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Emily Wallace- Complete Thai Massage Course progress notes
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Emily Wallace
Carl Junction, MO
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November 7, 2016 - 12:54 pm
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Module 1

I haven’t received module 1 but I have reviewed the course manual and today I received module 2. I wanted to go ahead and get my forum set up and started but I will contact the “powers that be” to see if I can get module 1 resent before continuing on. I have also registered to take the CEU certification test.

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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Shama
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November 7, 2016 - 11:42 pm
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Hi Emily, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage course. 

I heard through the grapevine that the “powers that be” re-sent module 1 to you. Smile Let me know if you got it.

Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list:
Certification Check List

I am looking forward to your Thai Massage journey and assisting you whenever needed.

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Emily Wallace
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November 8, 2016 - 10:56 am
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Module 2

The chi machine was a great first technique to learn! My partner responded that it felt very good and I could see she was visibly more energized after I was finished! It was more comfortable to sit on my heels than I expected. I did struggle to get her hips rocking, at first it was just her lower body. Once I raised her legs I was able to get her entire body rocking gently and then I slowly lowered her ankles back to my thighs and kept the momentum going for the remainder. Shama mentioned that he loves to begin a session with the chi machine but I was actually thinking it might be a nice way to end a Thai Massage as a way to energize them before they go on their way! Once I have enough training to do an entire session I may try it both ways and see which works better for clients. 

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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November 8, 2016 - 8:12 pm
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There is no hard and fast rule when you do the Chi Machine. You can certainly try it at the beginning, at the end, in the middle, or all of the above. I never do it at the end because I have a special trick up my sleeves. Smile

I always end my sessions with parts of my Heavenly Head Massage, and that puts people into a real trance – literally into massage heaven – so nothing beats that, not even the Chi Machine, for ending a session. That’s why I like to use it in the beginning and not at the end.

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Emily Wallace
Carl Junction, MO
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November 14, 2016 - 11:16 am
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Module 3

I’m one of “those” LMTs that LOVE to work on clients feet! So I was anxious to learn how Thai Massage incorporates the feet. And I was not disappointed! There are definitely some tricks that I look forward to using on the table as well, like twisting the foot.

I started with the chi machine then went step by step through the techniques with my client. I started by only doing his right side and had him stand up and tell me if he felt a difference. He said his right leg felt lighter and the joints looser! I was excited to hear that he felt a difference because he was so stiff that I felt like the techniques weren’t really “working”. So apparently even though I didn’t feel like I was getting much range of motion from him it was having an affect. Of course I worked his other side to even him out! I struggled with the Push-Pull-Rotate, not the actual technique, it was just difficult using my body weight instead of muscle strength. I’ll keep practicing though! 

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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November 14, 2016 - 5:23 pm
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Then you will LOVE the next module as well! Smile And if you want to take it even further, we have an excellent Thai Foot Massage course which includes the entire Thai Reflexology system. That’s an entire modality all by itself.

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Emily Wallace
Carl Junction, MO
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November 16, 2016 - 9:44 am
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Module 4

Confession time. After watching Module 3 I was so caught up in getting the technique exactly right that I printed screen shots throughout the entire video and added them to my notes. So Module 4 was a wake up call that instead of getting so wrapped up in memorizing the sequence I need to adapt to a more conceptual style of learning and focus on what the techniques were doing: bending the foot out/in, up/down, twisting left/right, working top/bottom. After several sessions today I noticed the work flowed much more smoothly with this change of thought. And the feedback I received from clients was all positive. 

One thing I need to continue to work on is my “quality of touch”. In the western styles of massage that I currently use we use oil or cream and can therefore get a better glide on the skin. I noticed with the “circling” techniques for the tops of feet that my thumbs were just skipping along the foot. I had to adjust my pressure and work more superficially to get it flow properly. 

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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November 16, 2016 - 12:47 pm
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Confession accepted, haha! Laugh

You will hear more about conceptual learning when you get to the hip work. That will totally win you over! Smile

There is some excellent material about quality of touch in the Magic Touch Secrets bonus course.

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Emily Wallace
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November 21, 2016 - 10:13 pm
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Module 5

I love how you described Thai Massage as an “artistic and flowing expression”! So true! I continue to work on “getting out of mind” and just letting the techniques flow. The “Lean in= Breath out/ Lean out=Breath in” tip is definitely helping my movements to be more fluid.

The leg warm up video was full of ideas that I have even incorporated in my table massage routine! Working the adductors and inner hamstrings was usually just something I did in a sports massage session, but Ive received fantastic feedback after I adding it to just about every session! I think the leg feels more “complete” now. But I know there is still so much to learn!! 

I also practiced with a partner on the floor with clothing on. I found this module to be one of the easiest to follow yet. It was very comfortable stabilizing his leg with my foot over his and the butterfly technique was easy to pick up. I work a lot with the heels of my hands and my thumbs so they other techniques were equally easy to pick up on. Keep it coming Shama, looking forward to more leg moves! Smile

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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November 21, 2016 - 11:37 pm
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I will definitely keep it coming! Smile However the leg stretches will be a little more complex, but equally rewarding.

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Emily Wallace
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December 7, 2016 - 11:46 am
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Module 6 

Sorry its been so long since my last post! I guess I let our Thanksgiving break extend into December! I am back on track with my studies and ready to catch up.

In Module 6 I learned some additional leg warm up exercises using the forearms. I love using my forearms in my every day massage practice, it really does save your thumbs plus you can get good pressure with them (although I realize Thai Massage is not about pressure! Wink) I found most of these stretches to be somewhat difficult the first time I practiced them and then significantly easier the next time. Really the only stretch I am struggling with is “The I.T. Band, Approximate Location of Outside Sen Line #2”. I feel like my position is right but when I lean down I dont feel like the I.T. band is being “squeezed. It doesnt feel like its doing anything unless I also push back with my hand thats covering my fist, but then Im using “muscle power” not body weight. So Im struggling with this one. I have tried it on a heavier male and a very thin female. Both times I felt like I needed to push into the I.T. band. Maybe Im just stuck in my western massage head? Laugh I will say the clients once again responded with positive feedback with the stretches so maybe it is doing more for them then I am able to “feel”. I loved learning the sen line locations that correlate with each muscle stretch, I hope that continues! Thanks for a great lesson!

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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December 7, 2016 - 3:05 pm
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I am glad to see you back! Smile

The trick with the IT band technique is to first use a little muscle power (yes, you cannot totally eliminate it) to pull your arm towards you which results in a squeezing of the leg. However you don’t hold this pull, but instead lean down with your forearm on your thigh. Now you are using body weight in combination with a little muscle power to keep your partner’s leg squeezed between your belly and your forearm. The pressure on the IT bands is accomplished by simultaneously leaning forward and pulling your arm towards you. So your arm is pressing on the IT bands, and your torso is pushing the leg against your forearm, thus creating a squeezing effect. Since your forearm is firmly resting on your thigh, you don’t need much muscle power at all for this move.

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Emily Wallace
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December 18, 2016 - 10:48 am
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Module 7

OK so Im really  back on track this timeLaughWink This time of year has been hard to stay focused on my studies. 

In this module I learned how the angle of the feet can direct you on which hip needs opened up. The elephant walking stretch and butterfly triangle stretch were easy to get the hang of but I’m really struggling with both versions of the right angle foot-hip stretch. I dont know if its my technique or my own short physique thats hindering me! I have 2 practice partners that are complete opposite body types, which is good for practice. One is a slender tall female, the other is a shorter heavier male. I couldnt get this techinique right with either one! I’ll keep practicing it but it is a tricky one! Its possible Im just not sitting close enough to their body. When I stretch my leg out its not giving them much of a stretch. 

The hip lift cross pull stretch is a great move but I did get the feedback that my foot over top of their foot was uncomfortable for them. Other then that the feedback I received was positive. Looking forward to learning more stretches that open the hips as this is a common problem for most people. 

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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December 18, 2016 - 11:46 pm
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Regarding the foot-hip stretch, it’s definitely not your short physique since that would describe pretty much all Thai Massage therapists here in Thailand.

That leaves the technique. I assume you watched both videos in this module, the hand and hands free version of this stretch. The trick is to move your body up high enough to that the client’s thigh is angled at more than 90 degrees. Then, when you pull the leg down towards you, you should end up with the client’s thigh at a 90 degree angle. Most students don’t move up high enough and therefore are not getting the leverage for this move.

If you move up higher, your leg will have much more power for producing a strong stretch.

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Emily Wallace
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January 18, 2017 - 9:08 am
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Module 8

Remember me? Wink Thank you for the tips. Those adjustments are helping!

Ok so Mod. 8. The hip pie concept is genius! Such a great visual for what you are trying to accomplish with each stretch. I actually did pretty well and found the techniques to be easy to pick up. Although my client was very stiff in the hips and legs (he needs a lot more work Wink) but it was a great lesson in replacing stretches with a more gentle rocking or circling technique. I absolutely love the different variations you shared as well, from basic stretches to full power stretches! I think that is such a great way to track a clients progression over time. 

Thanks for bringing up talking to clients during the session too, asking them to let you know how it feels from 1-10 and to let you know when it gets to an 8. That is good information to know. Once again a great lesson! Thank you!

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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Emily Wallace
Carl Junction, MO
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January 19, 2017 - 1:41 am
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Module 9

I was so glad to hear that you consider the leg stretches to be the most difficult part of the course because I thought they were pretty easy to pick up, so Im feeling hopeful that Thai massage will be second nature to me in no time. I practiced on a couple of different clients with different body types. Once again an older male who was very tight and overweight. It was a good lesson in modifying the stretches to incorporate more bouncing/rocking/circling techniques when the full stretch was too intense. My other client was a young, thin, flexible female. It was a great comparison in how different body types allow for different movements. 

I love the spinal twist stretches and even had my partner practice them on me! Im getting better at blending power and softness in my technique. With the hip pie visual its been pretty easy to remember the stretches. Thank you!

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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January 19, 2017 - 2:20 am
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Yes I do remember you – vaguely. Laugh Just kidding, I have an excellent memory for course students, and many cannot keep up with the delivery schedule of the material. No problem! 

It does sound like you are on the way to have Thai Massage become second nature to you. I hear this often from students who are in the last phase of the course. You are ahead of the game since you already feel this so early on in the course. Smile

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Emily Wallace
Carl Junction, MO
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January 19, 2017 - 11:20 am
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Module 10

First of all I am eager to hear more about the hara! I am fascinated by the energy side to what we do.

I found the alternative spinal twist (with your leg over theirs) to be somewhat difficult to do even though I am short and my client was larger. But once again it was just good to learn that there are various ways to get the end result with a stretch. The hip pie 270 stretch and spinal twist done in the same position were also difficult to but that was because of how stiff my client was, I couldnt get his leg to cross over his other leg. I feel like I should admit that my practice client in this case was my husband, I guess I need to work on him more often! I loved learning about the blood stop technique. That was really outside of my comfort zone but you said it was safe so I gave it a try! My client said it felt “different”. 

Looking forward to putting all of the leg stretches that Ive learned over the last few modules together. 

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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January 20, 2017 - 1:56 am
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If you are fascinated by the energy side of Thai Massage, then you will love the “Magic Touch Secrets” bonus course which you will receive after you are done with the 35 main training modules of the Complete Thai Massage course. Magic Touch Secrets does a deep dive into the energy side of this work.

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Emily Wallace
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January 25, 2017 - 1:14 pm
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Module 11

This was the first summary lesson and it was great to see you put together the techniques in a more natural flow and sequence! It really is like a dance watching you move around the body with such grace. 

I’m continuing to focus on:

Technique

Flow

Power of softness

Breathing

Hara

Relaxation (of myself & the client)

Ergonomics

Maintaining body contact

Emily Wallace, LMT

Carl Junction, Missouri USA

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