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Jenna Brown's Completed Thai Course Adventure & Art of Thai Experience
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jenna
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February 3, 2015 - 10:23 am
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Hello!

I am a Reg. Massage Therapist in B.C. Canada... following through with the Continuing Ed Credit requirements for U.S. Therapists. Later I would like to challenge the exams for the State of Hawaii, and in the meantime, I will apply to my regulating College for CE credits (I'll do the groundwork!), so will prepare for the Thai Cert Exam...Just wondering if there are any B.C. R.M.T's who have already done so for this Thai Complete program?

I believe I have correctly started a thread for reports of my learning adventures.  If not, I will figure it out eventually! LOL!

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences with this on-line course! Have fun!

JennaLaugh

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Shama
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February 3, 2015 - 3:17 pm
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Hi Jenna, and welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course.

Yes, you are on the right track with the forum posting. Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with our Certification Check List here:

Certification Check List

That will make sure that we are all on the same wave length! Smile

Your certification posts should all go under this thread, however feel free to post in any other course student's thread (if the thread is still active, i.e. the course is not complete yet) as well if you want to have more interaction than with just myself. 

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jenna
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February 3, 2015 - 9:41 pm
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Thanks so much Shama, for the personal interaction.  The Continuing Ed. Check-List is very thoughtful.  When I saw how extensive the involvement looks in the course, I was happy, but also a wee bit daunted, as I am recovering from a brain injury (easily Cognitively Overwhelmed and make lots of silly mistakes).... but then I see everywhere how you have anticipated a student's needs!   It is a lovely comfort to simply "trust the process" of learning during this Complete Thai Massage Adventure!

(Thanks for the tip on watching for the age of a student's feed, when contacting for networking.  I did make that mistake anyways! LOL!)   Jenna

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February 3, 2015 - 10:14 pm
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I know it can feel daunting in the beginning, but everyone so far has figured it out rather quickly, and apparently so did you. Smile

And, as you noticed, help is always just around the corner!

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jenna
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February 4, 2015 - 9:38 pm
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Module 1

Principal (Pr): Mattwork allows for body positioning to get right over, or under a person

Report (Rep): Found mat set up i would like for work clinic, so pursuing a purchase (fold up gym mats with vinyl cover so can spray with cleaner and cover with nice sheet)

Integration (Int): the transition from table to mat will be fascinating and will relieve a lot of twisting injuries for me.  Comfortable therapist = happy patient

Question (Q): none

Later List (LL): buy cotton filled THIN futon, roll up Thai/Shiatsu mat (queen size) for home clinic... graduation gift completing Thai course!

______________________________________________

Principal (Pr): Hara & Moving energy vs. (or coupled with) anatomical mechanics

Re: freeing up energy lines/blockages & re-establishing flow, learn to feel what is happening rather than just analyse, develop Quality of touch

Int: I am recovering from burn-out from clinical practise that had a strong structural/mechanical bias, so to improve quality of my connection to the human beings I "treat" is necessary to recovery.  In addition I am recovering from a brain injury, so I have learned that I cannot rely on quick processing with my analytical brain (My kinetic wisdom is still with me though, thankfully).

Q: I am assuming that breathwork with strengthen hara? With burn-out (adrenal exhaustion) I have run out of reserves, so will this rebuild reserves, as well as provide stamina during treatments?

 _________________________________________

Pr: ways of technique ie. twisting, traction, rocking I under-utilize at present

Pr: tools (body parts) I under-utilize at present: knees & feet

Int: my upper body will be so relieved by using Thai massage!  Twisting will be amazing for client's fascial chains! Traction will be restorative for my long-distance athletes' cartilage! Rocking will be fabulous for client's nervous system and lymphatics! (great for post-race outreach)

Q: none yet

LL: consider volunteer outreach with Thai massage at endurance races

_____________________________________________

Pr: adjusting to positions of therapist (heel sit, the kneels, squatting, sit, stand)

Int: I am willing to go through an adjustment period to develop comfort in these positions. Will get a half-roll bolster for under ankles in full kneel.  May use half heel sit more often than bilateral heel sit.

Q: I do have a partial torn cartilage in right knee, so may have to work around that until muscles around knee can develop to assist these positions? Any Thai formulas for nourishing thin cartilage?

LL: return some focus on nutrition & supplements to nourish remaining cartilage in knee. regular yoga outside of thai will assist to achieve comfort in these positions

_______________________________________________________

Pr: client positions

Rep: supine, prone, sidelying, seated

Int: happy to explore side-lying, previously used mainly for pregant ladies

Q: none at this time

LL: acquire better bolster for side-lie, like in the video

_______________________________________________

Pr: art of combining techniques into an amazing flow, visualize: tai chi or a dance

Int: yes! exactly!!! Laugh

________________________________________

Pr: Anatomy of Movement Ladder

Rep: Mechanics choreographed into a flow, healthy, sustainable ergonomics that transmit comfort (lean vs. muscle force), using breath (Lean in, breathe out; lean out, breath in)

Int: When breath is connected to the movement, my mind is too (synchronicity). I connect with client to create movement of energy.  It is not rocket science, but I have ignored this.

Q: none yet

LL: Can't wait to see the results!

 

_______________________________________________

 

Int:

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Shama
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February 4, 2015 - 10:54 pm
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Ok Jenna, you convinced me that your brain is working perfectly fine, and that your analytical skills are top notch.

However it does take a PHD in analytics to read your post. Laugh For those of us who are less analytically gifted than you are, it would be a lot easier if you would revert to your previous style of just writing a couple of paragraphs about your experience with the course and your practice. And also this will save you a lot of time. I don't want you to burn out on complex and time consuming forum posting. Wink This master piece must have taken you a good half hour to produce, if not more, I imagine.

Regarding your first question, you basically answered it yourself. Yes, breath work will strengthen the hara, rebuild your energy and give you more stamina during your sessions.

Regarding your torn cartilage, I am not sure about that. There is an extensive natural healing system here in Thailand, but only a doctor specializing in this could answer your question. My massage skills do not extend to expertise in the Thai herbal formulas - that's an entirely different course of study.

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jenna
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February 5, 2015 - 12:49 am
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Omigoodness! Looking back: That's hilarious! LoL!!! (I come from a family of Engineers, can ya tell? LOL)

Right-O! Noooo problem :D

The concise version it is! Thanks for the "mirror" feedback!   Jenna

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jenna
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February 7, 2015 - 9:45 am
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MODULE 2

I spent $60 (Canadian) on a huge, beautiful, lavendar coloured "puzzle mat" (like daycares have for children to play on). It is 3/4 inch thick, warm to lay on and comfy (however my floor is Canadian pine plank, not Thai tile :)  Tried to attach a photo of this to my profile.

At work in the clinic I am now concious to work in line with my body plus leanleanlean rather than push. The result is not feeling so worn out after.

I had a friend to treat upon my new thai mat. Since my knee with a torn cartilage is not yet adjusted to a full kneel, i tried the full kneel while having most body weight upon a solid "brick" sized piece of wood under my butt bones. However, a partialy deflated pilates ball (aprox 5 inches diameter) worked the best.

The Chi Machine: tried many tricks taught in video plus the bigger "hip toss" plus some varying tractions of the body, or a slight pressure on the legs caudally while rocking, but the rocking stopped at the horizontal level of the lower sternum.

I did not force the issue and switched over to fascial work on her very adhered fascial chest and upper back. The adhesions and fibrosis was like a band around her upper thorax. It released well.

After this we put her on the mat again and the rocking now visibly translated up into her armpits and she reported she felt rocking in the neck. The second Chi machine my knee did not hurt and i realized that i did not feel tired. Not an energy surge. But not tired. That is huge for me.

Hope this report was helpful. Until later, Thai massage friends! Laugh

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jenna
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February 7, 2015 - 9:08 pm
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Hi Shama, how are you?

I went in to register for the Continuing Ed portion to get started on my exam questions. Although you mentioned that the password for the course is not the one to use for the exam link, i failed to find a way to actually register myself with an exam password name to get into the program (it just gave the option to login for existing registrants).  i got a bit confused and could not enter to progress any further?Embarassed

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Shama
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February 8, 2015 - 12:43 am
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Great report, Jenna! 

I am glad you already figured out that leaning is easier on yourself than working with muscle power. That's a recurring theme in Thai Massage.

You are right, if someone is quite locked up in the upper body, you might have to do some loosening up there first before you get the Chi Machine to work as intended. As always, not every technique works on everyone. It's all about reading your client's body and using your intuition, observation and creativity to make things work.

Regarding the CE question login, you have to set up a new account, not use the "existing student" option. If you scroll down from the "Existing students" bar, you will see the "new students" registration bar.

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jenna
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February 10, 2015 - 3:01 am
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Module 3

practised this module in two settings:

1) Thai mat at home, first run thru so not so flowy, but went well. For that rocking stretch with me everting (i roll in their big toe and their pinky toe rolls up & out) the ankle in my lap i was surprised how little range there is relative to the inversion.

Question: in the rocking stretch where i press the toes down a few times, then rock press the toes up: i noticed that i push the toes up while the ankle is passively inverted (my client's feet passively rest inverted)  Is there a way to make this rocking stretch on a more neutral ankle?  Maybe i will play around with my "angles of lean" next time!

2) Massage table at work:

...with the table lowered almost to the ground i was quite comfortable kneeling on the end of the table because my client was a tiny, bird-like, elderly lady (who is tough as nails! LOL). I took her through all the techniques of this unit and there was more flow. She fell asleep and began to snore like a freight train,  so I tried waking her up with the Chi Machine. She was pretty spacey.

The position where I have my inside leg under and through her inside leg was rad!  So I used this on the rest of my clients for the day as a part of massage therapy techniques to treat adductors. Laugh Thanks and have a lovely day! Jenna

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Shama
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February 10, 2015 - 10:25 am
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Regarding your questions, I assume you are referring to the stretch which is annotated as "bending both feet down at the same time", and "bending both feet forward at the same time", correct?

The important thing here is that you don't press the toes down, but you press the entire foot down. And in the second part of this technique you don't bend the toes forward, but you push against the ball of the foot to get a stretch in the achilles tendon and the gastrocnemius. 

So actually this stretch has nothing to do with the toes at all. Just the opposite, if you press on the toes, you will lose the achilles tendon stretch and instead just get a toe stretch. That's not the effect you want. There is no bending or stretching of the toes in this move. It is an ankle and achilles tendon stretch.

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jenna
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February 10, 2015 - 10:30 pm
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Hey! Happy News in Module 3!

We figured out the misalignment with the "Push Mid-foot Down, Push Ball of Foot Up" mobilization!

I was not pressing toes formerly, but just trying to describe foot position by toe position in space, but the problem was resolved by

1) positioning the feet at the 1/3rd mark of my thighs (I am really tall with lanky limbs, gangly all over the place, so I think previously my person's feet where placed too far up alongside my upper legs)

2) to rock-stretch the lateral calf as i lean forward my elbows are a bit further out (forefoot slightly inverted.  to stretch the medial calf (forefoot slightly everted) my elbows close to my body, to stretch all calf in a neutral (ankle/foot neither inverted or everted) my elbows are "Half-way" in between the two previous!  Very comfortable, and since i rock forward three times I can access each!

Laugh

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February 10, 2015 - 11:23 pm
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I am glad you figured it out. Sometimes it just takes a little experimentation to get the position right. In the videos I can only show what works for me, but this can be different for other body sizes. There is no one way which works for every client-therapist combination. That's why it sometimes takes some creativity and some modification to make it work for you personally. Thai Massage is definitely not a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter system. Smile

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jenna
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February 15, 2015 - 4:39 am
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MODULE 4

Lots of intended and unintended conceptual learning this module ☺

8 CONCEPTS for feet quite helpful. In a practise session applied this. The order came out a little different, but all ranges of movement got covered! The patient was a survivor of brain cancer and brain surgery. She had reduced neuro function for some foot (voluntary) movements...but we applied the 8 concepts to see what blockages in the opposing muscles might be opposing the weaker muscles with weak nerve supply. We found some blockages and moved thru them!

Not locking elbows was another concept practised on a different person.

An unintentional concept arose. The principal of Metta, loving kindness. Instead of me using force to "bully" through hard muscles and fascial adhesions, i lean in and wait. With Metta applied, the tough tissues open like soft butter.

Also the past few days of clinical work on athletes bodies has resulted in me feeling energized afterwards, instead of drained.

Thanks! I will continue to practise flow! ☺

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Shama
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February 15, 2015 - 10:39 pm
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This sounds like you are totally on the right track - great to read this progress report!

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jenna
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February 20, 2015 - 9:20 pm
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Module 5

I love to knead tissues up and down the leg. The calf 'pull' works nice. Very happy to find a nice way to address the much-overlooked muscles of inner thigh!

No questions for this one. I am so happy Thai healing massage pays kind attention to lower body....so many spinal and neck issues dependant upon healthy hip alignment...which requires healthy leg muscles and happy feet!

I have found a Thai massage "mentor" in a town a few hours away (we go up there regularly to ski) who greatly appreciates you, Shama... so looking forward to meeting her next month and I will receive a massage so I understand what it feels like!

Smile

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February 21, 2015 - 2:02 am
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If you like hip alignment, there is some really useful material coming up shortly which you won't find anywhere else! Smile

Good that you found someone who is into Thai Massage as well. And it's nice to be appreciated, for my part. I put my heart and soul into all my courses, and it's a good feeling when I get positive feedback - thanks!

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jenna
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February 26, 2015 - 8:15 am
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Module 6

Hello!

Super appreciate the use of fore arms and leans in this module.  With regards to practise session....even though i think i am ergonomic, perhaps because i am tall, i feel weak in my core when rocking/leaning over to the side, but a nice regular rock and lean will come with time as i regain core strength, i am thinking? I want to press, but i think wiser to let my core strength increase naturally. When i lean, the person's body rocks more and rocks back. Does that make sense?

The advise to not use the elbow but rather the forearm on the chen line in which my forearm is parallel to the femur feels tricky at first because my elbow is pointy. So i am trying to focus on palpating the leg with the forearm.

I forgot to ask for feedback about feeling the difference btwn lean and push. Wink

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February 26, 2015 - 12:19 pm
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The feeling of working from your core will develop more and more, especially when you get to the point where you don't have to think about the techniques anymore or what comes next. And yes, strength will build up in your body where it is required the longer you practice the material. Your own body and your energy will develop along with your practice.

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