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Christi Wagner's Complete Thai Massage course notes
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Christi Wagner
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February 12, 2023 - 9:25 pm
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I have already gotten a bit of the way through the course. I am going back to the beginning, to repeat and reinforce the material I have already learned and to move forward with certification. 

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Shama Kern
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February 13, 2023 - 12:08 am
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Sounds good, Christi. Welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our Certification Checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized.

Certification Checklist

Also I saw that you sent in the registration form twice. The first time, a few months ago, you requested both the International and the CE certificates. On your latest registration form, you only requested the CE certificate. Is the latest version the one you want?

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February 13, 2023 - 2:50 am
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Thank you, Shama. I apologize for the double registration. Yes, I would still like both certificates. I'm sorry for the confusion. Is there anything I need to do further to get that set up? 

 

Module 1

This was good to come back and review this video. Up to this point (I just graduated from massage school), I have only been using modified techniques on the table, which is what my school has allowed. I regret that I have not taken advantage of this time to be more diligent to practice the positions I am now using when working on a floor mat. I especially feel the stress in my toes when I kneel as well as the pressure when I sit on my heels, but this is a good reminder to me of where I now need to be more diligent. 

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February 13, 2023 - 7:03 am
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No, you don't need to do anything. Now I know that you want both certificates, so you are fine! Smile

There are several videos in the course that are meant to help you overcome stress in toes, ankles, and knees (in the Thai Massage Essentials section). Maybe practice some of those tips. They should help.

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Christi Wagner
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February 13, 2023 - 7:08 pm
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Module 2

Thank you, Shama. I remember watching those. I will go back to review them and start practicing. Just doing the Chi machine, I can see how tiring this simple move is on my ankles when I am working on the floor. The move itself is one that I am very familiar with because I have been using it regularly on the table, as a way to begin when my clients are in prone. But doing this same move on the floor is more difficult for me. When I was working on my daughter, her hips opened up quickly with the Chi machine, but I could see that she was locked up in her shoulders (her problem area). This is such a simple movement, but it gives so much information to the therpist.

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February 17, 2023 - 4:00 am
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True, if your ankles are not used to sitting like this, it will strain them until you get them used to this. This is easy for most Asians who are used to sitting on the floor, but westerners have to work up to it. Typically it doesn't take long to get used to it if you sit like this every day for a few minutes. You will need that for several techniques in Thai Massage.

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February 17, 2023 - 7:07 am
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Module 3

With the second move, it was challenging for my body to move in a consistently circular way. It felt smoother for my body to sway from side to side  with the movement of the feet. Is this okay? It felt "right" to my body. My daughter (who was receiving) liked the feel of all the movements, but in hindsight, I probably would have worked with someone else. She has weak, loose ankles, but that was just a reminder to me to focus on having a gentle touch and that my touch doesn't have to be deep to be effective.

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February 17, 2023 - 8:42 am
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Moving just sideways and in a circular way are both valid, and they are quite different as far as the feeling is concerned. I know, the circular move is a bit tricky to learn, but it is worth it. Smile

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February 17, 2023 - 9:51 am
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Module 4

With as much as I have been practicing, my ankles are getting quite a continuous stretch. When they get too sore, I put a pillow under them for support. It will be nice when they are a bit more acclimated to this work.

Regarding the circular motion vs the side-to-side, I will continue to practice this. 

Working in a conceptual way was much easier for me than trying to remember a sequence in steps. 

One thing that was concerning for me in this module was the amount that I was using my thumbs in the footwork. I am overly aware of protecting my thumbs, fingers, and wrists because even just getting out of massage school, there has been a ton of wear already. Part of the reason that I have been drawn to Thai massage is because of how much easier it is on the body. I tried to adjust by using the palm and sides of my hand, but I know that it doesn't have the same effect as the thumbs and fingers.

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February 17, 2023 - 10:07 am
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You should be very aware of protecting your fingers, thumbs, and wrists. That's why I mention in the training that you should wrap your hand around the foot in order to distribute the pressure across the entire hand instead of just your thumbs. And remember one thing: Just because a technique is shown doesn't mean you have to use it. The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

There are many more techniques taught in this course than you will ever be able to use in one session. In other words, you will have to skip some techniques anyway when doing a session unless you do two or three-hour long sessions.

Outside of this foot massage section, there is much less thumb use, and often you can replace your thumbs with another body part, as you will see.

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Christi Wagner
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February 18, 2023 - 4:10 am
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Module 5

Thank you for the validation of protecting my body. In module 3, it was very helpful when you instructed us to keep our wrist straight and to twist with the entire forearm when twisting the foot. I am working every day with different techniques to determine if it would be better for me to spend time figuring out how to make some of them work with my body or to hold off on them for the time being.

In Module 5, the first butterfly technique while stabilizing the lower leg felt very natural to me as well as enjoyable to my daughter. The figure 4 position of the leg worked well to access her inner leg. Of the techniques that were covered, I struggled most with working on the outer thigh, and felt like what I was doing was not as effective as it could be, even when I slowed down the video and went slowly. I will continue to review this so that I can improve.

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February 18, 2023 - 5:07 am
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Working on the outer thigh does not feel as easy as on the inner thigh because there is more muscle mass on the inner thigh. Also some people are quite sensitive on the outer thigh and experience pain there easily. Just something to be aware of. Aside from that, you will get used to working the outer thigh, I am sure.

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Christi Wagner
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February 18, 2023 - 8:16 pm
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Module 6

My body was so happy with these techniques! I am glad to have worked through the previous module using my hands, but this module was hands down, the way that I want to do the majority of my work. I was initially wondering how well these techniques would work on a smaller person, but after working on my daughter (a smaller person) using a lighter touch, I found that I was very comfortable applying these techniques, without the concern of hurting her by applying too much pressure. At the same time, I am able to see how effortless using the forearms would be on a larger individual too. 

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February 19, 2023 - 5:26 am
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The fact is that even the most powerful techniques can be done in a very gentle way, as you found out. Just because they are potentially powerful does not mean that you have to use all this power.

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Christi Wagner
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February 21, 2023 - 1:50 am
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Module 7

I was working with my daughter today, and went through the assessment of her hips based on her foot position. Her right foot was pointed straight ahead and had very little movement while her left foot rotated externally quite easily. When I went up to her right hip, I could see that it was more closed up and rotated forward and to the right.

I have a question. Can you tell me the difference in the effects between warming up the hip by doing the elephant walk working both the thigh and the calf vs. the actual stretch, when the elephant walking is only on the thigh? Is this just a difference in the amount of pressure that is applied...? To me, the warm-up feels like it could also be an effective stretch.

I liked experimenting with both techniques using the feet to push into the hamstrings. The technique that can be used on a bigger person seemed very effective. I am smaller, and I was practicing on my daughter who is also smaller, but I will be reviewing this technique specifically on some of my older boys (who are NOT small). 

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February 21, 2023 - 7:24 am
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"I have a question. Can you tell me the difference in the effects between warming up the hip by doing the elephant walk working both the thigh and the calf vs. the actual stretch, when the elephant walking is only on the thigh? Is this just a difference in the amount of pressure that is applied...? To me, the warm-up feels like it could also be an effective stretch."

Warm-up is not an inferior type of technique. It is just a style of technique, or a stage in a sequence of techniques. Look at it as various techniques that basically accomplish the same thing as a progression towards the same goal.

You could theoretically do a session with primarily techniques in the 'warm-up' category. Nothing wrong with that. The warm-up techniques are a prerequisite for a stronger version in order to prevent discomfort or even injury.

The warm-up and the 'real' technique can accomplish the same thing in some cases. Some people can handle stronger techniques, and some cannot. Some people require little warm-up techniques, like some yogi types who stretch themselves all the time. Other people cannot handle any strong stretches at all.

The idea is that you have techniques for all these types of clients available. It's not that one is better or worse or less or more. It's a matter of matching the techniques to the client.

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Christi Wagner
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February 26, 2023 - 9:11 am
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Module 8

Thank you for that explanation, Sharma. That makes sense. 

This module was very helpful for me because of how practical it was. As I was working on my daughter, I wasn't focused so much on getting the next move down correctly, as I was on making sure I worked with every "piece of the pie". I could tell that this helped me to move more smoothly and not second guess myself. My daughter's impression was that I was more relaxed (which I was), and so it felt better to her. 

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February 26, 2023 - 10:19 am
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"My daughter's impression was that I was more relaxed (which I was), and so it felt better to her. "  -  Good realization. You can't give what you don't have - relaxation in this case.

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February 28, 2023 - 11:21 pm
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Module 9

I am encouraged because as I have been practicing over the past few days, I have felt more freedom to experiment with the moves, shifting positions to find what is most comfortable for my body, etc. 

I had a few questions about this module. With the addition of more hip movements (and with more coming in the following modules), I was wondering about the order in which to do the warmups and stretches. For example, it seems to flow better when I put all the 180 degree movements together: the kneading into the adductors with my feet + the 180 degree stretch (both in Module 8) then move directly into the 180 degree hamstring stretch introduced in this module 9. Then returning to the 90 degree stretch and 135 degree stretch in this module 9. That is just an example of what I am talking about. It may not be a great example, because I know that the hamstring stretch can be intense and not for everyone. (My daughter, who I was working with, is very flexible).

Basically, is there a reason to go in a certain order, or can it be adjusted by what seems logical and flows well? Is there a benefit to touch on Sen lines in a certain order to have the most beneficial effect? 

I also had another question. Do you find it best to work on one entire leg and then switch to work on the other entire leg, or do you break it up by doing a partial sequence on the first leg, then the other, then returning to complete the first leg, etc?

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March 1, 2023 - 9:01 am
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The sequence that I show in the course is the one I like and use. But this does not mean that it is written in stone. If you feel that something else flows well for you, and the clients like it, there is no reason why you couldn't do it that way.

Regarding the legs, I have always done the entire leg and then switched to the other one. I don't like changing and switching unnecessarily. That's also how all the therapists are doing it in Thailand. I feel that it flows better that way. But then again, nothing is written in stone here. Why don't you give it a try your way, see how it feels, and ask your practice partner which version feels better?

A little experimentation and an attempt at creativity have never hurt anyone.

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