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Danka Jovanovic Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Danka Jovanovic
Serbia, Belgrade
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October 24, 2016 - 2:46 am
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Module 1

I just finished the Module 1, introduction. I didn't know until today how much Thai Massage is focused on line of energy and also on different approach to anatomy. As a Restorative yoga teacher and practicing Reiki  as well, I can already see how I can make connection with practice of Thai Massage, restorative yoga asanas and Reiki hailing. Working on sturdy surface as a floor make such easier and relax approach in between me as practitioner and my client. Squatting, sitting and using our breathing to connect with movement it is like dancing, like pranayama in yoga asana's.  I am so trilled that I start this course and I can't wait for the next lesson/module. 

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Shama
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October 24, 2016 - 1:43 pm
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Hi Danka, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum.

Yoga, Thai Massage and Reiki (or any other energy work) are a great combination, and there are many members here in the forum who have exactly this background. 

As you noticed, Thai Massage is not just some kind of technique, but a holistic healing art with a strong relationship with yoga and energy.

I am looking forward to seeing you grow in your Thai Massage practice and to assisting you whenever you need it.

Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:

Certification Check List

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Danka Jovanovic
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October 26, 2016 - 2:48 am
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Module 2

Chi Machine I practiced on my husband who is going to be my main person for this amazing course. I also practiced with my daughter (she is 18) quite young and more flexible. It took me few times to get grip on my sitting position first in order not to move my whole body but just my hips. Watching the video  it look so effortless, but when I try the first time we had the good laugh, I moved more then my husband :). I think that after working on my sitting position and good strait back posture made huge difference in whole approach. It took few times until I got it. My husband was good sport, he was relaxed and made my job easier. On my daughter, even she is young and more flexible I had to work harder in order to get her moving. Both of them on the end had very relaxed experience. My husband had tingling sensation and he felt warmth through his body. My daughter didn't felt the warmth but she felt tingling. Both of them had a need to nap after Chi Machine, I hope that is a good sing. My question for you Shama is, Can I perform Chi Machine on clients with hips or joints issues like recovery after surgery (when they already have physiotherapy) or if clients have any other health issues (high blood pressure,...etc) I know doing the Chi Machine I don't move their body like rug doll, it's look exactly like the video just wondering if that movement could be an issue for people with health problems. I almost forgot to mansion, I asked my husband to try Chi Machine on me because I have to feel and see on my body, like my personal experience. I have to admit it is wonderful feeling like gentle full body massage.  

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Shama
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October 26, 2016 - 3:05 am
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I know, the Chi Machine is not something that you get right immediately. It takes a little extra practice. But you got good results since both of them felt the tingling, so you must be doing it right.

Getting drowsy or sleepy during a massage session is a good sign!

Regarding the health issues: It depends on what kind of surgery it was and how long ago they had it. This will be something that you have to decide on a case-by-case basis. In general the Chi Machine is a gentle and harmless technique, but if someone had a hip replacement or knee surgery very recently, then of course you need to be much more careful and possibly skip it.

The one contraindication for the Chi Machine is if someone is hyper mobile, i.e. if the knees are "hanging through" instead of forming a straight line. For hyper mobile people the Chi Machine does not feel good in their knees.

High blood pressure is not a contraindication, no problem here with the Chi Machine.

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Danka Jovanovic
Serbia, Belgrade
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October 31, 2016 - 11:27 pm
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Module 3

Foot work, massage was little bit difficult to grasp after practicing for few days both on my husband and on my daughter I fill little bit more confident but still coordinating my body moves and steps is little bit challenging. Using my whole body for twisting I master that move. Moving around while massaging and bending, twisting the feet, took more time than any other move. I am still working on coordinating my body, moves and touch. Combination  move with left and right, contraction and fraction is still challenging because I don't want to  injure my clients pulling so much. I will practice every day until I get feel for it. I also communicate all the time with my husband and daughter, how they feel what they experiencing during massage. Work in progress! 

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Danka Jovanovic
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October 31, 2016 - 11:52 pm
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Module 4

Thank you so much for explaining and showing the conceptual learning. It is more easier and effective than just remembering all the steps. Wow I can breath now. I thought during the Module 3 that I am lost, but with your explanation in module 4 everything come together. It is logical way of foot moving: out, in, up, down, lift and twist out and in, side of the foot, top of the foot. Engaging the whole body and get the feeling to connect with the  client is more important than remembering the steps- Thank you for that, I was working quite opposite. Press and role was the best  for them and I think I master that move ( lot's of experience in kneading :)). Circle the inner side of the heel and pulling the thumb up, I did little bit stronger for the first few times until I get it right. Massaging on upper side of the foot was totally different experience for me. Both of them are so different anatomically. Finding the whole on the top of the foot and gliding my fingers toward their toes was totally different. With circling, both of them felt warmth and better circulation in their feet. Rotating the ankle I didn't have any difficulties, very comfortable move.

Flowing is very important and I think until I get comfortable what and how I am doing flowing I believe will naturally follow. I am still focusing on my touch and how much I am pressing and pulling. I think by the time I massage few more different clients I will learn to adopt towards the age and condition of the clients. Thank you for explaining  and clarifying everything in this Module.  

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Shama
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November 1, 2016 - 12:21 am
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If you liked the conceptual way of remembering the foot moves, you will love the hip section. There we have another great conceptual way of remembering it all. Anyway, you don't have to remember it all. Clients will never know if you "forgot" something. Smile As long as what you are doing feels good and flows nicely, it is good enough.

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 7, 2016 - 8:34 pm
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Module 5

I enjoyed this video very much! My two great baddies also bare with me. Technique of rolling and compression  using the heal of my hand felt very comfortable for me and for both of them. They enjoyed very much and they felt totally relaxed. I also managed to fixed their legs with my feet or my knee-both techniques worked well. There is a difference massaging my husband as a male-distinguished mussels and harder body than my daughter-softer and younger. Both of them have different positioned-angled  feet and your video about hip position helped a lot to see the difference in human body and how to address those differences. Butterfly technique was grate after my few attempts and practice, they felt warmth and both of them felt relaxed. The technique when you push with one hand and pull with the other felt amazing, mu husband compere the move with a sport massage. I also practice using my body and trying to relax rather than focusing on sequence. During the massage where I use my thumb needs a lot practicing, need more flexibility. 

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Shama
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November 8, 2016 - 12:00 am
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It's good that you get to experience two very different bodies. As you will find out, some techniques work well on one body, but not on another body.

Overall it sounds like you must be doing a pretty good job based on the reactions of your practice partners. 

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Danka Jovanovic
Serbia, Belgrade
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November 9, 2016 - 12:07 am
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Module 6

This is great video, I like this lessons even more! Using my forearms instead my hands felt amazing. I felt huge relief for my hands. Especially using my body weights. They enjoyed elephant walking technique as well. I found using my forearms is less tiring and they enjoyed more during massage. I have to work on memorizing placement of my arms, still confused what is the first than second,...ect 🙂

Can you please tell me, is there any specific timing on how much time I should spend on specific part of the body or I should use my own feelings or judgement  depending on clients needs?

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Shama
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November 9, 2016 - 12:50 am
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You answered your own question! Smile I am not a fan of making rules and setting time limits and creating rigid sequences. So definitely use your feelings or judgement based on the client's needs. 

Of course it depends on how much time you have. If you do a one hour session, you cannot spend a lot of extra time on certain areas. If you do a two hour session, you have more flexibility with your timing.

Then it depends on what kind of session you are doing - is it a general whole body session, or are you doing a therapeutic session on a particular area of the body (someone with back pain, or hip problems for example). 

In the beginning you will of course focus on the whole body sessions and learning all the techniques. At a later stage you can do more focused work on specific areas.

With practice and experience you will figure out how long a session takes and how much time you have for the techniques to fit into your time frame. One good rule is that is it better to use fewer techniques and spend more time on them rather than using lots of techniques and rushing through them.

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 15, 2016 - 2:59 am
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Module 7 

Thank you Shama on previous answers. It's make huge difference when you can have constant communication with your teacher! 🙂

In module 7 we all enjoy so much, stretching is fantastic. I also use more of my body weight while lining and I am learning even more how to control my pressure while leaning. It's look like I have more control then before. The position of the feet related to the hip opening was great explanation. I also learned that in yoga anatomy. Everybody is so different even some very experienced yoga teachers have some limitation witch is all due to how is our skeleton built, so working around that and learning different techniques is something we have to  do while practicing yoga as well.Observing body for clues is exactly what I need to decide witch technique I should use. My partners enjoy this module so much they want me to do this every day 🙂 . Rocking and elephant walk was their favorite. They also liked leg pulling and foot pressing. Stretching the hips worked wanders on my husband and he is not that flexible, but by the end he felt relaxed and energized. My daughter who is total opposite, she is more flexible and she have open hips was great example how far I can go with stretching and pressing. We are all tall and lean in my family but I would like to try all this technique on somebody who is much shorter or heavier, just to feel the difference and learn more about the bodes and their limitations.

I'am also wondering, would you recommend stretching and light rotation of the hip for older people or somebody who has issues or surgeries? I know those issues are recommend for physiotherapist but I would like to know what technique you will advise me to do? Sorry for asking you constantly for specific health issues, but I can see myself in near future working more with people who are older and they have lots of limitations. Thank you so much 🙂   

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Shama
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November 15, 2016 - 9:18 pm
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Motion techniques like rocking or circling work better on older people who have more limitations than doing straight stretches. Although Thai Massage has lots of stretches which can be done, it is important to understand that it is also possible to do a great Thai Massage session with very few stretches, or even no stretches at all.

Gentle compression like elephant walking, palm circling and gentle rocking/rotating techniques are great for older people. After a while they might be able to handle some of the stretches as well. Actually they might be surprised how much even an older body can be rejuvenated with Thai Massage. But you have to start slowly and gently and build up from there.

You wrote "if someone has issues or surgeries". "Issues" could of course be lots of different things. Most people with hip issues can benefit from Thai Massage techniques like palm circling or rotations or rocking. In the case of surgeries it is always a question of how recent the surgery was and what kind of a surgery it was. So that would be something which you need to decide on a case-by-case basis. I could not give any useful general advice without seeing and touching and talking to a client. 

One good piece of advice in the case of serious issues and recent surgeries is to err on the side of caution. Just do easy harmless techniques and get a lot of feedback from the client if it feels right or not. You will learn many more useful techniques for such cases later in the course.

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 16, 2016 - 3:53 am
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Module 8

Every time I question myself or ask you a questions you answered them in the next module 🙂 Thank you! I rely like how you made this teaching online possible and very clear. 

Concept of hip workout in 8 slices of the pie-45 degree angle is so visual to understand and easy to remember and follow. Warming up the muscle of the calf, both of my partners enjoyed. Talking about the energy is so important to me not only I use the energy flow in yoga or reiki but because any interaction or presence we have the energy flow. I can't wait for more of your energy teaching.

In squeezing and rotating calf muscles, both of my partners felt lots of warmth to the point that I have to move to the next step. I hope that is good sign. Working on the knee they enjoy more circular movement than back and forth motion. I guess depend of the body and clients, like you sad everybody is so different, and I have to learn to observe and adjust to the clients needs. My husband don't have open hips, he is more stiff than my daughter and I didn't go in to deep stretch in his case. He enjoyed rocking the leg sideways. He didn't like moving his leg in perpendicular position in circular motion, so I moved his knee down in rocking motion and that was successful. I could not do every position on him but to adapt which is fantastic learning because on my daughter I practically can do any position or motion during the massage. Thank you for showing and teaching all this possibilities it's so important for me to know how to adjust and what could be done next. Looking forward to the next module! Thank you!  

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Shama
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November 16, 2016 - 12:23 pm
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I heard that from several course students, that when they have a question it gets answered in the next module. Smile

That's really great that you get to work on two people who are so different. This will teach you faster than anything else how to modify and adjust and pay attention to what kind of body you are working on.

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 17, 2016 - 1:09 am
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Module 9

Having the visual diagram of the hip pie in my mind help a lot. Otherwise I will be lost in what order I should go next. I like your explanation about people who have stiff hips or tight muscles what to do and how to relax them during the massage. Rocking moves worked the best for me and my partners. I received good feedback. I think I should always incorporate rocking and relaxing movement before I go to the deeper stretching. So far worked the best on both of them. Spinal twist was like icing on the cake for both of them, even my husband who is generally more stiff enjoyed that move on the end.

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Shama
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November 17, 2016 - 1:30 am
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Rocking moves are my favorites as well. That's why I created an entire course just about those rocking techniques.

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 23, 2016 - 3:58 am
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Module 10

It was great reminding me about anatomy of Thai Massage, specially about approaching with soft and easy flow. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the idea that I will forgot some moves and my posture, but as you sad with practice everything will come together. It make sense to practice on my own, how to breath, balance moves how to move from one side to the other over the clients body before I actually do the massage. "Hara" the life energy-reservoir of energy or Solar plexus chakra in Yoga, make lots of sense, every time I watch the new lesson I see huge connection with yoga and I cant wait when I learn the whole program to become creative, such a huge potential. 

I still practice working with my whole body even with the small moves. Blood stop I didn't do on my husband due to his enlarged veins but I did on my daughter. She didn't felt the rush of the blood. Maybe I didn't press hard enough. With her I went to the full stretch of spinal twist for lower back, it is very powerful stretch so I didn't do on my husband, I modified as you suggested and start and finished with gentle rocking. The whole module 10 I did in 2 variations more powerful stretches on my daughter and more gentle approach on my husband.

Thank you for suggesting rocking massage course, that is something I could do next! 🙂 

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Danka Jovanovic
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November 23, 2016 - 4:09 am
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Module 11

Flow and connection module, such a grate video to see the module in whole massage flow. It was little bit fast for me so I have to stop the video while I did  my turn. I finally got it , I don't have to jump from leg to leg for every move( silly me it took me only 11 modules :)) I can focus on one leg at the time! No wonder why I was not getting my nice flow. Still practicing and getting better every time specially adjusting the moves for not so flexible people.    

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Shama
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November 23, 2016 - 12:01 pm
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Yes, you don't need to keep switching legs all the time. Laugh That doesn't feel good for you or the client. I just have to switch legs in the training videos sometimes so that the camera can see better what I am doing. Fortunately there are several of those summary videos in the course where you can see the entire flow.

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