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Julia Quirk- Complete Thai massage course notes
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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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October 30, 2015 - 3:49 pm
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Module 2- Chi Machine.

I watched the video twice before attempting the chi machine on my partner. He is quite heavy (around 85kgs). The first attempt worked well enough, his whole body was moving. However on my second attempt I moved him a bit more vigorously with my hips and he reported to feel more from that movement and felt more enjoyable. 

I think with more practice it will come along well. I did find that i became a little hot and my heart rate rose when doing it. I'm not sure if I was doing the technique wrong or if I just need to practice more to find my rhythm!

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Shama
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October 31, 2015 - 10:05 am
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Hi Julia, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and to our forum. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list just to make sure all bases are covered. Smile

Certification Check List

I am curious what happened with module 1? You started posting about module 2...

I read your profile and you have an excellent background for doing Thai Massage. Nursing, yoga, and mindfulness are a great place to start from!

If you are getting hot and your heart rate rises when doing the Chi Machine, then you are working too much with muscle effort instead of a flowing whole-body movement. When moving your hips from side to side, imagine that they are filled with water and you are trying to slosh it to the right and to the left inside your hips so that the water splashes against the sides of your hips from the inside.

If you practice this technique more, you will find a rhythm which allows you to work with less effort. However there is no doubt that if you do this on someone who is much heavier than you, it is more challenging than if you work on a lighter person. Keep the time under a minute or even under half a minute on heavy persons to make it easier on you.

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 1, 2015 - 10:17 pm
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Hi Shama,

thanks for your assistance. I completely forgot to do a module 1! Sorry I will add it on below, I was getting to far ahead of myself.

I have had a look at the certification check list and I think I have it all covered thank you.

I practiced the chi machine today with much better success.

Thank you for your help

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 1, 2015 - 10:46 pm
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Module 1- Introduction

As I have no massage experience the idea of thai massage appeals to me on many levels. Working on the floor and using my body weight to work with the client makes sense. I have a friend who is a 'western style' massage therapist and she has developed many shoulder problems and back pain. I understand that obviously one needs to have correct ergonomics when doing any kind of massage, but thai massage has an awareness about it right from the beginning. 

 

As a meditator i appreciate that thai massage is about the masseur utilising breathing techniques, it seems to benefit both the masseur and the client.

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 1, 2015 - 11:07 pm
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Module 3- foot massage

I have watched the video several times and began to practice today. I followed along with the video at first and then switched it off to see how I went by myself. Overall I think it went well. 

I think I could sense when my partner was enjoying certain parts of the massage the most. He seemed to really relax and transmit a sense of calm.

My thumb grip was a little awkward at times especially on the lowest part of the foot when moving up and down the foot.

I asked my partner how the feeling of pushing down on his feet were ( 11minutes 50 into the video) and he said that I should just push down until I feel resistance and not  go any further with my body weight. That is what felt comfortable for him.

Areas I need to work on are the circling motion, overall flow of my body, depth of moves (pushing the feet downwards), and ergonomics. Consistent practice should help me with this. 

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Shama
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November 2, 2015 - 1:53 am
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In some respects having no massage background can be an advantage since you won't have to unlearn anything. Many massage therapists have developed the habit of working with muscle power instead of with body weight. Working on a table makes it more difficult to use your body in the most effective way. So you are starting without any bad habits. And, if you follow the program, you won't develop any shoulder or back pain either.

By the way, the circling technique for the feet is one of the most difficult ones since it combines several moves. It takes longer to learn than most other techniques. Anyway, you don't have to do everything right the first time around. Nobody does. It will all come with time and practice.

By the way, you might notice that I changed your forum display name from Julia.Q to your full name so that your name is identical on your certification registration, the forum title and the forum display name. 

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Julia Quirk
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November 19, 2015 - 8:11 pm
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Module 4- foot massage

This module provided some relief because it explained that we do not need to memorise all the techniques in a mechanical way and perform the massage to a specific sequence. If you just think about the way the foot moves you can go from there. 

My partner enjoyed the circular technique on the inner and outer parts of the foot. I focused on the quality of touch and energy which was also quite relaxing for myself. I find that I am becoming better with my ergonomics and making sure that I am not straining my back in any way.

The videos also emphasise using your whole body which I am trying to be much more conscious of.

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Shama
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November 19, 2015 - 10:30 pm
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Here is my mantra: All the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

You will find more such memory joggers like the '8 ways to move the foot' in later modules.

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Julia Quirk
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November 20, 2015 - 4:29 pm
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That's a nice mantra to go by!

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 20, 2015 - 4:45 pm
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Module 5- Leg warmup

The thigh and calf are quite sensitive, I initially put too much pressure on the thigh when doing the butterfly technique and also squeezed to hard when rolling the calf. My partner goes to the gym regularly  so has quite tight and sore muscles a lot of the time. It will be interesting to do the technique on someone else to assess the amount of pressure I am applying.

I need to practice the push pull method on the thigh more as I was a bit uncoordinated, but overall my partner enjoyed the session.

"thai massage is an artistic and flowing expression." I like this quote 

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Shama
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November 20, 2015 - 8:42 pm
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It sounds strange, but it is actually more difficult to work gently than to work strongly. Anybody can press hard, but using the "power of softness" is a more refined skill. I recommend to always start the techniques in a very light and sensitive way, and then increase slowly. 

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 24, 2015 - 3:41 am
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Module 6- Leg warmup forearm

 

This module was helpful because my partner is quite large and I felt that using my forearms on his giant legs was more effective. I was much more gentle this time and he reported that it felt good. I personally enjoy the push pull rocking technique, it's rather therapeutic.

The elephant walking on the calf was much better received than when I was squeezing the calf in module 5. He came close to falling asleep. What do you do if a client falls asleep? I guess once the stretching of major body parts starts then they will wake up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Shama
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November 24, 2015 - 11:52 pm
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Personally I love drifting off into sleep when I get a good Thai Massage. Many of my clients fall asleep during a session and I consider this to be an excellent sign. Like you said, when you do some big stretch, they will wake up again. Otherwise just let them sleep.

It has happened to me many times that a client said "Oh I really wanted work on xyz body part". When I tell them that I worked on it for 20 minutes, they are amazed that they had not even noticed. And this doesn't mean that I babied them during the session. Some clients sleep through quite intense work. To me this is a sign that you do a good job.

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Julia Quirk
Oslo, Norway
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November 25, 2015 - 1:37 am
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Module 7- Leg stretches

I discovered that my partners left hip is higher than his left, so we will put some extra work into that hip to see if a difference can be made.

He quite enjoyed the right angle foot-hip stretch, this one will require a bit of extra attention as I felt a bit awkward and kept of shifting my bum around to get my leg stretched properly. Same with the hip lift cross pull stretch, I need to find my rhythm with that move.

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