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Dean Samuels Thai Massage Complete Progress Notes
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Dean Samuels
Duncan Oklahoma,USA
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December 20, 2017 - 12:23 pm
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Module 1: Very interesting introduction. I like the way you explained all the main aspects of Main Thai massage like Techniques, Tools, Positions for the therapist and client. I like the part you explained that this type of massage is very different that western massage where you follow a clinical type of massage where you talk about all the body parts in Latin. I will truly enjoy your format in following the way you teach this coarse. Positions of the therapist, setting on heels, kneeling, squatting, will take some time to get use to but like you said if you keep at it you will get conditioned in those positions just as i remember when i started massage for the first time.  It was very hard and some painful until you got conditioned in how you  held your body as you worked. I contribute Tai Chi positions as i massage to save my back and also lean into my clients and use my body weight for pressure on my clients. to save my hands, I noticed you do the same here in body weight distribution in doing Thai massage. Clients positions are the same as in western massage such as supine, prone and side, Setting will be a new way. Anatomy of Thai Massage move such as Basic mechanics, Good ergonomics, and breathing. In Tai Chi i teach once you learn the form the breathing part is the key to the flow of one move into the next move to which if someone is watching it could look like one continues move like a dance. Very beautiful.

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Shama
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December 20, 2017 - 10:43 pm
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Welcome to our community and to the Complete Thai Massage certification program, Dean! Smile

With your background you should be able to easily follow this course. From your introduction it seems that this program will be an excellent match for you.

It looks like you read the certification tutorial and everything looks good. However I always post a link to our certification check list at the beginning of each thread to make sure that you have an easy reference for keeping it all organized correctly:

Certification Check List

I am looking forward to following your progress! Smile

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Dean Samuels
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December 29, 2017 - 6:26 am
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Module 2: Back from Holiday and back to studying and practicing. I want to say first i really like the way you have  LOT of ways to help us stay organize and in line. Very helpful. Also the matl. video on helping us therapist to stretch our condition our toes, feet, ankles and knees. I’m working on that big time.

   On lesson 2, I see that the correct Ergonomics is a very important aspect in giving massage. If your not relaxed or at the right body alignment your not comfortable nor is your client. They can tell if your not enjoying giving them a massage so they do not enjoy it. They can feel your energy in giving so it needs to be a positive energy. Keeping your body at a 90′ when doing the Leg Stretch helps in doing so. i place my knee on the mat at different places doing this stretch and yes just a few inches behind there  thigh makes a world of difference in me and how effective this move is. Also my partner said it feels much better when i use my body weight into the lean and rock into it as i go deeper into the stretch.

  You mention Sequence of moves in which reminds me when i teach Tai Chi there is a sequence of the flow of that but you don’t have to stay in that sequence you use it as needed in the situation your in. But looking forward to that part of the lessons where one move can lead to the next.

  “Chi Machine” I found out practicing this does work on my Biceps. I do need to practice this more. I may be rocking to much at first. We will be doing more of this tonight after my Tai Chi class. She said it really helped her back tightness. She loved the energy or chi flow in her body. I felt the energy as well back to me. In reg. table massage  they are prone i place my hands on there back to start out my massage and rock they to help them to relax for a few mins. Before i began there session.

           Would  Chi Machine be a good why to start a session if this is the first time for Thai massage for them??

  I also felt by slowing down the rocking in Chi Machine and placing there feet down on the mat and place my hands softly on top of there feet i felt the chi energy  from them, as i do Reiki work on a client. I have my 2nd degree i Reiki.

  Summary:

  • Good Ergonomics
  • Work in a Relax way
  • Use least a mount of muscle
  • Good mindset
  • Should be enjoyable not work.

Thanks again so back to more practicing.

  Dean

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Shama
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December 29, 2017 - 6:52 pm
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The Chi Machine is an excellent way to start a session. It is gentle, non threatening (as some massive stretches can be), it has a surprising and delightful effect, and it sets the initial tone for the session.

The Chi Machine should not affect your biceps at all. You don’t move the body with your arms, but with the lateral hip movement, while the client’s heels are resting in your hands, which in turn rest on your thighs. Your biceps should not be involved.

I am glad that you like the supplemental videos. I will be adding more over time.

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Dean Samuels
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January 12, 2018 - 3:27 am
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Module #3 Foot Massage 1

  Been sick the flu virus running rampid in Oklahoma. Feel great now. Back to studying.

   Yes the feet to me is the best place to start a Thai massage. That’s where i normally start my basic massage. Its less aggressive place to start and helps get them relaxed, especially the 1st. timers with massage.

  When i place my hands on top of there feet its cool to the touch but with in a few minutes they seem to warm up with my touch as i feel there energy from them. And yes there is so many places to work on the feet that effects the whole body in some way. Like holistic medicine effects the whole body in some way. And what better way to introduce yourself by starting with the feet like a hand shake does.

  AS i started with my practice partner, she really liked the pushing outward motion cause she does have very stuff ankles. The1,2,3 different thumb placement on the inside of the feet she loved. I have small hands and i found that wrapping my hands around there feet my be a chore but with practice Im sure it work nicely. The rolling part seems much easier when your bring your body into play by rolling your body counter clockwise. Question? Does it make a difference if you go clockwise or counter clockwise with this move?

  When bending the feet in she said she could feel a traction pull all the way up to her hips. Does make sense to make the pressure to go down toward your body as you lean inward over the feet.

  When I placed my palm of my hand on the ball of her foot and leaned down and in that was so much easier than how i was doing it and she told me that way was more comfortable to her in the calf and Achilles tendon stretch than the way i use to do it. She said that way gave her a better stretch.

  Still practicing the smooth transition of sliding my leg in and out of under her leg. As a Tai Chi instructor i want that move to be very smooth. I also watch where you placed your hands on top of the foot and there heal of there foot as you did the push-pull-rotate technique, with my small hands i found it i reverse my hands opposite of how you illustrated i had a better grip of there foot and she also gave me feedback that it felt better that way.

  All together with lots of practice this will be a very good way to start a massage. Smile

Thanks a lot

Dean

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Shama
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January 12, 2018 - 10:16 am
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It doesn’t matter if you go clockwise or counterclockwise. There are people who think that the direction matters, and should even be different for men and women, but personally I have not found that this matters in any way. 

Also if reversing the grip on the push-pull move works better for you…whatever works best for you. I am not a proponent of hard and fast rules. If it works well for you, then it is good.

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Dean Samuels
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January 17, 2018 - 1:46 am
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Module 4 Foot 2

   Thank you Shama for your input on Jan. 12 on clockwise or counter and also hand grip. I find myself in over analyzing my moves

  I see now that focusing on how my body moves and how my clients feels than my body mechanics is most importance now the mechanics will come. It will come with practice. The feeling is more important than mechanical aspect. The movement of my body as i work on my client i will feel my energy flow into them as well. I do understand that conceptual learning is much more effective than mechanical learning.

  The 8 ways that the foot will e a good way to practice over and over to learn the concept of the ways the feet can be worked on for starters.

1. Bend out

2. Bend in

3. Bend up

4. Bend down

5. Twist right

6. Twist left

7. Work on top

8. Work on bottom

  Once i see the concept the techniques are coming much easily. The circular rotating technique i really love to do. Feels good giving  it.

Things i have learned in this module

  • Learn through conceptual thinking
  • Don’t just memorize sequences (feel them)
  • Focus on developing your sense of feeling
  • Watch your entire body as your working
  • Focus on the quality of your touch.

Thanks Shama Smile

   Dean

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Shama
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January 17, 2018 - 9:59 am
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You are one of the few who ‘gets’ the circular move easily. What is clear from your comment is that it’s not just about learning the mechanics of the techniques, but there is a lot more involved to make it all flow. These are the things which make the techniques feel good.

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Dean Samuels
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January 25, 2018 - 1:21 am
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Module 5 Leg warmup

  Hi Shama, I like that we can use the same type of techniques from the feet to he leg warmup. and yes warm ups are very important to start out with before the stretch. As i always to in the beginning of my Tai Chi class that i teach.

  I know we don’t have to do all of the different techniques in one massage session but some times i feel i need to change up some of the techniques from the last time they my have came in for a massage. I feel in working the area in a different way could results in a better outcome. But i do see about the whole frame work in all.

  I see that remaining flexible myself helps in doing the massage and being flexible helps the client also cause they may only one pacific area worked on.

  In doing the leg warmups when using the term Butterfly hands technique on top of the thighs, when i tried it i found reversing my hands where my wrist over lapped as i leaned in was much easier on my wrists. I still have my palms on top for there quads. Also my partner also committed it felt much better that way. Also the breathing in this move is very exact as the breathing in Tai Chi. As you move out you exhale as you move in you inhale in other words as you lean in you exhale or release you chi energy. As you come off the lean or move up you inhale to gather move chi energy.

   Place the leg at the 90′ and place my knee under there foot is a excellent way to hold there leg in position to work inner thighs and calf. The one technique of place my hand and rolling down and other hand rolling up will need lots of practice. Not so easy to do.

  I know i have a very strong grip and have found i need to do some of these techniques softer which my partner committed that was uncomfortable so i have to back of on my thumb grip to make it feel better. Do to all the thumb work i use to do in western type massage. In which i know to ask for feedback as i work on them. Each has its on pressure tolerance.

  Squeeze  and roll up IT bands is very useful move. I have work on cheerleaders that to the high kick and the IT bands get very tight.

  Overtime i will remember all the moves but i also remember wax on wax off.  LOLWink

  Thanks,  Dean

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Dean Samuels
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January 25, 2018 - 3:09 am
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Module 6 Leg warmup (forearm)

  Hello Shama, Its very interesting with some issues in having with myself in doing the massage you address it in the very next video. I love the connection we have. Like in module 5 you show techniques using palms and thumbs in which i have very tight wrist and do a lot of thumb work. Them in module 6 you address my issue by working the same areas but with forearms. Thank you so much.  A life saver.

  Sliding under the leg and working the quads. with forearm i tried both wrong way by using just my arm then the right way by using my body weight to massage them the feed back was yes use body weight and the flow is much better. Also as i slide up more to work starting at groin area down using 100% body weight they said it was very comfortable. When you talk about softness its the sane as i teach Tai Chi i try to get my students to relax in the body movements and the movement is all about how you move in a softness manor. Has nothing to do with strength.

  Also my partner was very tight in hips and rocking the leg back and forth seem to open up the hips for them to relax more for the massage. Still using my breathing techniques with the arm rolls seems to help my rhythm in each move.

Thanks again Dean Samuels LMT

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Shama
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January 25, 2018 - 6:39 pm
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There are plenty of techniques in Thai Massage so that you can pick and choose and mix it up a bit. The sequence in this course is just a general framework, but you don’t have to stick to it religiously. My motto is that the the techniques are options to choose from, not a mandatory sequence.

Sequences are more like a map to follow, but the ups and downs and curves and accelerations and slowdowns in the road are what you create. That’s how it is in Thai Massage as well.

I have heard that from quite a few students, that they had a question, and then it gets answered in the next module. Smile The thing is that there are so many topics to talk about that there is no way to put all questions and answers in one module. That’s why the are spread out throughout the course.

It sounds like your Tai Chi is very helpful in relating to Thai Massage principles.

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Dean Samuels
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February 2, 2018 - 4:50 am
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Module 7 Les Stretches 1

  Thanks for the last input. Yes my Tai Chi does relate to Thai massage a lot.

  Looking at the feet i see my partners right foot does lean in more than her left and that’s the side she has more issues with. So I used those tech. you showed and she could tell a lot more as it help opened up her right side.

  I notices my clients feet a lot when on the massage table one leans in more than other. Doing the Elephant walk on her thigh she really like.

  What was really good was the Right Angle Foot-Hip Stretch. But again i have to use the Supplement version that you showed. and she said that way felt much better.

  In bending her knee up and pulling it back and over her body she felt a nice release in her hip.

  Thanks again Shama

Dean Samuels LMT

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Shama
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February 3, 2018 - 9:14 am
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Based on forum comments the elephant walk is an all time favorite for pretty much everyone.

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Dean Samuels
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February 14, 2018 - 4:18 am
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Module 7 supplement leg stretch

  Yes again me being short this way is much easier for me and my partner said this way felt much better.

Dean Samuels LMT

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Dean Samuels
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February 14, 2018 - 4:47 am
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Module 8 Leg stretch 2

   Thanks for the very good videos illustrating different ways of doing massage. And advising not to get stuck in one way. I want to learn and try different ways cause one way may not be as effective as another.

  Hip-Pie concept, love that illustration a very good way to remember 8 different ways to stretch the hip. And at 45′ angels you can work the leg.

  From the 0′ start angle to the 180′ angle i can see this might be pretty aggressive for 1st. timers. The rocking way seems less aggressive. Always ask for feed back to see if its to much.Surprised

  Techniques: opening up the hip by doing legs circles was great. She loves that move. And i can see how it can improve the hip rotation and flexibility.

  and also Technique: rocking the leg up and down would be a nice alternative for the stretch.

Thank you again Shama

Dean Samuels LMT

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Shama
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February 14, 2018 - 11:39 am
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This has always been my approach:  If the direct stretch is too aggressive for someone, rock into it. That almost always works.

I am glad you like the hip pie concept. It resolves a lot of confusion about what comes next, and it is the best way to know what a complete hip workout looks like! Smile

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