Hi Debi, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:
I am sure your husband will enjoy this course as well. I am looking forward to reading about your progress. I saw that you sent in two certification registrations, one for the International Certificate and the other for the CE Certificate. So that means you want them both, correct?
Since I've only ever really considered the western way of everything in all my more than half a decade of life, learning Thai will require a shift in thinking for me.
I've only been a massage therapist for about a year and a half and never even had my first massage of any type until I was in massage school at age 53. All I've had since then are Swedish massages with a little deep tissue thrown in.
I have just started working at a brand new spa whose owner is Thai. I have been wanting to learn Thai massage and now it's pretty much mandatory. That's one way to quit procrastinating.
My approach to massage has been the western variety. More analytical, A&P focused, step-by-step. I don't feel that I have developed my sense of touch at all and hope that this discipline will help me with that shortcoming.
My last 3 massages, I have been concentrating on using my tools more effectively including body weight and breath, even though these have been standard Swedish type table massages. I've been focusing on mindfulness during these massages and got a glimpse into achieving a state of flow! Oh boy, a taste of the beauty to come!
I took a Thai massage introductory class last weekend and have been working on the above and also the principle of quality of touch. As I mentioned, I am in my mid 50s. I'm very out of shape physically, mentally, and even somewhat out of shape in my spiritual life. I am doing my clients a great disservice by being in poor condition not to mention the disservice to my own self.
I may have some challenges with the therapist positions but am willing to suck it up and either overcome or adapt myself to the positions I can achieve. I have arranged to take a private yoga lesson next Friday AM to assess my current ability and function and to get instruction on the proper breathing techniques etc. From there I'll be in a beginners yoga class.
I will continue to be more mindful of my breathing, technique, and ergonomics.
One thing I find myself appreciating about this course is the deeper understanding of everything that goes into a Thai massage, not just memorizing the physical movements.
Module 2: Chi Machine
I've just completed watching this video and wanted to input my notes for future reference. Then at work tomorrow, I am going to try giving and receiving Chi Machine with my Thai massage practicing boss. Also want to do it to my husband who thinks Chi is our pet chihuahua dog. (For real, lol).
Then I'll come back and put my discoveries here.
Thanks for the great introduction about your background. I am very sure that this course will open you up in many ways. It will change your thinking, your approach to massage, and your understanding of energy.
The approach of eastern massage is quite different from western massage. It's less analytical, less clinical, less scientific. Instead it's more alive, vibrant, connected, and feeling based. It relies more on the concept of moving energy than on A&P.
It's also more part of a social system, it's part of life in Thailand, it's more out in the open, and it's not subject to endless discussions if it is beneficial or not. Since it has been used as part of the natural healing system in Thailand for centuries, it's pretty evident that it works. In other words, it has stood the test of time.
One more thing: I love reading about your story, your experience with the material, how you use it, feedback you are getting etc.
HOWEVER...please re-read the certification check list, specifically item #6. You are not supposed to list the content of the videos, only your experience with them. The reason is simple. If everyone would just list the content of the videos, the forum would look deadly boring - hundreds of more or less identical content lists. Plus you don't have to tell me what's in the videos - remember I made them!
So just stick to your juicy stories and skip the content lists. Actually I will delete this part of your posts since I don't want anyone to follow your example.
Oh, and in regards to practicing the Chi Machine on your Thai boss - he or she will not recognize the Chi Machine as part of Thai Massage since it is a technique which I built into my system. It is not known in Thailand as part of traditional Thai Massage. However it is a perfect fit, and that's why I added it. I am quite creative in that way, and I won't limit myself to traditional boundaries.
I have added many "motion techniques", elements like rocking, wiggling, shaking etc to my style of Thai Massage. You will see that throughout the course. They make it more effective, more pleasant for the client, and easier on your own body as well.
I saw your post before you edited it! Personally I use Evernote to take notes of things. It works great, it's free and is convenient.
Just to let you know, to keep a forum of this size with thousands of posts organized and neat, is no easy job! Without some standards and rules it turns real messy. Trust me, I speak from experience .
I am sure some people think I am a little nit-picky, but the result is a forum which is more interesting and more streamlined and organized. After all, it creates a permanent record of all our certifications, and it is a place where lots of people browse for inspiration.
I am looking forward to lots of interesting stories from you !
I tried the chi machine on my boss. It didn't work out. I focused on her hips. Eventually got pretty much everything moving. It didn't work I believe because my ankles were digging into the floor and I was very uncomfortable physically.i transmitted that to her.
I'll try again later with something under my ankles. Her pad is small. She is a.tiny That lady. I look like a moose next to her so will get a pad for under my ankles.
That would be a reason why it didn't work. This ankle issue is something which many people experience when they start out with the Thai Massage training. However this is something which your body will easily get used to after a while. Using a cushion will do the trick until you don't need it anymore. The beginning always has a few challenges, but they will dissolve after a few more course modules.
I found the perfect cushion right in my house in my variety of bolsters I use for my regular massage practice.
I also discovered that I have one of those electric chi machines. I bought it at a yard sale for $5 awhile back. It's called a "Swing Massager" and was new in the box. I tried it out a couple of times and loved it's quality powerful feel. It works very well as far as relaxing someone ahead of getting a massage. Also loosens the hips. I just mostly do mobile massage and wasn't about to drag it with me everywhere. So I stuffed it in a drawer and there it sat til this morning. I now know what it's for and what to look for as far as results. I'm taking it to work with me today with the cushion.
I'm interested to see the difference between the human and electric chi machine.
You paid $5! That's amazing - normally those things cost several hundred dollars. I have had other students who also had one, but the consensus was always that the human version feels better.
The machine version can be a good second best if you want to experience the effect and don't have anyone to do the human version on you.
I have a few of those mechanical massage tools around which I use on myself, like a massage hammer (terrible word, but they work great), and a back massage device which goes on the back of a chair.
Hopefully I don't lose this post for a 3rd time.
Redo of Module 2: Chi Machine
I tried it again using a yoga block under my butt and the 'perfect cushion' under my ankles. Knees were still rolling back and forth on the bare floor. It was awkward, herky-jerky (not smooth), and very painful. Obviously she got nothing out of it.
The mat is only 5'x3' and she is 5' tall. We discussed a bigger mat before I'm interested in doing this as a job. Keeping my fingers crossed for a king size futon. Yeah, that should cover it.
She did the chi machine on me and did it in a kneeling position. She's 5" shorter and 75# lighter than me. Even so, from the wiggle, my complete body was in a perpetual wavelike motion until she slowed, stopped, and laid my legs down.
At least I know what it's supposed to feel like.
Module 3: Feet
I found this module to be very easy and was able to do the physical movements and coordination of the circular movement without any difficulty.
My husband said he could feel it pulling all the way up to the groin.
The boss said I was going too fast and had me slow down some more. She did not have similar pulling in the groin but said that in general I wasn't using enough pressure with my thumbs.
A 5x3 mat just won't do. You can never be comfortable working in such a situation. Try to use anything extra you can get a hold of - yoga mats, blankets, exercise mats, a soft carpet...
I used to place two good quality exercise mats from a sporting goods store next to each other and connect them with velcro so that they could not separate. That doubles your working space right there. Then I covered them with a sheet or blanket, and that worked fine. In addition I had a cushion for me to slide around on if I didn't fit on the mat along with the client.
That entire setup cost me around $50. That was quite some time ago, so maybe it's a little more today. But working or even practicing without a decent setup will simply be a source of frustration for you.
You just can't have your knees or any body parts on a hard floor and feel comfortable.
Watch this video which I made about what mat to use for Thai Massage:
I just watched it but was more interested in the VERY thick mattress featured in your videos. Looks like about a 6 inch deep mattress.
Edit: Nevermind, I just looked again and it just LOOKS super thick but in reality seems like the same thickness mat as was on the T & T 7 video