Module 10: As always I enjoys this video very much. When you talk about focusing on the hara I am a bit confused and out of my comfort zone. In my practice we have mainly focused on anatomy and haven't focused alot on energy lines. So when you say focus on the hara point, is it the clients hara or our own that we focus on?? And what is the theory behind this, and how does it help energy flow??
I studied sports medicine before massage and we did a lot of these stretches and spinal twists but they never broke it down the way you do, so it has been very refreshing to see how u can incorporate them into my massage practice. When doing this on my son and husband they really enjoyed the twist and said their muscles were much looser afterwards.
In my previous schooling we were taught not to put too much pressure on the major arteries and veins, so the blood stop is a new concept to me, but the way you explain it makes sense in my head and my son said it felt very neat to have done to him, he said he felt tickly!
You make it all look so easy to move from one technique to the next!! I hope that I too will be able to move that smoothly! I have been eager to see how the Thai massage sequence would all flow together, and finally I have gotten to see it! Now that I have seen how you typically do it I am still curious to how long you would normally perform each technique?? And how long it normally takes to work on the lower body up to the hips? And really how long a typical thai massage lasts? I'm sure it all depends on what needs to be worked and I do know that you said each technique doesn't have to be performed and there is no set way to do it but I'm just saying that on a normal treatment of a client that doesn't have any serious issues. In my practice I'm still not flowing smoothly and I find myself feeling a little lost but my son tells me that it feel good! It seems I've got most of the techniques down but do not flow between the two well yet, so I will keep practicing!!
Great! You got your own thread set up and even managed to move your previous "floating posts" into the thread. You are on the way to becoming a forum expert!
For your reference please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list which summarizes the certification process:
Now to your questions. First - the hara. Clearly your previous massage training has been based on the western concept which is mostly anatomy based and derives justification from scientific verification.
The eastern model is based on totally different concepts. When I say 'eastern model', I am referring to Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Yoga therapy, Acupuncture and many other healing arts therapies which have their origin in Asia, be it India, Thailand, Japan, or China.
This eastern concept does not look at the body as an assembly of anatomical components, but as a system of energy. This energy runs through channels in the body which are not visible like muscles or bones. The central point of these energy lines is the hara, which is the area in the abdomen right behind the naval. This is where the life force originates.
If this energy weakens, disease results. If this energy flow is freed and strengthened, an improvement in physical health results. When I mention in the video that you should focus on the hara, I am referring to your own hara, not the client's.
"How long you would normally perform each technique?"
This depends on several factors. Clearly you can spend more time on each technique if you do a 2 hour session versus a one hour session. It also depends on the condition of the client. If someone has a problem in a particular area, you might do the appropriate techniques longer than if you do a general whole body massage. As a general guide line you can do most techniques 3 times.
"And how long it normally takes to work on the lower body up to the hips?"
Again this depends. If you do a regular whole body massage, you might spend half your time on the lower body and the other half on the upper body. However if someone has upper body issues, you might choose to spend most of your time on the upper body, for example.
Don't get too hung up on timing and rules. Once you become more experienced, many of these things will just happen according to the nature of the session and the need of the client. Thai Massage is not meant to be a rigid sequence of moves which everyone is getting. Rather it is supposed to be an intuitive and creative flowing healing art.
"And really how long a typical Thai Massage lasts?"
The answer is: The longer the better. Personally I have never done sessions shorter than 2 hours. I know this is not possible for everyone and it depends on where you work. If you work in a spa you will have no control over how long the sessions are. If you work for yourself, then I recommend that you tell your clients that a good and complete Thai Massage session takes 2 hours.
Here in Thailand every Thai Massage therapist will tell you that it is best to get a 2 hour session. However neither here in Thailand nor in the western world is it possible to always to that. So many times you will have to do one hour or 1.5 hour sessions. However the longer sessions are definitely better.
It's obviously been seared into my brain that their is a time sequence that would need to be followed!! I will try to ignore that erge! I do understand because when I am doing deep tissue work or trigger point work I get way lost in the time because I'm focused on fixing a problem instead or worrying about the clock!! Thank you for your reply! It is very neat to get this type of feedback from you!
Module 12: I wanted to work on my husband Daniel for this module because I knew he has some low back/hip pain and very tight hamstrings. The hamstring stetches are pretty second nature for me with my sports medicine back ground. The stretch where you elephant walk on his knees actually hurt is sacrum. I thought it would feel good but I wasn't on a padded surface so that probably didn't help or I was possible doing to much pressure. He also said none of it felt good but I explained to him I'm just trying to learn certain techniques and it's nothing like the deep tissue or Swedish massage that he is used too, and he has seriously tight and rigid muscle and he also tends to be a no pain no gain person so I was more than likely giving him more pressure than he needed! Once I get all these techniques down I want to give him the full deal and see what he thinks! I'm going to do these techniques on my son to see if I get better results!
Yes, that's a good idea to not focus so much on time frames and sequences. In the long run it is better to focus on listening to your intuition, what the client needs, and allow yourself the freedom to be creative and modify and adjust things so that they work best for you and the client.
That's of course easier said than done in the early stages of learning Thai Massage, I understand that. But that's the goal - not setting up rigid time frames and sequences.
With your husband, experiment with different degrees of pressure and ask him for feedback. Make sure you work slowly and focus on feeling what's under your hands rather than just executing the techniques. Try to visualize a feeling of softness that comes through your hands, and make sure that you are not muscling the moves but working with your body weight and with your whole body.
Also I suggest that you watch or re-watch the video on this page"
Thai Massage Tips And Tricks Part 10
The techniques on the stomach were really neat, they tickled my son a bit at first but after I lightened up and made sure I was using my whole body it didn't tickle him and he thought it felt really good! Even pushed out a toot!! Chest work was a bit tricky trying to get the right amount t of pressure since your working more on bone than muscle. The upper chest was very pleasant though and was easier to execute. I do wonder if it will be possible to work on some of my bustier clients that don't have alot of room between their breast.
Ergonomics is a very important part of Thai massage, and in my own western practice I use my boy weight and practice good body mechanics so I knkw how important it is to make sure you body mechanics or your ergonomics is to preform an effective massage. I've done a few tests with my clients and they can tell a difference when I use my body weight appropriately and have good ergonomics the massage feels more natural and affective than when I try to use pure muscle strength. The Chi Machine was very relaxing to my boys. I did find it tiring to keep to preform it but I soon realized I was using more of my bicep muscle so I leaned back a bit and used my whole body then it was more comfortable to preform this technique. I also realize watching the video over again I may not have had the heels of my client high enough on my quadriceps. I'll have to keep working on this move.
Hey Kacey, I am getting dizzy trying to follow your posts! You jumped from module 12 to module 15 to module 2.
And you keep quoting previous posts which creates duplicate content - I have been deleting those. You know, you can edit your last post by clicking on the pencil icon in the top right corner of the post. However once there is a follow up post, the system will not let you edit previous posts.
Regarding working on the chests of bustier clients - one easy way of doing that is to use the edge of your hand which will always fit in between the breasts. Then you can do circling and rocking or wiggling moves.
By the way, I have done those muscle versus body weight tests with every student group I ever had in live classes, and the result was always the same, as you noticed in your test!
I do a lot of shoulder work on most of my clients so I have been excited that we finally got to this portion of the body! The transition from one arm to the other went pretty well for me. I work on a low table normally so I am used to being in that squatting position. My mother in law said the stretch in between the transition was very nice. I liked that you mentioned that the clients mind needs to be calm and relaxed to be able to enjoy the massage, some of my regular clients love to chat during the massage and I've gotten in a bad habit of letting them do this, so this week I am going to remind them that they are here to relax and I am going to encourage them to not chat during our session! My mother in law loved the upper spine twist and the variation for the lower spine. It will be something my clients will like a lot. But that figure eight move was a little tricky I will definitely have to do some practice on that move!
Regarding talking with your clients, or listening to them, here is a useful article that sheds some light on this topic:
I think it would be good for you to read that before you follow your own suggestions from your post above!