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Christi Faagau - Thai Rocking Massage Course
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Christi Faagau
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February 14, 2024 - 7:27 am
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I looked over the Introduction today. I am excited to get started!

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Shama Kern
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February 14, 2024 - 7:53 am
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Hi Christi, welcome to the Thai Rocking Massage certification program. First, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our Certification Checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification checklist

Could you please write something about you in the bio section of your forum profile so that I have some idea of what your background is.

I am looking forward to following your progress and answering any questions, if you have any.

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Christi Faagau
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February 18, 2024 - 11:09 pm
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Module 1

I practiced these 5 forms of rocking on both my son, who is 50 pounds heavier than me, and also on my daughter, who is 25 pounds lighter than me. Throughout, I much preferred getting to the place where their bodies moved in their natural rhythm (ex: fast rocking vs slow rocking, circles on sternum, swinging). I really enjoy the movement of the rocking, and both my kids did too, even though the were on both ends of the weight scale. 

I am curious about the wiggling on one specific spot and wonder if that is always in the form of direct pressure from the finger/fingers. I am trying to be very particular about protecting my fingers, thumbs, and wrists from the get go. 

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Shama Kern
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February 18, 2024 - 11:24 pm
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"I am trying to be very particular about protecting my fingers, thumbs, and wrists from the get-go. "  -  And you should be. Here is one important principle of this course: 'The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences."

In other words, this course gives you many options.  This does not mean that you have to do everything on every client. It means that you will have a large repertoire of techniques that you can choose from. Not every technique will be ideal for every client. Not every technique will be right for you when working on some clients. 

You will have to modify some techniques (explained in the course), and you will have to skip some techniques if they are not right for you or for a particular client.

All this will become much clearer throughout this course.

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Christi Faagau
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February 20, 2024 - 4:26 am
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Module 2

With the chi machine technique, I played with movement coming only from the legs vs movement at the hip. Such a difference! Interesting that after a couple of minutes, not only was my client able to feel the energy, but I was as well. 

I have always been a fan of tractioning. I found that using this technique with a heavier client was harder. It seemed almost worse having him so relaxed, because his leg felt like it weighed even more!

Regarding the feet to the hips, my client's feet/hips appeared fairly neutral, but I really loved the explanation of how much you can learn abou the hips from the feet -- really informative and also made so much sense.

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Shama Kern
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February 20, 2024 - 10:53 am
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"I have always been a fan of tractioning. I found that using this technique with a heavier client was harder."  -  No question - working on much larger and heavier clients is harder. But then again, always remember that the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

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Christi Faagau
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February 21, 2024 - 2:06 am
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Module 3

I worked with my client until we both felt like the transition between the upper and lower leg was smooth. While I agree that these moves are therapeutic, I could also make a good argument for them being included in a relaxation massage!

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Shama Kern
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February 21, 2024 - 6:20 am
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Oh, definitely - rocking moves are great for pure relaxation as well.

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Christi Faagau
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February 22, 2024 - 4:52 am
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Module 4

With my son’s thick, muscular thighs, it was hard for me to get a good grip around his thighs to do the squeeze and lift with my smaller hands, so I am going to practice that technique on a smaller body tomorrow. However, the traction/compression of all three joints with the rocking (both slow and fast) felt very natural to both of us. Next, in the pulling of his knee of the midline, even though he has a big body relative to mine, I was still able to use my body weight to rock him, not having to exert as much effort as I expected to get his hip and lower back to rise. I just needed to get the rocking movement going in his body and work with it, instead of trying to muscle his body into a rocking that it didn’t want to do. We both enjoyed this module.

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Shama Kern
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February 22, 2024 - 6:41 am
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"I just needed to get the rocking movement going in his body and work with it, instead of trying to muscle his body into a rocking that it didn’t want to do."  -  That's it, you got it!

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Christi Wagner
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February 23, 2024 - 4:09 am
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Module 5

There were so many rocking exercises covered in this module, and I worked on a few different people to be able to experiment with what worked best with different bodies. In both cases, it was true that the rocking at the hip was intensified when directed toward the opposite shoulder, even in my more flexible client. With my less flexible client, there was pain in the hip flexors, so we stopped to work out the pain by doing circles in the area. This did help. My favorite was the rocking spinal twist, as I felt it was so much gentler then just just the intense stretch alone. Neither person I worked with was overwhelmed. If anything, they both appeared to sink into the rocking, almost like a baby being rocked. So effective without the pain!

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Shama Kern
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February 23, 2024 - 8:01 am
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Exactly - so effective without the pain. Rocking is an entire art form, and with time you will probably come up with your own rocking movements. I still keep coming up with new ones after over two decades.

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Christi Faagau
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February 25, 2024 - 9:37 pm
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Module 6

I liked the additional hip work in this module. It felt natural from the start with the hip rocking to have the motion be an extension of my elbows and hips. My daughter enjoyed the motion of the rocking up to under her shoulders. Though not needed with my daughter being female, I practiced the alternative rock off her hip bones, on the sides of her hips. Both were equally effective in achieving the rocking motion, but my daughter enjoyed the additional pressure I applied when I was first on her hip bones.

It's nice there is an acceptable alternative for males though. The extra intensity of my fingertips in her intercostals was not something that she enjoyed, even when I tried to make adjustments. I think unless that area is indicated, I will tend to use my closed hand in this area in the future. She especially enjoyed the rocking of the hip and upper back with both hands, saying that the spinal twist was the right balance of intensity in stretch as well as relaxation.

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Shama Kern
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February 26, 2024 - 8:04 am
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It is easier to rock women due to their anatomy. With men you can in some cases get the issue that the hip rocking rubs their pants against their private parts and cause a bit of an erection. Just something to be aware of. This is of course something that can happen in any kind of massage and can be disregarded unless the man is of the creepy variety. 

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Christi Faagau
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February 28, 2024 - 6:02 am
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Module 7

I worked on my daughter, who weighs about 15 pounds less than me, which was ideal for this module. So many fun techniques in this one. She most enjoyed her hips swinging in the air. I can see how this would not be easy if I worked on someone heavier. The one technique that I found challenging was swinging her sideways because it was hard to get a good grip on her slick pants. Otherwise, I think it would have been doable. With the abdomen work, I accidentally started to get a little pointy with my fingers when I was doing the sandwich move, and this was not comfortable for her. I found the sandwich move was a little hard on my wrists, making them ache, even with my daughter's small frame. I wonder if this just means that I need to strengthen my wrists, that I need to adjust my form, or if it would simply be wiser to skip this move to save my wrists. With that said, I did like using both hands on the top of the abdomen, and was able to find my rhythm easily there. 

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February 28, 2024 - 8:18 am
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I don't like working on people who have slick pants on. It makes it more difficult. For that reason I always kept some loose cotton pants around just in case a client shows up in tight jeans or slippery pants. I also keep a couple of cotton T-shirts around for those who show up in shirts with big buttons or collars that prevent good access to the neck, for example. Then I ask them to change into the clothes that I set aside for this purpose.

Personally I never had an issue with the sandwich rock. But maybe I have stronger wrists than you. It wouldn't hurt to strengthen your wrists a bit, but then again I would not do this technique on someone who is much heavier than you are. That can get hard on the hands and wrists. There is nothing wrong with skipping techniques that don't work well in certain situations.

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Christi Faagau
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March 2, 2024 - 8:33 am
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Thank you for the feedback. That makes sense to have extra clothes for situations like this. I agree about strengthening my wrists as well. I think it is needed, even if I don't end up going with this particular technique.

Module 8

I love watching you in these modules because there is so much freedom to work without the fear of the movements being sexualized. For example, I love it when there is a hand on my sternum. It always has felt very comforting to me. However, in my experience, this is something that few massage therapists do here in the United States. The rocking movement on the sternum that is described in this module makes me wish I was on the receiving end! As it was, it still felt good, both for me, in the giving, as well as for my client, in the receiving. The rocking on the shoulders was a wonderful experience as well. In the past, I commonly compress at the shoulders, but I have never thought to add in a rocking motion before, both the up and down, and the left to right. I still have a bit of work to feel like I am proficient with the figure 8, but I'll just keep practicing on this one. 

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March 2, 2024 - 11:58 pm
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"However, in my experience, this is something that few massage therapists do here in the United States."  - Unfortunately the US has become so paranoid about so many things, including "touching inappropriately", that most therapists shy away from many areas of the body. In Thailand, this has never been an issue and nobody makes a big deal about touching areas like the sternum.

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Christi Faagau
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March 3, 2024 - 11:42 am
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Yes, I agree entirely. Sigh.

Module 9

I appreciated the tip to bend the wrist joint to lift the hand. It made so much sense but was a detail I wouldn't have considered. My daughter enjoyed this session, and her shoulders loosened up considerably on both sides just from the arm swinging/jostling alone. She liked her arm "feeling like a rolling pin". The instruction on where and how to stabilize the arm was helpful to me during this practice session. 

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Christi Faagau
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March 4, 2024 - 1:56 am
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Module 10

This practice session felt good to both my daughter and me. I spent a lot of time with the rock/ pushing down on the sacrum, and it felt very good to her having her sacrum opened up like that. The areas of the sacrum and the glutes are so often skipped over here in the US, and they are such important areas that need to be relaxed and freed up.

With the glute work, both my daughter and I enjoyed the addition of the rocking to the compressions. It is nice to have the option to use my thumbs in this area, but I am going as hands-free as possible, so will be steering away from that most of the time. But I liked the option that you showed with bigger clients to use the weight of my knees in their glutes and perform the rocking from there. My daughter is smaller than me, but it was still just as good of an experience to practice doing this with her because it helped me see how I can use my arms to adjust the weight of my knees.

I love the concept of the erector work and will be practicing this much more. Today, I was very clumsy in my attempts to wrap my brain around all the pieces that need to be synchronized, but I can see how with more practice, this will be a wonderful technique, both for me to give and for my clients to receive.

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