Remember that the advanced stretching techniques are important to know, but you can do Thai Massage quite easily without them. Not everyone will be able to handle them. That's why it is essential to know how to do a session without advanced stretches as well as with them so that you can accommodate both ends of the client spectrum.
Gentle stretches, rolling, squeezing, rocking, leaning, circling (you will learn more about this throughout the course) can be combined into a Thai Massage session which works on people who cannot handle or don't like strong stretches, i.e. the elderly, the pregnant, the very pain sensitive, post-operative clients, etc.
Module 14 -
I'm glad you reviewed the transitions as since some of these techniques are completed new - I definitely have to plan ahead where my hands, knees/feet etc have to go from one move to the next -
The rocking you show is something I do on nearly every client - not only does it calm them down its a great way to assess where they may have restrictions for movement - hip, pelvis, ribs, T-Spine, etc. I will regularly rock from feet to shoulders using the my hands on the side for the client to avoid any genitalia issue - however will do the rocking on the hip bones for 2 reasons - to assess if there is any pelvic asymmetry/ies and to calm them down after deeper stretching - its a great way to settle back into the parasympathetic nervous system.
Oh my goodness! This module was so relaxing to do for my self and the clients really enjoyed it; One was super ticklish with the thumb in the ribs with breathing - so modified a bit with the side of my hand to broaden the pressure vs just the thumb.
It was a great way to follow the breath with my hands on the ribs as well for breath work.
The woman I worked on was so impressed with how relaxed she felt with the sternum and clavicle circles. She had never had her chest worked on before and stated shed didn't realized how much tension she carried on the front of her chest / neck vs her shoulders - she felt so much better and was really impressed with how simple and non-invasive chest work can be.
I had fun not this working on both the floor mat and my table - for me I don't like the foot in the armpit move - maybe my lever system/being tall just doesn't work for this - I tried to roll my foot over more as well on the move to get more of the small digit side of my foot - but I didn't enjoy it and neither did my clients that I practiced on - one just didn't feel that it was effective. However the rest of the shoulder work was really comfortable with positioning for myself and the clients and was an easy transition from floor mat to my table work. I am moe an more amazed at how this can carry over to so many other massage style and disciplines.
The hand over head press was a winner for everyone too and by trying differing pressures with the opposite hand was able to get varying stretches across the chest/pec region and into the lats/ribs a bit more too.
These techniques are very similar to what I already do (thumb rolling), however I did like learning about the Sen Lines and rolling the arm to get all the lines/regions. The Four finger traction stretch was very well received - like the chest in a prior post - even when I get bodywork done - there is not always enough time spent of the hands/wrist -amzing how relaxing it is.
I did find that the size of the arm depended on how much I could roll the skin for the elephant walking and also how much pressure I could apply - so definitely had to "feel" my way versus just doing a technique.
So I'm slowly catching up with the practice portion of these videos.
I personally like the leg triangle with shoulder rolls - however my clients really are not that flexible yet - HA - so they let me practice the postioning but not with the shoulder roll/spinal twisting as it was too much for them.
The transitions were easy to do, however the figure 8 move just feels awkward for me - I need to practice this one more, but it was not comfortable for me and my back as I felt like I was lifting too much with my back to make this move happen. Upon watching the video again - I may have been lifting with my arms. So will practice again and let you know.
Thank you and hope you're well!
You have definitely been lifting with your arms instead of with your body weight! This technique does require some strength, but not so much that your back is hurting. Make sure to keep your back as straight as possible and pull the shoulders with your entire body, not just with your arms.
I wasn't quite sure what to say you this since it was a summary of all the moves. But I have to say I had already forgotten a few moves when watching your demonstration and am thankful you have made downloading the videos available for review.
I am really liking how Thai carries over to so many disciplines - I use in my physical therapy clinic now (more table based than floor due to time restraints and there is no floor area to set up anyway!) - But what I am finding most helpful is how much faster clients relax into the session for both my personal clients as well as in the therapy clinic - everyone responds so positively to what I have learned so far.
Thank you - we are finishing our Thanksgiving weekend here - so wishing you well!
So I downloaded all of the Section 3 Modules (20- 28) and have been practicing on my Table, however, I didn't want to reply until I had a chance to get on the floor and try the more traditional style.
So here is what I got feedback on for Mod 20:
I have an uneven roll from the Left Arm and Right Arm when working on the feet. I'm Left dominant but for seam reason working on the feet, this was my more awkward / non-rhythmic side. Also I tended to be more heavy handed on the Right as well - nobody stated it was painful, they just noticed more pressure when I used my R arm and I was less rhythmic with my Left.
I found myself being much more at ease on the floor and not so worried about following along with the video as I have in the past too - Probably as I have watched them 3 times so it was more about practice then initial learning.
Using pillows on the floor is more work than my adjustable table for sure! 🙂
The positioning of the clients leg for this one was tough for one of my clients as he is SO NOT FLEXIBLE! So I had to bend his knee in order to get the hip to internal rotate enough for the toes to be in the "down" position. It was still comfortable enough and I found that it allowed me to actually roll through the different lines just by internal and externally rotating his leg with knee bent and was much more comfortable for him too.
Most of my clients are not flexible to get into the full 45 degree angle either - AND most of their hips raised up with the "figure 4"/Triangle pose as well.
I didn't like the knee work on this either. I definitely need more practice for this to become part of my regular work. I much prefer my hands and arms.
I really enjoyed the progression of the knee stretches on this module.
I liked how easy the straight leg stretch was while sitting on the sacrum was for me, but don't see this as a regular option for my clients, but like that its part of the "took kit" I now have and is a variation for more flexible people.
Here again one of my clients that is NOT flexible felt the stretch in his T-spine without the support during the 90 degree knee flexed stretch. And it was quite effective without much work for me as well.
I was amazed to see how quickly my clients gained range of motion (increased knee flexion) with these progressions as well. I like how my knee also blocks the clients knee from over rotation/twisting. I can usually compensate for this on the table by internally rotating the hip so there is less torsion on the knee but using my knees I could sense if there was too much twsiting/torsion by watching if the buttock lifted or increase tightness/guarding in the back.
And Everyone LOVED the Double heel to buttock stretch - so slow and easy.
This was just as "easy" to do on the floor as the table; I didn't have an issues with the rocking or working up and down of the sacrum.
My issue is that I got cramps in my legs when doing the the knee work in the buttocks - this I have NOT done on my table for caution of falling!!! Maybe I'm not used to that kind of stability with my adductors but I got the worse charlie horse in my groin while doing the knee work on this! LOL
More water I guess!
The rocking with the glute work - nearly everyone stated they almost fell asleep even with the percussion of fists and hands.
The transitions from side to side are getting better and I'm not bumping my clients as much.
I know from personal experience that it feels really irritating if the pressure between right and left hand is unequal. I have seen with many students that they are not aware of this, but clients do feel it. So this is something that applies to many Thai Massage techniques. It is important to develop the ability to work with both hands in an identical way regarding pressure application.
The cramping in the legs during knee work is something I have never heard before, but I can imagine that this is a terrible feeling for you. I have personally experienced cramping in my toes sometimes when sitting on them in a certain way, so I know how much this can throw sand in your gears, especially when working on someone with Thai Massage.
These are some of the issues that can occur with physical bodies - they are not perfect mechanisms and somehow we have to adapt. Sometimes just regular practice of something will resolve this, and I hope that you will figure out a way.
I think the unevenness of pressure had to do with my leg/body position while working on the feet as the more I analyze the situation, I was facing a different direction while facing the TV for the videos - however, I also agree that when pressure isn't even is is very distracting and frustrating even for me as a practitioner. I will be more cognizant of that.
Thank you for the variations of the hand placements and alternative positions for the hands and thumbs. Although I have quite flexible wrists, the variations were much for comfortable for my smaller framed clients and allowed for me to be more relaxed as well. I still like the traditional pressure for my larger clients.
I didn't find that I had any issue with the rocking and maintaining the rhythms of the differing hands placements other than clothing getting moved around. The rhythmic work really relaxed the clients too- especially after practicing the deeper hip stretches in earlier modules and was a great way tot get back in touch with the client through breath work.
It was nice to get the blow work in for deeper work and this too was very relaxing for me both on the floor and the table with the gently rocking of my body and the rolling of the forearms.
I find that I normally take a wider stance when working on the table for deeper work on the opposite side of the body and its very easy to just lean over the body vs keeping that 45 degree. Sitting was no different and its much easier to keep the rocking and rhythm when knees are wide and I'm back on my heels vs full body weigh through my arms.
I also use my upper body/hip for getting deeper pressure on the traps while working on the table so using the inside of my thigh and knee was a great way to get the pressure without straining and I felt I was able to still keep a rocking/rolling motion without "forcing" the tissue.