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Jenni O'Brien's Complete Thai Massage course notes
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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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February 9, 2019 - 5:00 am
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Hello Shama & Friends,

I have been taking my time getting familiar with some of the different techniques in the first few modules, and am now focusing on completing the requirements for my certification- as it seemed a bit daunting at first.

I have watched the third module quite a few times, but found that reviewing with the transcripts has really helped me to lock down all the proper physical placements in my mind.

The 8 Ways to Move the Foot made it all so simple to retain. I think I was over-thinking it all. 

Fun Fact: My partner is my husband, who happens to HATE all things massage. He once "shooed" a woman offering a leg massage, while sunbathing on a beach in the Caribbean. (face palm)

I've practiced with him a few times, and the last time he fell asleep....so I'm calling that one a win. 

Bending the foot in seems to be the most difficult for me, as he did mention this one hurt a few times. Perhaps it was my angle?

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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February 9, 2019 - 5:16 am
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MODULE 4-

This module and the new content came much easier to me. Kneading the foot was simple enough and something I was familiar with. I really like the heel massage, both inner and outer. I enjoy doing it for someone else, and I also love having it done. I also really enjoyed the circular massage on the 4 main lines of energy on the top of the foot. Oddly enough, the top of my foot always is in need of extra care.

I'm sure the following modules wont be as much of a review, but in this instance I was very appreciative of that. It helped to see how they all would flow right into the additional techniques. 

I am concerned with not knowing the proper terminology for all the bones and muscles, and am contemplating learning them of my own volition- just so I can feel a bit more confident when speaking to clients. Thoughts?

Also, the Chi Machine really worked on my rigid sweetheart of a partner. He said he could feel a buzzing sensation in his feet and calves. I'm going to make a believer of him yet!! HA,HA

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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February 9, 2019 - 5:56 am
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MODULE 5-

I enjoyed learning these massage techniques for the legs. I am however, really struggling with the quad technique. I understand the mechanics of it, but my husband keeps yelping out in pain. I've watched and rewatched, trying to gauge the level of pressure that is being applied with our butterfly hands- and I know you're not pushing down, you're sinking down- but it's not a good feeling on the receiving end from what my husband says. 

The push/pull technique was my favorite! It came to me quite naturally, and my partner said it was quite relaxing. It also seemed to require less force on the thumb individually, which I appreciated.                   

I am coming from a yoga background, and am obviously going to need to strengthen my hands and wrists up a bit. 

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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February 9, 2019 - 8:48 pm
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Hi Jenni, welcome to our community and to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. There is one thing: I cannot find a certification registration from you. We need that for our records and to know what kind of certificate you want. Can you please send it in. You can find the link to the certification registration in the certification section of your course manual.

Also please take a minute and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

You are all set up in the forum. However some things got mixed up a bit, it seems. Your posts start with module 3. I don't see posts for module 1 and 2.

Also, you labeled this forum thread 'Complete Thai Massage Forum Module 3'. 'Module 3' is not the main thread, but just one of the modules. So I will change the title of your thread by eliminating the 'module 3'.

If you watch the video in our certification tutorial, you will be walked through the process step-by-step. It's half-way down on this page:

Certification Tutorial

The main thing is that you NEVER click on 'Add Topic', but only on 'Add Reply'.

Your husband is missing out on one of the great pleasures in life - a good massage. I hope you can convert him over to some degree. Smile

Regarding the painful reaction when you did the butterfly on his quads - some people have super sensitive and tight quads. I suggest you try this technique on someone else and see if you get a different reaction. If not, let me know, and we will try something else.

Regarding learning the anatomy, you really don't have to worry about this so much. Thai Massage is not an anatomy-based system, but it is based on an energy-line approach. There is nothing wrong with learning some anatomy, but you can do a perfectly good Thai Massage without knowing anatomy. Here in Thailand practically no therapist knows anything about anatomy. To find out why, you can read this article:

Do Thai Massage Therapists Need To Know Anatomy?

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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February 27, 2019 - 10:52 pm
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Hi Shama,

I think I made an error in that my username is slightly different than my profile name. I added my area code to the end of my name when registering. Is this something we can remedy? 

I will resubmit my Modules in Chronological Order later today. Sorry for the confusion!

Also, I feel I need some clarification on which Certification to select. I am a 200 RYT who intends to offer Thai Yoga Massage as a service at my studio. Should I select CE or the International Certification? Also, do I take the tests at the completion of my entire training or are there tests I should be taking during the duration of the course?

I have scheduled a standing appointment with one of my yoga students every Tuesday to practice with/on. I plan to still work on my husband as well, but it is nice to have someone who enjoys massage on the receiving end as well.

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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February 27, 2019 - 11:41 pm
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Also, I do realize that the testing is only for the CE certification. Sorry for all the mess- I'm new to this type of learning. 

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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February 28, 2019 - 12:18 am
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Your username doesn't have to be the same as your display name, since it is not visible to anyone, so you are fine. Just the visible names should be the same so that there is no confusion.

You don't need to re-submit the modules in order, just add the missing ones.

Regarding the certification, please read this article which will clear up this issue:

Facts About Thai Massage Certification And Licensing

If you have further questions about which type of certificate you should get, let me know and I will be happy to assist you. Smile

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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March 3, 2019 - 2:45 am
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MODULE 1

As a yoga teacher, I appreciate the idea of working on the floor vs. on a massage table. It makes sense that working on a firm yet soft mat/pad would allow you to utilize the whole body without worrying about balancing. As the therapist it is an exciting prospect to be able to use your feet, hands, elbows, shins, knees, etc. to affect change in the clients body.

The different positions in which the therapist will need to approach different techniques seems really simplistic, until you're actually trying to do it. In beginning my first sequence I realized that knowing exactly where to put your knees or legs does not come naturally- you really do have to think about it. "Are my knees half way up the shins or beneath the feet?" The therapists positioning matters greatly. 

In regards to working with the breath, I feel uniquely qualified. As a yogi in the US I am constantly trying to sneak more pranayama into my asana-based classes. Most students outside of a yoga studio setting are reluctant to incorporate breathwork- until they realize how great it makes them feel. Connecting your own body to your own breath can be a real challenge...connecting with another persons breath can be even more so, but it makes all the difference in the overall energy flow. 

Initially, I was very concerned about not knowing all the anatomical terms for the body parts I would be working on. However I realized I'm already guiding my students through complete yoga classes without referring to anatomical terms for the full hour. I trust the process Shama has put together for us, and I'm excited to delve deeper.

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Jenni O'Brien
Tacoma WA
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March 3, 2019 - 3:33 am
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MODULE 2

The clarification of good vs bad ergonomics was helpful to review. I do feel like I have a pretty good handle on the positioning of my body when it comes to how to apply pressure. The "chi machine" technique is wonderful. I really like starting my "session" with this technique. It's a great way to get the client used to being touched and manipulated. Also, I think being in the continuous state of motion for 1-2 minutes gives the client time to really relax into the pose. After doing this technique with my husband he did comment that his legs felt kind of warm and buzzy. When I was trying to do this technique on a client of mine there was another person in the room with us who was being a bit distracting, and I realized it was hard to find the rhythm of the motion and center on my breath. The "chi" was not flowing as well.

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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March 4, 2019 - 3:15 am
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You clearly have a big advantage with your yoga background when it comes to Thai Massage. We have a large group of yoga teachers in our community and for them, working on the floor, the different positions, and the idea of breathing come much more naturally.

I am glad to hear that you are looking forward to using all those different bodyparts for working. This is much more interesting and flexible for you, it saves your hands, and gives you more power with less effort - can't beat that! Smile

You are right, with the positioning 'the devil is in the details'. The good news is that after a while this will become so natural for you that it will feel as easy as it looks like in the video. But that will take a while to get to that point.

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