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Kandace Gaudette's Complete Thai Massage Course
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Kandace Gaudette
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July 15, 2017 - 5:13 am
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This is my first time posting in this forum. I plan to do the certificate program, so I want to be sure to start right away documenting my experience. I just watched the first introduction video module about the principles of Thai Massage. I was very please to hear you talking about the ergonomics and the breath because I know right away that this will be the quality Thai Training that I was looking for!

I am very excited to hear you emphasize the importance of 'How' to do the movements. Part of the reason I am interested in doing this work is that I enjoy the energy of two bodies moving in space from my dance background, and so I really want to learn about doing things correctly so that the energy exchange is effortless and flowing. I am eager to see how you sequence things together and flow from one thing to the next. My biggest goal as a Thai therapist will be to work intuitively so it is an enjoyable experience for both parties. 

I always thought that as the practioner, I was suppose to sequence my breath with the clients and do the compressions and traction, etc with their breath, which I find to be very hard. So I learned from this video that I just have to sychronize the movements with my breath and that is all I have to do to make it a good energy exchange to the client. 

Looking forward to the next video!

Kandace

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Shama
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July 15, 2017 - 2:51 pm
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Hi Kandace, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course! Smile

If you want to enroll in the certification program, make sure to fill out the registration form - the link to it is in the certification section of your course manual.

It seems that the right person found the right course in your case! Everything that you mentioned - the ergonomics, the breath, the synchronization, the energy exchange, and A LOT more is all covered in this course extensively.

This goes way beyond just demonstrating mechanical techniques and sequences. You will learn an artistic, intuitive, creative and flowing healing arts form which will remind you of a dance - I use this analogy quite a lot. Laugh

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Kandace Gaudette
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July 17, 2017 - 8:10 pm
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certification

 

Hi Shama.

i know I want to certify for sure, but I was going to wait a couple months to make sure I'm staying on track with the program first and then register for certification once I know Im going to finish on time. Is that okay?

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Kandace Gaudette
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July 17, 2017 - 8:16 pm
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Module 2

 

i just watched the second video. I liked what you said about having the right attitude and mind set. I've done some bodywork on clients in the past, and I've experienced moments when I'm tense and nervous and felt like I wasn't sending my client good energy.  Part of the reason I wanted to do a formal Thai training in the first place is so that I could get more comfortable and confident working hands on with bodies so my clients and myself could have a better experience, 

also, I really enjoyed the Chi machine technique. The technique came really easily to me as I am very used to being on the floor from my dance background. I am really interested in making the techniques feel effortless, and your explanation of how to do it correctly from the hips really helped it feel easy to do. I think this would be a great way to start a session and I can see myself doing some reiki right after the chi machine as I start a session!

 

 

 

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Shama
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July 17, 2017 - 8:18 pm
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You can do that, however don't worry about a deadline for the certification. I don't really enforce those unless someone is totally not serious about it.

So if you want to do the forum posting without registration, but you want it to count for certification when you eventually do register, you might as well make sure to follow the right format, which you can find in our certification check list:

Certification Check List

However it looks like you pretty much have it figured out already. 🙂

You are one of the few people to whom the Chi Machine comes easily. I would imagine that your dance background does help you with making movements fluid.

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Kandace Gaudette
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July 20, 2017 - 4:17 am
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Mod 3

 

After watching the foot massage techniques last night, I could hardly wait to put it into practice today at work.  I ask a few of my clients if they would be willing to try some Thai Massage to help me practice for this course, and they were more than willing! I did the foot massage on them and 3 of 3 all loved it! I tagged it onto the end of our Pilates/Yoga sessions, and it worked out perfectly that way. I got great feedback and they are excited for me to learn more so I can keep working on them. I am hoping to build up my Thai Massage clientele this way by practicing on my current clients 🙂

So far, the foot techniques are going good. The sequence seems to be coming naturally to me. I was worried I wouldn't remember what comes next, but I think if I keep up the practice it will stick with me. I hope the rest of the course goes this smoothly! I am happy that I am "good" at it so far. 

I really appreciated what you said Shama about having the right attitude. I felt really confident today after the learning the techniques, and already that is improving the way that I approach touch. Today I was much more aware of my breathing, my pacing, and watching the clients body. Thank you. I am excited to learn more!!!

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Shama
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July 20, 2017 - 12:38 pm
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3 out of 3 love it - I would say you are flying out of the starting gate! Smile

The next module will make it even easier to remember the techniques, you will see.

It does sound like you have a natural proclivity for this work. Chances are not everything will come as easily, but over time even the more challenging aspects will become second nature. I am especially encouraged that you already pay attention to breathing, pacing and observing the body of your client. So you have taken it already beyond the purely mechanical stage.

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Kandace Gaudette
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July 26, 2017 - 4:31 am
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Mod 4

 

Hi Shama. I was glad you added onto the foot series. I tried the new techniques and they went really good. I practiced these on my mom and she particularly liked the one where you bend up the leg and target the underside of the foot.

Speaking of which, I was happy you spoke to the logic of the foot series and why you do the movements in the order you do, targeting all the various directions. Mostly I was excited because I had already caught onto that method before I even watched the video as I was trying I memorize the order of the movements and realized it was stretching the foot in all the directions! So far I am very please with this training because you are a very good teacher and i can follow your teaching  🙂 So thank you.

Lastly, I have a question....The techniques you showed in this module...would you tag those onto the prior foot series we learned in Mod 3? For example, would you finish with the shaking of the leg and then go onto bending the knee up to massage the underside of the foot? Or would you go about it more intuitively and just do what felt appropriate and skip a part?

 

Thanks!

Kandace

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Shama
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July 26, 2017 - 9:17 am
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Actually you can do either. Personally I am not a fan of making rules and rigid sequences. I believe that Thai Massage is a creative and intuitive process. Sequences can be very useful for learning techniques, and they can also be useful to actually follow in a session.

However my overriding principle is that all the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. So you might follow the entire sequence from the video, but you can also implement it selectively. That will help you with being creative rather than mechanical. So play with both methods.

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Kandace Gaudette
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July 28, 2017 - 7:56 am
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Mod 5

 

Hi Shama. I just did my first practice of the Leg warm up. I tagged it onto what I already know in the foot series so that I could practice the feet again and also feel what it's like following the foot part. 

I am already starting to play with the order the movements are done. I actually forgot to the the thigh press, so I tagged in more onto the end of the leg warm up. At first I was discouraged that I forgot one part, but then it was kinda nice at the end. I love having the freedom to play with the order.

I played a lot with the pacing in which I did all of the squeezing and rocking. I noticed I tend to go a little fast through that part as part of my natural rhythm, but my mom said that because her upper thigh area is a little more sensitive then her calves that she preferred a slower rock. I though that was useful information. I would probably agree with her too that slower pace is much more relaxing.

One question I have for this part is.....if a client has a real tender spot that is more sensitive, lets say along the IT Band....wouldn't you say that that area needs more attention and encourage the client breath through the minor discomfort rather that shy away from that area?

 

Thanks!

Kandace

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Shama
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July 28, 2017 - 1:03 pm
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Yes, slower is in most cases better than faster in Thai Massage. 

If someone has a sensitive area (IT bands are often sensitive or painful), I don't shy away from it. I do work on it, however I might change techniques. In cases of high sensitivity or painful spots I generally use gentle rocking/circling/wiggling techniques which do a great job of loosening up such areas without causing pain.

Personally I have never asked clients to breathe through pain. For me this would be excessive already. I work in such a way that there is no strong pain that needs to be breathed through. 

Another thing is that there are two types of pain. One is "good pain" which is a releasing sensation and it diminishes quickly with the massage work. That one is okay.

The other type of pain is "bad pain", which is sharp, not releasing and not diminishing, and it feels damaging. This kind of pain is never okay in Thai Massage.

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Kandace Gaudette
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August 2, 2017 - 7:51 am
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Mod 6

 

I have practiced the leg warm up with Forearms a couple of times now, once with my boyfriend and once with my mom. They both really liked it. I liked the ease of the technique of just sinking in. It is very relaxing, even for myself 🙂 I am just starting to get the logic behind the order of the different positions and how to block the foot from sliding and that sort of thing, but it is coming along. My boyfriend especially liked the rocking around the knee technique! I feel like that one comes naturally to me. 

 Got a little confused during the calf section of this part and how to press into the outside of the calf without causing discomfort to the client, but I think if I watch the video a few more times I will get that one. But I remember you saying that if we don't like a particular technique, we dont have to do it. 

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Kandace Gaudette
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August 2, 2017 - 7:57 am
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Mod 7

 

I was glad to hear you talking about evaluating the feet before deciding on which stretches do to. 

I have been doing some elephant walking along the hamstrings with my clients in the past, just from reading Thai Massage books and watching videos, and to see you doing it with the extra little tips helped a lot. For insttance, I didn't know to start at 90 degrees and push just slightly past 90 with the foot, and I didn't know to hold the opposite knee, etc. Those tips made the experience that much more enjoyable.

It took my a while to understand how to maneuver from one technique to the next with the two stretches back to back, but once I thought about the logic of WHY the foot goes there and the ankle there, then it clicked and made so much sense! That was an exciting moment because I felt like I was listening more to my intuition of what felt right.

Also, I am finding that if I make up my own funny names for some of the techniques, it helps me remember what  I am doing. hehe.

 

Thanks Shama!

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Shama
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August 2, 2017 - 7:50 pm
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Hey, if the funny names work - why not. There is a whole science called Mnemonics which is all about creating mental associations to make remembering things easier. I used to practice this and it definitely works.

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Kandace Gaudette
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August 5, 2017 - 2:49 am
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Mod 8

I practiced the leg stretches in mod 8 last night with my boyfriend and he texted me early this morning telling me how great his legs felt! I thought that was the best feedback I could have gotten! It was really reassuring that I was doing a good enough job to make a lasting effect 🙂

Since my boyfriend is very muscular, I had harder time picking up his legs and moving them where I needed that to go, so that was eye-opening for when I'm working on bigger people. And he has hairy legs, so I learned that I cant slide my hand along the skin when doing the techniques. Instead, it works better when you simply press in, not slide at all....lesson learned 🙂

I can't remember if it was this video or the last one, but you had mentioned that when doing a session, you would just do everything on one leg and then switch to the other. I am glad you said that because I was worrying about the order of when to switch legs, so thank you for making that clear!

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Shama
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August 5, 2017 - 11:11 pm
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Congratulations to such a good feedback. I imagine that there will be a lot more of that in the days to come! Smile

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Kandace Gaudette
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August 8, 2017 - 3:21 am
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Mod 9

 

Hi Shama

I started practicing mod 9, which I am finding to be a little more challenging because they are all very similar. I understand the pie slices and how we are just changing the angles 45 degrees each time, but is my logic correct that they are all very much a like in how they are executed and you just slightly shift the body position to according to the angle? 180degrees. 90degrees. And 135degrees. 

 

Also, I had a few clients that I would love to practice on because I know they would love it. However, I am hesitant because they have hip and/or knee replacements. Can you do Thai massage on they populations? I'm assuming you can depending on which stretches you choose, but I'm curious in terms of this mod 9 section.

 

thanks!

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Shama
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August 8, 2017 - 8:22 am
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There are similarities in the various hip pie stretches. The 90 degree and 135 degree are similar, and the 180 degree and 235 degree are similar. The others are quite different.

You can definitely do Thai Massage on clients with hip and/or knee replacements. However you have to be careful what kind of techniques you use. For example if someone had a knee replacement, don't do stretches that are a bit hard on the knee or that can twist the knee. 

Although there are many stretches in Thai Massage, this doesn't mean that you should use them all in every session. Look at the techniques as options to choose from, not as mandatory sequences. Often it is appropriate to do more non-stretch techniques like in cases of joint replacements. Instead you can use warming techniques like compression or leaning on the muscles that surround a joint. 

Or you can use rocking techniques like rocking, circling, or wiggling. Those are more gentle than linear stretches and might be better for people with joint replacements. Percussion techniques also feel great and are very gentle.

I realize that at this stage in the course you have not learned all those moves yes, but you will learn them all as you progress through the material.

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Kandace Gaudette
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August 10, 2017 - 7:46 am
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Mod 10

 

Hi Shama

As I was practicing the material from mod 10, I thought a lot about what you said regarding breath, the hara and energy exchange. Up until this point I have just been trying to execute the techniques, but now that I am getting more comfortable maneuvering around the body in different ways, I think I have opened up space in my mind to concentrate on the subtleties that make a Thai Massage special. When I was practicing this time on my mom I felt like I was really able to slow down and listen to her body and share energy rather that just perform a stretch on her. That was really exciting to me to feel myself progressing! The movements started to flow together much smoother too!

I do have one question...I found that when I was following my intuition and listening to the body to decide which technique to do next, that when I got the second leg, I kind of forgot what I did on the other side!!!! I had a general idea, but the order might have been a little different and I can't remember if I left something out on the second side. I guess my question is, is this issue common with Thai Therapists during a session? Do you often forgot what you did on the first side? Any insight you have on this would be helpful

Thank you!

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Shama
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August 10, 2017 - 10:48 am
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I am happy to hear that you are progressing towards the "flow" stage where you can start working more intuitively.

Regarding not remembering what exactly you did on one side - that happens to me as well sometimes. And it doesn't matter!!! It's not about mechanically duplicating a sequence. The client won't remember either what exactly you did on one side. So if your sequence differs slightly on the other side, don't worry about that. This is not a problem at all. 

I am not talking about doing something totally different on each side, but about skipping a technique or modifying something a bit. Also when I feel that one side needs a lot more work, then it is perfectly fine to spend more time on that side and use more techniques as well.

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