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Cameron K. Brooks Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Cameron K. Brooks
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March 25, 2019 - 4:25 pm
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MODULE 1

__________

 

     When I began watching the first module I must admit that I was very eager to get started right away with learning the new techniques, and diving right into the material. But I cannot express how much I appreciate your emphasis on the importance of the quality of touch, and not becoming too mechanical in our work. I have studied the body viewing it from both Eastern and Western perspective's, and although, I also feel that is important to know your anatomy, I agree that if you become too clinical in your approach to working on the body, you can lose that connection with your client, and your touch may begin to feel lifeless and your work without any flow to it. I am very passionate about Thai Massage as well as Shiatsu, and prefer to work in the traditional style on a floor mat. But living here in the US generally speaking, many of the clients I see are far more familiar with receiving a massage from a table, and with the style's of work that are more commonly practiced here. And so, often times that is how I am working, which as you had stated makes you engage many other muscles unnecessarily. I apply many of the techniques to the table, but still I do feel very limited at times. And I know that needless to say, it is much harder on my body as a Therapist. This course has already brought so much new inspiration to my life and career at a time when it was much needed, and for that I am so very grateful. It is difficult sometimes to balance both Eastern and Western views, and not become too anatomical in my approach. But at the same time, when I am doing more focused work on client's in relation to specific injuries, Range Of Motion, or Postural issue's etc. knowing your Anatomy/Kinesiology definitely comes in handy. But once again, if I become too analytical or mechanical in my work, and just simply theorize my way around the body I may lose that connection, or symbiotic energy exchange which I also feel is so vitally important. I have applying the different principles that you teach to my work already, and although sometimes I am still working from a Massage Table, I have been able to work more effectively on different area's of the body and with much less effort than before!

  Also, I have found it to be very true that if you the Therapist are not at ease while you are working, the client will most definitely be able to feel it. And it will be difficult, if not impossible to transmit any form of healing energy to the client in that way. I have been practicing staying focused on my my breath, and making sure to keep it in a synchronized state with my client and with my movement's and my energy. And now, in applying many of the different principles that you teach my work has already become so much more of a joy! I am very excited for all that I know I will gain from this course, and I can hardly wait for the next module and all that is up ahead!

 Sincerely,

 Cameron K. Brooks

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Shama
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March 25, 2019 - 11:24 pm
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Hi Cameron, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

You expressed the east/west issue very succinctly in your post. 

I am glad to hear that you appreciate my approach of not jumping right into the techniques, but laying a good foundation first. I have seen too many Thai Massage trainings where the only emphasis was the techniques and the sequences, and there is just more to it. You will see this spirit throughout the entire course, although it will certainly be mostly focused on learning the techniques - but not without the elements which make them a true healing art.

I have tried to preserve the eastern approach while taking into account a primarily western audience - not always so easy. Smile

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Cameron K. Brooks
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March 27, 2019 - 2:12 pm
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 MODULE 2

__________

    I very much enjoyed practicing the "Chi Machine" technique in the second module. Though, at first I could tell that my body was not entirely at ease while practicing it, as I felt as though I was having to use much more strength than I believed was necessary. But, after a few minutes of making some small adjustment's, and correcting the position of my client, as well as keeping my focus on the hips as stated, I found that I was able to perform the technique with little to no effort. I also found it to be quite relaxing, and enjoyable to perform as well. And, after just a couple of minutes I got a feedback from my partner saying that they had felt a 'warm and tingling sensation' throughout their entire body, and that it had an extremely calming and almost hypnotic effect on them. I had also enjoyed experimenting with lightly holding various Acupressure points, such as KI-1 with my thumbs or KI-3/UB-60 with my thumbs/fingertips while still keeping the motion going. I really like how you begin your session's with this technique, and I also feel that it is a great way to get your client to unwind, and to release any tensions that they may be holding in their body.  I am very excited to incorporate the new techniques that I have been learning into my session's, and they have truly brought much new inspiration to my work. Also, I like the point you had made that although it may be essential to the learning process to first learn a sequence of steps or moves. We want to get to a point where we are creating a more natural, and effortless flow to our work. And that there is much more to Thai Massage than just the the physical movements or techniques.

 Again, I wish to express that I feel as though I have already gained so much from this course. Lately, there has been a new state of focus and presence in my work that has been bringing me much joy. I have also been staying more connected with my breath, and making sure that I am keeping it in sync with my clients. And now, I feel much more in alignment with my movements, and I feel much more at ease while I am working. Which I believe all translates to my client being more relaxed and comfortable as well. 

 

   

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Shama
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March 28, 2019 - 2:22 am
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You really seem to be a natural for Thai Massage. The Chi Machine is something that a lot of course students initially have a challenge with to figure out how it really works. I am glad that you crossed that bridge already! Smile

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Cameron K. Brooks
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March 30, 2019 - 3:19 am
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 MODULE 3

__________

     In watching the third module,

 One of the first points you had made that I had resonated with very much, was the comment regarding how you should always begin each session by ensuring that your first initial touch is one that is gentle and pleasant, and never any sort of abrupt or sudden movement. I approach each client with this mind state, and like to think of the initial touch as being more of a "question" than a "statement". I really enjoyed learning the technique where the practitioner swings his/her body in a counter-clockwise motion while pressing the points on the feet in this video. At first, it can feel sort of like rubbing your belly and scratching your head at the same time. Smile But it is very enjoyable to practice, and can feel very meditative once you get the hang of it.

 I have also started using this circular motion/technique often times while doing work on the feet in general, even while I am at a table as well. Which allows for me to be able to work on this area of the body with much less effort than before. And, although I was already familiar with some of the stretches in this video Plantar/Dorsiflexion etc. It was a great review, and I have found that in practicing them, I have started using many of the techniques which I have not for some time. Which again, has brought much new inspiration to my work, as I have begun approaching each session differently. And again, in applying many of the principles that you teach, I feel that I am now working with much more intention. I also really enjoyed learning the push/pull-rotate technique for the leg/hip joint, and my client commented that it felt great!

 

 Looking forward to the next Module!

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March 30, 2019 - 4:15 am
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"It can feel sort of like rubbing your belly and scratching your head at the same time." That one made me laugh. I had never thought of it in this way. Smile Anyway, good to hear that you figured this move out and that it flows for you. I know, this one is not so easy.

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Cameron K. Brooks
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March 31, 2019 - 3:30 pm
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 MODULE 4

__________

     I really enjoyed learning all of the other techniques for the foot that you present in this module. I have been practicing them regularly, and have been incorporating many of them into my session's lately and with great feedback! I really like all of the detailed work, such as the circles on the inside/outside of the heels. And also, the technique where you bring the client's leg out to the side, so that you are able to work much more easily on the sole of the foot. This technique, like many of the others taught in the previous lesson, has also given me the ability to work this area of the body with much more ease on my part. I also enjoyed your focus on working the foot in all directions, and how you had further elaborated on your perspective of learning more through conceptual thinking, rather than just doing things in a rote, memorized, sequential sort of way. And also, how you should never work just one isolated part the body. 

 

 Can't wait to get started with the next module!

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April 1, 2019 - 2:39 am
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Many western therapists don't do much foot work. But in Thai Massage this plays a more important role. It feels great, and typically clients really appreciate having their feet worked on for a while.

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Cameron K. Brooks
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April 4, 2019 - 1:13 pm
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 MODULE 5

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     This was a really great lesson. In learning the techniques, it has given me many new idea's for different ways that I am able work on the legs, as well as applying what is taught here to all different area's of the body. I enjoyed learning the softening techniques that were used along the medial thigh/adductors, and also how you had used this approach for softening/loosening the IT band/working Sen lines, and also warming up the thigh/quads. 

 Also, I really appreciated your emphasis on all of the little details, such as the different ways that you can hold/block the leg with your knee/foot while working, or holding with one hand, while using the other to knead/roll lower leg. Also, the lean-push/pull warming technique shown on the quads is great, and I like to think of it as being sort of a wave-like motion.

 Looking forward to the next lesson! 

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April 5, 2019 - 5:12 am
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You will find this level of detail throughout the course. There is nothing worse than showing someone a technique without sufficient detail, and then the student is floundering with applying it or is wondering why it is not working or not feeling good. I am trying hard to avoid this scenario! Smile

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Cameron K. Brooks
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April 8, 2019 - 3:22 pm
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 MODULE 6

___________

 

     In this lesson,

 I loved your first statement regarding the difference between the feeling of 'sinking in' as opposed to just 'pressing down' and your emphasis on 'The Power Of Softness'. I feel I have now gained many new idea's of how to approach/work different area's of the body from this module, and I really enjoyed learning the different techniques presented here, such as using the forearms to work up and down the Sen lines of the medial/lateral thigh, as well as using the palms (elephant walking) on the medial thigh and lower leg. The different techniques that can be applied with the methods you have shown here have opened up many new possibilities, and I especially like the point work done on the IT band/quads with the elbow/forearm while squeezing/pinning the thigh into side, which is a technique that can be applied with much ease as stated in the lesson.

 Also, I very much appreciated the different idea's that you present here of ways that you are able stop/block the clients leg while working, and have found them to be very useful. 

     Thank you so much again Shama for the continued inspiration that this course has given me,

 Looking forward to the next lesson!

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April 9, 2019 - 2:32 am
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I am so glad to read about your appreciation of this material. No doubt that you are an excellent Thai Massage therapist. We get good at what we love to do! That's why Thai Massage can never work well if it's done in just a mechanical way. 

Of course you have an excellent background already and are not starting from scratch - that should be very helpful for this course, I imagine.

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April 13, 2019 - 1:58 pm
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MODULE 7

__________ 

     Thank you so much Shama for your kind words, and for all of your encouragement. This was a wonderful lesson on different ways of evaluating/assessing the hip. I loved the first point you had made regarding how each body is different, and will have different restrictions/ limitations when applying different stretches/techniques. And this is always something that needs to be considered while working on each individual client/area of the body, as there will always be certain adjustments that will need to be made. I also loved your analogy of how it is in noticing these subtle details/deviations in posture/alignment that we are able to understand "The Story" that our clients body may be trying to tell us. For example as you had stated in the lesson; "The angle of the feet can tell you a story about the condition of the hip". 

 And I really enjoyed all of the different variations of elephant walking (compressions)/stretches for the legs etc., especially the technique where you had used the circular motion for the (Hip lift-cross pull stretch). 

Thank you for another great lesson, and looking forward to getting started with the next module!

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April 14, 2019 - 4:17 am
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I am happy to hear that you find this useful and relate to the concepts in this module so well!

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Cameron K. Brooks
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April 15, 2019 - 1:59 pm
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 MODULE 8

__________

 

     Another great lesson! I had really enjoyed learning many of the different variations of stretches/techniques that were demonstrated in this module. And, as I have been incorporating many of them into my work, they have helped to give me many new idea's and inspiration. I really liked the 'alternating finger pulling' technique used on Gastrocnemius/Soleus, as well as the different compression/squeezing techniques where you had used circular motions for kneading/softening the lower leg. Also, I really enjoyed the different rocking techniques that were shown for loosening the hip joint. And I found the "Power Stretch" to be a really great variation for that stretch, which does allow for much more leverage, and can be applied to clients that may be larger with much more ease as you had stated. As always, I love your focus on intention, and how it is so important that we think in more of a conceptual sort of way when working on the body, as opposed to just doing things in some sort of mechanical or habitual, order or sequence. Looking forward to the next module!

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April 16, 2019 - 2:34 am
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Thai Massage seems to fit you like hand-in-glove! I always enjoy reading your posts. Smile

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Cameron K. Brooks
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April 19, 2019 - 2:07 am
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 MODULE 9

__________

 

 Hello again Shama, 

    First, I wish to say that I am so grateful to have you as an Instructor, and as a Mentor. And, that it truly means so much to hear such things from someone whom is so well respected in the field, and with so many years of experience as yourself. Though, I do my best to never be moved by neither shame nor glory, and always wish to remain humble, I do not feel your kind words of encouragement have hindered me an any way on my path to discovering my true potential. And again, I wish to express my utmost gratitude for all this course has given me thus far on my journey. I really enjoyed the first technique (Rocking Adductors) when applying one of the stretches that are shown in the "Hip Pie" Module. And the different variations for the hamstring stretches etc. As well as the one where the client's leg is crossed over their body and you can use your foot to block/stop their leg while working, and found it to be very useful.

     I also love incorporating many different rocking techniques into my work as well, and feel that that the "Ebb and Flow" like the tide, technique that is applied in Thai Massage is such a great way to ease into and apply stretches. I am always visualizing myself infusing the elements of nature into my work, and it is techniques such as this one that I really enjoy incorporating into the work I do. I also loved your comment on there being an "Interplay of holding up & pushing down" when applying a stretch, as it is this focus, on all of the subtle details in your work, and the intention that you bring again, that I so much value and appreciate. Also, I really liked the 'Spinal Twist' at the end of this module, and thought that it was great how you had added a little rocking into that technique as well Smile

 Can't wait to begin with the the next lesson!

 

 Sincerely,

Cameron K. Brooks

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April 19, 2019 - 3:05 am
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I had to try hard not to blush with all this appreciation you are showering on me. SmileThank you!

We are all nourished by good energy. It might be good feedback from a client, or in my case it is comments like yours that really make my day, and it is the passion and the self-respect and the sincerity and love which we have for our work. 

Encouragement is always a good thing, and ego can undo it all. There is a fine balance between healthy self-esteem and ego. It seems to me that you are the correct side of this balance. Smile

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Cameron K. Brooks
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April 25, 2019 - 3:29 pm
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 MODULE 10

____________

     What a great lesson!! I loved your first comments regarding how 'softness of touch' like a mantra, should be repeated in your mind upon first placing your hand on each and every client. There were quite a few great techniques shown in this lesson, but I had particularly enjoyed learning the different variations of the stretches, and the focus placed on the hara in this module. As well as how you had also shown the different ways of bracing/holding the clients leg, while pressing down on the client's shoulder w/hand-over-hand, for extended/power version of stretches. Also, I really enjoyed  the "Hip Pie 270 stretch", and it is very similar to a stretch that I often like to do for the Piriformis, and I found your different applications and approaches to be very useful and inspiring as usual. But thank you so much Shama, for always making it about so much more than just simply the techniques..

 

 Can't wait to get started on the next one!Smile

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