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Hands Free Thai Massage
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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 8:11 am
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Module #1 Notes from practice March 11th-14th

When placing clients legs over my knees, I really have to hold their legs or they fall off my short legs. It is better for me to modify this into a sitting position. It also feels better for my clients because in this position they are not trying to help me hold up their legs. All the arm techniques feel more natural in this position. I am focused more on the movement and energy flow and less on holding on.

The knee positions I like the least. Your long legs Shama, makes it look so easy! The knee so far is a difficult reach for me. The forearm on the quadriceps are all wonderful movements. The leaning rolling movements are soothing and rhythmic.

The way you teach the arm angles and hand height really is easy to apply the appropriate pressure.

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 9:21 am
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Module #2 practice notes from March 14-17, 2013 Supine legs, hips & joints

The sitting position is very comfortable and the lean and roll is rhythmic. The third position-when I put my clients legs over my thigh is extremely hard. Especially with clients with thick thighs, I am modifying to a sitting position. I also sit while working the outside of the quadriceps.

The fifth move where I kneel to the outside of the body is a easy position. My clients all like the elephant walk. 

The sixth movement-straddling the leg of my client, is a hard position for me especially with a thick legged client. When sitting on my leg I have to lift very high which puts more stress on my hands and wrist. I stay on the inside position all the way through this movement. 

The knee work does feel natural. It is the low angle of my knee position and the clearance that is the problem. I do work on many very large people who like deep work. Most of these folks like the feel of the foot. I am sure this is why you present so many ways to work the same area. 

 

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 9:37 am
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Module #3 Arms and Shoulders from practice from March 18-20, 2013

The technique for the side of the hip is much easier if I do not have to stradel the body. I love the variable pressure circle technique. It is easy to feel it and you are right my clients love it.

The foot technique for the upper arm is nice. I will add this to the deep compression massage that I do. I used the shoulder traction push and pull technique on a client who has not been able to raise her arm over her head. After the massage she was able to lift her hand over her head without help from her other arm, and no catch at all. Nice!

After using the above mentioned stretch, I can see that adding the entire Thai course would be beneficial to my practice.

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 9:49 am
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Module #4 Feet And Legs, Practice notes from March 18th-22nd, 2013

I really like the elbow and forearm technique on the foot. It is completely different than the reflexology I use daily. It is deep but gentle on my fingers. The feedback was not positive using my knees on the feet.

Rave reviews like ahhhhh and ohhhhhh, when using the elephant walk on the hamstrings.

I studied equine and canine massage a few years ago. I work on my Labradors a lot. I began to use the arm and elbow techniques with them. Their bodies relax and they fall asleep using the circling, elephant walk and rolling on them. I’ve never seen them as relaxed during any other massage. Thai rocks for dogs!

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 9:59 am
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Module #5 Prone Lower Back-Practice notes from March 22nd-24th, 2013

When using my knees on the gluts, I have to place my feet in between my clients legs. My legs are to short t reach this position from placing my toes on the outside of my client.

When using the knee to work up the back I can not leave my feet on the floor. My knee does not reach the proper muscle and I don’t want my knees putting pressure on my clients ribs. It is not comfortable for them.

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 10:15 am
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Module #6 Prone Back-Practice notes from March 25th-28th, 2013

It is interesting that some of the people whom I have practiced on like the rocking movements and some find it annoying. It seems smooth and comforting to me. My dogs love it, I thought most people would love it too. I guess I was surprised by the mixed reviews.

How do you suggest finding a comfortable position for the head? This is the biggest problem my clients have in the prone position. They get stiff necks laying the head to the side without a face rest. I have tried bolstering with pillows but most are constantly repositioning to find comfort. Your model seems so relaxed and not disturbed by this position.

The forearm roll down in the trapezius and Rhomboids is a nice deep therapeutic technique. Even my small, lean clients find this satisfying.

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Bethany
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April 13, 2013 - 10:38 am
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Module #7-side/sitting position, practice notes from March 27th-30th, 2013

I use this side positioning in my barefoot deep compression massage. This is a cozy comfortable position for all my clients. Even my small women like the deep elbow work to the hip. I still am not using the knees in the side posture position, but the elbows and feet are a better fit for me.

The sitting position on the thigh is a wonderful therapy. All my practice clients have loved this thus far. They tell me it feels warm, and like the muscle is expanding. This looks so awkward on the video but in reality is soothing even for the therapist. I have tried this on all sized clients even the older folks love it.

Holy whaa! I found a body part I can easily do with my knees. Using my knee on the inner quadriceps was easy and therapeutic.

I do have some trouble with reaching taller clients in the sitting position. My tall guys upper bodies are taller than me on my knees ( don’t laugh). It is really effective on shorter clients though. It feels like dancing, it is a real cool move!

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Shama
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April 14, 2013 - 11:36 pm
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“When placing clients legs over my knees, I really have to hold their legs or they fall off my short legs. It is better for me to modify this into a sitting position. It also feels better for my clients because in this position they are not trying to help me hold up their legs. All the arm techniques feel more natural in this position. I am focused more on the movement and energy flow and less on holding on.”

You can see that in the first half of the video I always use one of my hands to prevent the client’s leg from slipping. However there is nothing wrong with changing your sitting position to cross legged or whatever feels comfortable for you.

Regarding your module 2 comments: You will find that throughout most Thai Massage techniques, you will need to adapt your body to your client’s body, size and weight. The surest way to do a bad Thai Massage is to try to do everything strictly “by the book”. It will need to be an artistic, flowing and creative way of working, and that definitely involves modifying the techniques.

What works for me will not necessarily work for you. The techniques which work great on a light person may not work well at all on a large person. That’s why I demonstrate so many different techniques which you can choose from. Some will work great for you, and some you might might not feel comfortable with. You don’t need to perfect every single technique, but choose the ones that work best for you. You can add more as time goes by.

“After the massage she was able to lift her hand over her head without help from her other arm, and no catch at all. Nice!”

Congratulations, great job!

“After using the above mentioned stretch, I can see that adding the entire Thai course would be beneficial to my practice.”

I agree. The Hands Free Massage course works best in conjunction with the Complete Thai Massage course. It was never intended as a separate Thai Massage training course all by itself.

“I really like the elbow and forearm technique on the foot. It is completely different than the reflexology I use daily. It is deep but gentle on my fingers. The feedback was not positive using my knees on the feet.”

Actually this is just the tip of the iceberg what can be done with Thai foot massage. I have a highly specific course that goes even much more in depth about this, and it also has a big section about Thai Reflexology which is a stand-alone modality. You can check it out here:
https://thaihealingmassage.com/info/thai-foot-massage/

If the feedback about your knee work was not positive, then you either used too much weight or the technique was not gentle and soft enough. You have to be very careful with knee work on the feet. It is best reserved for male clients with big feet.

Regarding working on dogs, you might want to read this story:
https://thaihealingmassage.com/thai-massage-therapy-on-dog-gains-trust-of-client/

“When using my knees on the gluts, I have to place my feet in between my clients legs. My legs are to short t reach this position from placing my toes on the outside of my client.

When using the knee to work up the back I can not leave my feet on the floor. My knee does not reach the proper muscle and I don’t want my knees putting pressure on my clients ribs. It is not comfortable for them.”

That’s perfectly fine to have your feet between your client’s feet.
Yes, if you have short legs, you will have to lift your feet up. You figured that out correctly.

“It is interesting that some of the people whom I have practiced on like the rocking movements and some find it annoying. It seems smooth and comforting to me. My dogs love it, I thought most people would love it too. I guess I was surprised by the mixed reviews.”

The rocking can feel annoying for three reasons:

  1. It feels too mechanical, not in sync, not smooth enough. This will come with practice.
  2. You do too much of it. You cannot rock someone all the time all over the place. You need to blend rocking techniques with more stationary techniques.
  3. You are using only ‘big’ rocking movements. Rocking comes in many shapes and forms, starting with a small wiggle of the finger to big whole body rocks. There are some people who can experience dizziness with the big whole body rocks. On those you would do the smaller rocking moves like circling or wiggling.

Rocking is a whole art by itself. I almost never get negative client reactions from rocking, except from those very few who get dizzy. You can prevent this by telling clients before the session that if they feel uncomfortable with any technique to tell you right away. And then you can adapt and modify.

“How do you suggest finding a comfortable position for the head? This is the biggest problem my clients have in the prone position. They get stiff necks laying the head to the side without a face rest. I have tried bolstering with pillows but most are constantly repositioning to find comfort. Your model seems so relaxed and not disturbed by this position.”

Please watch this video. It presents the perfect solution to your question:
https://thaihealingmassage.com/thai-massage-tips-and-tricks-part-1/

 

 

 

 

 

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Bethany
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April 26, 2013 - 8:58 pm
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Hi Shama, Thank you so much for tricks and tips page. My clients are much more comfortable lying in the prone position. In addition, my clients are receiving much relief from the push and pull shoulder stretches. I have been introducing more of the thai moves into my barefoot massages with good responses so far. 

 

As a side note, David from exam Professor emailed back. He apologized my email was in his spam box. Somehow I keep getting the link for the complete Thai Massage course, and since I’m not enrolled in that class I can’t get on to take the exam. He is having his technical team looking into it. So hopefully I can get that test to you soon. I am chomping at the bit to begin the complete class.

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Shama
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April 26, 2013 - 9:20 pm
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Your test program saga is like the “Never Ending Story”, but without the cute aspect. Did you see this movie? I can’t wait to find out what exactly the issue was.

There are quite a few useful videos in the “Tips And Tricks” series, and I am planning to make some more of them, as soon as I return to my home town and my video studio.

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