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Catharina Kiaha's Complete Thai Massage Course Notes
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Shama Kern
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October 14, 2014 - 1:43 pm
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I couldn't have said it better! Smile This is the art of it versus people who think that Thai Massage is just a mechanical process of one-size-fits-all stretches which everyone gets if they like it or not. Laugh

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CKiaha
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October 20, 2014 - 1:47 am
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Module 14

The hip rocking techniques are so relaxing to the client and I have incorporated them into table work as well.  I had two knee surgeries many moons ago, so I have to avoid placing too much weight onto that knee when I work.  Still tinkering with modifying this "moving unnoticably over the client" from one side to the other, while working on my smaller mat, without placing too much weight on that knee.  Pretty soon I will be able to use my new large mat and I think it will be easier.  This simple technique was so liberating, as I was taught before not to walk over, but always around the client, which makes it impossible to stay "connected". Wink

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October 20, 2014 - 1:57 am
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Module 15

I am wondering what your suggestions are for the best way to "connect energetically" and "synchronize" with a client that is a shallow, fast breather, when I am more of a slow, deep breather?  I typically place my hand on their abdomen to exude calm and slow down their fast paced rhythm, encouraging several deep, slow breaths with deliberate in- and exhales.  This brings attention to their breath and I don't feel so out of sync with them.  Once I am done with this entire course I plan to get the additional abdominal work course for more insight.  Thanks ShamaLaugh

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October 20, 2014 - 8:29 pm
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I do exactly what you described when I do an abdominal massage, and that's how I teach it in the Abdominal Massage course. 

However you cannot artificially synchronize your breath with the client's breath. In some cases you just have to focus on your own breath and not worry about the client's breath if the two breaths are too different.

Sometimes you can get a client to breathe in a better way and sometimes it just doesn't work. In those cases you simply have to let it go. If you try to get the client to breathe better, you have to be careful not to annoy someone since some people are just not willing or ready to do something about their breathing.

You can let your hands rise and fall gently on the abdomen to encourage a deeper breathing pattern. In some cases people respond to that and in some cases they are totally oblivious to this. There are cases where you can verbally mention it, but you have to be careful not to appear pushy about something which clients might not consider to be part of the massage therapy which they came for.

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October 24, 2014 - 11:18 pm
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Module 16

These shoulder techniques are sooo wonderful.  I love incorporating movement into bodywork and this shoulder work, using the foot for compression is easy, powerful and effective to loosen up tight spots and restore mobility to an overly tight, locked up shoulder.  Smooth like a branch swaying in the wind.  Laugh

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October 30, 2014 - 5:17 am
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Module 17

The best thing about the hand massage techniques is that I can use them on myself, which is especially helpful at the end of a long work day.  I wonder if you suggest to have the client wear long sleeves or short sleeves?  On the arms, do you recommend working on skin or through clothing?  It seems to feel better for the arm techniques to work on skin.

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Shama Kern
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October 31, 2014 - 1:21 am
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I much prefer working directly on the skin for the arms. On the legs I prefer long pants, though, as long as they are not nylon-type slippery material.

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November 4, 2014 - 10:39 am
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Module 18,

I have been absent for about a week since I prepared to move my office, moved, and got settled in, (actually still getting settled in since build out is taking longer than planned).  My new office has two rooms, one for Bodywork/Massage Therapy on the table and one for Thai Massage.  Both rooms are spacious and the Thai room has two windows. The wall that separates both rooms also has a window, so no matter which room I am in, I will enjoy the beautiful light of the day.  I am so happy about that.  I have not had a window in my workspace for way too long.  Got my new mat set up today, a King size 3 inch latex mattress topper, and will enjoy practicing my lessons on it.   All this will certainly add to the quality of my work and allow me to be in the best possible state of mind to provide my best work. If I need to I can always add my beautiful traditional Thai Mat to the new one for a really luxurious large area to work on.  Laugh

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November 4, 2014 - 10:44 am
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Module 19

I noticed that the arm lines as presented in Chapter 17 and again, re-iterated in Chapter 19, do not seem to be reflected as an option for the exam.  Unless of course I am missing something and need to revisit again, which I'll do anyway.  Also somehow felt like I have a case  of synesthesia in a good and happy way, applying focus, breathing with the idea of Quantum Touch and seeing colors, feeling sounds, tasting fragrances, ...Laugh and just being happy.

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November 4, 2014 - 11:48 pm
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Congratulations to your wonderful, spacious, light filled new work environment. This definitely helps a lot. And it is really good that you have a separate space for Thai Massage.

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CKiaha
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November 8, 2014 - 6:24 am
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Module 20

I have two small rolls that I use as bolsters under the ankles when doing prone work.  That always seems to feel good to clients, especially those that are less flexible and older.

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November 8, 2014 - 6:30 am
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Module 21

Aha, turning the feet inward is the perfect way to get by without ankle bolsters. I found the different technique options for lifting a heavy leg when doing quad stretches, using body leverage, very helpful. Thank youLaughCan you check the question and answer options for Chapter 17, how many lines on front and back of arm, again please.

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November 8, 2014 - 10:36 pm
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Regarding your post about video #20, did you ever watch my video about proper client support in the prone position? Here is the link:
Thai Massage Tips And Tricks part 1

Regarding the energy lines of the arms in video 17, the answer is clearly spelled out in the video at minute 5:20 for the inside of the arm. The back side is a mirror image, as explained in the video at minute 16.

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November 11, 2014 - 11:15 am
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Module 22

Thank you Shama for your responses to my previous questions regarding Module 17.  I will review again to make sure I get it.  I also viewed your tips and tricks for the prone position which discusses the use of bolsters for the ankles when working in the prone position.  I have to confess I had not watched it yet prior to my comments.  Regardless, your instructions are so detailed, anything missed in the actual sessions, is clarified, discussed or explained in your tips and tricks. I try to keep up on everything you post, and interweave between lectures, and I am very confident in what and how you teach.  As a matter of fact I am delighted in your approach and know that if anything is possibly missing, you have already covered it in additional tips and tricks. So, on to lesson 22, I must tell you that I totally love the approach of using the side-lying knee glutes compression while pulling up the opposite hip.  I have incorporated this technique even on the table, along with broad compression "elephant walk", and not only do clients give me great feedback, the end results speak louder than words. Laugh 

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November 11, 2014 - 10:08 pm
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I am already preparing a whole new video series that will become part of the Complete Thai Massage course!

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CKiaha
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November 18, 2014 - 12:14 pm
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Module 23

After much dismay and frustration, I finally got it to download.  Not sure if it is my computer or whatever it is, I am just happy I am back on track.  Also, in regard to my Chapter 17 questions, I feel just a wee bit ...#^*!@ - should I say, it was late and I did not scroll all the way down the page, so I did not see the last option, only 3 choices for answers versus 4, so I got a wee bit confused.   Anyway, thanks for your patience and impeccable support.Laugh

I actually like sacral work and include it for all back pain clients.  Your techniques are very gentle and yet so powerful.  I am actually a bit jealous that I am not the one receiving the work.  I agree that everyone loves sacrum work once they receive it. I am going to include your techniques for my table work as they seem to be very effective. Thank youLaugh

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November 18, 2014 - 12:24 pm
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Module 24

As I was watching the lecture I was reminded of the effect of a machine I use for back work.  It is an old machine, I've had it for 15 years and clients absolutely love it, it's  called GX99.  This machine creates similar sensations as you demonstrate in your lecture for the back.  However, I am a firm believer in using machines as a supplement, nothing can replace the work of skilled hands.  I will continue to practice the back rocking/wiggling techniques on the mat and include them on the table work as well.  I find them surprisingly effective and I am still trying to wrap my head around the intricacies of this technique, such as what exactly makes them work so well, what tissues are effected most and so on.  Love to explore and love the journey.

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November 18, 2014 - 12:27 pm
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Regarding your new video series that will become part of the complete Thai Massage Course, will that be an add-on for existing students or will there be an additional course option/offer?  I surely don't want to miss out.  I just love this course and my clients love it tooLaugh.

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November 19, 2014 - 1:10 am
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Module 25

Your approach to back work using the elbow moving laterally from the lamina groove and all the progressions you showed plus the use of the knee for "tough" lower back, including varying the angle of the leg is an invaluable technique set.  The leverage from the kneeling stance using this technique allows for pressure from lightest to deepest in a therapist friendly way.  I wonder if you incorporate some Trigger point work with that elbow technique along the erectors since the mid-back is notorious for TP's that refer pain down the back into the glutes and hip.  I also really like how you use the knee to provide additional power for the treating arm, pushing into the traps. Well, is there anything not to like? Love it all.  Thank you

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November 19, 2014 - 4:54 am
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Module 26

In my previous Thai Massage course I learned the thumb compression and butterfly techniques exactly as you described.  I totally agree with you on the danger of wear and tear on therapist's joints over time so your techniques are a career extender, providing lots of tools in a therapist's tool box for any size back.  When you work on a client's left scapula, do you ask them to rotate their head to the right and vice versa or do you leave it up to the client?  It seems that rotating the head in the opposite direction adds another extra punch for those who can handle it. Smile

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