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Jeremy Cowin's Complete Thai Massage Course Notes
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Jeremy Cowin
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December 21, 2020 - 8:54 pm
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MODULE 26

I loved doing this with the arm drape dover my leg and everyone commented on how comfortable it was.  I liked how easy it was to just lean - no pressure on my body at all and being able to get to all the lines was nice with little body positioning changes.

I did to modified stance since I'm so tall.

The thumb work was nice as well - everyone liked that and felt it was an easy application for me.

For positioning: working with my clients with various pillows the find the right combo was a good experience too.  I typically just have a prone face cushion.  But the pillow positioning did make a difference for one gentleman who didn't disclose he had a neck issue until AFTER we were done!  That's always nice! I also liked that the use of pillows under the chest and hips if needed - opened up the neck more for the trap work and neck work even more than the prone face cushion I typically use.

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Shama Kern
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December 22, 2020 - 12:30 am
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I know those clients who tell you AFTER the session what was not right for them. AAARGH! Luckily module 35 will give you the roadmap for informing clients BEFORE the session what to expect, how to react, and how to communicate.

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Jeremy Cowin
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January 5, 2021 - 9:50 pm
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MODULE 27

This was a nice run.  Positioning is getting easier and more fluid as I change my positions and add the next layer of modules.

The Scapula release is a favorite for almost everyone.  One gentleman stated it was "just an odd feeling" but did feel release in back/shoulders. The positioning for me at the 45 degree was very comfortable as well for me.

I really liked the shoulder stretch as well - and the ability to change the intensity with the clients arm up or lower on the leg - had to fan out a bit for some due to shoulder restrictions.  The 1-2-3-2-1 on the ribs really made the difference as well to avoid a spinal rotation and feedback was that it was very comfortable.

But then going into the upper body spinal twist was easy enough as well and then into the cobra - the differing positions were well received as I got to practice the easy and the intense versions and everyone actually liked the progression with only 1 person not able to go very intense but feel this technique was very calming to his back as well.

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Shama Kern
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January 5, 2021 - 11:42 pm
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You must be working on some rather flexible people if they handle all the cobras. Or, maybe you are doing the strongest version in a gentle way.

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Jeremy Cowin
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January 12, 2021 - 8:17 pm
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REPLY TO MODULE 27 - I have 1 very flexible client and I also was going very gently on the stiff/tight "not so flexible" clients.  I like to try differing moves/stretches with my clients that are not very flexible as it continues to teach me tissue and joint end feels as everyone is different and is a great way to reinforce the sensitivity of touch and how I can "see" the body though my hands and movements.

 

MODULE 28

This was a great review.  I actually tried to do a full Thai Massage session without watching the videos to see what I could remember and what would come to me as I went along.  In a nut shell: As I was going along - I forgot a few techniques that I wanted to try, but then remembered NOT to go back, but just keep moving forward and to NOT do it on the other side so that there was consistency in the treatment on both sides;  the session lasted 53 minutes which was good for my first full Thai session - and I mean that because I did not incorporate other types of stretching or fascial work I do.  I then went back to watch the Module summary and I could have even done more if I had remembered - however, as you have stated, we don't have to do ALL the moves all the time - its good to have the variety and incorporate differing moves instead of just having 1 standard routine - although I have a few favorites I tend to lean towards! 🙂

Thank you Shama!

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January 12, 2021 - 8:30 pm
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Congratulations to your first stand-alone Thai Massage session. Your approach was exactly right. Just do what you remember and don't worry about the rest. With repeated practice you will remember more and more each time, and at some point the 53 minutes will turn into 90 minutes or 2 hours. At some point you will have the opposite problem that you have to eliminate techniques from a session in order to not let it go on for too long. Smile

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Jeremy Cowin
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March 23, 2021 - 1:30 am
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MODULE 29

Its been a while since writing as I was completing massage school here in CA.  It was quite busy here at the end.

I have to say that the 1/2 sidling is both a favorite on the floor and on the table.  It's easy access and more comfortable for me on:-) the table actually. 

I do NOT like the sitting on the inner thigh! HA!  Its not in my wheel house - even off to the side of my thigh for any comfort for myself or my clients as suggested it just wasn't comfortable for me.  I think I'll leave this one out! 🙂

I like how the side lying position does open up the top hip for more specific hip/glute work with my hands and forearms.

I havne't done the inner thigh stretch on the floor but love this on the table - I use my knee that is up as leverage and it helps support my arms so I don't have to strain and do all the lifting with just my arms!

Hope alls well!

JC

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Shama Kern
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March 23, 2021 - 12:13 pm
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No problem if you aren't comfortable with the sitting technique. Smile

You will find that the upcoming sessions in the side position will be very useful for shoulder work both on the mat and on the table.

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Jeremy Cowin
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March 26, 2021 - 1:02 am
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MODULE 30

I like the sidling series for both myself and clients like it too.  I feel they actually are more relaxed - especially with the pillow under the knees for support. And I will also add a pillow under the arm and chest depending on their size.  I feel that it helps with relaxing the client more and it a great way to introduce tough to a new client.  

The Elephant walking is just a fantastic way to introduce my touch as well for someone who is new to any body work as well.  Sometimes being prone or supine can be "too open" for some.  And I REALLY like doing compression work to get a sense of a person body.  For these techniques I practiced on my staff during their breaks and the feedback was: The walking made me feel relaxed and comfortable; the pressure was just right and you varied it to my body; One critique was I went too fast with the first shoulder pull and that was because I didn't have my base of support fully set - so the move was rushed as I fumbled to get my knees under me. 

Once I got my self more centered - the leg lift and knee in back stretch was really nice to do.  I found that my body rocked more and the participants relaxed more with the body rocking as I varied the knee position on the gluten and back. I find that doing the knee in the back is much easier on the floor than on a table - so just using my hands if best for the table.

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Shama Kern
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March 26, 2021 - 12:51 pm
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I am curious, where do you mostly fit the Thai Massage in - in your massage work or in your physical therapy work or as separate Thai Massage sessions? What's the best fit for you, or do you use it in everything? Do you use certain elements of Thai Massage mostly, or do you use the entire system?

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Jeremy Cowin
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March 26, 2021 - 9:23 pm
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Shama - its more of an evolutionary process really. I started out just doing fascial stretching and since taking this course I find that I enjoy the Thai aspect just as much if not more.  I also am finding that my clients get to a relaxed state much faster with Thai Massage as well - which is great as the fascial work needs the client in the para-sympathetic state and Thai is great for that. I mainly have just been practicing the individual module concepts but slow integration into my stretching.  I practice on my staff in the PT clinic but don't incorporate much as the treatment plans are directed by the PT's and they don't always want stretching, Thai Massage, etc - so I do when I can and when they approve.

My long term goal however is to have Thai Massage, the fascial stretching and other services as adjunct cash based services in our PT clinics as we recover and reopen from Covid.  

I am also finding that doing the Thai Massage you teach is best for me when I can do or modify on a treatment table.  I do enjoy working on the floors however, doe to an old broke toe injury - I find that I can't extend my one toe for long periods without pain and some of the toe bracing just hurts - so standing and finding modifications with my hands and knees with clients on the table has been fun too. 

I like combining my massage, stretching and Thai into my sessions.  Case in point - last night I worked on a client that has type A personality - constantly talks throughout the session, and I did the side lying moves of Module 29, 30 and 31 on her and she was OUT!!!  I was then able to do the stretching and better assess and treat her chronic hip issue and she was amazed at how much better she felt and I was to in that she was so relaxed and her body was that much more receptive to the fascial work  because she was calm and relaxed.  So for me Thai is really adding a new dimension to my body work.  

I am trying to apply what "works" best vs an all or nothing approach from fascial stretching, traditional massage and Thai Massage because I find that there are benefits and some limitations to specific conditions in each discipline and or body type/restrictions.  

But I am curious to do a FULL Thai Massage once I complete the course on the floor so personally can "feel" the process and learn the transitions so I am proficient. However, I feel I will be incorporating multiple disciplines vs just an entire system of an individual system.  

Hope this answers your questions?  

In Health, 

JC

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Shama Kern
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March 27, 2021 - 3:09 am
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It sure does answer my question. Thanks a lot for this in-depth reply. I love knowing how people apply the Thai Massage material in their practice.

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Jeremy Cowin
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March 28, 2021 - 10:21 pm
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MODULE 31

OH how I love the shoulder circling/circumduction/rocking.  This is such a great way to start a sidelying session as I find I get a good sensation of what the rest of the body will be like and if there are stresses/tension held in the shoulders.  I think its a great way to earn trust with a client and have them get a sense of my hands and my approach / energy as well.  I do breath cuing with this as well.  

The arm above head/ rotating shoulder with varying positions and on the traps was a new position for me and I do like it.  I felt that keeping the elbow bent kept the client relax more too, but can also get the arm extended for a deeper stretch if they can tolerate it and working the front and side parts of the neck / scalenes, upper pecs and traps with my palms was nice as the neck was open enough.  The elbow on the knee was much more gentler than anticipated and clients stated they felt the pressure but no pain. 

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Shama Kern
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March 29, 2021 - 12:00 am
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I always love reading your posts. They are so graphic that I can almost see you working. This material is clearly in good hands with you!

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Jeremy Cowin
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April 1, 2021 - 3:38 am
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MODULE 32

So who doesn't like the scapula work?  I love getting this done and doing it on clients - its also great way to assess middle and upper trap/rhomboid areas for postural compensations.  I was working on a gentleman last night and did shoulder work at the end of the session and with the scap work he was so relaxed he didn't want me to stop.  Always a good compliment when a technique gets the "don't stop" comment!!!! 🙂

I liked how you positioned your hands for leaning down the lats/side torso with the arm overhead.  It opens the space and keeps my hands positioned off to the side without having to curl my fingers to avoid contact with breasts.  

And incorporating shoulder circumduction with the arm traction always feels nice too. The "friction" on the shoulder is nice too - I do that on the knees a lot but need to remember to do it on the shoulder more. Ending with the good shoulder pull I love it for myself when done and with my fascial work I rarely pull hard - just enough to see the head move and feel the tissue tension under my hands - but know that this can be a good release for most with either light or deep pulling.  

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Shama Kern
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April 1, 2021 - 2:09 pm
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I am glad to like the scapula work. I often get comments along the line of "I never even heard of this'. Smile

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Jeremy Cowin
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April 9, 2021 - 12:15 am
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MODULE 33

This seated series was nice to do. I think everyones favorite is the palm squeeze on the back of the neck.

I'm not sure what it is, but the 1/2 and 1/4 kneeling with my knee in the clients back just feels awkward for me.  It surprisingly wasn't my toe - its more of trying to find the right stance and keeping the other knee down for balance and widening my did help but still fees awkward.  

The sawing was nice and the alternating one was the most well received.

The feet on the back with the arm "pull" was interesting too - had to find the right foot placement on my 2 staff that were differing bod sizes but they both had the flexibility for this.  And we did play with the seated posture a bit with both a more forward lean and upright and with an arched back just for me to get a sense of what the body felt like so I could make sure I kept the body more forward and under my feet I could feel the muscles on the side of the spine actually relax more and there was more extension with the proper positioning.

The spinal twist I have done in a seated position and with me seated or on the table in a 1/2 stance - so the full  standing was new - being so tall - I prefer my method but do want to practice this more as I think in the standing position I may be able to keep the spine "taller" with gentle lifting with the rotation - so will play with this one a bit.

And when I look my initial massage course back in 1989 - Yes I'm that old LOL - I remember the instructors DRILLED into us the importance of ALWAYS maintaining contact at all times.  I have appreciated that you have continued to state this over this course as I have had a lot of bodywork done and when there is a break in contact - its distracting. So thank you for that constant reminder.  

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April 9, 2021 - 12:51 am
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I have had lots of Thai Massages where the therapist broke contact all the time, and I always found it irritating. So I made sure that I was teaching not to do that. I have learned a lot from getting bad Thai Massage sessions, lol. I quickly figured out what NOT to do!

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Jeremy Cowin
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April 14, 2021 - 8:59 pm
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MODULE 34

OH my!  Everyone is loving the traction for the arms and back.  I thought for sure it would be a huge effort on my part and my neck - but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was with just a simple weight shift. I also crossed my arms over the elbows to keep them in and gave me a bit more leverage - but this a win win in my book.  A bit tricky on the table but doable.

Again I practiced this module on my staff.  The back stretch was also a win win for those that were flexible enough.  The clients body weight was a good counter balance and again this was easy to perform.

I found the side neck series that instead of having the arm hang completely over my leg, especially for the shorter staff, that having them fold their elbow was more comfortable for them to rest their head for the neck / trap work - they seemed more relaxed this way and reported less "pinching" in the shoulder. And with my body rocking I could feel the tissue responding to the pressure as well.

The Shoulder stretch was a new technique for me.  I had to perform several times on my staff as for some reason the stretch fell different on the Left and Right sides.  Sometimes it was my elbow and sometimes the trap muscle was more restricted / dense so had to play a bit with placement and tissue feel to get the right / correct position.  I really like this one too as it hold the shoulder down for a good side stretch in the arm pit region and lats - where we all can get so tight with more and more sitting!

Thank you Shama!

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Shama Kern
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April 15, 2021 - 1:33 am
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I can see that you are making it your own by modifying it so that it works best for you and your clients. That's what it's all about! Smile

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