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Jessica Tolliver's Back Massage Course
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JTolliver
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April 4, 2016 - 8:10 am
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Module 1

I was pleasantly surprised with the content.  I have been Thai Massage Therapy professionally for nearly two years and so many CEU classes talk about the what and not the why.  I appreciate the way the afflictions of the spine were described; paying particular attention to the distinction between kyphosis, lordosis, scoliosis and spinal twist.  I also enjoyed the multiple methods of assessment.  It really gives the therapist options to curtail their session to the specific client and not try to be “one size fits all.”

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Shama
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April 4, 2016 - 9:53 pm
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Hi Jessica, welcome to the Thai Back Massage course. I am happy that you are pleasantly surprised with the course so far. I tried very hard to make this course first class.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:

Certification Check List

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JTolliver
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April 8, 2016 - 2:38 am
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Module 2

I enjoyed the detailed breakdown of the spine.  What I liked most was the breakdown of the sacrum and coxis.  Other education I have received did not show the estimated breakdown of the fused vertebra, only that they were fused. I was also unaware that there were 5 nerves that ran through the sacrum; I will be doing some side research on that.  My favorite piece of trivia, if you will, is that there are 35 muscles attached to the sacrum.  One of my biggest eye openers about the scapula is that there are 16 muscles attached, now I will have the same impact when discussing the sacrum with my clients.

So far my biggest frustration with the course is the testing.  It took me an hour last time to get through the links to access the test which included an email to support.  Today I have spent 20 minutes looking for the link and have not yet found it.  I will put a shortcut on my desktop when I find it again but I might recommend a more prominent link on the web site.  This has been a frustrating issue thus far.

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JTolliver
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April 8, 2016 - 3:20 am
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Module 3

I did not learn as much from this module, not because the information was irrelevant, but because it was mostly information I already knew. 

One of the primary reasons I started Thai Massage was because of the use of the whole body.  Being limited to just your hands seemed very limiting.  My goals were to be therapeutic and I did not think that I could really help people with the limitations of my hands.

I did learn a bolstering technique I had not thought of.  When lying on the mat and a person cannot turn their head comfortably to the side, I used to offer a small pillow or towel to roll up so they could be more comfortable.  It had not occurred to me to elevate the torso, a technique I will incorporate immediately.

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April 8, 2016 - 4:24 pm
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Hmm, I wonder what the issue is with the testing. I assume you mean the link to the page where you log into the examprofessor testing software.

You can find this link in two places:

  • In the certification section of your course manual
  • In the certification tutorial. You can find this page in the certification drop down menu of the main navigation menu of our website

I made a little video which shows you how to get there. If you had any other problems which I am not aware of please let me know.

Click HERE to watch the video

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JTolliver
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April 16, 2016 - 4:14 am
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Module 4

 

Very detailed description of variable pressure and body mechanics.  I do not currently do a lot of cross body back stimulation so these techniques will be a nice addition to my “bag of tricks.”

I suppose what I most enjoyed about this video would be the explanation of the techniques “feeling good.”  I have several techniques I do that have no specific therapeutic value but I have countless feedback saying it feels good.

I think it is important for the therapist to self care while working and the use of audible breathing is something I often do to help my clients relax.  They just don’t realize I do it for both them and me.  🙂

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April 16, 2016 - 4:55 am
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Module 5

I appreciated the demonstration of traditional Thai moves  I learned traditional methods and have been “westernizing” them to be more agreeable to more clients. 

The sacral work intrigued me.  I enjoyed the description of the groves that continue from the spine onto the sacrum (I actually pulled up some images while watching the video to compare.) I have done full sacral rocking but never worked the grooves.  I am excited to try that and get some feedback.

I appreciated the alternative techniques.  I have problems with my hands swelling and cannot always make a comfortable fist.  It is nice to have the linear edge of the hand as an option.

The biggest thing I learned was the tapering off for client comfort.  No one has ever suggested slowing down as opposed to abrupt stop. It makes perfect sense now that my mind has been expanded by this idea.  I do not know why I didn’t think of it sooner.

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Shama
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April 16, 2016 - 11:04 am
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Actually my argument is that there is no such thing as a non-therapeutic massage technique. Relaxation by itself is very therapeutic. As far as I am concerned there is no separation or no greater or lesser value between relaxing and therapeutic massage. I think that not only should both types be represented in a session, but all techniques should feel relaxing enough to be enjoyable.

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April 16, 2016 - 10:04 pm
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Module 6

I haven’t had a lot of training on the sacrum so this module was a treat.  Rocking the sacrum is pretty common but working the edges seem to be as, if not more, effective. 

I especially like how the video emphasized that you have to be in tune with the energy flow.  Some things cannot be taught, you just have to feel it.  That flow is the difference between a good massage and a great one.

As far as the transition move goes, I am going to have to play with that a bit.  I have a weak knee and putting weight on it at certain angles is excruciatingly painful. I think I will have to do something that is somewhat less elegant like stand up straight legged in forward fold to cross.  I think I can manage that and not lose contact.

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Shama
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April 17, 2016 - 1:39 am
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Sure, you can do that. Anyway, we all have to live with our limitations and make adjustments accordingly. That’s just part of life. If something in Thai Massage is too difficult for whatever reason, modify it or skip it.

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April 19, 2016 - 11:27 pm
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Module 7

I watched this video before I worked on a client so I extended their session for free to practice the techniques.  I got a lot of great feedback on the how soothing the rocking was. 

The glute work I normally do is a little more intense. These techniques took longer but the client reported similar release in tension.  I worked the sacral/glute area for about 15 minutes incorporating as many of the techniques as I could remember using both my thumbs and forearms.  Lots of rocking, following the edges of the sacrum and I incorporated both side body and cross body techniques.

I am looking forward to the next module to incorporate the knees and feet.

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JTolliver
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April 20, 2016 - 12:01 am
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Module 8

I like the description of shifting weight.  I teach a workshop and I am always looking for better ways to communicate the breakdown of techniques.

Around 11:15 the sound cuts out for a couple of seconds.

I appreciated the tip of holding the toes up to isolate the heel.  I really never thought about it before.  I do it sometimes but not others.  I will start being more aware of this.

I really enjoyed watching the mini session at the end.  I liked seeing the transition between each technique in real time.

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JTolliver
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April 20, 2016 - 12:58 am
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Module 9

I like this more therapeutic approach to working with the muscles as opposed to more the more relaxing techniques.

I already incorporate a lot of these erector techniques in my practice.  I appreciated the detail to describe body mechanics in addition to the actual movements.

I also liked the idea of using breath to help with timing and energy flow.

This was my first introduction to forearm use on the cross body low back.  Interesting. I am going to have to play with that.

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Shama
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April 20, 2016 - 1:24 am
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I tried to replicate the issue with the sound cutting out, but for me the video plays fine without any cutting out. Did you try it just once or did you try to re-play this section a few times to see if it occurs every time?

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JTolliver
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April 20, 2016 - 1:32 am
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Module 10

Body mechanics is very important and I appreciate the videos spending time emphasizing this.

I also appreciate the thought of energy exchange.  So many therapists I know think using techniqes that allow them to disconnect are useful.  I prefer to be present when working with a client.

I would have liked more emphasis on the sen lines in the body.

I really like the forearm roll technique.  I wish I could get someone to do that on me!

The elbow rocking is nice also. One of my go-to moves for tight erectors.  The circle technique is interesting, however.  I have not used that one on the back before. I am excited to try it.

The fingertip wiggle move seems like a nice way to give some love after the deeper work done previously.

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JTolliver
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April 21, 2016 - 10:16 pm
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sound Module 8

It happened multiple times.  I heard it while watching, then a few minutes later I decided to tell you and went back until I could find the minute/second so you would know where to look.  It was only about 1-2 seconds of sound loss. 

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JTolliver
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April 21, 2016 - 10:54 pm
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Module 11

I liked the description of still using the body weight when doing knuckle rocking.  I have always done that with other arm movements but it never occurred to me for those small rocking movements.  It seems so obvious now that I have been exposed to the idea.

Raising the shoulder with the leg is totally new to me.  I normally use a bolster but this technique gets your body in a more ergonomically correct position.

Thank you for addressing the Thai Chop.  I have learned that but always applied it more like your technique though it didn’t always feel right.  The gentle pounding you do is very relaxing and a good alternative to the chop.

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Shama
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April 22, 2016 - 12:22 am
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The traditional Thai chop is a strange dinosaur. I could never figure out what the purpose of it is supposed to be – especially with the typical brief one-two whack which is mostly done here. What really gets me is that the Thai chop is always done at the end of a relaxing head massage right on the forehead – arrgh! Frown This is one example where “traditional” can be improved upon.

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JTolliver
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April 29, 2016 - 1:10 am
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Module 12

I like to use knee techniques as a thinking opportunity. When I have worked an area with either rocking or stretching, I use the gentle deep pressure of the knee to think about what move I am going to do next. 

On the heel rocking, I especially liked the demonstration of how to use the entire body.  I have a tendency to use only my legs and they subsequently get tired.  Using my whole body has made a difference in my stamina.

The rolling and circle techniques on the upper back are quite effective.  I appreciate how you addressed both light finger pressure and deeper elbow techniques.

I am curious if there are any Thai techniques to work the Infraspinatus or Teres Major? Or would that be covered in your shoulder course?

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JTolliver
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April 29, 2016 - 2:06 am
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Module 13

I always enjoy watching experienced therapists work. It is like watching a dance.

I wonder if a third bolster in front of the body (non pregnant) would give better support in side-lying.

the knee press on side lying was interesting.  I normally use side lying for pregnant women and shoulder work.  Adding these techniques will make the move to the side more applicable.

I appreciate how you detail variations for larger bodies.  Here in the west we see a lot of larger bodies.  🙂

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