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James' Thai course journal
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jamesmyhrer
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June 10, 2014 - 7:28 pm
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I am looking forward to starting and learning additional techniques.  I can't wait to start practicing on my son who is in gymnastics and improve his flexibility. 

Module 1

Pressure body weight vs pressure.  I would agree with the use of ease and not forcing pressure.  It does make it easy for the therapist and ease of tension.  I am curious with kneeling during some of the work.  My knee is a little sore from running training for a marathon.  I am wondering if kneeling with one knee that might work for some of the work.  Trying different ergonomics...

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Shama
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June 10, 2014 - 10:08 pm
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The kneeling is something which everybody has to get used to initially. Just make sure that you have something soft under your knees. The mat should not be so soft that your knee sinks right through it to the floor, and is should not be so hard that it is uncomfortable. One workaround in the beginning is to have a firm flat cushion that you can reposition during the sessions so that you have a little extra support for your knees. In some of the techniques which involve kneeling you can use either knee, but in others you have to use one specific knee.

So far everyone got used to the kneeling after a while, even students with knee issues, so chances are that the same thing will happen in your case. Smile

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June 20, 2014 - 12:04 am
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It has been a good practice using the feet techniques.  Interested with thigh.  I like what you have said to adapt and not to try to remember all the sequences.  Are there any contraindications of knee issues with rotation of foot or knee when working either area?

 

James

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Shama
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June 21, 2014 - 12:34 am
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Yes, there are. You will find out more about them later in the course. If someone has very stiff hips and the feet don't turn out much at all, then it is easy to stress the knee when you bend the feet out.

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jamesmyhrer
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June 27, 2014 - 4:03 am
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Module 2

I enjoyed the reference back to ergonomics.  I always need to recheck myself (body mechanics and ergonomics) daily with massage now with focusing on leaning properly I find it very helpful.  I have tried to chi machine on a few people.  I still feel it hard at times to get the hip and full body to rock.  I did find it hard at times with clients I feel is because of them not really letting go and having more blockages.  

question: do you sometimes see this even with clients you have known for sometime, doing the chi machine move?

I really appreciate your flow of work, even rewatching the video.

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June 27, 2014 - 4:11 am
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Module 3

I had a hard time registration for taking test and with login.  Got it done but have been watching videos every couple days.

I really like you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  This so true and even with introduction prior to session starting.  When bending foot how far would that stretch go?  Would it just be a comfortable feeling, of course not to far. 

I am just curious of rotation of knee with foot bend.  I am going to keep communication open with some of my clients who have knee issues and see if the foot massage and side bending affects their knee.

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June 27, 2014 - 4:18 am
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Module 4

This was a great flow from module 3 to 4.  Also from the beginning.  Feeling and ergonomics together.  Using the whole body and not using muscle.  I have found out that I have been still using my upper body working with clients.  Now using my whole body is something I remember years ago but then fell into constant repetition and forgot about myself and ergonomics.  

I have enjoyed to concepts of the foot, 8 items.  This made it fun and enjoyable to remember.  I felt like...rotate foot out, rotate foot in, stretch up, stretch down...  and felt hand grip weird.  Still more practice to come.  Smile

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June 27, 2014 - 11:42 pm
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Regarding your question if I sometimes find it hard to get the whole body to move when I do the Chi Machine... the answer is that I can always get the client's hip to move without any problem. However if someone tenses up in the neck habitually, you sometimes can't get the head to move, i.e the movement stops at the neck level.

A good way to get the Chi Machine to work is if you imagine that your own hip is filled with water and you are shaking it sideways so that it kind of sloshes up against the sides of your hip from the inside. 

I think you will get a better understanding of how the bending out of the foot works when you get to module 7. There is a whole section about that in this video.

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June 29, 2014 - 12:31 am
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Module 5

Question: when you do a typical thai work how long is a session?  Just because when you have mentioned you don't need to do all the techniques like in exact sequence.  Like just doing a foot warm up side bending. Then maybe leg rotation warmup and more to other areas or best just to focus hip and legs and skip upper body. I know it will take a little practice to get a better idea of how to work with the concepts.  I like the reference to a dance and having that flow.  

With the butterfly technique does it put to much strain on the wrists?

 

Thank you for mentioning the water flow and sloshes around.  I have mentally tried to picture being free and free flowing like water.  

 

ThanksLaugh

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June 29, 2014 - 12:40 am
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Module 6

Use of thumbs and forearms. This has been my issue with working other area of the body.  Using the palm upward is this because of forearm just to sharp on the thigh?  With starting area by hip and clients having tight thighs how much pressure is to much, you mention a soft sinking in.  Would you go just to some resistance and breath out and gradually get a deeper movement?  I know lots of questions but rather get best concept and understanding.  

The calf work is there any issues with working and having knee issues?

Thanks

James

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June 29, 2014 - 1:00 am
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Module 7

I really appreciate your approach to the foot and hip work.  I have watched and worked with a lot of hip work.  This is really true of what is going on with the body.  Working with some clients with knee restrictions I have tried modifying hip work not to of a steep angle of leg.  Also walking of the feet no the hamstring people have liked the compression feeling of my feet on their legs.  

Thanks again.

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Shama
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June 29, 2014 - 9:10 pm
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James, I have never done a Thai Massage less than two hours. I never gave clients a choice. I just told them that it takes two hours, and nobody ever argued with that or wanted a shorter session.

The butterfly technique can put a strain on the wrist. It depends where you do it. For example if you do it on the thigh, then the angle of your wrist will be about 45 degrees. However if you do it on the back, the angle of the wrists will be closer to 90 degrees. That's something to be aware of. 

There are so many techniques to choose from - so if you feel strain on the wrist, switch to a different technique, like a rocking move which is much easier on the wrist. Some therapists never develop any wrist issues, and some get carpal tunnel. So it is up to the individual therapist to decide how much stress the wrist can handle. In Thai Massage that's easy since there are so many different techniques available.

Let's say your hands feel stressed. In that case you can work more with your forearms, knees of feet. That takes a little more training and experience, but you will get there in this course.

There are many factors that come into play, like how strong are your wrists, how big or small are you, and how big is your client, and how strongly do you work etc.

Regarding the forearms - it again depends. If you turn the palms down, you will work with the softer area of the forearm. If you turn the palms up, you will have more power since the ergonomics allow for more power. 

The question is not how much pressure is too much. The question is how is the quality of your touch. If you sink in softly, you can use a lot more pressure than if you press with muscle power. Sinking in softly does not mean less power, it refers to the quality of the touch, the way how it is done and how it feels to the client. 

Little pressure done by muscle power can feel like way too much, and a lot of pressure which is done with body weight, breathing and a feeling of softly sinking in can feel easy for the client.

The next thing is to work with the client by getting feedback via the one-to-ten method. That's the best way to learn how much pressure is right. I don't know if this has been explained in the course already. If not, it will come up soon.

If someone has knee issues, this can definitely effect your work on the calf and on the thigh. If someone has a serious knee issue I totally switch my method of working. That's a little hard to explain in one forum post. Knee work is a specialty - I have an entire course just about knee work.

For now, if someone has knee issues, avoid getting too close to the knee, and avoid any moves which stress or twist the knee.

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July 7, 2014 - 6:24 am
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Thank you Shama regarding the wrist and techniques.  I have enjoyed the continued videos and understanding more of concepts and to manage what and who I am working with... being flexible,and or inflexibility.  I am continuing to see how pressure or sinking into a thigh or area is used.  

Module 8

Leg stretches 2

Hip Pie, hearing this I really wished I heard about this years ago.  I feel I just went through motions of a joint.  This is so vital thanks.  With doing circles with the hip, is there any particular reason for going in that one direction?  The foot being out off center is one good reminder I needed.  

Back to practicing with rocking and stretching. 

 

Thank you,

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July 7, 2014 - 6:42 am
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Module 9

Leg stretches 3

With the outside bend and working on the adductor muscle, the other hip will raise.  Should I tell the client to relax the hip and just go with it, or have them concentrate on trying to hold the hip down more.  Hamstring stretching I understand it is better to keep practicing, I am finding out that with my hand on the heel the legs wants to try to straighten out.  I am wondering if this is because the feel the hamstring stretch and are used to straight leg stretching.  Confused

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July 7, 2014 - 9:19 pm
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Module 10

Blood stop, I am kinda nervous about this technique.  What are the contraindications regarding this? The adductor stretch my client loved the stretch and started relaxing pretty quick.  I mentioned to breathe  more with the stretch and try to relax.  With the calf stretch and pressure on the thigh how much movement going into the 1,2,3 count are you using, like body weight.  I have just leaned into the thigh until I felt resistance then backed up breathing in.

ThanksLaugh

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Shama
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July 7, 2014 - 11:04 pm
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Regarding the direction of the hip circling: You could theoretically do it the other way. I just have found that it works better for me in the direction which I show in the video. But this is no hard and fast rule.

Regarding the question about module 9: Never tell a client to keep their hip down. It's ok if the hip rises a bit. The more you relax the hip, the less the hip will rise.

Regarding the ham string stretch and the leg straightening out: This is an interplay between your one hand on the heel and your other hand on the hamstrings. You can control the amount of bending by adjusting the amount of pressure between your two hands. 

People with tight hamstrings won't be able to straighten their leg out no matter what. This is a strong stretch and for people with very tight hamstrings it is better in general to first spend quite some time doing muscle work on the hamstrings in the prone position before you do such a strong stretch. Or at least do the stretch very slowly and gently since this one can easily feel painful and stressful to clients if done too quickly or too strongly.

Regarding the "blood stop" - many people are nervous about that one, but the fact is that it is a totally harmless technique and it feels very nice if done right. The only time when I would not do it is when someone has massive varicose veins or big circulatory issues.

Regarding the calf stretch: The main stretch is to pull the foot down. The leaning on the quads is mainly to keep the leg straight and to provide good ergonomics for yourself. No need for very strong pressure there.

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July 28, 2014 - 8:19 pm
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Module 11

I like the flow of show it was shown.  It was great getting the clues for instance with the hip rotation and pull when mentioned try to keep the leg straight.  I have been watching the videos a few times and trying to keep everything in mind.  I have been doing massage therapy for a number of years and always trying to keep it easy flowing like a dance.  Another thing I have been keeping in mind is like water flowing.

I have been using the rocking motion more with the hip.  It seems to help but I feel still needing more practice with feet and hip work.

Thanks

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July 28, 2014 - 8:31 pm
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Module 12

With working the calf stretch at the beginning of the video, I have did a little ROM with the ankle and some what of a rocking technique.  Hip pushing I have found out more tension off the hip.  When you have worked the hip flexor and more rocking techniques when would you recommend to have someone come back to try to improve the mobility?

The last couple of movements were a little harder.  I tried to modify by keeping one leg bent and allowing the other hip to bent or more like your move like the video.  seems to help. I am still rocking with clients and trying to get that flow down.

 

Again thanks for the info

JamesWink

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jamesmyhrer
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July 28, 2014 - 8:42 pm
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Module 13

The pain scale from 1 to 10 has helped.  I can't believe that I have never really used this before.  When I have been giving massage and asking clients about the pressure and they say good or fine and then asking if more pressure would be good again saying ok.  I have been using this more and informing about this.  

Good and bad pain - I have mentioned this to some clients over the years.  Even with clients who received massage for years and now trying thai along with massage I feel it more educational for them.  Sometimes there has been a little pain on the verge of sharp and release.  Saying they have pain, I held for a few seconds and occasional lessened or stayed tightened.  

I kinda with some of my clients would be as flexible as your clients.  But I believe they may get there.

 

James

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July 28, 2014 - 8:53 pm
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Module 14

I have been really enjoying the flow of the videos.  I have been rewatching them many times and going through the testing.  When I have a few practice times done with each video I will write about it.  

Kinda funny I have been wondering about rocking of the hips.  I have been doing something like this when the client is face down.  It is amazing hearing from the clients how much they feel the back and how feeling of releasing pressure off the back.  

How has someones SI joint been with some of these techniques and or lower back fusions?

I can't wait to try to get a better flow from the feet to the hips.  Trying to not be to mechanical.

 

Thanks

JamesYell

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