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John Ferguson's Complete Thai Massage Course notes
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Yogi Pranava
Missouri, USA
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August 22, 2015 - 4:00 am
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This is Yogi Pranava, aka John Ferguson.

I just completed watching the first module for the second time. As part of my first yoga teacher training, I attended a Thai Yoga workshop so most of the information here was familiar to me, though some of the terminology was a bit different eg: body parts as tools. I found it helpful to have the written transcript of this intro. 

I tried all the body positions and found the to be very comfortable for the most part. I’m sure my regular yoga practice helps with that. the principles all make perfect sense to me as well. I particularly like the idea of synchronizing your movements to the breath. This is something that I emphasize in ALL of my classes.

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Shama
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August 22, 2015 - 2:45 pm
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Welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum! You have the perfect background to get the most out of this course. Many non-yogis initially struggle with the therapist positions  – that should not be an issue for you.

Yoga and Thai Massage or “Thai Yoga Massage” are a perfect combination. We have many yoga teachers here in the forum who added this training to their skills.

Also please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list:

Certification Check List  (hint: forum profile information and step 3 – display module number for easy reference)

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Yogi Pranava
Missouri, USA
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August 23, 2015 - 2:02 am
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Module 1

 

Ok. So the first post was for Module 1. I think I have all information updated in my profile. Just trying to get used to the format. Haven’t really done any of this type of online training before. Off to a slow start, but now going to get caught up. On to Module 2!

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Yogi Pranava
Missouri, USA
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August 24, 2015 - 11:03 pm
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Module 2

Watched Module 2 last night. Very good information about ergonomics. I worked some with my partner just trying different body positions to get the feel of what is good ergonomics and what feels awkward. Then we worked on the Chi Machine technique. She has had some experience with the actual machine some years ago at a place where she worked. She absolutely loved the technique! It took a little practice to get the entire body moving, (You make it look so easy and effortless), but once I started to get it, it started to feel more natural.  She says I’m going to have to practice this one some more, maybe several times a day between her massages.

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Shama
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August 24, 2015 - 11:20 pm
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If you practice the Chi Machine a few more times, you will look and feel as easy as I do! And that goes for all techniques. Smile

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Yogi Pranava
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August 27, 2015 - 4:24 am
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Module 3

I have watched the video for module 3  three times and begun to practice. There are a lot of techniques in this module and my partner has been very busy with her work, so I am going to try and get some more practice in before moving on to the next module. 

I have a question about the first move , the circling. It seems a little awkward to only go counterclockwise. Is there a reason why you wouldn’t go one direction and then switch at some point?

Other than that, the foot massage techniques seem to flow pretty naturally for me.

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Shama
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August 27, 2015 - 9:51 pm
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Actually there is nothing wrong with going either direction or both directions. However this is a technique which is already quite challenging for many course students because several things are happening at the same time. So I did not not want to make it even more challenging. You can certainly do it in both directions.

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Yogi Pranava
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September 2, 2015 - 9:15 am
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Module 4

Had some trouble logging in last night and got locked out. Think I finally have all that straightened out.

So, over the weekend, my partner and I went out of town to attend some workshops with Tao Porchon-Lynch, 97 year old Yoga teacher and activist. So I feel like I’m running behind schedule now.  I did manage to get in lots of practice on the foot massage techniques from Module 3 in our spare time, and also made it through Module 4 which seemed to pull it all together and reinforce my feelings that the energy flow and the feel of the movements are more important than the mechanics of the techniques. I am definitely feeling more comfortable with many of the moves while there are some( the circling one esp.) that still feel pretty awkward. I like starting off all of my practice sessions with the Chi Machine and my partner agrees it is a nice way to open up a session. Have watched Module 5 a couple of times today and we’re getting ready to practice some leg warm-ups now

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Shama
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September 4, 2015 - 1:04 am
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A 97 year old yoga teacher – wow! I would have liked to see that!

“The feel of the movements are more important than the mechanics of the techniques.” Definitely, that’s  the essence right there. Thai Massage is not about a mechanical sequence of techniques. Or at least good Thai Massage is much more than that.

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Yogi Pranava
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September 9, 2015 - 1:34 am
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Module 5

I see that I forgot to post on Module 5. have been practicing these leg warm-ups for a few days now. I feel very fortunate to have a LMT as a partner as she gives excellent feedback! Also, being someone who is on her feet all day, she really enjoys and benefits from these leg warm ups. Another point she emphasized that became very apparent in this lesson, and as you demonstrated,  is the importance of being mindful about placement of your hands, elbows, etc. to avoid getting too close to the genital area.  When working on the general public, especially in the US and in her line of work, this is critical.

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Shama
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September 9, 2015 - 8:03 pm
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Having an LMT as partner is definitely advantageous. My wife is a massage therapist as well and she has been very helpful in many ways within Thai Healing Massage Academy. Even our daughter sometimes helps with modeling.

By the way, here in Thailand getting close to the genitals is not such a big issue like in the US. Nobody here gets uptight about things like that. Obviously the therapists don’t touch the genitals, but if there is accidental contact, nobody gives it a second thought. 

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Yogi Pranava
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September 13, 2015 - 7:48 am
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Module 6

Have been practicing all the techniques including the leg warm ups with the forearm. these are giving me the most trouble so far. It is getting better with practice and making adjustments to my sitting positions, but it still seems awkward leaning forward onto the forearm.  I didn’t expect this.  This area is especially interesting to my partner. Having been a massage therapist for 15 years, her hands, wrists, fingers and so on are really giving her problems and she is always looking for ways to include these types of techniques into her traditional massage practice.  Continuing to practice and looking forward to adding the stretches.

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Shama
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September 13, 2015 - 12:54 pm
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Maybe you should recommend to your partner to take a look at my Hands Free Massage course. This can be a huge benefit for someone whose hands are starting to show signs of wearing out.

Hands Free Massage

It does require some time to develop the needed sensitivity in the forearms when working on the thigh. Try experimenting with using rolling movements or small circling movements with your forearm instead of linear movements and see how that feels to you and your partner.

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Yogi Pranava
Missouri, USA
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September 17, 2015 - 4:47 am
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Module 7

Thank you for the suggestion about the Hands Free course, we will definitely consider that after this one is finished.

Getting more at ease with the warm-ups and now started practicing the stretches. Very good information about evaluating the condition of the hips using the foot positions. As an experiment, when I had the students in one of my Yoga classes in Savasana, the corpse pose, I made an observation of each of their foot positions. Most everyone seems to have some imbalance one way or the other. I am going to repeat the observation after a class where we work on some hip opening asanas. I’m glad you gave an alternative for the butterfly triangle stretch. I was trying it on my partners daughter and she said it was painful, so the rocking worked out nicely in that situation. My partner particularly liked the right angle foot-hip stretches and I found them easy and comfortable as well.

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Shama
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September 17, 2015 - 4:01 pm
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It’s strange – the foot angle observation is such an obvious clue, but hardly any massage therapist is aware of it. There are all kinds of ways how you can get lots of clues just by looking at someone’s body, as long as you know what to look for.

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Yogi Pranava
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September 23, 2015 - 5:44 am
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Module 8

I’ve been practicing the leg stretches in this module for a few days now. They are very similar to some techniques I was already using on my partner to relieve some hip tension at the end of her working day. I really liked the information at the beginning of the lesson about evaluating the persons body condition prior to doing the massage and then deciding which techniques to use for maximum benefit for each individual. Also the concept of dividing the hip area into an eight piece “pie”. Over the weekend we participated in a Yoga Mala for the equinox, that’s 108 rounds of sun salutations. So we are both enjoying the leg warm ups and leg stretches to relieve some of the soreness!

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Shama
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September 24, 2015 - 1:45 am
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108 rounds of sun salutations – that’s quite a workout. I can imagine that you really need a good massage now!

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