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Barbara Baggett's Complete Thai Massage Training
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Barbara Baggett
Utopia Texas
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February 18, 2015 - 3:58 am
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Module 13

Great module on how to communicate with the client about their level of 'discomfort'/ pain, and how to address that. The example of pain in the upper crease of thigh/hip is spot on as I've witnessed that many times. I love the contrast of being 'mechanical' versus ' being an artist. And am grateful to be ever adding to my repertoire various ways of addressing the same muscle, so as to customize it for the clients needs. 

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Shama Kern
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February 18, 2015 - 9:55 am
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I am glad you had a good laugh with the stretch in module 12. Laughing is good medicine. SmileAnyway, this stretch is really mostly meant for those yogi types who can handle it, not your everyday client.

If you liked the tips about communication in module 13, you will love module 35 which is 100% about client communication!

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Barbara Baggett
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February 25, 2015 - 3:22 am
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Module 13

I'm reminded to focus on my hara, my breath, my posture, and always softness - a sinking in.

Pain at the top of the leg occurs with many of my clients. It is theraputic to address that area, instead of abandoning the move, in an attempt to change the nature of pain from 'bad' pain into a 'good' pain of release. In addition, by working to relax the area, by scooping and circles, the client gains respect for the practitioner's knowledge and skill. Using the 1-10 method while conversing with the client serves to categorize the pain, or discomfort, and compare the feeling pre and post work

Think conceptually about what the stretch is meant to do; how many ways can the foot move? Where can the hip move within the 45 degree hip pie?. Be a massage artist, flow, choose techniques that are suitable for the client.

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Barbara Baggett
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February 25, 2015 - 3:31 am
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(I reviewed # 13 again)

Module 14

Yea, rocking has been a favorite of mine, using it with Sweedish table work. I find it very useful in relaxing the client. (When rocking during a stretch, I think it also distracts the mind by doing 2 things at once). The hip rocking and stretching from side to side reminds the body that it can twist - a movement neglected in most day to day movements of a desk-worker. 

Reminder to not loose contact with the client while moving around the body, doing so in a graceful manner. Rocking back on my leg, and planning where to plant my foot have been helpful pointers.

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Shama Kern
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February 25, 2015 - 9:19 pm
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"When rocking during a stretch, I think it also distracts the mind by doing 2 things at once" - My version of this is that the clients never get to focus on a specific point of discomfort since you never stay in one spot with the continuous rocking motion. It takes the 'sting' out of strong stretches, especially for stiff people.

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Barbara Baggett
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March 3, 2015 - 5:08 am
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Module 15

I find working on the belly to be very profound. I only had 1 prior massage client who requested working there. Learning about the Hara, that could be why there is such an 'intimate' connection.

Also finding the work on the rib cage, especially moving the ribs from side to side and on the sternum to be beneficial to the thoracic spine. 

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Barbara Baggett
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March 3, 2015 - 5:17 am
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Module 16

Yes! Shoulder work! The one technique I am having a challenge with is when I put my foot in the armpit. My partner gives feedback that I need to be sure to apply pressure with my entire foot, concentrating on the mid to bottom of my foot. Apparently I am tending to use the upper part of my foot, which is creating discomfort in the armpit.

Pulling up on the shoulder and between the scapula and spine is heavenly. The stretch between the thigh and upper arm (hand beside head, elbow up) stretches muscles that my partner really appreciated, as it stretches muscles he doesn't normally stretch.

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Shama Kern
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March 3, 2015 - 2:32 pm
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Regarding the 'foot in the arm pit' stretch, make sure to angle your foot so that you use the outer edge of your foot. Your foot should fit in there like a wedge, not like a square block, and you are using the center section of your foot, not the area below the toes.

The other thing is that you cannot create too much counter pressure by pulling on the arm. You are not trying to create a big stretch, but you just want to create more mobility in the shoulder. Try to execute this technique as a flowing dance move instead of like a pull-stretch move.

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Barbara Baggett
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April 6, 2016 - 3:51 am
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Module 17 Arms & Hands

Sliding off the hand feels great and has released constriction in my partners wrist: pop! Pushing with the thumbs (on the palm and back of hand) towards the head is opposite from what I have done in the past. I had only done the technique shown with the interlaced fingers. The simultaneous sliding of 2 fingers at a time give an extra hand stretch (as opposed to 1 finger at a time). I'm a real fan of shaking and rocking all over!

I'm in total agreement with giving hand and foot massages as stand alone treatments. I've done this often in Hospice situations and the receivers are always grateful.

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Barbara Baggett
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April 6, 2016 - 5:35 am
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Module 18 Transitions & shoulder

'Take your client into a state of relaxation' ...not when I stumble into them or an object during transitioning! The transitioning will take time to master, and it is much easier when I am certain of what I want to do next. 

'Use your body in an elegant way' ..one of my favorite Austin therapists used a lot of movement and did so elegantly. I wonder if he studied Thai massage?

The shoulder work , with fingers laced on scapula, is SO nurturing. Being held in a secure embrace..I look forward to trying out the final technique on a smaller person than my husband.

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Shama Kern
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April 6, 2016 - 10:43 am
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Since you mentioned Austin - there are many therapists from Austin and the surrounding areas who went through our courses. Austin must be a hotbed for massage therapy! Smile

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Barbara Baggett
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May 11, 2016 - 12:22 am
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Module 19 Summary Supine

I am reminded here to practice with a harmonious flow, which feels good for me as well as the receiver. And to practice mindfulness , channeling energy using my breath through my hara, arms, and hands.

Techniques I noted were to relax , using shaking and rocking, after strong stretches. I find rocking very soothing.  I found the hip rocking while changing sides of the clients body to be a seamless transition. And, liked the transition over the head by stretching first one, then both arms, then the opposite arm to complete the transition.

Yes, Austin is a hotbed of therapists! I am now in Utopia, TX (population of 227 as of 2010 survey!), which is one reason I sought out your on line course. However, we have 3 therapists here that I know of. I believe I will be the only one to offer Thai massage :) 

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Shama Kern
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May 11, 2016 - 1:01 am
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That's a good position to be in. However I cannot quite imagine how 4 therapists could make a living from a total population of 227. I assume y'all must get clients from elsewhere too, correct?

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Barbara Baggett
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May 11, 2016 - 1:14 am
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Module 20: Prone Leg Warm Up

Happy that these techniques of contraction, traction, rocking and elephant walk are now familiar to me!

Good reminder to always warm up before stretching, and permission to use only warm up techniques when appropriate for the client.

The neck is a huge issue for me personally, herniated discs, very limited ROM. Wedging a pillow so neck is at a 45 degree angle is very useful; hadn't done exactly that before. 

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Barbara Baggett
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May 11, 2016 - 1:22 am
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re: Utopia. Luckily this is an area that tourists come to spring through fall for 'country' getaways. There's loads of B&B's.  I co-own an on-line travel company JB Journeys also, so for me it's a second job. At age approaching 60 next year, I'm hoping to slow down on the computer work & traveling, and focus on part part-time massage. I am definitely happier massaging than dealing with travel and staring at a computer!!

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May 11, 2016 - 1:52 am
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Haha, I know all about staring at a computer for way too long. I know how you feel.

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Barbara Baggett
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May 19, 2016 - 11:36 pm
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Module 21  Prone Leg 2

These techniques of leaning in compression on the leg has been my choice on front of leg for warm up. 
So, this reinforces and builds on those moves.  

Use of the flat part of the knee to push outer calf away from the bone feels great. As does the compression with forearm on the glutes. Raising the hip opens the joint and gives good access. The hip stretch is too much for my partner, so I am rocking to loosen the tight muscle. 

Always love glute work!

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Shama Kern
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May 20, 2016 - 1:04 am
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All clients I have ever asked love glute work. And most therapists don't touch the glutes - very strange!

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Barbara Baggett
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May 25, 2016 - 11:16 pm
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Module 22 Prone Leg

I like the technique of placing the foot on the glute while leaning into the outer calf because it warms up the calf while stretching the quads; two for one. It will be easy for me to remember to position the leg angling away from the body and also to work two legs together for a stronger stretch.

Sitting on the glutes while leaning back with the leg provides me with good leverage.

Using my knee to compress the glute, while pulling up on the hip feels great; I will include this in my 'tool box'. 

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Barbara Baggett
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July 4, 2016 - 1:27 am
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Module 23  Sacrum

Personally, my sacrum  gets 'stuck', and I lie on my back with knees to my chest and rock side to side and up and down.  Self help between all too infrequent massages!

Clearing the sides of the sacrum and the groove next to the spine with my thumbs helps release the fascia prior to pulling the hips up from the side. So far, I've been able to 'get in the groove'. The percussion of the sacrum feels really good.

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