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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz Thai Back Massage Course Progress Notes
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Shama Kern
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January 24, 2020 - 1:52 am
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Having a few sizes of pillows handy for any potential modifications and adjustments is essential. There will always be some clients who need something a little bit different.

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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz
...the shores of beautiful Lake Superior
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January 27, 2020 - 1:19 am
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Module 12

In this module I continued with knee work on the lower and middle back,increasing my sensitivity, asking for feedback.  

I feel that my yoga practice is strengthening my balance.  This has been helpful in practicing heel rocking, exploring it on the lower back.  This all feels good!  My clients are liking it!!

While practicing the techniques for the upper back, I am getting a lot more experience in discerning how deep to lean in.  For the most part, my clients prefer broader surface vs thumbs and pointy elbows....and most prefer some sort of movement (circling, wiggling, rocking etc).  I felt smooth with transitioning between all of the trapezeus techniques.  My clients loved the elephant walking....and I was able to lean and reach to the sacrum, walking slowly with a rocking side to side motion.

All good ☺️

Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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January 27, 2020 - 3:04 pm
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Sounds like you are getting good at this quickly!

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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz
...the shores of beautiful Lake Superior
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January 28, 2020 - 1:03 am
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Module 13

For this module I will contrast 2 different practice sessions.  Client A is a thin, tall female.   Client B is a larger muscled, male.   

Elephant walking above the spine was significantly different with each client.  It was much easier to "walk" with my hands on Client B because of the increased size of the erector spinae muscles.  With client A, I  needed to be more conscientious of my hand placement.  

I tried circling with the heel of my hand with my hands upright and then also with my fingertips towards their heads.  On both clients it felt best with my hands upright, moving laterally, with my fingertips lifting when I approached the scapula and continued up to the base of the neck.  

With the rolling and wiggling techniques I needed to be more sensitive (and use less pressure) with Client A....though trigger points were easier to feel on her.  

I enjoyed the techniques where my arm was braced on my inner thigh.  This combination of using multiple body parts (in my perspective)  illustrates how Thai massage is very different than traditional table techniques.

Lastly, both my clients liked the arching the back technique.  Each were asking what body parts I was using - and we're surprised that I was pressing with my knee!  I found that I did not have to use much effort to get a significant effect for the clients.

Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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January 29, 2020 - 12:06 am
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That happened to me many times, that a client had no idea which body part I was using, or they guessed totally wrong. Smile

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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz
...the shores of beautiful Lake Superior
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February 1, 2020 - 11:06 pm
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Module 14

I practiced the side lying position both on the mat and on a massage table.  I found the techniques very useful for loosening up the rhomboids, trapezeus, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, deltoids, erector spinae etc.  I want to add in side lying position more!

I tried the backward bend with several people.  The smaller and shorter the person was - the easier it was to do.  I just took my time getting in and out of the position.

Thank you! 

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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz
...the shores of beautiful Lake Superior
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February 13, 2020 - 4:57 am
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Module 15

Lots of good back stretches in this module!  

I tried to do #2  on several people but was not able to.  I am not a tall or big person and my clients were all significantly taller and larger than me.....but I get the idea!

#3 worked well on several people that I practiced on.  I did support the knee with a cushion.  My clients enjoyed the pulling along their quadratus lumboreum and across the top of the iliac crest.

I was able to trace  the whole area from the lumbar area thru the glutes with my knee.

#6:.  I was again surprised by how much power by feet/ legs have and was reminded to go easy and slower.   I love the techniques that use my feet!  My clients said that it felt like I was kneading their erector spinae muscles....

I was able to do the first 2 cobra back bends...but needed to be conscious of being gentle and slow.

Lots of good techniques ☺️. 

Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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February 13, 2020 - 11:38 am
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The great equalizer - elbows, knees, and feet! Smile

Don't feel bad if you had a hard time with the #2 stretch. That's a bit tricky. Ideally you would practice this one on a light and flexible woman who is about your size. If someone is much shorter or much taller than you, this is more difficult to do. This is a fun stretch for the right client - especially for those yogi types. But it is by no means essential to have it in your repertoire.

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Jennifer Flament-Banowetz
...the shores of beautiful Lake Superior
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February 14, 2020 - 4:08 am
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Module 16

I was able to practice Back Bend #10 on all of my recent clients.  I have been practicing varying the amount of pressure my knees are exerting on their backs.  My clients feel a lot of relief from this one.

Regarding #11, I was not able to do this successfully.  My clients were too big. 

Again, like the last module - I loved adding in my feet to the back bend.  I was able to generate a rhythm of pressing with my feet, releasing, then moving a bit and pressing more etc.

The forward bends also went well.  It seems like the smaller and more physically active clients have more flexibility.   I practiced transitioning from a forward bend to a back bend and back and forth.  

Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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February 15, 2020 - 6:55 pm
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It's always more fun to practice Thai Massage on the yogi types - you can do everything on them, and they enjoy it. But...that's not what the majority of typical clients look like. On the other hand, I have learned a lot more from working on difficult clients than from working on yogis.

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