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Ka’el Bey’s Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Shama Kern
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August 20, 2019 - 11:48 pm
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You can't 'utterly fail' at anything in Thai Massage. You just have to go through a learning curve. For some techniques that might take a little longer than for others. Nobody gets it perfectly right the first time around. Laugh

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Ka’el Bey
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August 22, 2019 - 11:41 am
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Module 11

During this massage, I focused on the flow and art of healing. I turned on some zen music and incorporated everything we have learned so far.

I even started to get the hang of some of the therapeutic moves from Module 8.

I didn't flow through all of the stretches on the left leg before I began the right leg.

For whatever reason I saved the deeper stretches for after warming up both legs.

When I finished the lower body, I worked the energy lines along the spine and helped open some of her knots in her shoulders.

Looking forward to the next section!Laugh

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Shama Kern
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August 22, 2019 - 4:25 pm
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It sounds like you have a good holistic approach to your sessions. I have always used soothing meditative music in my sessions. This definitely helps. You can make this your own. Just because I do it in one way doesn't mean you have to do it in exactly the same way. As long as it feels right and the client enjoys it and benefits, it is good.

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Ka’el Bey
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August 25, 2019 - 6:56 am
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Module 12

The double leg sequence from this module was very familiar to me. I saw some awesome variations that I have not been able to use yet, like sitting on the bound angle stretch. I was able to practice the calf stretches and their several variations over the last week.

I really like the sequence using when the therapist uses their belly to stretch the calfs. I like how I get a abdominal massage at the same time too. I still haven’t applied the really strong calf stretch that uses the body weight to pull back. It looks like if could feel really good though. My first Thai massage course had this stretch in there, but they told us its better to do the “Jimi Hendrix”  and palm the top of the thigh. The reason behind this was that it was possible to fall onto the client. I will still give it a shot sometime with this in mind.

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Ka’el Bey
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August 25, 2019 - 7:20 am
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Module 13

Thank you Shama for all the work you and your team have put into building these courses. I can tell through the videos, articles, and supplementary material that you have dedicated your life to this. Everything is so well written and presented. It is very humbling for me to take this course and see your work.

What I got most out this video was Therapeutic touch and Psychology you applied after the hip pie stretch didn’t work. I have a few flexible clients that I avoided these stretches on because they cause the pinching in the hip crease. In fact, I knew exactly what you were speaking of because I have this issue when people stretch me, especially when moving toward the opposite shoulder.

I am getting the hang of applying these therapies. When I first began, I only used palming and thumbing along the Sen lines. Now that I have become more comfortable, my approach is less mechanical and I artistically arrange my sequences intuitively. My clients are more appreciative that I skip over the things that don’t serve their more urgent needs. My client yesterday said, “I thought you were doing some sort of dance”, and today there were moments where my client was so relaxed because I was applying all the basic correctly.

During the end of the massage, I was having a conversation about some of the similarities and differences of Eastern and Western Medicine. Normally, I am pretty quiet but I remember you telling us that Thai Masseurs are fine with have a conversation while they work. I used to want my client to just relax and breathe, but after today, I see how she had more benefit from what she heard as the massage itself. 

It was a fairly complex conversation, but I was able to work and speak without hesitation. When I would remember that I was still giving her a massage, I was surprised to find myself flowing naturally. What was really encouraging for me is that she thanked me for being here to help her. I could not have done this without your training, Shama. 

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Shama Kern
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August 25, 2019 - 10:39 pm
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This all sounds great. Clearly you are doing something right to get such results and feedback. I am sure your yoga background and previous exposure to Thai Massage are giving you an edge, but still I am impressed with your progress in this course! It will only get better.Smile

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Ka’el Bey
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August 30, 2019 - 4:36 am
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Module 14

Thanks Shama.

These were the exact techniques that I needed to improve my balance and flow. I was not able to practice on anyone for a few days. So today I decided to use a long pillow as a "dummy". I used the technique of shifting over the pillow several times to get the feel for it. I was surprised at how challenging it was to land in the right spot. For me, I have to cross over at a lower point that I think is necessary to be situated evenly on the other side.

The lower back and side body work you displayed are the other techniques that I was looking for. My clients love when I stretch this area. The times that I have done abdominal massage, my clients didn't really feel comfortable. These moves will make a great substitute. I normally use a similar rocking technique to skim through this area. Everyone has enjoyed your rocking techniques so far so I am excited to spend more time in this spot.

I'll let you know tomorrow after I test them out with the next module.

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Shama Kern
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August 30, 2019 - 10:20 pm
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True - abdominal work is a tricky thing. Without the right techniques it can feel really uncomfortable. I have suffered through a few session where the Thai abdominal work felt terrible, and I decided that I had to come up with something better that is not only effective but also feels good. The rocking goes a long way in achieving that.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 3, 2019 - 5:58 am
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Module 15

While I have been doing a lot of Thai massages, I haven’t been practicing our new moves as much as I’d like too. Yesterday I had the chance to work on my youngest sister. She plays volleyball and had some knee tracking issues. In addition her shoulders and legs were fairly sore.

After we worked on her left leg, I tried out the new hip hip stretches from Module 14 and got good feedback. I noticed that her pelvis was twisted so I helped to stretch it back into proper alignment. 

I practiced transition from one side to another and asked her if it felt awkward. She said, “I never know what your doing when I have my eyes closed”. I took this as a good sign that I am transitioning smoothly with the new technique.

When It came time to work on the abdomen, I got the feeling that she wouldn’t like that area worked on. Even though I could have taken advantange of the fact that she is my sister, I decided to skip over the abs for a client that would appreciate the massage there. Even though I love having abdominal massage, I have to respect that the majority of people prefer to have their shoulders and back worked on. The moves that you showed I am familiar with and I know that the right client will enjoy them.

The new techniques I learned from Module 15 were the sternum rocking and the circling done the side bodies. I rarely get the chance to work on men, so I haven’t ever elephant walked the entire chest. From my experience I know that this would feel amazing because I really enjoyed having my chest worked on. I normally work with women and sink into the chest/shoulders with their breath. I am so grateful to be adding some new moves to this area.

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Shama Kern
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September 3, 2019 - 10:00 am
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If she didn't notice that you moved across her body, it must have been pretty good. Play with the transition by using a pillow instead of a real body and practice it until you figure out how to move your body in such a way that it doesn't feel awkward anymore. The trick is to shift your weight back quickly and lift your knee high enough and quickly enough.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 4, 2019 - 6:09 am
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Module 16

Thank you Shama, I will continue working on my transitions like you suggested. 

The shoulder work in this module was a much needed addition to my practice. I normally have to move my client from the supine position into one of the other 3 positions to access the shoulders. Now that I can massage the shoulders from the supine position, I do not have to watch the time as much.

The first move you showed I have already been doing. I wasn’t applying the technique properly and it was hurting my lower back. Now that I keep my spine straight and use my entire body, I can massage for a long time in this position. 

I also enjoyed the single shoulder exercises. I had not tried these before and my partner really enjoyed them. With a little more practice I will have a great rhythm and flow to share with my clients. 

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Shama Kern
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September 4, 2019 - 12:35 pm
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I am glad to hear that the proper body mechanics improved your work and eliminated your back pain. With correct ergonomics, none of the Thai Massage techniques should hurt you ever.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 6, 2019 - 10:34 pm
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Module 17

Today I gave a massage to a woman who’s neck and top of the right shoulder needed attention. We started in the seated position and moved back into the supine position. During her neck massage, I remembered the stretches from module 16 and decided to try them out.

When we were done she laid there for several minutes to soak in the relief she experienced. Thank you Shama for teaching me these great techniques. Even though I haven’t mastered them, they are still working. I am looking forward to improving these moves especially.

A few nights ago I practiced the arm and hand massages with my sister. I like your method for working the Sen lines of the arm. I feel like the elephant walking technique that I learned before isn’t as effective or enjoyable. 

During the hand stretches, I would try your techniques then apply the variation that I originally learned. I’d ask her how strong it was from 1-10 or which one felt better. One time I asked her a question and she didn’t respond. The hand massage put her to sleep. You were right about the hand massage putting people into a trance!

I have people fall asleep from time to time. Normally I just talk to them a little so they don’t go out completely. That didn’t work this time! She clocked out while I was still talking to her lol. 

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Shama Kern
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September 6, 2019 - 10:48 pm
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Sounds great! You are obviously doing an excellent job. Putting people to sleep is always a good sign.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 12, 2019 - 12:53 am
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Module 18

I found the transition to be easier around the head than over the body. The arm stretches feel very natural from here. I like doing the standing variation in a ‘horse stance’. I feel like I’m putting my kung fu training to good use.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 12, 2019 - 1:03 am
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Module 20

I had a few massages to practice the supine position from head to toe. For the most part I felt really calm and comfortable. It was one of my client’s first Thai Massage. He said that he liked it better than table massage. He already booked his next appointment!

The main challenge I have for this section are rocking techniques for the lower back. The clients that I worked with were slightly heavier. When I placed my leg over theirs, I was not able to plant my foot on the other side to rock them. Is this important?

I was able to do many other stretches for the low back. The Shoulder stretches worked fine for the upper and lower back twists. I will review the hip rocking for the low back to find a better approach. Perhaps I can do this in a kneeling position, rather than a sitting position.

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Shama Kern
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September 12, 2019 - 1:24 am
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I am not exactly sure what you are referring to since there are no rocking techniques for the lower back in module 20. Could you please tell me which technique in which module you are referring to so that I can give you a better and more specific answer?

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Ka’el Bey
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September 13, 2019 - 6:00 am
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Ka’el Bey said
Module 20

I had a few massages to practice the supine position from head to toe. For the most part I felt really calm and comfortable. It was one of my client’s first Thai Massage. He said that he liked it better than table massage. He already booked his next appointment!

The main challenge I have for this section are rocking techniques for the lower back. The clients that I worked with were slightly heavier. When I placed my leg over theirs, I was not able to plant my foot on the other side to rock them. Is this important?

I was able to do many other stretches for the low back. The Shoulder stretches worked fine for the upper and lower back twists. I will review the hip rocking for the low back to find a better approach. Perhaps I can do this in a kneeling position, rather than a sitting position.

  

This Is actually Module 19 Where we review the supine techniques for the upper body.

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Ka’el Bey
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September 13, 2019 - 6:19 am
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Shama Kern said
I am not exactly sure what you are referring to since there are no rocking techniques for the lower back in module 20. Could you please tell me which technique in which module you are referring to so that I can give you a better and more specific answer?

  

The Technique is in Module 14. The video duration is at 12:15 when you demonstrate it. My foot was not able to reach over them because I have short legs and my clients were slight heavier people, Do you think having my foot touch the other side is important?

Thank you for getting back to me on this, I should have been more specific!

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Shama Kern
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September 14, 2019 - 12:57 am
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Regarding the rocking techniques in module 19, if you feel that you getting the rocking effect and your foot isn't quite reaching, this is not a big deal. You might be able to extend your reach if you sit up a little higher on the near side of your client's body, like on your heel. The same idea applies to module 14. Try sitting on your heel which elevates your body, extends your reach, and gives you better leverage.

If your foot does not touch the mat at all, it can feel a little wobbly and it feels like you are not having enough leverage.

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