Hi Carlos, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum. I saw that you are from Chiapas. I have spent a few years in Mexico (a long time ago before I moved to Thailand). You must have spent time in the US or some English speaking country, I imagine, since your English is a bit too perfect!
You must also be quite good with computers since I saw that you figured out the certification and forum registration thing immediately. But just for formality's sake, please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:
With your Shiatsu background this Thai Massage course should be easy for you and an excellent fit.
Also I am wondering if I could shorten your name to Carlos Eduardo Thomas on your certificate. Your entire name which you listed on your certification registration is so long that it won't fit on the certificate. Or is there another way of abbreviating it which you prefer?
Hi Sharma, nice to meet you! I've never been in an English-speaking country, but I did take several English courses when I was younger, my accent is very latino jaja. Did you like being in Mexico? A friend told me that the weather of Chiapas is very similar to Thailand's.
My name is to large indeed, Carlos Thomas is just fine.
I also think shiatsu will help understand Thai massage, I read one article of sen channels in your website, that's how I learned about you, and saw some similarities, but I feel like Thai massage is less restrictive and more intuitive and creative than shiatsu.
I checked the certification check list but I don't know if there still something I'm missing!!
I really liked living in Mexico, and I speak pretty fluent Spanish as well. Now I am half way across the world and it is a long trip to visit there.
If your English comes from taking courses in Mexico, then either the schools must have been very good, or you were a genius student, or both! Here in Thailand people take English courses all the time, but most of them never learn it well.
You are right, Shiatsu can get very specific and there is a lot of theoretical knowledge. Thai Massage has less of that, and in my particular style I really promote the intuitive and creative elements since I feel that in the end this is what makes a good therapist.
You probably don't miss anything in the certification check list, but I always post it for every new course student just to make sure that everyone has those references.
Hi Shama, I saw the first video last night, I like the way you explain everything, so poetic and easy to understand! The breathing as a key to sensing your energy is a great concept! By the way, I know I'm maybe getting ahead, but is there any ritual or spiritual/energetic protocol to perform before making or while you are making a Thai massage? I have read about washing the client's feet and altars that had the purpose to being reminders of love, compassion and humbly so the therapist can return into concentration from any distraction ... do you think it is necessary? Or all this is covered by focusing in your breath? I found this very special and interesting. What do you do before a Thai massage session ?
I'm going to work with my mom as a partner, she got this chicongunya disease last January, so practicing on her may help her condition, and use a futon as a mat, is that OK? Or should I use something flatter ??
I'm looking forward for the next module!
Thanks Shama and have a wonderful night!
Carlos, this topic is like a hot potato. You touch it and you can get burned haha. Here in Thailand some therapists express their respect for the founder of Thai Massage, Shivaka Komarpaj, before a session. There is a more elaborate prayer for him which is often recited in the morning in the Thai Massage schools. Pretty much every house in Thailand has a "spirit house" outside, which is basically an altar, and it is very common to see altars inside houses.
This is all part of Buddhist culture and quite normal. Paying respect to Buddha, monks, the king, and others is just part of life here. So nobody finds it strange if a Thai Massage therapist folds their hands and mutters a little prayer before a session. Actually the majority don't do this, but quite a few do.
However in the western world this is not common at all. Some western therapists are very much against this kind of thing because they feel that it conflicts with their Christian values. Others are simply not spiritually oriented and they don't want massage instructions mixed with spirituality or any rituals. Then again there are others who totally embrace Buddhist values and they love such prayers and rituals.
As far as I am concerned, I have avoided addressing this topic in my courses since it can generate conflict very easily. I feel that if someone does not want to hear anything about ritual and spirituality, that's their choice and I respect that.
If someone feels drawn to Buddhist rituals and spirituality, then they can express this either in traditional Buddhist ways or use their own method or style.
I feel that this is something which I don't want to include in my training courses since it is a very personal thing and can generate strong emotions in either direction.
When you get to the Magic Touch Secrets bonus course, you will find out how I personally relate to these things.
A futon will work although it is not ideal. You can watch this video which is all about choosing the best mat for Thai Massage:
Hi Shama! I totally understand you, sorry for the hard question. I will focus on my breathing and wait for the magic touch secrets module. Thank you for sharing the mat video, it was very helpful.
I love this video, not only because of the chi machine technique, which I've been practicing since I got the video, but also for all the information you provided. I'm fascinated how easy is to do things when you don't apply your muscle force and use a good ergonomic thinking, I can see how deep the impacts on the client's both energetic and physical body could be. I even believe we can apply those principles to day life, instead using your ego by pushing things, try to be yourself and have your mind in good place/position and you will make a more deep impression in your life and other's.
Using your concept of Thai massage as a dance or a melody, chi machine makes me feel like an artist tune his instrument before playing in a concert. Like if practitioner's energy tuning in with client's.
I've been practicing postures and breathing since module 1, and yes my ankles complains a bit jaja.
I think we can definitely apply the Thai Massage ergonomics concept to life in general. Actually the Thai people embody this naturally to some degree. They are less in their head than western people tend to be and they go more with the flow.
Your ankles will get used to it and you will become more flexible as a side benefit!
Hi Shama, I admire your teaching skills, I actually felt what I was doing to my partner's body since the first time I practiced, even when it was hard thinking in three different moves at the same time, I felt a connection to my breathing and whose I was practicing.
At first it was difficult to do the inward bending thing, but after re-watching the video a few times, i understood it.
I love that this course makes me practice all the time, i mean every morning while im trying to get out of bed, i practice my ergonomics, its like yoga for me hahaha.
thanks for another great lesson Shama.
Thank you Carlos, I am so glad that you like my teaching style. Thai Massage has a beneficial effect on your own body as well, that's a side benefit. Over time it will increase your flexibility and balance and posture. It also has an energetic impact as you will become more sensitive and your intuition will develop more as well.
Hi Shama how are you doing? Im sorry about delaying my posts, i had a relapse of chigongunya, what a virus!! So it was harsh to moving so much and kneeling. But now im like new. Great moves in module 4! It feels so good to do the manipulations with the flow and movements of the whole body, i believe its so easy to enter into a trance state just for doing Thai massage. After a week watching multiple times the video, i stoped watching just the hands and literally saw the whole picture. I begin my practices with chi machine and then i implement modules 3-4 so far, so it would stick into my head and then may be automatically applied in a session.
Thank you again.
Don't worry about delaying posts a bit. I just recently contracted Dengue fever which is another one of those mosquito transmitted viruses and a pretty bad experience, so I can relate to your chigongunya. I was out for a week with the Dengue fever. Many people catch that here in Thailand unless you are very careful about mosquito bites.
I am happy to hear that you are starting to see the whole picture!
Hello Shama! I've been practicing a lot from chi machine to leg warm ups. My ankles doesn't hurt me anymore! In this new chapter I really had fun, and my partner felt amazingly relaxed. I'm having issues on the squeeze thing, I can control very well my fingers strength jajaja, so I ended up pinching the upper leg, so it was stressful at first but then it improved. The next technic was easier, I even tried performing it in the calves, but it's not the same. I didn't think that like any exercise rutine, you need the warmup before stretching and else.
It was very informative for me and relaxing, I really feel so sleepy in a good way every time I practice, and my partner, also a victim of chigongunya feels very good and grateful.
By the way Shama, getting out of the topic and out of the forum purpose, here in Chiapas we use a mixture of coconut water with honey, lemon and baking soda for dengue and chigongunya, and there are this olive leaf extract pills that are very helpful with this diseases. I hope it helps.
Thanks again for a great lesson !
So you have Dengue in Chiapas as well. Thanks for the treatment tips. I heard about the powerful benefits of Olive leaf extract. Here in Thailand there is one local herbalist who says that his papaya extract gets rid of Dengue within one or two days. This papaya juice tastes horribly bitter, but anything is better than going through a full course of Dengue (or Chigongunya). I hope I won't need it any time soon!
I am glad to hear that your ankles adjusted and don't hurt anymore. That your partner felt amazingly relaxed is an excellent sign that you must be doing something right.
Hi Shama! I loved working with this module, it's very relaxing for both my partner and I. I did practice several times, specially the part of the calf. Sadly I've been using force instead of my body weight so it wasn't very comfortable for my partner. But when I finally comprehended the elephant walk concept, it just flowed very nice.
I love the rocking movement, I even try moving my supporting leg with my hands, like rocking a child and I felt it very fun and relaxing.
Im so curious about the sen lines, and I'm happy that in module 4 and 6 we are learning a bit of them.
Is there a way of relaxing or freeing the adductor tendon? What about the aquiles tendon? My partner has those tendons like wires!
Have a great day!
Regarding the Sen lines, here is an article which you might want to read:
In one of the next few modules you will learn how to free up the adductor tendon. In one of the bonus courses (The Art Of Thai Massage), there is an entire module which deals with stretching the achilles tendon.
Remember, you are at module 6, and there are 44 more modules to come!
I really really liked this module, i like how to fix a rotated hip in Thai massage, with biomechanics I learned how to do it, but is just technical, in Thai is with movement and rhythm. My partner needed all the rocking technica, she has a very stiff tendons. Still we did work with elephant walk in upper leg and calf, and the butterflies in upper leg.
The part of stretching the hamstring by "walking" on it felt amazing, I think I didn't have any trouble with this module, i flowed nicely with every one.
The last couples of calf movements were great too, specially the rocking, my partner really felt very relaxed and it helped her very much, we can testify it's effectiveness.
Thanks for the sen link! I've read before, that's how I learned about this course.
This module is fantastic, when you introduced the concept of how a foot works, it really became easier to work without thinking too much, but in these stretches the 8 sliced pie is great! I've been practicing with module 9, which I would talk about in other reply, and it let me flow easily.
Again I'm using the rocking movements before stretching because of the stiffness of my partner, whose condition has improved a lot! She also had chikungunya and is very hard for her to walk properly, but with daily practice she feels much better.
The techniques for the calf and knee worked very nice, feels great doing it , my partner said also receiving it. As I said before, i used the rocking movements before stretching. No problems there.