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Joanna’s Thai Massage Diary
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velvettsky
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November 30, 2013 - 2:57 am
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Module 1

I received my first Module and am very excited to start, i have been practicing some of the ergonomic positions, they feel a bit awkward right now but i cant wait to keep going.

Module 2

After watching the video i had to try this out on my husband who will be my willing partner for the course. The Chi machine worked very well for me and i got it on the first try. My husband really enjoyed and did experience the tingling after i stopped. He tried it on me and it took a while but he got it and i was able to experience how it felt, i too really enjoyed it a lot. i will practice this again tonight.

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Shama
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November 30, 2013 - 6:39 pm
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Welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum, Joanna!

There will be plenty of awkward feeling in the beginning of the course. That’s normal and to be expected. After you pass the midpoint of the course it will all feel much more easy and natural and, hopefully, graceful. However I am impressed that you got the Chi Machine to work right out of the starting gate. Most students struggle with that one initially. That must be a good omen! Smile

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velvettsky
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December 3, 2013 - 11:44 pm
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Module 3

I watched the video the first night  i got it and was a little afraid at how complicated some of the techniques were, so i put the video on my tablet the next day and sat the tablet beside me on the floor as i began my session. This worked out very well for me as i was able to follow along with you as the video played and do the techniques step by step as you did. I got the hang of it pretty well i think and was able to just listen to you and watch what i was doing as well. I did however over compensate for my small hands and light weight by maybe leaning too much as i hurt his foot at one point. his darn feet are so big lol and most of the time he says i’m not putting enough pressure on him.

I guess i’ll have to learn how to maximize my weight when needed and also to lighten up when needed. I only weigh 97 lbs and i am 5 feet tall, i know some techniques will be more of a challenge for me when my clients are 200+ lbs but you said it can be done so i’m excited to learn how.

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Shama
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December 4, 2013 - 2:04 pm
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5 foot tall and 97 pounds puts you in the category of a lot of female therapists here in Thailand. Clearly you will have to be very good at using your body weight. Of course every therapist should be good at working with body weight in order to preserve their health and improve the massage experience for the client. The difference is that larger therapists can get away with “cheating” and working with muscle power. You however have no choice but to do it the right way, with body weight only. That’s not a bad position to be in! Smile

And there will be some techniques that you won’t be able to do on 200+ lbs clients. Even if you could do them, it would be too much strain on your body. 

I am 5 feet 11 and weigh 155 pounds, and even I skip some techniques on 200+ lbs clients. The first rule is to preserve your own health and recognize your limits. You can do a great Thai Massage session even if you only use half of the techniques in this course.

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velvettsky
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December 5, 2013 - 11:09 pm
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Thanks Shama,  thats good to know that im not expected to all of the techniques. I watched the series of free videos and tried a few on my husband but couldn’t lift him that way even with my body weight, he is 172 lbs and 5’11”.

I was wondering, you said you are 155 lbs, are you a vegan? I know a lot yoga practitoners are ,as am I. You look so very healthy with such clear skin. My husband wants to get down to 165lbs but still struggles with the meat issue lol, he is mostly vegan .

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Shama
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December 6, 2013 - 1:14 am
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You guessed right – I am a vegan and have been totally vegetarian for the last 40 years. Smile

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velvettsky
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December 6, 2013 - 10:05 pm
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Module 4

I really liked the preview of all the moves and putting them in a conceptual sequence makes sense and was easier to remember.

I cut my thumb the other day slicing vegetables so doing the thumb circles on the foot was painful. I went through the moves only with my right thumb not really applying much pressure, but the other side i did use pressure.

I have noticed his feet are getting more flexible and he says his right foot hurts less, even though we are not doing very long sessions yet he is already benefitting from this Laugh

Both of my sons are running in a winter marathon tomorrow so i am going to practice the foot massage on them tonight to help loosen them up for the run.

it was a really great video,very helpful with the flow from one side to the other as well. 

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Shama
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December 7, 2013 - 12:23 am
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I would love to get millions of families to do massage work on each other. I think that it is a great relationship improvement tool. My wife and myself work on each other all the time. Your family is lucky to have a massage mom! Smile

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velvettsky
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December 11, 2013 - 10:39 am
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Module 5

l am happy to be trying new areas but I must say l had trouble with Some of the techniques in this one. I have a hard time finding a position that works for me where l can use my body weight .

I am having difficulty with the thumb roll up on the upper thigh, my hands get tired So I know I’m not using enough body weight but l can’t Seem to reach enough to get my weight behind me . also my hands feel too small to grab enough of the upper thigh , the lower leg and feet are ok and l feel comfortable doing that . 

I have the foot routine down and I will watch this one a few more times and See if I Can find positions that work for me.

 

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Shama
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December 11, 2013 - 11:44 pm
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I have a couple of observations. First from what I read on your bio your background is in Reiki and yoga. So it seems that your hands are not used to massage work. However this is something that will develop with practice. You will build up more strength in your hands over time, guaranteed!

Second you will find that if you play with your positions until you feel comfortable and focus on leaning in with body weight, and not working mostly with muscle strength, this will feel a lot easier. You are still in the beginning of the course, so many things are still a bit rough around the edges naturally. However many things which appear challenging in the beginning will become quite easy once you are further into the training.

As I mentioned earlier, here in Thailand there are thousands of small female Thai Massage therapist who have plenty of power. So you will be able to do it as well! Smile

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velvettsky
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December 14, 2013 - 10:10 am
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module 6

l laughed when I Saw the beginning of this video Since I watched it right after I wrote about module 5 . I was also relieved to see l had other options to using my thumbs . My husbands legs are big and very tight muscles .

The first time l tried this it felt very awkward and he Said not enough pressure On some points, Second time was better . I really liked the rocking Motion.

I had Some Issues with the one move of putting his foot in my groin, his legs are long and stiff in the

Hips and I have to stay close enough to be able to reach, so I just tucked his foot around me and tried to hold it in place as best as I could by holding his knee. He did not like the elephant walk he has tender calves I guess. With more practice my motions will get more smooth im sure as tonights practice went nicer than last nights.

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Shama
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December 14, 2013 - 5:44 pm
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Calves are often surprisingly tender, so this is one area where you have to watch how much pressure or weight you put into. Your husband is no exception in this regard. Long stiff and heavy legs are always challenging, but later you will learn more ways to work with forearms, knees, and feet which will make things a lot easier and more effective especially for small therapists.

Remember that big stretches are an optional component of Thai Massage. You can do a great job on the legs with hardly any stretches at all. You will see that more and more once you get to the later section of this course.

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velvettsky
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December 15, 2013 - 11:58 am
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module 7

I really enjoyed this video a lot, I feel my body weight working for me this time as I had my son  as my partner and he is better matched to my size.  I know I have to get used to larger bodies but it was nice to practice on a smaller frame to feel the difference. 

I really enjoyed the info on hip imbalances.  I think the hip therapy course you offer would be something I would like to take in the future. 

Tomorrow I will practice these stretches on my husband as well.

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Shama
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December 15, 2013 - 11:21 pm
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It is certainly easier to work on someone close to one’s own size, but it is the fate of most massage therapists to regularly encounter clients who are much larger, that is unless you yourself are quite big. Smile Here in Thailand this is even more extreme with all those tiny Thai women working on all those much bigger foreigners.

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velvettsky
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December 17, 2013 - 11:20 am
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module 8

I practiced this on one leg only as it was geting late, I started with the feet and then did the leg warm up and onto the stretches.  I was able to give him a good stretch using the first method you showed but the second method for smaller practitioners did work better although it may have been too much. He is a bit tight but not as bad as some I’ve seen.

One thing I was wondering , should we do the whole warm up sequence and stretch on one leg and then do the warm up and stretch on the other? Or warm up one leg then other and then start the stretch?  It would seem to me to warm up one leg and go right into stretching on that same leg as it is now warmed up but I’m not sure if that’s right.

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Shama
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December 18, 2013 - 1:28 am
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Actually both methods work. If the session is not a very long one (1 hour), or if you don’t do a lot of leg work in a session, then you can do a warmup for both legs and then move to stretching. However if you do a longer session (2 hours), or you really focus on the legs in a session, you might want to do the warmup on one leg and then follow it up with the stretches on that leg.

There is no hard and fast rule, it just depends on how the session evolves. Also if someone is already quite flexible, they might require less warmup before stretching than someone who is really tight and needs mostly warmup. On some people I don’t do much stretching at all if they are very heavy, very stiff or I feel that they benefit more from the muscle work than from the stretching.

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velvettsky
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December 20, 2013 - 10:48 am
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Ok thanks Shama, 

I practiced on my oldest son last night and I just used some of the moves to warmup, I was trying to get a little routine going  and wanted to concentrate on the flow. I am still trying to find postures that work for me. My son is 27 and is more flexible than I thought lol I had to use the method where I put my shoulder into his leg and use my whole body weight, he said I could have pushed more.  I still need to work on the flow of my movements as they are not very smooth yet. 

I will practice this over the holidays and hopefully I can come up with some postures that work for me. I am putting my videos on hold for the holidays so won’t be posting again for a couple weeks, 

Have a great holiday season Shama and every one else : )

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Shama
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December 21, 2013 - 2:08 am
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The smoothness and the flow are things that develop over time after you have practiced it quite a few times. In the beginning you are so much focused on getting the techniques right and remembering what to do and figuring out your ergonomics that it is quite difficult to feel the flow. That comes when your body is so used to the moves and you don’t have to think about the techniques anymore – then the smoothness and the flow are much easier to come by. 

See you in a couple of weeks! Smile

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velvettsky
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January 10, 2014 - 5:58 am
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module 9

I was ok doing some of the beginning stretches but the last one was very awkward. I was practicing on my youngest son who was fighting the stretch and squirming. I can tell I have been out of the groove for a few weeks.

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velvettsky
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January 10, 2014 - 8:45 am
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module 10

Well this video fixed my last issue with being able to reach, the modification for short practitioners worked great! 

This time I practiced on my husband and did module 9 and 10 back to back. The one hamstring stretch where I put his leg over my shoulder didn’t seem to give him much of a stretch though, should I move closer or further away from him? 

Both my husband and son really enjoyed the spinal twist move with the rocking. I’m jealous, lol…they looked so relaxed I wanted a massage too.

 

I am really looking forward to the next video of all the videos flowing together. 

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