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Christina Mastersons Complete Thai Massage Course
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Christina Masterson
New Mexico in the United States
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July 23, 2016 - 5:30 pm
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Module 7

I have started incorporating observing the feet for hip tightness prior to bolstering my clients and treating accordingly on the table with what I'm learning and my clients are really enjoying it. I am loving the results! The elephant walking went well with my partner, she is pretty flexible. Ok, so the next two stretches we both loved and did these quite a bit just because they feel so great! I initially was not bringing the leg far enough up to the 90 degree angle, so corrected that and played with the angles, etc. It definitely helps to grab the ankle under the clothing for grip as I was not getting needed grip at first. The next stretch is my favorite and I used this during a table massage as well with good results and was able to give a client with low back and hip pain relief.Laugh We did this one a lot as well and practiced both legs and the circling, great stuff!! 

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Christina Masterson
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July 23, 2016 - 6:00 pm
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Module 8

I appreciate your pointing out that with Thai massage you can treat specific needs with Thai and not always thinking everything must be done. I've started looking at my clients and seeing where specific module techniques would benefit and adding them into sessions adapted to the table.  I like that I have two differing body types I'm partnering with as with my husband I am using the gentler stretching approaches/rocking and pillows to best suit his needs, where as my friend Kris I am using the full stretches, such an important concept to understand! Enjoyed the calf muscle work, and having the different ways to work on it. I was just squeezing my first practice but have the rotating forward part now from the second technique. The third technique we liked bestSmile.  So, we all love this hip pie stretch! This is so much easier done on the floor vs the table and with this positioning seems so effortless, just love it! I initially had my right knee back too far, but moved it closer and bingo, no problems. I did apply the circling and rocking to prepare my hubby for a deeper stretch and it was much more pleasant as well as effective using these modified techniques.

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Shama Kern
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July 23, 2016 - 9:15 pm
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It sounds like Thai Massage is right up your alley. I think it is excellent that you practice it on the floor and also incorporate parts of it into your table work. In this way you get the best of both worlds and you are churning your creative juices! Smile 

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Christina Masterson
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July 29, 2016 - 11:55 am
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Module 9

I had two partners for practicing with tonight, Kris who is lanky and long legs and Nicole who is more apple shaped and shorter. I learned that although a person is bigger, they can actually be pretty flexible. My expectation was I would have to do a lot of bouncing techniques with her, but she did all the stretches without needing the bouncing as my husband does. None of us was able to put our leg completely down, but definitely got some wonderful stretching in! I did have to use the variation on the hamstring stretch for Kris where the leg goes on the shoulder and was pleased how easy it was, as I used my body. My friend Nicole came over to help because her back had been hurting her and happy to say the stretches and especially this spinal twist really helped her. we all felt very opened, relaxed and yet energized at the same time. Fantastic stretches!

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Shama Kern
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July 29, 2016 - 10:55 pm
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Good to hear your enthusiasm! Smile Sounds like you are getting results.

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Christina Masterson
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August 1, 2016 - 12:02 pm
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Module 10

So, now that I have practiced all the modules over and over, I have the techniques down pretty well, correcting body posture as needed, it definitely makes a difference when I'm relaxed as to how the softness is translated over. The breathing I have found is so key in the softness and the gentle flowing and I enjoy it better as well as my partners. The hara concept is pretty new to me, so am reminding self now to remember my center and to focus energy. We all agree you can tell such a big difference in the techniques done with full body movement vs just arm movements, so much better with full body movement! I am a bit short, so the version for stretching working on tall clients seemed to work best for me. Powerful and effective stretch indeed.  The hip pie took us a while to figure out lol, and we all are a bit inflexible, so didn't go too far with this one, but will have it in the tool bag for my more flexible clients.Smile I really liked doing the adductor stretching technique, I think the fact no muscling was needed to stretch the leg in this way endeared this technique to me! When I worked as a COTA years ago, I dreaded doing active assistive ab and adduction movements as it was hard on my body, so wish Id known this years ago! The blood flow was interesting, reminded me of when I cross my legs too long then uncross them.  Did the calf stretch but prefer it done using palms and doing the bow down technique from earlier modules best. SO LOOKINGLaughLaughLaugh FORWARD TO THE NEXT MODULE AND SEEING IT ALL FLOWING TOGETHER. I've also enjoyed the music playing in the background for the videos, what is it called? I'd love to find a CD I can purchase with this kind of music.

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Shama Kern
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August 1, 2016 - 1:12 pm
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I recorded those sessions quite a few years ago, and I don't remember what all the music was that I had playing in the background. Sorry.

That's the one huge advantage of Thai Massage - you learn to work with less effort compared to many other styles. That's why all those diminutive Thai women can work so effectively on often much larger western clients. They know how to use their bodies.

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Christina Masterson
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August 3, 2016 - 9:11 am
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When I first saw the Thai woman massaging, I wondered how on earth they did it as they seemed a bit smaller and older, I definitely see how now. This is great as I started doing massage a bit later in life and I'm sure will help in my longevity in the field as well, another plus for Thai massage!

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Shama Kern
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August 3, 2016 - 11:56 am
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Talking about starting late...I started my Thai Massage career when I was 44, and now I am 61. That hasn't held me back so far. Smile I have several well known Thai Massage teacher colleagues who are in their late fifties and sixties, one close to 70. 

If Thai Massage is done right, as I teach it, it doesn't take much physical effort as long as you work with your body weight and with your whole body. If Thai Massage is done wrong, with muscle effort and with isolated body parts, it will wear you out quickly.

One of my students started learning Thai Massage when he was 68 (and in great shape). He proceeded to open a Thai Massage school with his wife in Canada. 

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Christina Masterson
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August 6, 2016 - 2:34 am
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Wow, that is encouraging to know and inspiring! I have enjoyed these last 2 modules immensely! Everyone is enjoying practicing these modules, very helpful!

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Christina Masterson
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August 6, 2016 - 2:37 am
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Module 11 

It was wonderful to see how it is all put together and flowing. I worked on another friend as I watched this and reviewed and threw in a few different moves as well, its all coming together now, how we can pick and choose from all the various moves/stretches available. Enjoying this course tremendously!

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Christina Masterson
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August 6, 2016 - 3:14 am
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Module 12

Wow, so many different ways to stretch the calves. I felt most comfortable with version 2 with my shorter friends. It seemed pretty effortless, but got good results. Version 3 definitely was more intense with the added hamstring stretch, but also got good results, but my favorite was version 4, luckily none of my friends had too big of feet as the added benefit of compression and traction was wonderful, we used the version where the feet are against the upper legs and it worked great. Love all the choices! So, when I watched the video I did not expect to come of the elephant walking on the knees but I have been doing this daily now. What a great, opening, freeing technique! I was having some mild sacral issues and that is all it took to make such a vast difference, amazing! I have a lot of current clientele with piriformis issues and look forward to doing thai massage with them and utilizing this hip and piriformis stretch with them as well. Was nice when done gently. Once I figured out what I was doing, lol, how to back not step forward, push calves back against legs then pull legs forward and have the clients legs behind me, liked this full length stretching, this took a bit of practice and adjusting for me as I was working with 3 different people and body types with this one. I was able to do the power hamstring with two friends who enjoyed the great stretch but didnt take it too far with them. Love the relaxing shaking side to side at the end, a great finishing technique, ahhh.   

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Shama Kern
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August 7, 2016 - 10:19 pm
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When you say that you have clients with piriformis issues, are you referring to sciatica - piriformis syndrome? That's when the piriformis muscle is pressing on the sciatic nerve which can be extremely painful. Just for your information, we have a highly specialized course which deals much more in depth with piriformis issues, called Thai Massage For Sciatica. If you have clients with this problem, then you might want to add this course to your repertoire at some point.

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Christina Masterson
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August 11, 2016 - 2:05 am
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Yes, and thank you, I will add that to my future course work.  Speaking of course work, how many modules are there in this complete Thai Massage course?

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Shama Kern
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August 11, 2016 - 3:07 am
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That depends on how you define "modules". There are 35 main certification modules, and then there are another 15-plus bonus modules, and then there are lots of supplemental modules.

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Christina Masterson
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August 11, 2016 - 9:11 am
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Module 13

I have been practicing the various stretches and implementing the various anatomies of a move and getting more of a natural feel for things now, I like the idea of asking what their discomfort level is versus pain level as well as asking them to describe the pain as sharp, sudden and getting worse or does it feel like it is releasing and getting better?  

I like the concept of stopping to work on the pain area to release it, as this seems instinctual to do, when something hurts, you rub it, so makes sense to do so. Following up with the pain scale to assess progress is also helpful. Im sure this will build confidence and make them confident that have input into what can and is happening. 

Im glad you addressed not wanting to be in a situation where you only have one move and if it doesn't work, then what?  I wondered this early on when working with one of my heavier friends, having a bag of tools definitely helps! 

I liked the 315 stretch and applied the pain scale for discomfort with my daughter, who stated she was at about a 7 and did circling at the TFL for a bit til she was at a 3 then she was able to stretch better and it helped relieve her tightness. Had her try it on me as well and definitely have to go slow, but great stretch op[tion. 

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Christina Masterson
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August 11, 2016 - 11:29 am
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Module 14

Enjoyed this module, I enjoy the rocking and am now curious about the thai rocking massage, may look into that one after this is concluded. So, I am finding when I transition, I have to get momentum to lift my hiney off of my foot, need to work on this. Kris and I enjoyed the rocking and stretches, especially the half back arch w quad and hip stretch, eased my tight psoas and felt very lengthening.

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Shama Kern
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August 12, 2016 - 3:16 am
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The Thai Rocking Massage course would definitely be the perfect follow-up to this course. Actually I developed a lot of my rocking techniques after I had published the Complete Thai Massage course, so you will find new material in there.

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Christina Masterson
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August 13, 2016 - 9:20 am
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Module 15

I've done some abdomen work in the US with hands as well as cupping.  I have found it is one of those not as frequented areas for various reasons, the biggest being body image issue, woman tend to be very sensitive about their stomach area. I myself during school was very apprehensive about it, but have come to love abdomen work on myself as well as doing it, the massage just feels "completed" when it it is done, so very glad this was added as a part of this course as well. Feels wonderful.

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Shama Kern
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August 13, 2016 - 9:32 pm
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I am glad you warmed up to abdominal work. It is neglected in so many massage systems, including Thai Massage, although it is so beneficial and feels so good if it's done right, meaning gently.

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