Just finished watching and reading module 1. I am very excited to be learning a healing practice that allows me to work with breathwork and energy. I also am appreciating the ergonomics aspect as this has been something that I need assistance with. As I age I like knowing that I can still practice using my body weight so as to give my hands a rest.
I like that the "chi machine" technique is used at the beginning. I use this often at the end of a massage session but it makes so much more sense to do it at the beginning. I found myself so relaxed and feeling the energy watching the video and performing the "chi machine" technique and realized it would be so beneficial to the therapist as well to begin a session this way. I embrace that it is about the experience and not just the techniques. Upon practicing the ergonomics I experienced knee discomfort and would like to know if this is common, if it goes away, or if there is some suggestion for easing it.
Hi Cindy, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum! Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the certification checklist here:
Yes, good ergonomics, working with body weight, and using other body parts besides the hands can extend a massage career almost indefinitely. You will see that this is a major focus of this course.
The knee discomfort is a common phenomenon in the beginning, but it always goes away after a while. It is just that you are not used to the kneeling position yet. You can put a little support pillow under your knee initially until you get more used to it. But so far all the course students adapted after a while and nobody ever told me that this was a chronic issue for them (unless someone has a serious knee issue/injury).
This module provided me with great techniques that I have already begun to use with my clients and have been met with positive feedback. I do agree that it will take some time to be comfortable with all the foot moves and being on a mat moving around. I also found that I had to modify some of the techniques for my partner who has knee issues. It seems that any type of move that caused rotation of the leg bothered his knee. Would you just leave these out for clients that experience discomfort with some moves or modify them?
It might be best to leave them out for now until you get further into the training where I show some knee techniques. Without knowing what the knee issue is I cannot give qualified advice. However I have worked on quite a few people with knee issues and there are several techniques which almost always result in substantial improvement. A few are covered in this course, and I have also created an entire Knee Therapy training course as well which goes more into specific therapeutic knee techniques.
I learned much from this module and not only used the foot work into my practice but in my daily massage routine at work. The response has been positive as most people have never experienced specific work on the feet. The move that pushes the leg in and pulls out seems to be a favorite among clients who have lower back pain. Some moves seem to come easily and smoothly while I struggle with some of the movements with others so will continue to practice.
I like that the foot work was reviewed in this module then flowed into leg work. The compression work was received well by my practice partner. The pinch roll technique on the calves and thighs were easy to learn. The hand placement tip was a great one for all compression massage and again was practices with ease and a sense of flow.
Today I practiced on my friend and fellow massage therapist and used all the techniques I have learned so far. She stated she felt "lighter" when we were done and we had only worked on the feet and legs!! I am still having difficulty being "graceful" with the transitioning and did find some of the work difficult to perform. The final ITB work was difficult for me as my body did not seem to position so that the work was comfortable for either of us. I will continue to work on this one for a few days. Already thai massage has changed the way I do "regular" massage in that I barely ever use lotion on the legs any more but simply focus on stretching, compressions, etc. This module has provided me with additional techniques that I am sure my client's will love.
The "gracefulness" is not something that happens right away, so don't worry about that. Nobody acts or feels graceful in all the moves right in the beginning of the training. But many of my students report that they feel much more graceful and in flow when they reach the later part of the course. It sounds to me that you are doing fine for the stage you are at and you are getting good feedback. That's plenty good enough for the early phase of Thai Massage training.
Module 7 & 8
As you can see I am able to post, needed to log in!! (normally I am automatically logged in so didn't even think to check).
I am loving the leg techniques and have been using them on my massage clients with great results. I appreciate the reminder that not all techniques have to be used, as this truly allows for free flowing energy based on a client's size and flexibility. Equally it is helpful on days when my energy is not at its peak yet I can still be effective with a few techniques. As my comfort level increases so does the ease of flow. The information provided about the hips and how to tell if they are balanced was very helpful and I use this for every session.
This continued leg work has provided me with a great perspective on how the legs and hips can move in "the pie" directions. I love the concept of power with softness. This concept has helped me to be more mindful in massage as I tend to do things fast. I am also becoming more conscious of using my body, which is truly helping me as I tend to use muscle and am sore at the end of each day.
The Anatomy of the Move concepts are so helpful, like a mantra to remember how to practice. I liked how you explained "the blood stop" technique as I have heard of this before but was always a bit cautious about using it. I am usually halfway through a session when I remember to center at my hara so this reminder was helpful! I look forward to watching it all put together to see the flow of it all.
You will find that although Thai Massage involves many rather big moves, it can be done with very little effort if you use your body correctly. This is what allows all those tiny female Thai Massage therapists to work on all those much larger Westerners.
Many therapists have fallen into the "muscling" trap which not only makes you tired but can lead to serious problems down the road. This is one of the main focus areas of this course to work in such a way that you need the least effort. Actually you can translate this into any other massage style as well. So this can be a career and health saving skill.
This is what I needed, a demonstration of how it all flowed together! I have been integrating the techniques on the table and love this aspect of doing massage since I unfortunately continually forget to not use muscle when doing regular massage. Integrating Thai helps me become more aware of my body and I seem to be able to use it during Thai easily. This module truly helped but all the lessons together.
This module was helpful in offering alternatives when dealing with larger clients and once again keeping focused on using body weight and not muscles. The hip stretches looked so relaxing just watching them! Using shaking or rocking to end stretches is a favorite of mine to use and also seems to be appreciated by my clients.
I particularly like the idea of the "pie" to remember to ways in which to stretch the legs and hips. I like that you discuss levels of intensity and flexibility while offering alternatives to stretches. I continue to try to integrate more Thai techniques while doing daily massages and love when I am able to and feel hopeful that learning this modality will help extend my career as a massage therapist.
Talking about extending your career - I can confirm that it extended my career for sure, mainly because I am able to use other body parts besides my hands and the fact that rocking techniques are not only easier on the client, but also on the therapist.
Thai Massage, if done right, is much easier on your body than table/oil massage styles. I have had students who were on the verge of burning out their hands, and Thai Massage enabled them to take the pressure off their hands. You probably know that I produced an entire course about that, called "Hands Free Massage". That's the ultimate massage therapist career saver training.
I also know from experience that good Thai Massage can add a lot of excellent therapeutic options to one's career. After all, it was designed and used as a therapeutic system here in Thailand.
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