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Demi Carlin Aarts - Complete Thai Massage Course
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Demi Carlin Aarts
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May 9, 2020 - 4:00 pm
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Module 1

This first video has been very informative. You share the information with such a calmness and with great overview that the information is immediately clear. What very special is to learn is how Thai Massage (when done correctly through all the steps) will become a dance between to people. It will be a very interesting journey to see how my breath will help guide my own energy flow and how that reflects into my touch and sense of feeling. My mind often wants to go for facts, but my hearts wants to go for energy and sensation. I feel that you will be able to guide me through this process of letting go of the control my mind wants to have, and to learn how to lean into energy. 
I'm excited to start combining my yoga practice and Thai Massage.

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Shama Kern
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May 9, 2020 - 11:11 pm
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Hi Demi-Carlin, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

I like how you expressed this: "My heart wants to go for energy and sensation". Sure, first you need to know the techniques which will feel more factual and mechanical in the beginning, but the further you get into Thai Massage, the more the energy and the sensation will become prominent.

Once you get to the point where you won't have to think about the techniques anymore, then you can more easily focus on the elements which make Thai Massage a healing art and not a system of pressing and pushing and squeezing and yanking. That's hard to do in the very beginning, but later on you will get into the 'flow', and then it becomes a wonderful experience to practice Thai Massage. Something to look forward to. Smile

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Demi Carlin Aarts
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May 10, 2020 - 2:50 pm
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Module 2

Today I practiced the Chi Machine. I've done this exercise regularly by myself and I know how amazing this can feel. To practice this on someone else, is definitely a different story. I practiced it on 4 people and the differences between all of them were fascinating. They all enjoyed it very much, but I could easily see who was able to let go and who was tensed, trying to keep control over their body. This also resulted in having more difficulty with the rocking of my own body, resulting in small rocking body of the other whereas if the person was able to let go, beautiful rocking movements happened in the body and it felt almost effortless.

What I experienced for the technique itself is that for me (today) it almost worked better to have the feet of the person laying down close to my hips, there was less effort needed. Also it helped if I softly pressed the feet towards each other, basically adding some resistance to the feet. I also got the feedback from my mom that if her legs were closer to the floor she would feel this at her sacrum, giving her an uncomfortable sensation. Whereas if her legs would be a bit higher (say close to my hips) she would have more relaxation in her back, giving it a nice massage.

It is definitely great to practice it on 4 different people to really get an idea of each individual body.

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Shama Kern
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May 12, 2020 - 9:32 am
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It looks like you are already getting creative and intuitive with the course material. If you apply this to all of Thai Massage, you will do great. It's not about just following a rigid sequence, but about adapting it to the individual - to the client and to yourself.

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Demi Carlin Aarts
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May 19, 2020 - 2:01 pm
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Module 3 & 4

This past week I had the opportunity to practice the foot massage everyday. I also included to Chi Machine in every practice and with time it's becoming more and more of a meditative feeling for me. The reactions of both my parents, boyfriend and sister were great. They love it every time more and more. In the beginning of the foot massage practice it was definitely a search in how to use my body weight correctly so they would feel a nice pressure. I very much enjoyed what you said in the second video of the foot massage (module 4) about the conceptual way of practicing. This absolutely helps in creating a flow in my body as well as the client's body. The calmness and depth of your explanation really helps to get better and better every day I practice it.

The hardest practice is still the thumb circles on top of the foot, making sure to end up in between the bones and not right on top. Also I feel I need to get more strength in my hands in general to be able to squeeze the foot a bit more. Especially when someone prefers to have more pressure.

 

I also got a very interesting reaction from my mom which I would like to share with you;

After I gave my mom the foot massage her feet became very itchy and even a bit tingly. Now I thought this could be the reaction of getting more energy / blood flow into her feet. I was wondering if you happen to know more about this? 

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Shama Kern
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May 20, 2020 - 1:20 am
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When working on the top of the foot, you can't stay 100% in between the bones. You will slide over the bones to some degree. This is more an approximation rather than a strict rule.

It could well be that your mom's reaction was caused by more circulation and energy flow in the feet. In fact, I can't think of any other reason why she would get such a reaction. Keep doing it and observe her reactions after a few more foot work sessions. I think that this will subside after a while.

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Demi Carlin Aarts
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May 25, 2020 - 11:32 pm
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Module 5 & 6

Yesss, super excited to start working on the legs.

I loved what you said about sinking into the body instead of pressing into the body. This is absolutely still a research when massaged with the forearm. With sinking into the body I often feel that I'm not giving enough strength, it's still a research within my own body how to apply this motion. This also goes for the sitting positions in Module 7. Especially when done on men, I wil need to practice a bit more to how close I can get. 

The difference between using your thumbs and forearm is big. With the thumbs you can be more precise from the start, feeling exactly where the muscle or tendon is, whereas with the forearm it's harder to sense. 

Today I practiced both modules on my dad, experiencing each module on one leg. He enjoyed Module 7 more because he felt that the pressure was more gradually experienced, while module 6 felt a bit stronger for him which made it harder to relax. 

I very much like how you share the knowledge about the energy lines and around which muscles they're flowing. It's great to know it by practicing instead of only learning by picture. Knowing on which energy lines I work makes it much easier to understand.

I definitely start to feel that more and more information is coming to me. My mind is trying to stress already, but through breathing within each technique my whole being gets a meditation right away. It's a beautiful practice to calm myself down as well. 

 

Now it's time to go to the leg stretches!!Cool

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Shama Kern
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May 27, 2020 - 1:08 am
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I am glad to see your enthusiasm! Smile No need to stress, it will all fall into place after a while. It's quite normal to feel a bit overwhelmed in the beginning, but that will go away after a while.

There will be LOTS of techniques to learn, but this is what makes Thai Massage so interesting and versatile!

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Demi Carlin Aarts
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June 1, 2020 - 11:40 pm
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Module 7 & 8

I made a mistake with the previous modules. I skipped module 5 in my notes, but I was actually talking about Module 5 & 6.

I'm a little bit behind but that is due to the coronavirus and trying to find a job. Luckily I found a job at a massage centre right now. Tomorrow is my first working day.

Today I had practiced Module 7 and 8. The Butterly technique causes some pain in my right wrist, but I think I'm holding too much tension. I had to figure out the exact angle according to the body of my partner to make it a bit lighter for myself, being able to lean into it instead of pushing. 

The walking on the inside of the thigh with my feet is indeed very difficult when practicing on my partner. Together we found a way to do it so he could enjoy the pressure. I'm interested to practice this technique on my mom or sister to see the difference when practiced with a smaller body.

I love how you talk about Hip Pie and really observing someones body. I wasn't aware yet that you could see the hip mobility by looking at the feet. Now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense when I look at my own hip injury. The concept of the Hip Pie makes it very easy to remember. You can really work according to every angle. When working on the stretches, including the hip rocking I feel I can really work according to someone's needs and body type. It makes it feel extremely therapeutic instead of giving a general massage. This part about the massage feels very good to me. Of course the leg stretches and rocking are a matter of practice and time.. only then the feeling will come into my own body. 

 

Luckily the stress is a little less and I'm slowly trying to get an overview for myself, mostly by repeating and doing it a lot.

It's interesting to notice how my body likes to do certain techniques more than the others, but that motivates me to practice the others even more. 

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Shama Kern
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June 2, 2020 - 11:26 pm
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Regarding your posts, could you please reread item 5 of the certification checklist:

Certification Checklist

Each module is supposed to have its own post without combining posts. Actually you are doing a great job posting about your experiences with the course and your practice, and I can see that you are really practicing it. But to maintain the protocol for forum posting, please separate your comments by individual modules. If you look at any of the other forum threads, you will see that they are all separated by module without combining.

I fixed the module numbers of your post for 5 & 6 for you.

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