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Ewa Ciunska - Complete Thai Massage course notes
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Ewa Ciunska
UK
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September 1, 2020 - 4:59 pm
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Module 1:

Hi, I have been a shiatsu practitioner for the last 13 years. Done a short introduction to Thai Massage a few years back and want to know more about it. Am still combining what I have learnt then with my shiatsu and I find it works really well together and is very effective (and clients love it too). I am familiar with using my body weight during sessions and working on the floor level. Cannot wait to learn new techniques and to practice them on my case studies and clients. 

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Ewa Ciunska
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September 1, 2020 - 5:28 pm
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Module 2:

I really enjoyed watching this module. It is very good to be reminded of how important the right positioning of the therapist's body is and how much easier it is to give a really good massage when we are aligned. Everything flows nicely then which makes the client feel more comfortable and it's easier for them to trust the process because it feels so natural to their body. It also takes the pressure from our (therapist) body so we can feel the  energy of the client and the limits of their body.

The Chi Machine is absolutely amazing. Some of my clients were deeply relaxed and ready to fall asleep and they also said that they wouldn't mind to have it done for the duration of the whole session. It was a very good tip to concentrate on the hips and to use the rocking movement of my body. Thank you.

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Shama Kern
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September 1, 2020 - 8:28 pm
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Hi Ewa, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that everything is correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

You are right, Shiatsu and Thai Massage are an excellent combination. My Thai Massage style includes a few Shiatsu elements as well.

You are way ahead of the game in terms of working on the floor, using good body mechanics and using your body in a natural and flowing way! Smile

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 10, 2022 - 7:33 pm
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Module 3:

A very pleasant routine for the feet. It was nice to observe how the hip and neck were responding to the push-pull technique. Lovely stretches for the feet and, again, I could see the muscles relaxing in thighs and calf region so even though I ‘only’ worked on the feet, the rest of the body followed. A friend that I practised on thoroughly enjoyed it.

Will have to do the circular movement a few more times to get the smooth flow of my body as it felt a bit rigid.

Also the 1-2-3-2-1 rhythm is new to me. It felt quite comforting and very clear because it put less pressure on the way I worked as I didn’t have to overthink anything regarding tempo or a number of repeats for each technique.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 11, 2022 - 3:49 pm
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Module 4

The 8 ways to work with feet (out/in, up/down, right/left, on top/on bottom) is very logical and made it much easier to remember the sequence. 

My case study’s favourite technique to receive was the circling the inner side of the heel. So simple yet so very relaxing. 

He had an op done on his right foot (broke one of the bones there a few years ago) so was a bit apprehensive at first but as we progressed with the whole foot sequence, done very gently, with small moves to start with, he felt relieved and noticed a big difference in a scope of movement (before vs after), and also said that it was very relaxing…which must be true as he felt asleep during our session.

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Shama Kern
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February 12, 2022 - 6:47 am
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Excellent result! Who would think that working on the inside of the heel can feel so good. But I have heard this from others as well, plus I like it personally. There are several such techniques in Thai Massage that are hardly done by any therapist because they seem so unlikely, but they feel great.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 12, 2022 - 9:28 pm
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Module 5:

My case study’s thighs were very tight. The quads felt like a piece of rope, especially the outer side. I couldn’t apply a lot of pressure as it would be too uncomfortable to receive. 

Blocking the client’s foot with my own foot was really useful, it gave a nice stretch to the leg and I felt more in control of what I was doing. I was directly above the leg that I worked on which made it much easier on my body as it was in a comfortable position and using my body weight felt natural. 

Same with the leg bent. Blocking it made the client more relaxed so he could fully relax into position without any tension from his side.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 13, 2022 - 7:05 pm
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Module 6:

Great way to warm muscles up in thighs and lower legs. 

I really like using my forearms as they cover a big part of a working area and with applying my body weight it feels like I have a conversation with my client’s body more than me trying to force a certain response. I do find myself using my elbow on certain parts of a thigh… which can cause some discomfort on a receiving end.

It is very useful to know how to move my body around and how I can support/block my client’s legs with it to ensure even deeper relaxation (and at the same time keep my body stress free).

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Shama Kern
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February 13, 2022 - 10:20 pm
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"With applying my body weight it feels like I have a conversation with my client’s body more than me trying to force a certain response."  -  Perfectly expressed! Smile

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 14, 2022 - 6:46 pm
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Module 7:

I practiced everything that I learned from Module 5-6-7 today. 

A friend that I worked on is very tall and very flexible. Doing the stretch with her thigh out and bent to over 90 degrees was a bit tricky. Had to find a good enough position for myself to be able to apply pressure without straining myself - my legs are much shorter than hers. Wink

I noticed that I have used rocking of the pelvis and the hips on all of my clients regardless of their flexibility as it feels nice to everybody and brings more mobility to the joints, opens the hips, and also relaxes the lower back.

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Shama Kern
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February 14, 2022 - 7:50 pm
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True, rocking moves always feel good. I do the same thing. I include them anyway, if they are 'necessary' or not.  Smile

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 17, 2022 - 8:50 pm
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Module 8:

The concept of the pie is really good - easy to remember.

Working on the calves gave some unexpected reactions - usually sharp pain due to tension in the muscle. Had to be very gentle with some of the  people I practised on.

Rocking and rotating the hips brought a deeper relaxation to the joints. It’s almost like tricking or confusing clients' nervous system and their mind as they can’t control it or 'help' with it as well as they can with the other moves like flexing or adducting, for example.

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Shama Kern
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February 18, 2022 - 7:10 am
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Yes, calves are often very sensitive.

True, rocking and rotating bypasses the 'resistance reflexes' of clients. That's why rocking can be one of the best therapeutic tools in our repertoire.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 18, 2022 - 3:48 pm
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Module 9:

I practised on a yoga teacher - very flexible. She said that in our session stretches were taken into a different level for her and that she was stretched in a way and in places that are impossible for her to reach in yoga.

I could easily apply strong stretches. All of them felt great to receive. 

It’s good to practise on people with different flexibility levels. I have to be more mindful and creative with how my body moves so that I can still give the massage with minimum effort.

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Shama Kern
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February 19, 2022 - 7:52 am
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"It’s good to practice on people with different flexibility levels."  -  This is not only good practice, but it is essential for developing a good feel for the techniques across various levels of flexibility, size, and weight. If you only practice on one person, you might be stumped when you encounter someone with a different physique or degree of flexibility. One technique might work great on one person, and not at all on another person.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 22, 2022 - 3:32 pm
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Module 10:

So many great leg stretches! The sequence from modules 8-9-10 works so well (that’s what I mainly focused on today). 

The yoga teacher that I practice on is over the moon. She is quite tall and super bendy so sometimes I need to adjust my position a few times before we get a satisfying stretch. 

With the ‘calf muscle and ankle stretch’ I had to go almost all the way up (to at leat 90 degrees angle) with her leg.

“Blood stop’ is a very interesting technique. Will have to explore it a bit more.

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Ewa Ciunska
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February 22, 2022 - 3:34 pm
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Module 11:

From the beginning of the course I’ve been trying to incorporate each module into sessions that I have with my case studies. It is to remember the techniques shown and to get more confidence. Constant repeating paid off very quickly. I already have a lot of experience in this field, I mean working with the body, which also helped enormously.

I’m really glad that Thai Massage is done on a floor level as I can keep my body fairly relaxed and sometimes even rest while working on somebody.

It’s also nice that I can choose which stretches I’m going to do, depending on how my client or my body feels at the time. And there are so many techniques to choose from.

So far everybody is delighted, including myself.

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Shama Kern
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February 23, 2022 - 8:07 am
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That's great that you took to all the leg stretches so well. These are some of the more challenging techniques. I imagine you won't have much trouble with the rest of the course. 

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