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Gavin Lyman's Complete Thai Massage Notes
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Gavin Lyman
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October 21, 2016 - 3:15 am
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Module 1

 

I am excited that I finally got a few people to dedicate and practice a couple of times a week with me, which is great because I know the value of this complete course and what it can potentially do for my practice.

I learned a very traditional Northern style of Thai which is pretty much the same routine taught at the Northern Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai. After reviewing the first module I was happy to learn that Shama’s method is not so traditional.

I am interested in learning an energy flow method to supplement the more clinical method I have learned so this course is great for me. I enjoyed the explanation of the Quality of Touch, which I feel is the most important aspect of any massage modality, also the different techniques and therapist/client positions used in Thai Massage, as well as Shama’s comparison of beautifully structured music and well-structured energy flowing Thai massage.

I can honestly say after doing Thai Massage for about 2 years now that the importance of correct body mechanics and ergonomics can never be overstated, which is well stated in this module.

 

Thanks.

Gavin

Gavin H Lyman

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Gavin Lyman
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October 21, 2016 - 4:20 am
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Module 2

I have been using the Chi Machine technique with my clients for over a year now and they love it. They all tell me that it feels great and helps them to relax, which is a good thing when you are starting a session or even transitioning into other movements with the legs. You really have to relax and use your hips to perform this technique correctly and it helps that I am a good dancer.Laugh

In this module you hear about the different titles given such as Thai Massage, Traditional Thai Massage, Thai "Yoga" Massage. I really don't look at Thai Massage as being "Massage", to me it goes way beyond the conventional term massage. Here in the St Louis Missouri area therapists like to call it Thai "Yoga" Massage simply because there is a large Yoga population in this area and it is used as a selling point more then anything.

Thanks.

Gavin

Gavin H Lyman

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October 21, 2016 - 11:41 pm
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Hi Gavin, welcome to the certification program of the Complete Thai Massage course. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:

Certification Check List

The only thing I noticed is that your display name should be identical to your full name to make it easier to find you, and I fixed that for you already. Smile

I totally agree with you - Thai Massage is not exactly a massage in the conventional western sense. There is a lot more to it.

So it looks like you have been working with the course material for a while already. I saw that you first invested in the course about two years ago, and then you upgraded to the new version, correct?

Did you do the live training which you mentioned in your post before or after you enrolled in the Complete Thai Massage course? I am curious to hear how your live training compares to what I am teaching in my course - how it is similar or different etc.

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Gavin Lyman
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October 24, 2016 - 9:39 pm
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Hi Shama. Yes, I first invested in your Complete Course about 2 years ago but wasn't able to complete it. I am now starting over with your new revised complete version.  

I  took several traditional live courses after purchasing yours which was also very good instruction. Some movements of the traditional live courses are very different and very similar to yours. I prefer your style because it seems to put my body in a more comfortable position, I also like the rocking movements because they tend to relax my clients more. In my opinion your style also a more energy flowing quality to it.

I am very thankful to have a teacher like you who has put together such a fantastic program. Your online instruction is actually better then any live courses I have had.

Thanks for what you do!

Gavin

Gavin H Lyman

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Shama
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October 25, 2016 - 1:24 am
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Thank you very much for your kind comment, Gavin.

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Gavin Lyman
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October 25, 2016 - 8:37 pm
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My pleasure shama!Laugh

Gavin H Lyman

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November 2, 2016 - 2:57 am
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Module 3

 

I use most of these foot techniques when I start my regular routine, I feel that this a great way to start the massage and all of my clients love foot work. The hardest one for me to learn was the circling and squeezing technique, but now feel like I'm an old pro at it.

One of the beautiful things about Thai massage is that it does work different area's of the body simultaneously. The plantar flexion & dorsiflexion movements as well as the adduction and abduction of the foot really help to stretch things out. I also really like the circling and compressing technique.

Thanks.

Gavin

Gavin H Lyman

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Shama
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November 2, 2016 - 11:09 pm
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That's great - you have become an "old pro" at the most difficult technique of the foot work. Everything else should be easy then. Smile

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Gavin Lyman
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November 7, 2016 - 1:35 am
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Module 4

 

I have practiced the foot modules several times with many different people. When I first practiced the foot techniques I was very mechanical, and I could tell by the expression on my clients face that the movements felt ok but were not that special. After practicing more I have learned to apply the techniques with greater feeling and purpose which is a much better experience for my clients.

One of the most important things in my opinion is to keep flowing through the massage and Shama's explanation and example of how to transition from one foot to the other is extremely helpful in maintaining a smooth flow.  The most popular foot technique with my clients is the circling with thumbs and fingers along the lines of the foot.

 

Thanks.

Gavin

Gavin H Lyman

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Shama
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November 7, 2016 - 2:01 am
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Yep, that's the secret right there. Feeling and flow turn a so-so mechanical technique into a wonderful experience. This goes for all Thai Massage techniques. That's why I talk about this so much in my courses. It's not enough to know the techniques... Smile

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Gavin Lyman
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November 21, 2016 - 12:12 pm
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Module 5

In this module we learn how to warm up the legs with varying techniques. Shama clearly states, it is extremely important to warm the muscle before stretching it. I once had a massage where the therapist started stretching my neck and didn’t even warm it up, the end result was a pulled muscle, and the pain lasted for weeks.

In my traditional Thai teaching they taught us how to work on the calf muscle with our feet, mostly in the prone position. Its nice to learn how to work the calf a different way with the squeeze and roll technique while in the supine position. The thumb roll up as well as the heel of palm roll up really get the legs loosened up and  I now use them regularly with my clients. There are so many leg warm-ups which is great because you can mix it up and keep your clients guessing what you'll do next.

Gavin H Lyman

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November 21, 2016 - 11:34 pm
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I had the same thing happen to me, where a therapist did a massive stretch on me without proper preparation, and afterwards my back hurt for a week. Terrible! In our curriculum we never do that.

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Gavin Lyman
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November 28, 2016 - 12:04 pm
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Module 6

I really like using my forearms to give pressure on my clients. I do about (25) massages a week and sometimes my thumbs hurt from so much massage, so it’s nice to use something else besides your hands to give pressure with.

One of the most important things that I learned from this module is how to position the leg so that you can work the appropriate lines in varying positions with the forearm. I also appreciate shama’s explaining how to use your whole body and not just your arm when applying pressure.

Gavin H Lyman

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November 28, 2016 - 3:25 pm
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If you do 25 sessions a week, then Thai Massage with all the non-hand techniques can be a real career saver. Thumbs can burn out, however in Thai Massage there is no need for this to happen ever! That's the reason why I even created an entire course about non-hand techniques, Hands Free Massage.

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December 5, 2016 - 10:59 pm
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Module 7

I love all the stretches is this module. Shama points out how the angle of the feet tell you what’s going on with the hips, which is so true. In my sessions with my clients I will always look at the feet to determine the type of treatment I will do for the legs and hips.

I found out that you definitely should have a good supply of pillows and props to get some of the people into comfortable positions, because not everyone is flexible. Some of my larger clients prefer the rocking movements to loosen up, it’s just a lot easier on them. My favorite stretch in this module is where the clients leg is a little above the 90 degree angle and you use your feet to stretch their leg.

Gavin H Lyman

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Shama
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December 6, 2016 - 12:09 am
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Yes, props are important - pillows, and also a blanket in case clients get cold, which happens easily during sessions.

Rocking is often not just easier for the clients, it is also easier for the therapist.

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Gavin Lyman
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December 6, 2016 - 5:09 am
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Yes, you are right. It is very important to have a blanket handy. I also try to keep my room between 75 and 80 degree's, it helps to keep the client warm and to engage the parasympathetic nervous system for relaxation. 

Gavin H Lyman

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Gavin Lyman
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December 6, 2016 - 5:10 am
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Module 8

I really like the hip pie concept, it really helps you to remember the different angles that you can use to stretch the leg. It’s amazing how much you learn taking this course.

With so many different leg stretches in Thai Massage I only do as many as a 90 minute or 2 hour session would allow since I need to work on other areas of the body too. I liked learning the different calf and knee warmups as well in this module. The rocking warm-up with the leg is great for loosening up the hips before applying the stretch.

Gavin H Lyman

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December 6, 2016 - 10:31 am
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There is clearly no way to fit all the techniques which are in the Complete Thai Massage course into one session, unless you either rush through them or do a 3 hour session at least.

The techniques are meant to be options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. For some sessions you might skip leg work altogether, for example. Sometimes I work only on the back and shoulders, if I find that this is the best use of the time that I have available in a sessions.

Sometimes I focus mostly on neck work, or on abdominal work, or on hip work. It's great to have a big repertoire on hand so that you can choose your tools in order to be most effective. Of course whole body sessions are great, but many times I do specialized sessions without doing the entire body, especially on repeat clients who have specific problems. The key word here is flexibility instead of rigid sequences.

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