October 27, 2021
I am happy excited to begin my journey in Thai massage with the Thai Healing Massage Academy. This is my first course, Shoulder Therapy. Module 1 was my first step into a whole new world.
Before I get into what I learned and how I have applied it, I would like to point out the second video in Positions in Thai massage, pertaining to the therapist, was such a welcomed sight. Many health and wellness certifications never explore the building up of the trainer/therapist's stances or positions, which help alleviate strain and or any uncomfortability.
Even though the first video was Module 1, I was able to immediately facilitate proper form with myself and make smooth and confident movements with my client (circular, figure 8, the elephant walk, etc...). The most valuable takeaway was the re-establishment of the flow of energy in the client's shoulder to the rest of the body. In perspective to "Western" therapies, this was mind-blowing.
Being able to assist in the restoration of a client's energy flow is a true wonder and privilege from one human being to another. I am looking forward to Module 2 and the abilities it withholds.
Hi Bruce, welcome to our forum and to the Thai Massage Shoulder Therapy certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized (excluding the issue which we discussed via email):
Your first post was inspiring and I am happy to hear that the first module resonated so much with you!
October 27, 2021
I am going to jump around in techniques, so hang on. The Above Arm Stretch technique was the most difficult to perform in a perfect successful manner. I found this particular technique does not work well with someone with a torn rotator cuff and adjustments had to be made. The Sandwich Circling technique was most beneficial for my client with the torn rotator cuff. They found a great sense of release once this was performed. I too have torn rotator cuffs (one partial and one full) and understand this uncomfortableness. I look forward to someone possibly performing the Sandwich Circling on me.
As Shama expressed, the Push and Pull technique takes some "finesse" and a bit of practice...a lot of practice. It took some positional correction on my part, but I was able to successfully perform the technique appropriately.
My main hang up was keeping my wrist from locking up when I implemented the Finger Tip Circling technique. Repeatedly, I found myself applying forearm strength and not utilizing my body weight mobility. I am mindful of this now and make deliberate attempt to keep my wrist loose.
My last notation is in regards to the Forearm massage on the Pectoral. This was my client's favorite movement and mine too. It allowed for a nice deep muscular massage that my client was ok with an extended time in that area.
October 27, 2021
Trained a tennis player today and used Thai massage shoulder techniques from Module 3 at the end of their workout. Administered all of the arm shake techniques to help loosen their should and it worked wonders on them. They felt a relaxation in their shoulder like never before. Thank you! However, the arm throw technique was nearly impossible to perform on the tennis player. They could not release their arm to me in such a manner, but we will continue to attempt this maneuver in hopes to further their shoulder therapy (and my experience in Thai shoulder massage).
I focused a great deal on my bodyweight when performing traction techniques. With the lower placement of my hands between the elbow and the shoulder, my bodybuilding client was able to have quite the release of tension from their deltoid region. I was unable to perform the triangle technique stretch on the same client due to the inability to move arm/shoulder into the correct position. However, I did establish an excellent push and pull ratio with the rowboat technique. Other than structural impairments, bodybuilders are the hardest to "Western" massage effectively (in my opinion), but Thai massage has definitely made it possible to thoroughly massage and stretch someone with such muscular mass.
October 27, 2021
I focused a great deal of this module on using my body weight appropriately, specifically with forward and back movements. I really felt what Shama described as "one continuous motion". I have a fitness competitor client who really appreciated the fingertip circling in the trap area, which flowed right into her rhomboid (not in the module). This movement flowed beautifully into the squeeze and circle of the neck. Her feedback with "super relaxing" with a lot of muscular release.
I utilized the rolling scapula thumb technique, which had an excellent glide into the lat muscle (also not in the module) with both hands. This was led back up to the shoulder with the squeeze and roll of the shoulder. I attempted to use the prone shoulder downward stretch but my client was too stiff in this area for an effective pressure. The angle was too intense for her arm. Shama's model must be super limber. I will practice this again on another client. It was easier to perform the prone shoulder circles with spinal twist on this particular client and her range of motion was greatly increased. The percussion technique was a nice touch to finish up with. I payed close attention to keeping my wrists loose.