July 14, 2016
Module 1- Introduction
Regarding to the fact that Thai Massage does not care about Anatomy, there is some people that comes to me with a specific and “technical” diagnosis, what should I do in this case: Tell them, OK, let’s see if this massage works…, tell them to go to a physiotherapist… ?
As for the lines, I am a bit confused because there are differences depending on “schools”.
In my short experience, I have noticed that, even if, in a first moment people that have the experience of having a table massage feel surprised when told to lay on the floor, once they try it, they prefer this to the table as the feel more comfortable, as if the floor holds or sustains them.
I love giving massage on the floor, and consequently Thai Massage with its tools (hands, arms feet, because to the close contact with the person receiving it. I have had no problems for the moment being, but can it happen that who is receiving it could feel awkward or somehow invaded ?What has to be done in this case? Should I explain them what Thai Massage is like the first time they come?
Does the quality of touch have to do with the heart ? Apart from the connection that breathing establish with the client, would it be advisable to feel love or at least some kind of empathy (normally they come in an unbalance condition, if not in strong pain)?
How can we feel what happens in the body of the other person ?
Hi Ines, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum. You are jumping the gun a little bit here. All your questions are answered in this course, just not all at once.
Let me address some here: It's not that Thai Massage doesn't care about anatomy. However the way how Thai Massage addresses problems in the body is by correcting a problem in the energy flow of the body. Western Massage only looks at the anatomy and doesn't recognize energy flow. Therefore Thai Massage is a more holistic system.
What you should not try to do is squeeze Thai Massage into the western concept of looking at the body. You are dealing with a different approach and a different system here. However this doesn't mean that you should disregard all anatomy. You can have a good understanding of anatomy AND of the energetic concept.
Yes, different schools have different understandings of the energy lines - where exactly they are located and how many there are. However you don't have to worry about this. You will see in this course that I have my own style of dealing with this. You will hear a lot about this topic throughout this program.
And yes, if a client comes to you and doesn't know anything about Thai Massage, you should explain what it is all about. There is an entire module in this course which shows you exactly how to do this.
If a client has a very specific technical diagnosis, you need to remember that you are a massage therapist, not a doctor. You are not expected to know everything about every pathology on the planet. However I can tell you that Thai Massage is very effective in dealing with many physical conditions, it is a very therapeutic modality.
The more you understand about pathologies, the easier it will be for you to communicate with the clients and make them feel understood and comfortable. So it is a good idea to educate yourself beyond the mechanics of massage therapy. That's the reason why I have produced several highly specific courses about conditions like sciatica, shoulder problem, back problems etc. In these courses I go more into the pathology and anatomy of certain conditions.
But first you need to learn the system of Thai Massage, and then you can go deeper if you want. You cannot start medical school and on the first day try to figure out how to do heart surgery!
The floor definitely offers better support, a more comfortable work surface and much better ergonomics than a massage table when it comes to Thai Massage. Once you learn Thai Massage properly, your clients will NOT feel invaded and it will NOT feel awkward. Again, this is addressed in the course in detail in several places.
Yes, the quality of touch does have something to do with the heart. And it is definitely advisable, at least in my opinion, to develop a feeling of love and empathy. There is a lot about this topic in the Magic Touch Secrets bonus course.
Throughout this course you will learn how to feel what is happening in your clients bodies. This won't happen right in the beginning, but is is a learnable skill.
Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure we are on the same wave length:
July 14, 2016
Thank you so much for your extensive answer to the questions I asked regarding to module 1.
- This time I am eager to know how to work with parts of the body in Thai Massage.
- I have also realised that I was doing what doesn't have to do. I wasn't taught to take care of ergonomics and without noticing of it ( never felt tired, on the contrary I end myself better than I start )I was working with muscles. This involves paying much more attention to myself than to my work with the patient now that I start to be aware of ergonomics. For me it represents an improvement in the massage flow and probably feeling much relaxed (once I get used to place my body in the right position). I wasn't aware it could make the other person feel uncomfortable.
Watching the videos I have noticed that your feet are bended very often and for this reason I bend them while sitting on a chair.
- Why do you use de Chi Machine at the beginnig of a session ? Could it be used at the end?
- I have tried it on a person with very heavy legs and on another big man with a broad chest and shoulders. As you suggests on the video, I have lift my hands and it was a very hard job. My arms ended very tired and the rocking movement didn't reach the chest easily. Anyway they told me that it was an amazing and relaxing experience. Could I use in this case the technique you show on the rocking massage videos and do it with parts of the body instead of doing it with the whole body at once ?
July 14, 2016
Really I felt the dance of the flow of Thai Massage. Specially when doing the circle movement. Not as difficult as it seemed. People enjoyed it very much too.
One of my volunteers, felt pain on his fingers when bending them back. Should I take care of how they are (artrhsis, etc).
They have enjoyed the twist done on their feet and the shaking.
A lot of relieve, relaxation and pleasure.
It always amazes me when I hear that ergonomics is not taught in all massage schools. This is the one skill that preserves your longevity as a therapist and which prevents you from injuring yourself over time.
You could theoretically do the Chi Machine at the end of the session. I like it in the beginning since it is a pleasant introduction and it kind of sets the tone for the session since the client feels the energy flow right from the beginning. Plus I like to end my sessions with neck, head and face massage.
Working on very large and heavy persons is often more challenging. However especially when doing the Chi Machine on someone with heavy legs, you should keep your hands resting on your thighs, otherwise you will obviously tire your arms. If the Chi Machine is done right, it takes very little effort from your body.
Also if someone has very heavy legs, there is nothing wrong with skipping the Chi Machine on such a person. You don't have to do every technique on every client. The techniques are not rigid sequences but options to choose from.
I am not sure what you mean when you mentioned that your volunteer had pain from bending the fingers back. You worked on the feet in this module, so how do a client's fingers come into play here?
I am impressed that you figured the circle movement out quickly - that's normally one of the more challenging techniques.
Did you read the certification check list that I posted in my previous post? If you did, you missed the very first part about completing your bio in your profile. Could you please do that so that I have some idea about your background.
I already added your last name to your forum display name as mentioned in the check list, but I don't know your biographical information...
July 14, 2016
July 14, 2016
I forgot to tell you that pain on the foot was felt when squeezing in the third position and when I have to put my hands on the backside of the toe and fingers in order to push the feet forwards. Apparently there was no problem with this person's feet. He came after a very streesing day and may be his feet reflect some sort of tension.
You are not the only one who can get confused by technology. I work with it every day and even I sometimes get confused with it. And sometimes it drives me crazy!
My experience with foot massage is that often I experience discomfort in the beginning, just from having stressed out feet, but after a while this discomfort goes away and it starts to feel really good. So the trick is to start gently and build up from there. It also means that you have to stay on the feet for a while until it starts to feel good. If you rush in with a couple of quick moves and then move on to the legs, this gradual release doesn't have a chance to happen.
By the way, for a Spaniard your English is super excellent. Better than my Spanish, and I am pretty fluent in Spanish since I used to live in Spain and Mexico for years.
July 14, 2016
A very encouraging video! Thank you!
I was feeling stressed trying to memorize the sequence of movements and paying attention to each small detail ( distance between your both legs, between you and the other person foot.....) when you were doing each technique. I was getting lost in detail. Crazy thing. My mind had to listen that it had to be relaxed and calm for having a space to feel and get used to the flow....
I guess that developing the alertness to feeling will help to choose the Right technique for each person and each massage. The creativity and the intuition.
It helped me a lot in this sense to listen to the interview with Azoulay.
This time I have practised module 3 and 4 together. People have ended with a wonderful feeling in their feet. they were alive, full, as they have a cushion on their sole...
I was taught to do the lines on the sole and to press on three points in each of the three positions on the foot. Is it right ?
Thank you for talking about "pressure" in your answer to mod. 3. Sometimes I don't know if I have to press hard or if just a soft touch is enough.
Thank you for
Your way of speaking English is very clear and so, your course has a side effect: it is refreshing my English. Your life must have been very interesting. It seems that Beauty has been a companion to you.
Don't worry too much about being on the exact line and on the exact points. If you look at a reflexology chart, you will see that there are dozens of points that relate to various areas and organs in the body. So it doesn't really matter so much where you press, you are bound to hit all kinds of useful spots.
It's not like you have to be on the exact lines, and if you are not, then the massage is no good. Even if you totally disregard the lines and any specific points, the foot massage will feel great and it will be very beneficial. You can follow the lines approximately, but you don't have to get too scientific about precise points. This is not meant to be a precise acupressure system.
If you would get into the Thai Reflexology foot massage system, then you can get more specific, but for the purposes of starting a Thai Massage session, you don't need to be so much concerned about the exact points.
It seems that we are complimenting each other on our English skills. For both of us English is not our native language, so we are both doing pretty well!
July 14, 2016
In my opinion, you are very much gifted for working on/with detail, for what I am not. And I am not only improving greatly what I was taught but I am also learning and experiencing a lot of new things, now that I want to devote myself to Thai Massage for earning my life, -not only for helping friends and family to get better--, and also for my own pleasure as I enjoy myself a lot when touching somebody else's body.
In the first technique I have explored with blocking the leg, something I haven't done until now. I was reported to be a pleasant feeling to have their foot "pressed" by mine. The problem was that this person felt pain on his thig when my hand posed like butterfles on it, pain that was released when I stopped pressing his foot. I probed doing it not locking or stabilize his leg. I found out that there was not much difference in doing so. There was not much movement on the leg. This doesn't happen in the rest of the techniques at all. They worked better when the leg was blocked.
I also found out the pleasure of following movement with the whole body and the breathing that made the massage a sort of meditation moment and I went on breathing along the rest of techniques although it was not always a path or rythm to follow.
Techniques done with the lowest part of the hand were very pleasant for all people I have practised with and they all end up with a feeling of having lighter legs and they were very very relaxed.
The idea is not to press on the foot, but to stabilize the thigh so that it doesn't roll outwards. So you are just blocking the foot, not pressing on it. If the leg is not stable, this technique can feel quite wobbly. However if someone has very tight hips, then the leg will remain in position without rolling out. You have to make sure that you are leaning right onto the center of the quadriceps muscles. If you are too much on the side, it will feel uncomfortable.
It is quite possible that someone has very tight and pain sensitive quads. In such a case you would skip this technique and replace it with rocking and motion movements which you will learn later. Whenever direct linear pressure is uncomfortable for a client, the solution is in most cases to switch to rocking techniques.
July 14, 2016
I have found a very pleasant and enjoyable way of working with the sen lines. I used to work each of the 6 lines I was taught with both thumbs comfronted line by line.
I have had the chance of working with several people. I have had problems to adapt different sizes to the positions of my legs in order to reach to the upper part of their thighs.
By the way and for all techniques seen so far, for how long or how many times should dI do them to get a good result ?
That really depends on the situation. If you do a one hour full body Thai Massage, then you don't have much time to spend an anything for long. If you do a two hour sessions, then you can spend extra time on a particular area.
Once you are so good at this that you can spontaneously work on areas that really need it without doing a whole body routine, then you could spend much more time on individual areas. I have done one hour neck-only sessions, or two hour shoulders-only sessions, or 30 minute thigh-only work, or one hour abdominal sessions etc. Of course I didn't just use the same technique the entire time, but many different techniques.
In a standard whole body session a good rule of thumb is to repeat most techniques 3 times.
July 14, 2016
I already knew about the tips you give in this module since I got the Rocking Massage Course some years ago. Anyway I found it very interesting to learn it again.
I used to use both leg stretches, but again doing things wrong. On the last technique, I bended the leg straight towards my chest, instead of bending it towards my shoulder. Of course the hip's movement was totally different.
By the way, I have problems with people with stiff hips and heavy legs. There was no movement in their hips even if I follow your suggestion of doing circle movements with his legs.
Ah, I didn't know you took the Thai Rocking Massage course already.
You must have some seriously stiff and locked up people from what you are telling me. Give it a little more time and finish all the hip pie videos, and if by then you still have trouble getting the hip to relax, then we will look at it more in depth.
Also, when you have people with a very stiff hip, you might want to first focus on the leg rocking techniques which I showed in the Thai Rocking Massage course. I mean those where you roll the leg sideways. That can be more effective on such people than trying to do stretches right away. Once you get the leg rocking to work, then you can follow up with the hip pie stretches.
July 14, 2016
My experience with massage and body work and healing systems (polarity therapy- myofascial chains, Feldenkrais) has led me to take the body as a whole. You say that you work parts of the body separately. For your experience, do you feel any difference between working the whole body and just a part of it ? I thought Thai Massage worked the whole body. Do you work with parts of the body when there is a chronic ailment?
You insist on working with our whole body including our breathing, which I love greately and I am very grateful to you for this. I am. I have been using my muscle strength until now with not bad results. You tell us on the video that using our whole body connects us with out total body energy. Does it mean that massaging this way , with our total energy, creates a special energy field between the recipient and the giver? Honestly, I feel much better following your advices, as they lead me to a sort of meditative mood or space while doing a massage, but in my short experience I can not still feel any difference in the massage itself.
I also have problems to follow ( when I firt practice whatching the video) and then to do (when trying to do it at my own) to decide which leg I have to bend and which I have to put it straight) I make myself a mess. My mind gets confused ( I am a woman). Is there any tip or trick as the one you share about working with feet and hips ?
The rotation of the knees, is it outwards?
Yes, the difference on the size between the giver and the recipient become a sort of engineerig problem. If I place my knee a couple of inches close to the other person, if he has long legs the angle that his leg forms its different from that of a short leg, so I have to place myself further than told in the video, I guess. There are some techniques I love so much that I feel a bit disapointed if I cannot share them with a big person.
Sure you can work the whole body with Thai Massage. However if someone has a particular problem in a certain area of the body, and books a one hour session, there is simply no way you can work on the entire body and pay lots of attention to the problem area.
So it comes down to a timing issue. If you have no time limit for the session (that's not very common), then it is ideal to work on the entire body and spend plenty of time on the problem area. However if you don't have enough time, then it is better to skip parts of the body in order to focus on the problem area.
I generally let the client decide by asking something like this: " Would you like me to work on your entire body and spend a little extra time on your problem area, or would you prefer if I really focus specifically on your problem area, even if this mean that we cannot work on your entire body?"
In my experience, if the problem bothers the client enough, they will generally opt for the therapeutic focus work. Sure, if time and money were no issue, then you would always do a whole body session, but in real life it just doesn't work like that.
Yes, working with your entire body does create a more synchronized energy field between you and the client. Ultimately this will lead to what I call the "dance of Thai Massage". You won't feel that in the beginning, but in time you will!
About your 'messy confusion' , the trick is to watch the videos several times and read the transcripts until it becomes totally clear. The first time of watching you will always miss some things - that's quite normal. It's like if you learn a new language. You cannot expect to hear a new word one time, repeat it one time, and then you know it. You need to repeat it several or many times until you can remember.
You can rotate the knee caps both ways.
Yes, size differences between you and the client do make a difference. However you can do most techniques on everyone as long as you modify your position. That's the art of if, to adjust and modify until it "fits" you. In many places in this course I show alternatives for different sizes and weights, and often you can experiment yourself and find out what works best for you.
July 14, 2016
Intense, deep, full of details around the hip clock this module!!! It has been a bit hard to deal with the in-depth way of showing and teaching you have along the last modules. But results have been great as I or my mind have become friends with the logic of the Thai Massage work with legs and hips.
People I have been practising with have reported me that they have ended with a lighter feeling in their legs and hips. They have had lot of patience with me !!!!
July 14, 2016
I forgot to share that when doing the 45º degree leg streching, the oposite hip of the person rose from the mat. Should I do a softer stretch, press the hip with the hand? And if the person has heavy legs, their foot tend to slide down when holding it with the angle of my hips. Can I put it on top of my thigh ?