For the first practice round I followed your example to the letter and it was great, this is a nice and fairly easy module, then When you mentioned using the knees on the glutes I wondered what would happen if I used my foot on the sacrum and introduced rocking motions when "walking" up the back.
It worked beautifully with my partner although I was a bit clumsy at first trying to develop a good feel for the anatomy of my partner's back. The area around the sacrum is where it works best as I can apply a bit more pressure while giving my hands a rest, the lower back is slightly trickier but eventually I was able to get a good rocking motion using heel and ball of the foot either side of the spine. Unfortunately this wouldn't quite work with a client who has a protruding spine with underdeveloped erector spinae muscles and so it was better to use the hands.
Not so easy to get an elegant movement when massaging the glutes with my knees but I made progress. Perfection may take a bit longer.
Yes, perfection will take a couple days extra!
You will find that across the board - what works on one client does not necessarily work on another, like you mentioned in the case of protruding spine and underdeveloped erectors. That's where the art comes it, to match the right technique with the right client.
This is an important reason why we need to have a wide selection of techniques to choose from. Otherwise the old saying will apply to our work "If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail."
Tried again the first few techniques in this module with both hands and feet and I think once I have developed a bit more sensitivity through my heels I will be able to find the correct placement along the inside of the erector muscles straight away. Again, it worked with my partner because he has a strong large back and so by leveraging gravity as well as my body weight I was able to offer a stronger version of the rocking motion which my partner enjoyed.
In contrast the following techniques starting with the wiggles on the upper back and neck felt a lot gentler than the first few ones but still very well received.
The scapula rocking didn't go down very well, although I was able to get my fingers under his shoulder blade it felt a bit weird for both of us. It's probably the equivalent of an acquired taste, however my partner reported feeling some benefit from the technique.
The favourite in this module turned out to be the last technique shown. Personally I felt that this is a much more effective stretch for the pectoral muscles than other Thai Massage techniques I have come across so far as well as a gentle spinal twist and shoulder rotations. It's been so difficult so far being able to really encourage clients to fully open their chests and allow themselves the pleasure of sitting upright without rounded shoulders as a consequence.
I believe this is the end of the course. I loved it, so many great ideas and plenty to remember (and practice, practice, practice). I think the next step will be to create a quick reference guide so that I can remind myself of options available to me as I treat different clients. So far the rocking techniques have been well received by those I introduced them to and, I must say, one particular client has benefited immensely already as he has gradually given up on resisting the stretches and is now flexible like a willow branch AND no more back pain.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge through this course and also thank you to your model for being so patient. I don't know how she managed to lie so still for so long!