alternating fingertip pulling of the gastrocnemius muscle".
2b. When we did both variants "alternating back & forth rubbing of the lateral & medial knee" and "alternating circular rubbing of the lateral & medial knee" he said he felt like a joint was moving a little, and the related muscles loosened up;
2c. As my partner is quite stiff so far, before hip stretch we tried all three methods of relaxing by rocking the leg sideways, opening up the hip joint by doing circles with the leg, and by rocking the leg up & down. He liked it!
2d. For me as therapist, working with my partner's hip is not so easy due to the weight difference. But I came up with the "Hip Pie 180 degree stretch" and "Adding a sideways rocking motion to the stretch". What really helped was an alternative power version of this stretch, using my shoulder.
Dear Shama, thanks God for this opportunity to get such knowledge & skills from you.
1a: Spoken right from my heart!
1b: By the end of this course you will know enough techniques to do a 4 hour long session, easily (not that you will ever do that). And there are several bonus modules about adapting techniques to various body sizes and types.
2: Your husband sounds like a great practice partner. And you seem to be a good therapist!
2d: Just remember that 99 percent of all Thai Massage practitioners here in Thailand are small women. They are quite capable of working on much larger men, and you will be able to do the same thing. Naturally you will have to choose the right techniques, skip the ones that are too hard or learn how to modify them so that they will work. This course will teach you all of that!