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Brandon Paulk's Complete Tai Massage Course Notes
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Shama Kern
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September 29, 2022 - 10:53 pm
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"When you're placing your hands down to stabilize your knee. Is your weight going straight down or at an angle?"  -  The weight goes straight down, no angle.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 4, 2022 - 9:41 am
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Module 26

The elbow work here was amazing. I enjoyed it almost as much as the person I was working on. I really like how you can be gentle with them or put a crazy amount of precision pressure. (If the client wants that) I really admire how you teach from the perspective that it doesn't have to be painful to be affective and then show options. Like here with the different options and uses with the palms and elbows. The way the elbows are  used here was also very comfortable for me as well. The positions were very relaxing and i was able to get good leveraging on the spots that needed it. I really enjoy elephant walking and though I do like the effect of galloping I feel a bit rushed when I use it. I know that'll go away with practice, but till then I'll probably use more elephant walking mostly. I got really good feedback on placement and intensity. It was a lot easier doing this module for me and I feel like my ergonomics has got a lot better as well so there were a couple of times were I noticed them having trouble and I was able to communicate and adjust pressure without having to stop the movement or flow of it. My hands were a little tight so I didn't do the thumb technique for long, but I did get the feel of it and got some positive feedback. The part with the neck and trap massage was very nice and got lots of happy groans. I really liked going back and forth from the shoulder and trap while working the neck as well. 

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Brandon Paulk
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October 4, 2022 - 10:04 am
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Module 27

The very first move on this made my partner's day. They loved the trap work from this module and told me I was in the perfect spot. I did have some issues getting under the shoulder blade and thought that maybe I wasn't getting the shoulder high enough. I did come to the conclusion after making a couple of adjustments that the person I was working on just had really shallow shoulder blades. They did still really enjoy the gentle pull that took place. As well as work that area with the fingers. The shoulder stretch in this one the leg across the hip took me a second, but was able to get a great stretch out of it and it git good feedback of how the stretch felt really good. In the cobra section my partner didn't know if she was to hold her head up let it hang and when I was double checking I couldn't tell in the video. Do you suggest for the client to keep the neck loose in that position? I did find a variation for the pillow that worked well with the pillow from the head rest that attaches to the table. It was comfortable to put the face in and with something under the chest still gave the elevation. It also kept the neck straight as well. All in all a great session.

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October 5, 2022 - 3:37 am
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"In the cobra section my partner didn't know if she was to hold her head up let it hang and when I was double checking I couldn't tell in the video. Do you suggest for the client to keep the neck loose in that position?"  -  The client would ideally keep the head level without raising it a lot or letting it hang. But it is hard to control that. If you give the client instructions on how to keep their head, it feels a little over the top. So in actual practice I just let the client position their head as they want it and I don't say anything. There is such a thing as over-managing a client. Laugh

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Brandon Paulk
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October 5, 2022 - 5:26 pm
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Module 28

With this being a review module I must say I have really enjoyed the back work the past few modules. It was fun, relaxing, and the client or partner enjoyed it thoroughly. Almost every session, even the practice ones that weren't focused on specific modules, whoever I was working on either almost fell asleep or did. Sometimes it made it difficult to get feedback, but I suppose them falling asleep did speak to how relaxing it was to do the prone section. The last session I did I had great feedback from the rocking while I was working on the sacrum and glutes. Working on different people was difficult while trying to figure out the sacrum or everyone, but it was great learning how different everyone is. I did find that even if I couldn't find it I could still do circles with the palms and some percussion to work it and move to the glutes and got positive feedback from that. It is a lot of techniques that go in the prone and I had to do quite a bit of review and rewatching to feel comfortable in the flow session. The last one I did felt way better as far as the flow of it.

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October 5, 2022 - 6:46 pm
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You are right - clients falling asleep speaks for itself! It definitely says something about your quality of touch and your sensitivity in how far you can go with the techniques.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 12, 2022 - 7:27 am
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Module 29

Is a bolster too large or firm to use under the leg. I had some issues with sliding, but that may have been because the pillow wasn't tucked deep enough. I move the pillow more in and it did help. The sitting was interesting it was kind of difficult to tell if I was in a good spot, but I didn't get any complaints or issues and I was staying on the outside of the leg so I was pretty sure I was in the right spots. I didn't have any issues moving up and down the leg and I felt pretty confident that I was staying on the outside part of the body. Moving on to the hip I had some really good responses working around there. They said it was their favorite part of this module. They very much preferred the elbow over just the hands, they needed that extra pressure. The percussion got good responses too, but they just preferred the elbow. The last stretch, the inner thigh and hip stretch, I feel like I just wasn't getting the right stretch. I had some trouble getting the leg up and straight which is probably what gave me all the trouble, but will try again soon. 

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October 12, 2022 - 9:09 am
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Sounds like good results in general. There will always be moves that need to be repeated more often to get the hang of them and videos that need to be re-watched. In fact, all videos need to be re-watched since so many students told me that when they re-watched the videos, they found all kinds of things that they had missed the first time or forgotten since then.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 14, 2022 - 6:37 pm
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Module 30 

The elephant walking is still my favorite way to start, it is so relaxing. When I moved to the erector muscle with the next technique she felt like something wanted to pop in a good way,  but just didn'twant to give. When we flipped to do the opposite side we got a nice pop in the spine doing the same technique. When doing the spinal twist I had some issues getting the stretch in the spine. I think she was really tight in the muscle over her ribs due to a previous injury in that area. I was able to get a spinal stretch for her, but it wasn't until later with another technique. I really like the rocking motion with the spinal twist and I can do it slow, but not up to full speed. I worked on it for a little while and got a bit of a flow going, but I couldn't keep it consistent at speed so it'll be something I continue to work on for sure. I had some similar problems as last module with the hip flexor stretch. I think it's just working with the leg like that and keeping it stable is what I'm having the most trouble with. I was able to get the stretch done and it went pretty good as a stretch, but it was very clumsily executed.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 14, 2022 - 7:11 pm
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Module 31

I thought this was really cool. The shoulder work was a lot of fun.  There were a couple times when my wife wasn't sure where she was supposed to be feeling a stretch or she was supposed to be feeling in general. She did say it was relaxing, just that she wasn't sure about a couple of the techniques. Working the shoulder and traps it took me a second to get settled, but after that it felt really natural. The shoulder circling and rocking was interesting this was one that she wasn't sure about. She said it felt good, but she didn't know what she was supposed tobe feeling or what made it different. It was a fun module, but I did have some issues with it for some reason. When doing circles with the arms it was hard for me tell if I was getting the intended work done. I think I was getting the push pull right, but I wasn't sure. The next technique went pretty well and she liked the pressure on her traps. The rotation was very soothing as well. Her traps were a little tight for the stronger version closer to the end of the video so I decided to work on that one later. 

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October 15, 2022 - 7:17 am
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Granted, the arm circle technique is a bit tricky. It needs to be done carefully and with feeling. There is one point in the rotation that can hurt if you are not careful.

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October 18, 2022 - 8:27 am
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Module 32

In the first stretch, the person wasn't flexible enough. I took some time to look at the stretch and position, but had a hard time figuring out where to have the thumb. I couldn't get the arm into position due to the lack of flexibility so that may have been why it was harder to find where to get the thumb in. When working on the scapula it got a little easier and I was able to loosen it up a bit. The scapula is really weird to work with for me just because I can't tell how much it can take without hurting. I feel like all of these can get way deeper than most of our previous stuff. So I took some extra time to work on feeling it. Working into the rock was a nice way to use leveraging in that area and I was told it felt very nice. Kneading the lats also got great reactions. I was told it felt amazing. On the compression part I felt like crossing the hands was also more comfortable than side to side. I like the friction on the shoulder and the stretch close to the end of the video was a great way to round off my session. 

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October 18, 2022 - 7:48 pm
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You will probably find that the scapula hurts a lot less easily than you might assume. The one thing that can hurt is if you are digging your thumbs under it, and that mainly on people whose scapula is 'glued' to their back. In such cases it is often better to skip this technique.

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October 20, 2022 - 4:44 am
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Module 33

We actually ran into a couple of the things you mentioned about why you don't always finish in the sitting position right off the bat. So we didn't get to work on it long and took some breaks because her back had started to hurt. The pillow for knee support was a a great help since the person helping me had a bony back. Working the trapezius got a great response. She said that I could work there forever and laughed. I really like the rocking, it helped a lot when my hands got tired. I was working on a friend and she liked working them together one after the other. The neck squeezes were also well received. My friend really liked after the release there was a cool feeling as the blood came back in after stretching the muscle. I never thought about how the muscle is softer when the head is supported. When I usually work this area it's on a pillow or they looking straight so the muscle is usually simi relaxed already so I never thought about it. The grips were really helpful, I'm always unsure when holding someone's hands or arms. I tend to sweat a bit, these helped. The stretch was really nice she was thrilled, it took me a couple tries to make sure my feet were in the right place, but when I could really apply the stretch and she loved it. The spinal twist was interesting, I usually will try and do something like this on myself so I was intrigued to see how a person would do it on another. It was so gentle and smooth. I tend to over think things so I was a bit surprised how gentle the stretch was and I got a nice pop from her back. I'm doing pretty good with keeping contact, but sometimes I'm a little too in my head and loss contact. I usually notice immediately and make a note to try and not do it again during the session. All in all I think the first exposure to the sitting position was good.

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October 20, 2022 - 7:28 pm
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Although it is not good to end a session with the sitting position, and it doesn't work on everyone, there are some great techniques that are perfect for certain clients. Also in the sitting position you get lots of leverage with relatively little effort. Especially the yogi types love the sitting techniques.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 21, 2022 - 6:40 am
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Module 34

I do sometimes worry about the intimacy issue, living in the west everyone tends to make a bigger deal than it should be. With the clients I've had so far I've been doin kinda what you had said just having a clear mind and doing the work in the places that need it and people do care what your doing as long as you can help with their pain levels. The first technique was awesome, it worked so well with the decompression of the back. Back trouble is one of the most common I've come across so far and I tried it on my wife and she loved it. On the next one it took me a bit to work through some balance issues, but I was able to get nice and stable. Is this move ment to run on the erector muscle? Is it used as a stretch or to put good pressure on the muscle? I loved working the trap and neck with the forearm, you can get a lot of depth which is really nice since I know a lot of people that need it. I like it the most working it into the circle. Having access to between the shoulder blades was great and I got amazing reactions. She said it was like being rocked to sleep. The last one was a little difficult for her, her shoulders were really tight. I Did some other shoulder work to loosen the area and went back which worked a lot better for her. Thank you again for these they've been very helpful.

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October 21, 2022 - 8:01 am
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"Is this move meant to run on the erector muscle? Is it used as a stretch or to put good pressure on the muscle?"  -  It is not meant to run on the erector muscles. You can't get close enough with the knee to hit them precisely anyway. It is primarily used as a stretch.

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Brandon Paulk
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October 21, 2022 - 9:55 pm
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Module 35

I really like this approach I have to use something similar when I have Reiki clients because a lot of them don't know what it is. This is something that really helps when learning a new modality, I really appreciate the attention to detail here. I had two people recently who needed work and one had a bracket put in the elbow and there was no scarring whatsoever, so without asking I wouldn't have known.

The other had a car wreck three years prior and her leg still held a lot of trauma. Knowing ahead allowed me to be aware and cautious of those areas and work around them so that their bodies could get to a better place than they were. The 1-10 works really well, the only problem I have is everyone I've been working on wants to fight the pain and get a deeper stretch even if they gave a high number like 8 or 9 they still want me to go deeper and ask for more.

I have done something similar when talking about someone who is in pain and have seen it diminish some with using some of the other techniques. I just forgot to use the number system in those moments, but they were able to get a deeper stretch with less pain after. I like the part about cells have memory, it's very true and a lot of people aren't aware of it.

I am still working on picking up what types of people I'm working on. I've had someone open up just by telling them something about Thai massage. I have also had some issues with the stiff limbs even though they think they're relaxed. I usually try and draw attention to it and make them aware of it. This module had some great tips, I'll definitely be using these in the future.

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October 22, 2022 - 6:19 am
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With this module you have a blueprint about how to deal with clients. The details will come with experience and your own intuition.

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