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Carol-Anne Menou's Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Carol-Anne Menou
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September 9, 2016 - 11:28 pm
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Module 1

I tried each of the therapist positions discussed in this first video. The one I found to be most challenging for me was the full kneeling position. I remember doing it in yoga, but only a couple of times. Yesterday I received the Thai Massage support material, with the video where you discussed toe, knee and ankle exercises, so I will practice those!

I love that Thai massage is primarily based on the concept of energy flow in the body and not just a clinical repetition of massage techniques. To be able to connect with someone energetically and learn to try and feel and sense what is happening in their body, I think is such a beautiful thing. This is exactly what I was looking for and I really hope to be able to develop these skills as I continue on with this course.

I understand the concept of your own energy having to be good and positive in order for you to transmit a good feeling through your touch, to the person you are giving a massage to. You have to have good ergonomics to be able to feel comfortable and at ease. I have learned that breath is also important while performing various techniques while using your body weight to apply pressure, instead of using muscle strength. So overall, your comfort and energy are also just as important. You have to be in a good energy state to deliver the best massage you can to a client.

My first entry! Have I done everything correctly?? 🙂

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Shama
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September 10, 2016 - 12:51 am
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Hi Carol-Anne, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum. It sounds like you are a good match for this course since you appreciate and relate to the concepts which are presented in the introductory module. 

You are right, Thai Massage is far more than a clinical repetition of techniques. You will hear me talk about that a lot throughout this course.

Have you done everything correctly? Smile Check it yourself here: 

Certification Check List

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Carol-Anne Menou
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September 13, 2016 - 12:08 am
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Module 2

I practiced the Chi Machine on my 10 year old daughter. Since she is quit slim and small, I think it was easier to get her whole body moving while trying this technique. I tried it both ways, with her feet resting on my legs and also with her feet slightly elevated. I think I started off too strong, as she felt a little uncomfortable and jokingly said she felt a bit seasick. But when I slowed it down a bit, I felt her relax. She commented that it felt more relaxing.

Question: Would you maybe suggest to a client not to eat or drink too much right before a Thai massage session?

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Shama
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September 13, 2016 - 4:36 pm
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It seems to be common sense that someone would not go to a Thai Massage session after a big meal or would not drink a lot right before it. But granted, there are people who are not that strong in the common sense department. I generally avoid giving people all kinds of rules to follow.

If you book people in such a way that you have at least a day before the session, and you have their email and phone number, you can send out a reminder email or text message which can include suggestions like not eating or drinking a lot right before the session.

But there will always be people who don't like any perceived interference in their life and their habits, and it is often easier to just not worry about it since this is, at least in my experience, rarely a big issue. Also it creates extra work for you to do this for everyone although you really only need this for a very small minority of cases of no-common-sense clients.

However I always tell clients before sessions that they should definitely tell me if they have to use the rest room during a session. There is nothing worse than enduring a Thai Massage session with a full bladder. 

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Carol-Anne Menou
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September 15, 2016 - 2:29 am
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I do not see my Module 3 notes that I posted earlier today. I guess it is due to the work you are doing on the website. So here it is again.

Thank you for your previous response.

Module 3

I have watched the video 3 times. You are right, each time you do see something new and get a better understanding of each move.

I felt a bit awkward performing these for the first time, but I feel reassured by the fact that you say that it is normal. The most challenging move for me was the circular foot bending and twisting technique; a lot to think about and do all at once. However awkward it felt for me performing it, I got some good feedback from my practice partner, who said she enjoyed the move.

Question: When you are doing the “alternating out-bending of the feet” and the “push-pull-rotate technique”, are you also squeezing the feet with your hands to massage, or just slightly gripping and using body weight?

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Shama
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September 16, 2016 - 12:07 pm
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You are right, your post was affected by the website migration. I am glad you had a copy of it.

In regards to your question, no, I don't squeeze the foot during those techniques, I am just slightly gripping it.

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Carol-Anne Menou
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September 19, 2016 - 12:50 am
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Module 4

As you said not to focus so much on the mechanics of a move, this time, I made a conscience effort to try and feel the move and feel the energy, the body and how it reacted to each technique. I focused particularly on trying to incorporate my whole body during each move, as you mentioned was very important as well. Your outline of the “8 different ways to work with the feet”, really helped me to remember the sequence of things.

You gave great explanations for each technique and I didn’t really experience any difficulties with these; I just need to practice them. I tried several times the different transitions between the techniques, so as to have a smoother flow.

My practice partner expressed some discomfort in the inner thigh during the kneading of the soles technique, so as you suggested in the video, I placed a pillow under her knee. Other than that, the feedback was positive. She particularly enjoyed the kneading technique and also the rotating and wiggling of the ankle joint.

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Shama
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September 19, 2016 - 2:32 am
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It seems that you are totally on the right track by not focusing only on the mechanics. This is actually not so easy in the beginning of the course while you are still learning all the techniques. But if you can incorporate this from the very beginning, this will help you a lot during this training. So I am impressed that you managed to apply the energetic concepts right in the beginning! Smile

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Carol-Anne Menou
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September 26, 2016 - 4:12 pm
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Module 5

I had some trouble in the beginning trying to figure out the first move…which foot to put where and how… etc.. Once I got the right positioning, the move felt comfortable and easy to perform.

I first tried these techniques on my daughter, who is 10 years old. She was quit uneasy and ticklish with almost all of these moves. It ended up being mostly a laughing session instead..LaughIs this common in children? Or I guess maybe it depends on the person..?

When I tried these techniques on my adult practice partner, the feedback was much better. The most challenging move for me was the ‘push pull thigh technique’. It felt awkward and not smooth at all. Will have to practice that one more.

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Shama
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September 27, 2016 - 2:51 am
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Yes, it is very typical that children are quite ticklish, whereas adults almost never react like that.

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Carol-Anne Menou
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October 5, 2016 - 4:24 pm
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Module 6

I found this module to be the most challenging for me so far. It was difficult to know if my positioning was right, or if my partners positioning was right and if I was using the technique correctly. Especially when working the lower edge adductors it didn’t feel right. Trying the first few moves, I felt very awkward. The push pull rocking technique is pretty straightforward, but it seems my brain has difficulty when I have to do 2 different things with each hand ConfusedSmilePractice practice... I will have to go over this module quite a bit.

I have fallen behind and feel a little overwhelmed with all of the new information. Maybe that added a bit to my frustration. Hopefully I can catch up soon and relax.

The mane thing I tried to keep in mind during this video, is really trying to make sure to incorporate my entire body when doing a move. You really do a great job in reiterating that aspect.

In this module, you also mention SEN lines quit a bit. That is something I am not completely familiar with. Do you go a bit further into explaining these lines, their locations and meaning?

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Carol-Anne Menou
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October 5, 2016 - 5:29 pm
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Module 7

I found this video less challenging and the overall feedback from my partner was good. The favorite was the “right angle foot hip stretch”.

I found this module very interesting with all the information you provided to assess the condition of a clients hips. The partner I have been practicing on, has quit open hips, as I’ve noticed from the beginning that her feet fall outwards pretty easily. Her right foot however is only slightly higher, therefore I determined that there was a little more tightness on that side.

With the elephant walking, are you applying your weight with the entire hand or just the “heel” of the hand?

On a side note... since I gave birth to my daughter, I had always had a little stiffness and pain in my right hip in certain positions. Although, with your technique, I have identified that my left hip seems to be less open. I suppose it is due to the fact that I mostly stretch the right one as it is the one that has given me more discomfort. Would Thai massage alleviate this slight pain in my hip? Have you had similar situations with your female clients? I've never really addressed this issue medically as it isn't excruciating, just more of an occasional discomfort.

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Shama
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October 7, 2016 - 1:13 am
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Yes, there is more information about the sen lines coming up, and I will soon record an entire video just about this subject and add it to the course.

Regarding the weight distribution for elephant walking - this technique can be used on many parts of the body, as you will see. The one thing which you want to keep in mind is that you don't work with your wrists bent at a 90 degree angle, because this can stress the wrists and even wear them out over time.

If you apply light or medium pressure, then you can use the entire hand since this feels a little softer. If you apply stronger pressure, then it is often better to use mostly the heel of the hand so that your wrists are less bent and less stressed. This depend on the technique, but the guiding principle is always to reduce stress on your own body. 

Regarding the hip issue - Thai Massage is really good for helping with such things. You will learn a lot more about this in the next few videos.

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