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Bethany's Thai Back Massage Course
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Bethany
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August 12, 2013 - 5:39 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 1

This module is a good refresher for the evaluation of visually seeing Lordosis, Kyphosis and scoliosis. I have never checked for lordosis or kyphosis in the supine position, and look forward to using this in addition to the standing position. Thank you for the suggestion also about how to treat for spinal rotation.

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Bethany
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August 12, 2013 - 6:05 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 2

Under the heading Those we can’t do much about: birth defects:  I have a 7 year old boy who when he is in town his mother brings him to me. He is a Korean orphan, who was not touched much for his first six months. He has stiff hips and ankles. His gait swivels from side to side. I am hoping the stretching that will be taught here will help him even more. I would love to send you a short video so you could let me know what you think.

I run into clients all the time that want me to take their pain away but will do nothing to help themselves. It is frustrating, but you must educate as much as you can and then let it go?

When you speak of cell memory, and the way the body gets stuck (because of an injury) this is helpful. I mostly talk about this as a muscle memory but of course it makes sense that it goes to a deeper extent Into the cell. This gives me a visual more in alignment with the Qi.

The Anatomy and the function of the spine is a good review.

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Bethany
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August 12, 2013 - 6:28 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 3

I am so glad that I completed the Hands Free Thai Massage Course first so I did not have to relearn how to prop. I am using a face cradle stuck under the chest pillow. It works great! I love that you teach to use other body parts if possible before using your hands. This has really helped my body immensely!

Using the 45 degree angle does take much of the strain off from the wrist. Thank you!

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Bethany
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August 12, 2013 - 6:54 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 4

Love the explanation of the difference between pressure and leaning into the body. I use far too much muscle pressure and am happily implementing the body lean!

 I use the foot rocking technique that you taught in the hands free course every day that I work. Everyone loves the way it feels, I am so happy to learn more of the rocking massage.

I agree that the variable pressure feels markedly better.  The way you describe the variable pressure for the faster palm moves makes it easy to understand. The 5th movement reminds me so much of Dr. Kellogg’s chucking moves. Keep the modules flowing!

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Shama
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August 13, 2013 - 1:14 am
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“I would love to send you a short video so you could let me know what you think.” Sure, feel free to do that.

“I run into clients all the time that want me to take their pain away but will do nothing to help themselves. It is frustrating, but you must educate as much as you can and then let it go?” – This is exactly the right attitude. We can try our best, but we cannot be attached to the results, otherwise we are in for a lot of frustration.

“I love that you teach to use other body parts if possible before using your hands. This has really helped my body immensely!” – I would not have survived in my massage career with lots of intense therapeutic work on often large and heavy persons without this strategy. I call it the “massage therapist’s career insurance policy”. 

“Love the explanation of the difference between pressure and leaning into the body. I use far too much muscle pressure and am happily implementing the body lean!” – Way too many therapists use too much muscle power. Thai Massage really lends itself to the “body lean” because you can get right on top of them while working on the floor. You can even do that on a massage table, but it is easier on the floor.

“I agree that the variable pressure feels markedly better.” – This is one of the cases where a small adjustment makes a big difference.

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Bethany
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August 22, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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Thai Back Massage Module 5

What was most important to me in this videos was when you talk about developing a feeling of sinking into the body.  Since I am a visual learner right away it clicked with me. 

To use your thumbs to receive more accurate information is true. One can  pick up so much information through the thumbs. ” Listen with the Thumbs” touche’! 

When you are alternating from the sacral groove to the edge you talk about this being more general work. Is this because the pressure is lighter or because the area is not being worked as specifically?

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Bethany
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August 22, 2013 - 12:43 pm
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Thai Back Massage Module 6

 

I used the heal of the hand technique on a couple of clients today. They both liked it very much. I worked just off the sacrum with my heal and thumbs in the rocking movement. My last client was very large and I got to practice transferring my body across hers without interruption. It worked very well thank you. 

I feel weird working directly on top of the sacrum itself. I have only done fascial stretches and cranial sacral work directly on top of the sacrum. This is what you are saying correct. I’m working directly over the sacrum and SI joint correct? And it is ok to apply more pressure here?

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Shama
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August 22, 2013 - 10:45 pm
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Yes, you can apply quite some pressure onto the sacrum and SI joint. If you baby those areas, it doesn’t feel like anything useful. Great that you got the “switching sides” technique right!

And for some techniques you will be right on top of the sacrum which gives you better leverage. For other techniques you are coming in at an angle. The more you can leverage your body weight, the better.

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Bethany
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August 26, 2013 - 4:41 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 7

Very few of my clients are small. I get many thick, heavily muscled or over weight clients. I look forward to the next module where you present these techniques with the knees and feet. The clients that I am practicing on really like the heel and forearm movements. However, I am looking forward to hearing how these same clients like the footwork in comparison. 

I do think that the circular rocking on the gluteals while rocking the lower back is a bit challenging to coordinate. Practice makes perfect they say. I am limiting how much thumb work I use so I am just using the thumb rocking long enough to feel what is going on in that gluteus medius muscle.

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Shama
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August 27, 2013 - 10:41 pm
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Good that you are getting a positive response. It does take a little time until you develop enough sensitivity in forearms, knees, elbows and feet to make it feel good consistently, but this comes with practice, as you say.

I also mostly work on large clients, and I would have never survived that long in my career without the use of all these various body parts. That’s one big reason why I love Thai Massage. It gives you more leverage than other massage systems, and you don’t have to worry about wearing out your hands.

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Bethany
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October 2, 2013 - 11:00 pm
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Thai Back Massage Module 8

I think the knee techniques work well not only for large people but also those whom after you really work the quadratus lumborum the muscle still feels ridged. The knees really help to work out this rigid ness. 

 

The double knee rocking looks complicated on the video but is fun too do after coordinating the movements. I have used the rocking with the heel of foot movement on every client that I have worked on in the last 4 months. Everyone loves the feel of this movement.

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Bethany
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October 2, 2013 - 11:25 pm
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Thai Back Massage Module 9

thank you for the information on the energy flow channels. You are so right when you talk about listening with the hands. I am in transition from mainly using my hands for massage to using my feet. I can feel so much with my feet but I am having a hard time transferring the energy from my feet to my clients. With the hands, this came so easy. I would send reiki or feel the Qi easily. Any suggestions as how to get the feet to be a better conductor of Qi. 

I love cross fiber work thanks for the refresher. 

 

The part where you talk about keeping your hands in motion in order to gather more information about what is going on in the body has been very helpful. This is another great tool to elevate the sensing of the body. I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and find it helpful.

I really loved this module Shama.

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Shama
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October 4, 2013 - 1:39 am
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Well, it is a fact that certain things are easier with the hands, like sensing for knots and blockages and transferring energy. However there is a trade-off here. If you just do gentle work and want to focus mostly on energy transfer, you can mostly work with your hands.

However if you work on big muscular clients and you need more power, plus you want and need to preserve your own health and longevity as a therapist, then you have to use other body parts, even though energy transfer is not as easy with the feet for example.

The more you practice working with other body parts, the more sensitivity you will develop. The heels will never develop the same sensitivity of your fingers, but your fingers will never have the power of your heels. Smile This is a perfectly acceptable trade-off.

The best way to send energy through other body parts is to focus on your hara and channel energy through your body by visualizing your breath flowing into those body parts and into your client.

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Bethany
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October 7, 2013 - 4:01 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 10

Focusing on breathing through my feet elbows and knees takes much more mindfulness then breathing through the hands. This last week of practice has helped tremendously however much moe practice is needed. To me the technique is much less important then the intension indeed! I was trained at a school where technique was most important. I was lucky however to have a teacher who stressed intention above all! 

The analogy that you used about the glove being the body and hand being the energy is by far the best description of the relationship between muscle and energy that I have ever heard.  I also love idea away you show how to sink into the body. Many of these elbow techniques I have been already using from the Hands Free Thai Massage Course. Thanks for the refresher.

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Bethany
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October 7, 2013 - 4:58 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 11

I have never used knuckles before while doing a massage. The point you make about only taking the movement 70% makes this different then chucking. This helped to clarify the intensity of the movement to me. I have used the forearm leaning for much larger clients and find it to be very effective. I also like the rocking with edge of hands in groove. It relaxes the client who carries much tension in the upper back area. I am using this as a loosening technique before I do heavier work. I always love finishing with percussion. The way you show it is a different technique then the fite percussion techniques that I already use. Thanks for another option Shama!

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Bethany
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October 7, 2013 - 5:25 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 12

My last post was for module 11. I think my dog sat on my key pad, sorry. I did not realize this until after I sent it.

I am fortunate that I have many large clients to practice these power techniques on. Almost everyone  comments on how good the heal rocking feels on the lower back. It is a small area that is worked but it is very effective! I have been using this since the Hands Free course but was working only with my leg. With this move, the idea is to lean in and out just like you would with the elbow leaning technique correct?

Love, Love, Love the heal of hand elephant walking on trapezius. It is strong, firm but soothing.

You are so right about working longer with less pressure even on larger more muscular clients. I have found that using too much pressure for too long of a time really does put clients on edge. Good that you show this.

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Bethany
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October 7, 2013 - 6:13 am
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Thai Back Massage Module 13

I have taken other online massage classes before and always thought it would be beneficial to see the work put together. The only thing that would make this better is if you could show just how long you work the technique in a real massage. Just to get a sense of it.

I often work on people who can not lye face down or on their back, so I have to improvise how I work quite often. 

I was working the I.T. Band on one of my older runners who has trouble with lower back pain. While I had him on his side I practiced many of the techniques from this module. Even though he is not a huge guy, he has very tight Quadratus Lumborum muscles. He loved the arching the back around the knee movement the best.

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Bethany
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October 7, 2013 - 11:29 pm
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Thai Back Massage Module 14

The work around the scapula is not so foreign. This has been easy to pick up and add some of these movements into my massage already. 

I am so excited to be finally learning some of the stretching techniques. These are so very different then the stretches I already use. These are great Shama. I have some very conservative clients, and this will be fun to see who other then my practice partners will be open to the close contact.

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Shama
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October 8, 2013 - 12:06 am
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Looks like you went on a posting marathon Laugh. By the way, if your dog sits on the keypad again, you can edit posts after you have posted them. I just did that and fixed what your dog did haha.

I am glad you like the glove and hand analogy. I like easy to understand concepts without making it seem more complicated than necessary.

You know, I came up with a whole bunch of knuckle techniques when I had this big and stiff regular client who needed and wanted intense back therapy work in every session, and I felt like I was breaking my hands on him. So out of my self preservation instinct I came up with ways to help him and help myself.

He is a guy whom I hardly use my hands on since it doesn’t get me anywhere with him. He loves all the heavy duty work with elbows, knees and forearms. If I would not have all these tools in my repertoire, I would have lost him a long time ago as a client. But as it stands I have been working on him regularly for three years since he cannot find anyone else who can use the body’s inbuilt tools as well as I can. Now with this course you can do it too, since it is all in there!

Regarding seeing it all put together, at the end of this course there is a summary session where you can see how you can put it all together.

And…even conservative clients primarily want results. If they see that what you do works, I am sure they will adjust to the physical contact of Thai Massage. After all, they get to keep their clothes on in contrast to Swedish massage where they are naked!

 

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Bethany
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October 13, 2013 - 1:16 am
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Oh Shama, so true about taking results over being too conservative! This made me chuckle! I think it should not matter how close you are working, as long as what you do is working. Thank you for confirming this in such a fun and  to the point way. Have a great day!

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