Well I've received my first 2 videos and viewed them several times each. See - I follow instruction well.. lol! So far I am not disappointed although I have not actually been able to apply my learnings as my willing victim cannot start our routine until Saturday... mmmm, I wonder if I should stop a stranger on one of my walks and offer him/her a 'Chi Machine' session... ? Perhaps not, I doubt jail provides the privilege of email so would miss my other lessons!
It is 'early doors' as they say in the UK but what impresses me so far is the very clear, unambiguous instruction given by Shama. And the pace is just right.
I cannot wait for my next video or to start my practice on Saturday... will update then. Great weekend all!
A great start to my Thai massage journey with Shama!
My friend and I had decided our methodology... we walk around the park twice each night (8kms) and then she gets a relaxing thai massage afterwards. No complaints from her side on that except that she had forgotten it was today and asked could we start tomorrow instead... generally I would say 'no problem' but sticking to Shama's advice I insisted as I want to make sure this is a 'must do' activity in both her agenda and mine. Luckily she understood and was happy I insisted in the end as she had foot and lower leg pain after our walk (I generally wouldn't be happy about a friend in pain but on this occasion of course it worked out rather well )Luckily the weather in Dubai right now is perfect for outdoor sessions so I used the mattress from my arabic seating area covering it with towels. I placed my laptop outside too and cranked up the relaxing atmosphere with some appropriately calming music! The sky was clear and the stars were out - just lovely... it put both of us in exactly the right frame of mind.Not in the video Shama but I started out by washing my friend's feet with a hot soapy towel as I get this done when I go for Thai massage here. For me, it sends the message that my job is to look after my 'guest' and my friend said she really enjoyed that part of it.
Then I started with the Chi Machine.... I think I got it right as the hips were definitely amoving and agrooving.. and her head was shaking but I am not sure my position was quite right. The kneeling position hurt my tootsies and my arms ached. My friend on the other hand said she really enjoyed it. I might have missed it in the video but how long should we do this for?
Now although I watched some of the foot massage video this morning for some reason it would not play tonight, even though it is downloaded.... I need to look at my computer. Anyway, I remembered the initial 15 mins so practiced that which she absolutely loved and I found it very easy. Using your body weight takes all of the stress out of it, I did not find this tiring at all, quite energising in fact.
On another note, I gave my friend a pillow for her neck but noticed that is not mentioned in the video. Is that advised or is it better to leave the head alone? I personally use a pillow when I go for my own thai massage so just wondering as there might be a reason not to use one. Unless advised otherwise I am going to try a heated neck wrap tomorrow (for my friend of course, not me!) as I used to have that when I had chinese massage and I found it very relaxing.
I finished by doing a bit of freestyle (cos I am dangerous like that!) on the whole body just to make my friend feel like it was a complete treatment, plus if I have to work up to a full 2 hour treatment I think it makes sense to get used to putting in the effort now.
I asked my friend for a very honest critique with no pandering to my ego! She said it felt fantastic and that she would have paid for it (maybe she will next time... haha!).
So - a happy 'therapist in training' and a very happy 'guest'.
Thanks Shama for the right level of motivation from you to start this training in the right way - I think that as much as the technical training itself has as much importance.
To sum up..
My Tips (subject to Shama's input!)
. Wash Guest's feet before treatment
. Pillow or heated wrap under the neck when in supine position
. After practicing the techniques learned from the videos give a general all over massage for completeness
. How long should we do the Chi Machine for? sorry if I missed it in the video - need to watch again
. Why are my arms aching doing the Chi Machine... ? Bad technique?
. Should my toes be sore from kneeling down when doing the Chi Machine?
Wow - that is one serious post! And a serious exercise program with 8 km walks. Exercise is always a good idea. I try to encourage my clients to take more responsibility for their health. That might be healthier diet, more exercise, a yoga routine, or less negative or judgmental thinking. Sometimes I give my clients 'homework' so that the therapy goes beyond a passive activity at their end.
Here in Thailand it is not unusual that the therapist washes the client's feet before a session. Actually it happened to me just yesterday when I got a massage. Sometimes it is done by putting the client's feet in a container with herbal water or water with flower petals in it. It is certainly a nice touch.
Regarding the Chi Machine - you might have to get used to the sitting position for a while. When I do it, there is no discomfort at all, but I am used to sitting in the way the Asians do. If your arms are aching, then you are not doing it quite right. Both of your hands should be comfortably resting on your thighs, with the client's heels in your palms. The movement comes mainly from your body, from a slight sideways rocking of your hips. The hands are helping, but they are not the main engine behind the move, and they don't have to do that much. So there is no reason that your arms should be aching.
Try to start it out with around 1 minute or less, and as you get more comfortable with it, gradually increase it to 2 minutes or more if you can handle it easily. There is no limit to how long you can do it, but physically you won't be able to do it for more than 2 or 3 minutes max.
Regarding the video not playing, this is definitely something at your end. The best player to use is VLC media player. I imagine that you have the videos downloaded and are not trying to watch them online in your browser, correct? If the video is on your device and you have the right player, there should be no problem playing them as long as your player is updated to the latest version and your computer or device is updated.
Regarding pillows - whatever makes the client comfortable is the right thing to do. I don't use pillows if I have a client who does not need or want any extra support. But if I see from the client's posture that they would be more comfortable with a pillow, I definitely use one. I always have a number of props available just in case. I made a video about props which you can watch here: