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Ines Echevarria's Complete Thai Massage Course Notes
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Ines Echevarria
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September 12, 2016 - 12:13 am
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MODULE 20

- When is it good the prone position ? Is it used when the client has real back problems ?

- How do you change the angle of the foot when you push and pull it? with both hands? 

- Can some of the warm up of the supine position be used in the prone position, such of twisting, rolling with the thumb along the sides of the ankle and the feet... ?

- Along the modules I have realized how much the body and ming love the round movements: circling, rocking, rolling... I have experienced both on the other person and their feed backs confirm this.

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September 12, 2016 - 12:53 am
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MODULE 21

One person had pain in one of his thigs when I was doing the warm up even when I did it very very slowly and softly.I did circles with my hand, instead, some rocking movements too but it didn't work. What is it done in this case? He doesn't have any problem in his daily life with this leg.

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September 13, 2016 - 4:20 pm
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"You have taught us many techniques, so my question is the following: How can we decide which technique to use in a massage? We ask the client what they want to be released of or where  they feel stiffness or pain,  but if they just want it to get relaxed ? In this case, will anyone be ok? Are there any techniques that could be considered a must or that are specially nice for this purpose (stress relief or for balancing the body's energies)"

There are no simple rules here. This is where the art comes in, and the art only develops with lots of experience. The main thing is to allow yourself to be creative and intuitive. Try to listen with your hands instead of just doing something with them. Listen to the client as well. Don't think in terms of sequences, but think in terms of what would work best in a given situation.

I have not done standard full body sessions in a long time. For me it is all about letting a session flow. That means you need to be ready to change, to modify, to adapt and to follow the clues from your client's words and body.

I know, first you have to learn the techniques and the sequences. Once you know them so well that you don't have to think about them anymore, then you can get into a state of flow. And that - there is no way around that - simply takes time, practice and experience to develop.

"When is it good the prone position? Is it used when the client has real back problems?"

The prone position should always be used. That's one of the things you almost never want to skip unless for some reason someone just cannot lie face down.

"How do you change the angle of the foot when you push and pull it? with both hands?"

Yes, both hands are involved.

"Can some of the warm up of the supine position be used in the prone position, such of twisting, rolling with the thumb along the sides of the ankle and the feet... ?"

Certainly, why not! If it feels good to the client and you feel comfortable with doing it, then it works and it is right. Never be afraid to experiment and modify things. That's how you grow and learn. And don't be attached if you find out that something doesn't work when you try it. 

Regarding the person with pain - without seeing and feeling the body of this person I can of course not give a useful answer here. But I can say that there are many conditions in the body and mind which can cause pain. Some respond well to massage and others do not.

This is always a case-by-case situation. Let me give you one example. If someone has an inflamed nerve due to compression, applying pressure on it with massage might just make the pain worse. Some conditions require rest, some require adjustments, some require massage, some require a change in posture, some are best served with exercise, etc. There is no one right answer here. It always depends on the individual assessment. And there are some things where your massage simply won't do anything. We cannot help everyone and fix everything.

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September 13, 2016 - 9:14 pm
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Shama,

Thank you so much for your kind and complete answer. It has been of great help. But.... I have the "BIG" answer when you posted  your last article shortly after my questions bumped into you. I felt ashamed Shama as you have been constantly repeating it and it seemed I was blind and deaf for almost two months!!!!

I am so sorry....

I could give you several reasons explaining... but I feel it is useless, unnecesary. I have begun to see each module in a different way.

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND YOUR INCREDIBLE TEACHINGS

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September 13, 2016 - 10:13 pm
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Great - it doesn't matter when you "get it" as long as you do get it! Laugh

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September 18, 2016 - 6:57 pm
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Learning to do things in a different way. Softly, breathing, feeling, letting the intuition go... enjoying..

Still a small question. In the last streching over the glute, the hand doesn´t slide, do it? Just press and pull down. In a first moment I have found myself sliding down and that wasn't easy as the hand goes in a jumping way.

I found it very interesting what you say about a zone afecting the rest.

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September 18, 2016 - 7:29 pm
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MODULE 22

When I started to practice the first streching for the first time, I just do it. My friend's leg didn't reach the buttock, it seemed to me to be rather stiff. Then I remembered your advise of never do a stretching without a warming up. So I warmed up both legs and to my surprise, the leg gained in movement, it went further touching almost the buttock. In an unintentioned way I learned the blessing of the softness and what warming up can do.

In the technique we are sitting on the buttocks, I sat over the sacrum and the other person felt pain. Does it mean that her sacrum was stiff or did I do something wrong ?

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September 19, 2016 - 2:26 am
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Yes, you are right, the hand does not slide down, just press and move the glute muscle away from you.

Regarding pain in the sacrum - you are not supposed to sit on the sacrum with your full body weight. You just put a little weight on the sacrum and catch most of your weight with your feet. You probably just put too much weight on the sacrum.

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September 19, 2016 - 10:47 pm
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MODULE 23

Yes, going through this module has been as pleasant as you mention at the beginning of the video even we have to "ride" the other person.

I have some coordination problems, when pressing the thumb up and down on the groove and moving the body backwards and forwards where the thumb tends to stop for some seconds.

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September 27, 2016 - 12:06 am
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MODULE 23

I love this back work with these so pleasant and relaxing circling and rocking movements. As you mentioned before it is easier than leg techniques. Anyway I have had some coordination problems to keep the rithm while breathing in and out, bending backward and forward. I improved it with practice recovering the sensation of flow and dance. Everybody felt great and their back was feeling much better.

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September 27, 2016 - 12:26 am
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MODULE 24

So different to module 23 but equally effective. It seemed to be harder or  more aggressive but it isn't. Even I was asked by a friend with a bad back pain to go on with my elbow and arm up until the shoulders. His back was big and I did it with a great relief for him.

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September 27, 2016 - 2:58 am
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Working with this rhythm and coordinating it with your breathing is so different from how massage is generally done that it definitely takes some time to get into the flow of it. Once you get it, it is pleasantly easy and flows great.

We need all these different back techniques  - the light ones and the stronger ones - for different body types. Some people with big backs really appreciate the elbow and forearm work. And your hands will thank you that you don't stress them unnecessarily! Smile

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September 28, 2016 - 9:14 pm
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MODULE 26

It is amazing how rich Thai massage is with this amount of techniques you teach us for making a bit of art with somebody's instrument (body). 

Since I started this course with all this practices I am more aware of my thumb, more than the rest of the fingers. Sometimes I feel it more alive and present, other times, "he" is tired and a bit stiff due to the work he is doing. Anyway I am taking care of it, massaging it and not using it so much.

When working with the arm the second sen line, can I press and roll it down instead of just pressing it ?

I have noticed that every time you do the galloping rhythm, you body seems to move in circles, as in the foot movement you show as in the third module. Is it right ? It would help me to do this technique in a easier way.

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September 28, 2016 - 10:31 pm
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For me it is second nature to make as many movements as possible whole body movements. I really enjoy the feeling of "dancing" with someone's body during Thai Massage sessions. There are no specific rules how to do that. It is something that you just need to be always aware of and then it will become spontaneous and second nature for you as well.

Just play with it and try to find out if a circular body movement works well for you, or if a slightly different way to move works better for you. I am not much into creating rules and exact ways of doing something, because what works perfectly for me might not work perfectly for you since our sizes and weights are different. 

So I show what works for me along with some possible modifications, and then you add your own spin to it by allowing yourself to be creative and flexible.

That brings us to the arm pressing and rolling on line #2. You can try if the arm rolling would feel comfortable to you. When you get to the lower back, I think the arm rolling might not work too well ergonomically. But try it anyway. 

Forearm rolling works much better on the lower back when you are kneeling in a perpendicular position (at a right angle) to the body.

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October 3, 2016 - 3:52 pm
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MODULE 27

Again fixing or fitting sizes...Smile

My hand is small. The knealing technique was sort of problem for my thumb that doesn't reach too far. In order to not to lose the experience I move the rest of the fingers just a bit towards the back so that the thumb could go a bit further. I guess that the technique didn't work as it should but it was pleasant for the receiver. This was because what you say at the end of the video, circling, kneading is very appreciated by the mind and the body.

 

My arms are weak, or the receiver is heavy or stiff... and here Cobra comes !

One of the receivers has a stiff or hunchbacked uper back, and another one has broad shoulders. With both of them it is difficult for me to get their back move upwards with cobra #1, being much easier with cobra # 3. Here my doubt is if it is more effective for me, and not for the receivers because it can be a chance of hurting them with too much streching.

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October 4, 2016 - 1:43 am
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Well, the two situations which you described would mean for me that I wouldn't do the cobra at all. This technique is not meant for everyone. People with strongly hunched and very big and stiff backs are not good  candidates for this move until their back has been worked on for a while with other techniques to loosen it up. 

I can see where you would struggle with these two persons. If a techniques is too hard to do on certain people, don't think that you have to do it anyway. There is nothing wrong with skipping techniques. Ideally you would find a smaller or more flexible practice partner to practice the cobras on.

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October 5, 2016 - 3:39 am
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MODULE 28.

I must have done something wrong with my computer. I have just posted my comments about this module and they have disappeared.

I saw your video once and as it goes too quickly to follow it with somebody under my hands, and I was feeling quite confident after these month of practising all the techniques you have taught us, I have done it at my own without looking at your video. It has been a nice experience. The flow was quite good althought it hasn't been very easy to follow your advice of listening with the hands. I have been able to plactice that with your last technique of finding the knots with our fingers. Ergonomics, breathing, rythm, hara, movements made with the help of the body.. still mastering all this will take time.. but massage is becoming more a dance, a pleasure..

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October 5, 2016 - 2:06 pm
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That's a good thing, to practice without looking at the video. It doesn't matter if you forget something, but you will never get into the flow if you are always trying to follow the video. In the beginning this might be necessary, but it is definitely a good idea to do some practice sessions just from memory. And then it will get easier and easier to ultimately remember it all without having to think about it. That's when you will really get into the dance!

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October 11, 2016 - 1:42 am
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MODULE 29

 

Thank you so much for sharing all that information that provides that "spirit" to Thai Massag. It has reached my hearth. Technique ·the body" has been amazing. The positions in the dance are so beautiful and  unusual at the same time! The first technique has been as pleasant as you mention on the video. The last one is a big stretch. A quite elderly person compleined about pain on the hip which was resting on the floor.

Most people get very relaxed, and as they have their are closed and their face looks like as they are enjoying the massaged I don't dare to ask how they are feeling, if they want me to keep on doing one thing or another different one. 

What it happens sometimes is that a small ouch is heard or there is a movement on the side I am working on tellling something is wrong with it. I will go on practising until my hands listen perfectly or I develop some intuition... or rather, a blessing, flowing, soft process on/inside me.

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October 11, 2016 - 3:13 pm
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MODULE 30

I keep on enjoying it, and when I am in this mood I become a bit crazy and maybe creative..Embarassed

Following the back techniques, I did the first and the second, outer line, with the thumb  and palm (1st and 2nd techniques.

I have been extremely careful with the techniques involving the shoulder as many, many  people suffer from stiff shoulder, if not a very painful and with restricted movement one. So first a warm up it and then I start, as you recomended, in a very slow and short way.

On the other hand, a person I was practising with along the course has improved a lot his back. Now it looks straight and young when for years it has had "two mountains" on his dorsal vertebrae ! Even his character has changed, he has becomed more asertive, young, joyful.. Great, great, great..

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