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Constance Crawford Complete Thai Massage Progress Report
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Constance Crawford
Missouri, USA
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January 24, 2019 - 12:10 pm
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Thanks for the tip.

Module21 Prone Leg 2

Getting myself in position to work the hamstrings and hip was not smooth, lol. My practice partner and I practiced this several times before a little better. Same experience for heavy leg and moving from working the hamstrings to working the hip. I also had a little problem remembering how to position her leg for working the 3 lines on the hamstrings. Once again I think I was over thinking about how it all works. No problem with the actual techniques though.

Squeezing, rolling the calf muscle and the rocking were easy and stress free for me. My partner said the calf muscle work felt great.

I had no problems with the positioning for the triangle hip stretch.  I've never used my knee to work the lower leg before, I kept checking in with my partner to make sure of the pressure and to make sure I stayed in the correct space. Its definitely a technique I need to practice to become comfortable performing. It was a new experience for my partner also and thought the whole idea was different and can't wait till I get good at it so she can enjoy it without me asking how it felt the whole time.

The power version was easy to perform and she could really feel the stretch. She loved all the hamstring and hip work, these are areas that tend to stay tight on her.

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Shama Kern
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January 24, 2019 - 10:59 pm
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The knee is great for working in the prone position. It's good for the legs, for the buttocks, and for the back, as you will see. 

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Constance Crawford
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January 29, 2019 - 5:46 am
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Module 23 Prone Leg 3

The single and double leg stretches were easy to perform as I do something similar with my table massage clients, the only difference is the added leaning on the tibialis anterior. My practice partner could feel the difference between the single and double leg power version, saying the double leg felt a bit stronger, which was her limit. The extra power version with the clients knees farther apart and heels to the outside of hip, we couldn't actually do. While performing the reverse leg lift my practice partner could feel the stretch in her lower back.

My practice partner was almost too tall to practice the hip flexor, quad stretch, but we managed and she really liked the stretch. 

My practice partner is also one if my regular massage clients, she  is use to me using my fist or elbow on her trigger points in her glutes. She said I could apply more pressure with my knee but missed the trigger point therapy and she liked the added stretch.

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Shama Kern
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January 29, 2019 - 4:37 pm
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You can easily combine the trigger point work and Thai Massage. The elbows and the fists work just as well in Thai Massage as in trigger point, when working on the glutes. I do a lot of elbow rocking on the glutes. That's similar although not the same. You can create a combo system with great results, I think.

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Constance Crawford
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January 30, 2019 - 9:28 am
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Module 23 Sacrum and Hips

As a LMT I do a lot of glute work but little if any sacrum work,, but now I have some awesome sacrum techniques to use on my clients.

The sacrum techniques were easy to perform and the rocking rhythm comes much easier now.

My practice partner for the session is a busy mom of 3, owns a small house cleaning company and complains of low back and hip pain. When I told her what I was going to practice she wasn't sure what to expect. When I started the session I could feel my partner wasn't relaxing, I did the circling on the sacrum for several minutes until I could tell she was starting to relax. By the time I was done with the sacrum work she was hooked. She said she had no idea it would be so relaxing.

Moving on to the glute and hip rocking, the only technique that was awkward was rocking across the hip and down. After several times of practice it seemed less awkward. The knee rocking I need to practice, practice, practice. I can go up and down just fine, side to side just fine, pressure is good but putting it all together and making it smooth is going to take practice.

My practice partner loved the session even the techniques I had trouble with.

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Shama Kern
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January 30, 2019 - 4:43 pm
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Very few therapists work on the sacrum, and all clients seem to love it. I am glad you had good success with it right away, even if in spite of yourself! Laugh

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Constance Crawford
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January 31, 2019 - 10:25 am
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Module 24 Prone Back 1

The 5 techniques in this module were easy for me, when I would get out of sync I would think, lean in breath out, lean out breath in move hands. With my table clients I do something similar, standing at the head of the table I circle down and up the erectors. When I end my back work I basically do the off set wiggle the difference is I have my hands on each side of the spine.

I feel these techniques are great for  warming up the back for deeper work. My practice partner really enjoyed the session and felt very relaxed afterwards.

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Shama Kern
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January 31, 2019 - 2:06 pm
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Yes, these techniques are great for warming up the back. I really dislike it if a therapist immediately brings out the sledgehammer techniques for the back, or starts out by pressing really hard on the back. That's exactly what many therapists do here in Thailand, and that's why I created this warm-up sequence as a better way to start back work.

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Constance Crawford
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February 1, 2019 - 11:27 am
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Module 25 Prone Back 2

I had no problems working on the erector muscles with my hands and elbows. Working on the traps I had to practice moving into position several times before actually doing the technique. Then I did the whole sequence, erectors and traps, several times on each side by about the 6th time its was getting much smoother.

Not having worked much with my knees the sideway knee rock was easy, I checked with my practice partner to make sure of the pressure.  With rocking forward I practiced with my weight, more on hands less with knee, more weight with knee less on hands and somewhere in the middle as much as my practice partner could take and we did the extended leg technique briefly.

Working the middle of the back with knee again I checked several times with my partner about the pressure.

My practice partner is use to me using my elbows during table massage, so using my knees was a new experience for her, she likes that my knee covers more area and there is a larger range of pressure using my knee.

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Shama Kern
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February 1, 2019 - 7:35 pm
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Good to hear that you got into the knee work. Especially for large clients this can come in really handy, getting good results without much effort.

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Constance Crawford
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February 2, 2019 - 11:28 am
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Module 26 Prone Back 3

I use my forearms a lot on the back with table massage so this technique was easy as was walking and rocking. The obvious difference, being on the mat and remindering to have the clients arm on my leg when working in the groove.

With elephant walking/galloping, I found myself counting 1-2, 1-2 for walking  and 1,2 1,2 for galloping 🙂

I practiced the thumb work on the sacrum and erector muscles, I will modify this technique or not use it since my thumbs are already wore out from years of use 🙁

 At the start of the session we figured out the pillows and my partner wanted the big pillow under her and the little pillow for her head. She liked the gallop more then walking. She really liked the squeezing of the neck and trap work. I did that technique for a while since her neck and traps were tight, when I was done she said her neck felt so much better.

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Shama Kern
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February 3, 2019 - 12:02 am
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Best to skip thumb work as much as possible if they are already worn out. There are plenty of alternatives. The heel of the hand works fine for the sacrum, and the elbows work great for the erectors (or edge of hand).

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Constance Crawford
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February 3, 2019 - 1:04 pm
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Module 27 Prone Upper Back

Circling, kneading the traps, up and down wiggle with fingertips, palm circling, percussion, lift and loosen shoulder blade, in school we called that the chicken wing. All these techniques I either learned in massage school or picked up along the way. I learned the cobra from a swed-thai course I took 10 yrs ago. I still practiced all of these techniques on my partner. 

I had to adjust my position several times to get where I needed to be for the shoulder stretch with backward rotation. I had to pay attention to keep the pressure on the back while also moving that hand and leaning back. Transitioning to the sitting position was not smooth, circling and leaning back went well.

My practice partner liked all the circling, kneading and wiggling. Having the shoulder lifted while doing the chicken wing helps to get under the shoulder blade better. I practiced it both ways, shoulder lifted and not lifted, and my partner liked it better with it lifted said it felt like I could get further under her shoulder blade. She liked all the shoulder work. With the shoulder stretch with backward rotation and upper body twist she could feel a stretch in her pecks as well. She really  like the cobra stretch, that was totally new to her. 

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Shama Kern
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February 3, 2019 - 6:25 pm
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Looks like you have had quite an extensive exposure to lots of techniques in your career. That should prevent any overwhelm when learning all the Thai Massage moves, I guess.

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Constance Crawford
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February 4, 2019 - 12:44 pm
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My biggest issue is my positioning , moving around a massage table is a lot easier then being on a mat. I've become more comfortable and smoother on the mat.

Module 28 Prone Summary

I followed the video while working on my practice partner. I stopped the video to do some of the techniques longer,  work the other side and the added technique rocking against the buttocks. The session went well and my practice partner enjoyed all the bodywork. 

If my client is wanting a therapeutic massage then I always palpate especially their problem area. If the client just wants a relaxation massage, I still tend to do some palpating and when a find a knot or tightness I will bring it to my clients attention.

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Shama Kern
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February 4, 2019 - 2:28 pm
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That's a good idea because often enough clients don't even realize that they have blockages, restrictions, tightness etc in some areas unless we find it and bring it to their attention. So those requested "relax" sessions can easily turn into something a bit more therapeutic.

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Constance Crawford
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February 5, 2019 - 12:43 pm
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Module 29 Side 1

After warming my practice partner leg up with palming I told her I was going to sit in her leg and explained the technique. This was totally new to both of us. Surprisingly it went pretty well, I checked in with her with every move to make sure she was comfortable. She thought the technique was great and felt good.

My practice partner really liked the palm circling, forearm work and percussion work, said her hips felt amazing.

I practiced the transition from working on the hip to the thigh and hip stretch several times before doing the stretch. Then did the whole transitioning with stretching several times. With some techniques, if I do it in a couple of steps it helps me to put it all together and it works out smoother. My partner loved the stretch and could really feel it in her adductors.

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Shama Kern
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February 5, 2019 - 11:16 pm
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That's impressive that you got the sitting technique right on the first try! Smile Many course students are struggling with that one initially, or are afraid to do it in the first place.

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Constance Crawford
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February 6, 2019 - 12:53 pm
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Module 30 Side Position 2

As far as the sitting on the inner thigh technique, I had explained the technique to my practice partner then we started talking off subject and I just did the technique. I think I've mentioned before that I can over think on how to do some of these techniques and that's when I have trouble executing the technique. When we were talking I wasn't focusing so much on the technique.

Leaning on the erector muscles with one hand and the other hand on the hip, sometimes I would be focused on working the erector muscles that I would forget to move my hand on the hip, but my practice partner didn't notice and thought it felt good.

The spinal twist was easy.  the spinal twist in rocking motion not so much, the technique was easy keeping the rhythm, I had to concentrate push pull move hand. My practice partner loved the spinal twist it self, thought the rocking motion was just ok.

I like doing the hip flexor, quadriceps and low back stretch, step 2 with moving my knee on the glute and hamstrings was a little more challenging, with a little practice it became easy to perform. This technique is now my practice partners new favorite.

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Constance Crawford
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February 7, 2019 - 12:58 pm
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Module 31 Side Position 3

Shoulder circling is the easiest technique of this module. Shoulder circling with trap massage, shoulder circling with built in stretch, with rocking motion plus arm circling with shoulder stretch take a bit more practice and coordination. 

Rotate shoulder back while leaning on traps, I feel this technique will take me quite a bit of practice. When I practice this technique I feel very awkward and not very smooth, same with the heel of hand circling technique. I feel the strong version of this technique is easier to do.

My practice partner just loved all this shoulder work. The 1st part of the session, basically warm up, she said she felt her shoulders relax. She really liked the arm circling with shoulder stretch. Even though I didn't perform the rotating shoulder techniques very well she still benefited from the work. She said her shoulders were definitely relaxed and lose after our practice session.

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