September 6, 2018
Hi Shama. I'm happy to be starting the Thai Back Massage course and I'm looking forward to each module and your feedback!
I’ve done a spinal analysis on a friend of mine. She is 5’6 220 lb. She feels the weight of her breasts impacts her posture. I noticed that her thoracic vertebrae were rounded out indicating kyphosis. Her head appears slightly forward and likely because of that, she gets pain at the back of her neck. Her shoulders looked even. There was no noticeable scoliosis and her hips seemed level. While supine I was unable to slide my hand under her lumbar spine indicating reduced lumbar curve. Also while supine her head appeared on the same plane as her body and her hips level.
I’ve done an additional spinal analysis on another friend. His lumbar spine appeared somewhat flat and his left shoulder elevated. His hips appeared even. I did not notice a lateral curve in the spine or kyphosis. While supine I could reach my fingers under to his lumbar spine but there was little space there. His hips appear level while lying supine and his face appeared on the same plane as his body. When I was working on his neck during a Thai massage the left side appeared more restricted which may be a factor in the elevation of his left shoulder.
September 6, 2018
For this module I had interviewed a friend regarding her back pain in order to get more comfortable with getting a client history and to find out what the possible causes of her pain may be. The following is a summary of the information I had gathered after asking her a series of questions.
She’s 42 years old and her back pain started at age 19, after she fell. The pain started in her left lumbar and hip, and is currently around her left Sacroiliac joint. At one point she was bedridden for 6 months and couldn’t drive for 3 years. Her pain is constant unless she is lying still in bed. She feels both dull and sharp pain at various times. She sits a lot and doesn’t walk for exercise due to fear of increased pain and only stretches.
She’s been seeing a chiropractor 2-6 times per week for 7 years. Cortisone injections and nerve ablations didn’t work. Her diagnosis was facet syndrome with at least one bulging disc. She was unable to tilt her pelvis forward until after receiving her first Thai massage.
I found giving this interview to be very informative. I learned a lot about the origin of her pain and how it progressed over time as well as the various treatments she has already received for it and how they have or have not helped.
September 6, 2018
I’m glad you pointed out that an antagonist muscle may become weakened due to the chronic contraction of the opposing muscle group and that an issue does not exist in isolation. This knowledge is useful for identifying the possible cause of a client's pain. I also found it interesting that you may suggest Yoga to your clients to increase muscle strength. I’d like to learn more about Yoga and how it can compliment Thai massage. As you explained, it is also important for us to educate the client about how their lifestyle habits may be causing the issue.
I like your simulated face cradle setup with a standard size pillow under the clients’ chest and a small pillow under their head. I have seen some massage therapists using an actual face cradle cushion on the floor during a Thai massage. I think your setup may be more comfortable.
I like techniques where the therapist works the individual sen lines but I found doing that to be painful for my thumbs afterwards. Thanks for showing some alternative tools such as using three fingers together.
I have tried face cradles for Thai Massage on the floor. In my experience this doesn't work very well. First I never found it comfortable for my face, and second it is just not practical since in Thai Massage, unlike in oil massage, you move clients around quite a bit. So every time you do a stretch that lifts their head, they get pulled out of the face cradle and have to re-position their head after each repetition of the stretch. This can feel quite irritating.
That's why my pillow method feels more comfortable since there it doesn't matter so much that the face has to land in the precise correct spot in the cradle. At least that has been my experience.