I was able to practice this abdominal work with my sister who suffers from anxiety, seasonal allergies and asthma. The western-style massage I studied included abdominal work and this is a little different. I think it's very important to include abdominal work for people as we do store so much here. I know people that love it and people who will pass on it every time. I thought she would be shy about it but because she was comfortable with me she allowed to do it and gave great feedback throughout. The rib work is wonderful and I am looking forward to practicing these techniques with my friend and bodywork mentor, because abdominal work is her favorite to receive.
My sister felt amazing and open after the hip, abdominal, and clavicle work. She felt more breath intake and openness. She also suffers with rheumatoid arthritis and this type of massage had her feeling more open and free in her body. Everytime I ask her to come lay down on my mat for practice, she says, "Sign me up!!!" Glad that children are back in school here now and we have more time to receive the benefit of this treatment and that she is patient with me learning and giving honest and great feedback.
I enjoyed the 11 Healing Arts that you included in the Thai Experience. I would love to experience Tok Sen and had never heard of Chi Nei Tsang-- interesting!
Gua Sha has become very popular in recent years in the West but mostly focused on facial techniques for the face-lifting properties. But I've known friends who follow TCM and have used gua sha tools in the more traditional ways for years to bring all that fresh blood up to the surface. Thai foot massage looks divine and very similar to one of my local Chinese foot massage spas ----- my favorite quick, easy, self-care first choice. Nothing like lying back in a recliner and having a great foot treatment; usually includes some amazing head massage and arms and hands before the focus changes to legs and feet. I often refer to the foot spa here as a "Best kept Secret in Norfolk" but I tell everyone how great it its~
I am glad to hear that you like the Thailand experience section and that you appreciate the interview with Deon.
Regarding traditions, rules, etc., I am a firm believer in making Thai Massage your own and not worrying too much about tradition. Other people love telling you what you should do and what you shouldn't do, but ultimately you have to develop your own style and do what feels right for you. You have to do what your heart tells you to do, not what the rules say.
I've practiced these shoulder techniques on two people so far. My sister really enjoyed them and we are of similar height so it was a bit easier. My second practice person is larger than me and her shirt was made of a material that was harder to grip. Since she was a larger build, it made practicing transitions harder, but I still view it as a good thing, because getting your hands on different body types is great while learning. The hardest thing for me I think was that her shirt was made of a material that made it difficult to grip and slide. But now I know to suggest to people to wear cotton and not something too blousey (if that's a proper word)
Arms and hands were fun to practice. I love the practicality of focusing on the sen lines when it comes to the arms and was happy to learn such specific and nurmerous techniques for hands. When I was in massage school, we learned the palm/hand stretches and finger traction, but nothing specific for the palm since everything feels good. We called it the palm party. Love to have some new material since palm work will put some people rignt to sleep or help them relax more deeply. It also brought to mind to use this new material for people that can't recieve a massage for reasons of severe illness, bed ridden, etc. How wonderful to be able to relax the hands and feet when possible. Thank you for this
"The hardest thing for me I think was that her shirt was made of a material that made it difficult to grip and slide." - In Thailand most massage shops have some suitable loose pants and a shirt on hand to give to their clients, especially if they don't wear appropriate clothes. I have always done the same thing by keeping a couple of sets of appropriate clothing for my clients in case they show up with clothes that are hard to work with.
I really enjoyed practicing the spinal twists and transitions. My practice partner for this session has an interest in Thai massage as well and I look forward to her practicing on me now. I think it will be so helpful to know what some of these moves feel like as well as receiving the benefit of the stretches for myself.