Hip Therapy - 1
Greetings! I am glad to be here. 🙂
Today, I just watched the video and it was more of a lecture method with some practical application. It will be interesting to see how the feet tend to fall when the client is relaxed on the floor or on the table and what that means structurally. I will soon be more experienced to be able to determine which hip is higher and lower. If course sometime one leg is longer than he other and I am sure it will be talked about.
Along the way of this course, I will also be thinking of ways of which I can also help myself. Knowing how the hip moves, I already altered some my stretching methods for me before (like attempting to move the left knee, in cross-over-ways, towards the right shoulder and visa verse) - using some moves of the 8-piece pie method from the previous "Complete Thai Massage" course.
I remember from earlier exercises I did that simply by letting the bent knee fall sideways (angle can be changed) in a relaxed way - perhaps about a hundred times usually opens the hip joint more up unless there are more severe issues, like lets say arthritis (which as a condition also can change of diet is looked into and sports is being done - my husband reversed his arthritis totally - no signs in x-ray).
While it is true that we can't fix anything we can surely reduce pain. To me that is a noble goal. However, healing can happen. We will see.
Welcome back to another course, Karin.
I am curious - how exactly did your husband reverse his arthritis?
Regarding one leg longer than the other - many people have that. This is not necessarily just a matter of the hip. This can be caused by structural imbalance that involves the hip, the spine, and the shoulders. Since this can be caused by bad lifestyle habits, you cannot necessarily just massage it away so easily. It is similar to lordosis and kyphosis. Your treatments need to be supported by good lifestyle habits and the right exercise.
There is no magic Thai Massage technique that makes the legs equal permanently. However you can get an immediate effect by doing a traction technique for the shorter leg. I know I show it in the rocking course - not sure if it is also in the hip course. But unless the cause is addressed in some way, chances are that the leg imbalance will return.
I have had students do this technique and the effect was immediately noticeable, but I never got any feedback how long it lasted. In my case I always try to do some investigative work on clients to see if I can figure out what could cause it. Sometimes I can - and sometimes I cannot figure it out.
I think the key for his healing is movement of the ball and socket joint - hence redistributing synovial fluids... oiling the car, so to speak.
My husband loves the exercise bike at the gym and watches ball games. Sometimes he bikes for 1 or 2 hours, depending what he watches. The prolonged movement in the exercise bike reversed his arthritis. He has not even changed his diet at all (he is vegetarian). Also, he sweats a lot on the bike and that helps to detox the system as well.
When I was in Germany, I heard of a Japanese man who had knee-arthritis. He hiked Mountain Fuji more than once in utter pain. Some blood evolved around the knee area where there was bone to bone contact. That blood created a new gliding cartilage, leathery and more red in color and later the man was free of pain. I would not recommend this but this man had a willpower to change his internal structure. I find that story fascinating. I learned of that at a Liebscher @ Bracht pain Management course in Germany. It sounds like an anecdote since I forgot the proper footnotes to cite it. Anyway, I was impressed. It's hard to believe. This situation needs to be researched further if indeed true. U have no footnotes or evidence.
It appears however, that the body wants to heal of we change life-style. My husband is an online university professor and sits a lot. No wonder, lack of movement (he loves meditation but less the asanas) created this pain in his hip. When he joined the gym and started prolonged biking and watching his favorite game, that did wonders for him and still does. It took about 6 month to be pain free and later the x-rays showed nothing at all anymore.
Movement is the key to healing (plus proper diet, rest and easy going mind).
When it comes to arthritis there are conflicting ideas of its development. Many talk of overuse syndrome but at Liebscher @ Bracht they talked about underuse syndrome. Arthritis appears to develop at those parts of the joints which get less nourished through lubricating movement (which feeds the joint). To me it makes sense. All my life I felt better when I moved and meditation (too long sitting) gave me often back and neck pains. I think muscle are meant to move (like snakes actaully), they freeze and contract when forced to not move.
Here is one of my German teachers books to get some ideas...
Die Arthrose Lüge
The way Thai also comes into play is to open up the Fascia and restrictive areas to relief pain.
All if this is very interesting to me and since I had more than enough pain myself I love to study this stuff to help myself and my clients.
Roland Liebschers' wifera Bracht is a medical doctor and they as a team developed a pain management technique based on the Shaolin way of self-defense... (using certain points not related to acupuncture). They developed it further... also diet and movement plays a big role in pain management.
Roland was a martial artist and studied mechanics. Mechanics was his strength and he knows the body better than professionals. With his wife he created a huge healing movement. He was the one who Petra referred her patients too when they were in pain. So, even he is officially not trained he is under supervision of his wife and is thriving. I love him. I find that people who are into mechanics often understand the way the body moves the best. This strength combined with good flow and spiritual energetics makes sure a good bodyworker.
You see I just love learning this stuff.... but better than learning from books is practice.
I run into this quite a lot when I research something - that there are two totally conflicting ideas about the cause of a particular condition. In this case the version that appeals to our common sense, as you pointed out, is the likely culprit. In some cases for some conditions it might be that both causes might be the culprits. This is an ongoing topic, and in spite of all the advances of medical science there are many situations where there is no clear cut and proven answer. Sometimes we just have to go with our intuition.
Hip Therapy 2
I finally had a practice client.while having visitors.
I noticed that a lot of energy was moved wth my client. There were all kinds of tender points and aching going on in the groin area.
I enjoy seeing how to find the best position for an area ergonomically. There are so many ways to approach an area depending on leverage and body-type. Depending on what side of the hip is off center we can move the opposing hip in rocking motions either in or out.
Using the foot is easy going.
When I did the hip rocking, I noticed that your practice person was jostling differently than my practice person in the video. It appeared as if you not only push the outwards but more in a circular fashion.There was more flow that way. I did it this way and my practice person moved like your practice person.
Hip Therapy 3
Since I am going to the dentist once more - I know, I will be off for the rest of the afternoon. I tend to forget more after having been on numbing medications.
So I quickly need to write something about hip session 3 before I forget.
When it comes to pressure on the quads it is easy to give quickly too much pressure with the forearms, knee or feet. My knee is the most inexperienced bodypart and there is not enough control flow in that motion- so I noticed. I also know that elderly people, I worked on a 55 year old lady who was very stringy at her quads... that pressure just is not it, as the stringy muscles are on severe tension and are not relaxed at all and are resisting to "let go." More rocking might be indicated here. My knee quickly was going to deep for her. With my feet I had more feeling. I had ok balance, but at one point I held onto a bamboo staff to be even more refined and have even more control.
I liked working at the angle at the groin as this relaxes the muscles more with my stringy client. I actually made the mistake and leaned into the hip bone but quickly corrected the angle. The sliding under the leg method - one has to slide up really far to get the groin the way shown as in the video. I think the sliding under works best for me ergonomically... it is comfy.
I will pay more attention to Hara. When I listen to you I tend to forget. At one point my client said that she "felt a lot of energy moving" and I thought how interesting that she said this. Something must be going right then.
On a side note, having watched various Thai bodywork sessions on the Internet, with people who appear to be accomplished "masters" even, I want to say that I really like the nurturing softness (yet deep moves are there) in your work. It resonates with my nature too. Not everybody is meant to do the tough work, setting bones without announcing it prior. Some people work in a fast paced tough manner which could cause hurt if one has not enough experience or does not know the condition of the client well. Usually, of course, the practitioners use healthy, flexible younger people for their recorded videos, and they appear to have less issues working in healthy, flexible yogic body types.
I also just love all the ways you freely talk about considerations and about possible problems (like getting to close to private parts)... in a professional and yet very caring manner.
Another side note: the videos for hip therapies come every 2 days. In a way that is too fast for my schedule, 3 days are ideal, as I still have the other videos to practice. I may fall behind once in a while.
This weekend I will be going to a meditation retreat. So I am gone from Friday to Monday and I will fall again behind. I am still a lesson behind. Just to let you know that I am not ignoring this important part of my life.
Thank you then and wish you a Happy Spring too The flowers are exploding everywhere right now.
Honestly - anyone who works in a fast-paced tough way - I cannot see any way how they could really feel what is going on in someone's body. For me working fast means losing sensitivity. Whenever I got one of those fast-paced sessions, there was generally a good amount of pain involved - and I don't need that!
My objective is teaching a way of practicing Thai Massage which works for your average client, not just for some yogi types.
Don't worry about falling behind. There is no rule that says you have to keep up with the every-two-day schedule.
After I was out of town, it took my some major catching up before I could return to this beautiful Art of Thai Healing.
Hip therapy 4
I have done this prior to leaving but felt stressed that day and could not do a good job, so I repeated this yesterday when I felt better after my return and picking up my life again.
The hip pie is the most rational way to deal with the hip stretches and it was great to see how we can focus in areas which are not that fluid and flexible really. It is too easy to just go to areas which are already flexible and neglect the areas which actually would benefit to the work. I know from hatha-yoga that many people just want to cultivate the areas where they are flexible and ignore the areas which are inflexible. It is wise to learn to enjoy to free the blockages and let the life force once again return into stagnant areas.
My client lady was in her seventies and generally a fit gardener type - but with issues due to years of repetitions. She got cramps during the 45 routine stretches and I put pressure at her cramped-up hamstring areas using my foot (waking the hamstrings) which helped her a lot. She was eager to also learn the hip pie more and know her weak areas better, which was "resistance" crossing over the midline due to pain (I am gentle and careful here). Since she watched the video, she could trust me more as she watched me carefully with suspicion. Without the video, she would have resisted the cross over attempts more. I am happy that this video made her more aware of the areas which need support. Rocking and gentle circular moves sure loosened her up a lot.
The hip pie is an art form in itself and I am glad to go over it again and some more. I noticed that on my own, I tend to do only 6 pieces out of the pie, always forgetting some but then again, everything depends on the circumstance. Not every move is needed generally.
My lady had actually shoulder problems and after the video, I spend a good amount of time doing the side lying routine from memory which freed her up. It is true that even if I don't remember every move, what has to be done always comes on its own.
Module 5, I did already before I left but I want to repeat it tonight. I am a bit behind schedule but at the moment I can't keep up as some of my practice persons are busy with the Spring or left town.
I will report more about module 5 later. I remember that the blood slow down was flushing the person with freshness in her leg. I clearly could feel the pulse getting stronger. I still need to do the other half of the pie though as I forgot some parts.
It all takes time.
I read the article about 8 types of massage therapists. It was interesting that the last was the kind of healer which is rare and evolved. I remember some Qi-Gong healers who could heal from afar really... Perhaps the Qi-Gong or some Shamans are to me the most impressive. I can't compare to this except for my "goodwill" - but then again, we are all at the level were we are supposed to be and the rest comes in its own time in its own way. Lets see how things unfold. I am curious using the any ways of energy work you suggested in the additional videos.
I am clearly no shaman, but over the years I had quite a few very intuitive moments when working on clients, where I just knew something about them which I had no logical way of knowing. I also had many incidences where I spontaneously just came up with a new technique which was perfect for what the client needed. Generally after the session ended, I could not remember anymore what I had done specifically.
I guess you could call these "shamanic moments", and I believe that anyone can get those by working on lots of clients and by focusing on the energy and not just on the mechanical techniques. I talk a lot about this in the "Magic Touch Secrets" course, which you own already.
Yes... I remember that I too had moments were a way to deal with an issue was revealed to me on the spot and later on I forgot what I did (but wished to remember). It appears that intuition takes over sometimes when we can get into a deeper flow.
Hip Therapy 5
The adductors which want to let go, I often come across and hence, I appreciate the many ways of how to approach the issues.
The forearm rolling on the adductors was felt as to hard for my very stiff client. My client said that after the treatment the legs were looser and he was not sure about the hip. Well, I know from experience that people who have not stretched their hips for decades tend to be fairly locked. Lean and roll with the hands and rocking, or circular motion did indeed to a lot to loosen the legs.
I keep reminding me that the whole body, movement, breath, ideation is the key to invite the flow.
Using the knee too was to rough for my client. I tried it but I need to get more experience with using that knee gently on a stiff client. I barely used my knee and the limit was already reached.
Some people have tendons like stainless steel cables - they are so hard and I get afraid that the tendon could actually snap.
This time the blood flow exploration was not very well felt by the client. I felt the plus getting stronger, the area getting warmer and I released the pressure slowly but my client did not feel it. One of my other clients felt it though. I think one has to develop a taste for that too and perhaps I will need to get ever more sensitive as well.
Hip Therapy 6
I had a lot of clients who had pain in the groin area. Using the fingertips (scooping and circling) at the groin area and foreshorten the leg at the same time is helping. So much can happen. Tightness, stagnant lymph, metabolic waste from arthritis perhaps, all gets stuck in these deeper areas. I have used this technique a lot since the last Complete Thai course.
I prefer rocking over stationary a lot. Using the 1 to 10 method is also necessary when clients have issues here - we can prevent pain or see results. I have used this method a lot for point work in the past.
Rocking the knee towards the shoulder or rocking sideways up and down gently does open the joint and I had no difficulties here. I got some good feedback from my client here.
Using my knee on the hamstring still was too rough for the extremely tight hamstrings of my practice person. It is hard to believe how still my practice person was. I could lift the leg only one third off the ground and the end-feel was already felt. However, bending the knee I could do a lot of motions regardless of the stiffness of the hamstrings.
I had trouble with the part were my deltoid was wrapped around the knee and my upper chest rests on the lower leg leaning down with the whole bodyweight was not easy to get right. The leg was too wide and my deltoid did not reach the knee cup nicely to push the person down. This needs to be done with a more flexible person also. I have had not the right feel for that in my body. This was not an easy stretch.
How good that you explained all the details.
I liked the standing stretches - were the foot was resting at the insight area of my leg, on hand is supportive under the heel and one on the knee.. I have some clients who need more distance and that stretch would do it. They were a nice easing up after the previous contortions 🙂
The circular movements of the hip and the (no 5, 6 slice)... was experienced as very pleasant. The way we use our legs to do the stretch and use the hands to guide the motions was very interesting and easy going.
Thanks for today... more to come. 🙂
The trick with the knee work is that you sometimes cannot use linear pressure. Instead you can move the knee forwards and backwards, wiggle it sideways, or do circular motions. That's explained in more detail in the Body Mastery for Massage course, I think. You have access to that through your Complete Thai Massage course.
However there are those steel-cable clients where some areas just hurt. As you pointed out, if someone has been stiff for decades and never bothered doing much about it, we can't work miracles in one session!
Hip Therapy 7
The hip slices come all nicely together in this video and talking therapeutically about the limitations of the slices is very useful to me. I often came across limitations. Again, I appreciate that you talk about the very flexible and the limitations very clearly and repeatedly (Slice no 6). It is so easy to push (instead of leaning even) to far if one is not sensitive. Te sideways rocking feels very nice as my practice person did it on me
Overall I did not have much trouble in this video. It is perhaps the second half of the slice no, 6,7, and 8 which I did not remember very well. I remember parts of this from the complete hip massage course but I had not opportunity to pay deeper attention yet.... as there is so much to learn. It is all very interesting though. Again the rocking sideways is my favorite. I think rocking motions is so special that I want to learn that in deeper ways as well. That course, I must take later.
Slice number 7 stretch, the variations, bringing the right leg over the left is very interesting too. I could not practice that one as the persons legs were to wast to cross over. I am looking forward to do that one again with a person which can handle that stretch more easily. Again, I found that the lesser trochanter is often under stress (from tight Psoas pulling on it, for instance) in people - so even if they are slim they can't cross over unless the psoas is more flexible. The 1-10 pain-management or intensity-measuring-method however is the key for moving forward when things get intense.
Slice number 8, where one knee rests above the knee of the other, I appreciated as I could not remember that one very well as the technique is a bit more complex than it looks. Basically one follows the fulcrum of the motion of the leg, one side comes up and than we push down, it is like a slow or fast gentle swinging rocking motion - which can be done faster and slower - it depends (I have a practice friend who does not like fast moves at all, its as of she gets dizzy right away (she is 70 years old). However, when I did it slowly it worked very well. I can't wait till somebody tries it out on me. I wonder what that would feel like myself. I still need to learn this one better.
The actual difficulties I had is mainly to remember the flow, the Hara, and the ideations from the 20 ways of allowing ideations to appear (you made a wonderful video). It's a bit much to do that all at once for me. I take a healing-mantra sometimes internally. When I learn, I am more technically concerned and the flow wants to wait at the back-burner till I have time. The way I let the flow in is to always end the practice sessions with a free flow of any area of concern my practice friends need for me to pay attention to so they can enjoy being noticed at areas were they have issues..
Hip Therapy 8 - Side Lying
This module video was very straight forward. Still knowing about the right angles, thinking about the fulcrums, pressure, leaning into the hip area (avoiding bones naturally, some clients have bursa when older, putting pressure on the bone is hard and side lying can be impossible) does need to be in-printed into me some more.
Using the different parts of the hands, heel of hand, knuckles, rolling thumbs is a natural (avoiding bones). Having a irregular rhythm was a new as I tend to more regular in lets say tapotement rhythms - so I love to become aware of how I limit myself sometimes in the past and now I have an opportunity to open up to different ways of doing things, so I invite irregularity to trick the muscles and clients to let go.
I liked when we lifted the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus up and actually rolled it over. Many massage practitioner just move the tissue up but the rolling over is a pleasant addition which is often forgotten. I am glad to know this and it remembered me of the trapezius work we did in another module. These gluteus muscle tend to atrophy in many of my clients and any way to stimulate (besides strengthening them, which is paramount) is deeply appreciated.
Rocking with hand over hand moving forward (leaning) must feel so good. I remember that I first leaned forward more pressure lean out less pressure, I sometimes shifted position prematurely while doing the motion but it is better to complete the move and move the hands to another spot after.
Using the powerful knuckles sharp or flat part of the hand), (one or two handed), I remember from Japanese Anma Massage which I studied early on. Having a loose wrist, however, was new to me. I tensed myself way to much up in the past.
I still having a bit trouble finding practice friends as the Spring is approaching. Luckily there is no time pressure really.
I will enjoy to write a threat on the Art of Thai Massage after the course is over. Should I do it on the same part were the courses are represented with the headline of "The Art of Thai Massage?" What do you think?
I wish to treat the Art of Thai Massage gift as a course with practice-friends... whom I will pamper with free spirited Thai remembrances for their own benefit at the end. I think in this way I will see many other angles of learning.
What is really the art is to combine the healing flow with knowledge and also intuition (sensitivity) with the fulcrum and possibility of the differences the human body presents at the present moment. Thai really is for all age groups.
Sometimes, I wonder why the thai people spent so much time at the legs. Perhaps it was made to help the older people to keep mobile as their muscles tend to artrophy and their joints lack lubrications. However, there are so may ways to work the neck and shoulders, especially I fell in love with the side lying scapula/neck work. It had been of great help in my practice as well.
I am really looking forward to your comments on the "Art Of Thai Massage" course since hardly anyone ever writes about that. Since this is a good size course all by itself, you might as well start a new topic for it to make it easier to find.
I have wondered about the leg emphasis too. And you know, just because something is done in Thailand, doesn't mean that it is the only and best way of doing it, I have found out. There are some things that they do here in Thai Massage which I can't stand and that feel terrible. One example is "chopping" on the forehead which doesn't serve any purpose and doesn't feel good at all.
Hip Therapy 9 - Using Power tools.
Finally I got my practice partners coming in again. It's not easy 2 moved and now it's Spring - gardening comes in the way. I need to slow down as the daily chores wear me out. Anyway, I will continue... just a but slower at times.
Using the elbow at the Gluts, lean in and roll down was self explanatory. Easy to remember. I get a hang using the rocking way and I am looking forward taking the class in a couple of month (need to catch up with my previous learning experiences a bit over the Summer). Using the elbow below the ASIS joint side-lying, rolling it up was interesting. Many of the moves shown never occurred to me and so I see the creativity in many ways. Using my knees, I developed a lot more sensitivity, and when I rocked my weight forward I could measure the pressure using my arms at the shoulder and below the greater trochanter. It was interesting that we used similar techniques in front and on the back.
I enjoyed how we worked in the leg sliding up to work at the side of the hip bringing it up. The moves are explained slowly and to see how the fulcrum is used to easily slide under using both hands, that I need to repeat definitely. It felt very good for my practice friend too.
it was caring to support the leg and the knee with 2 hands. That was a nurturing feeling to do.
Hip Therapy 10 - Hip Flexors
First of all I need to mention that I never really strengthened my own flexors (Psoas). Yes, I did abs, I did hamstring strengthening adductors, Gluteus Medeus and Minimus and max, strengthening. I think that is the missing key in my own program and I practice these strengthening exercises daily. Stretches along are not enough. Weakness too can lead to stiffness - so I learned. Without stretching - strengthening is not what it could be and without strengthening stretching is not what it could be. In my yoga this has to be together for me at my age have a dignified aging process going on.
Coming to the lesson, I liked going over the detailed circular one way-motion locking the foot with the leg and circling the knee first slow and then fast. It was nice to know was that the hip comes up in that move (as is with many other moves in this lesson, I observe that the hip had to come up to do some stretching). Again, rocking motion trick the muscles into "let go relaxation." This exercise I loved from my earlier Thai course already and going over it in slow detail is very useful ad inspiring actually as I feel that I really get better that way. It works that you, Shama, speak so slowly and precisely about every single move.
Some part of the stretching motions for the flexors were self explanatory once we know how it came easy. I had difficulty when I put her leg over my thigh with foot lying across to the popliteal fossa, using my knee across to work at the buttock was not possible as the person was comparably large and not flexible. The fulcrum was not working, This was certainly an artistic move anyway, which I need to repeat with a another body type to feel out some more. It is important to see what brings the hip up, but/and then again we can use the right hand doing an easier version pressing down the buttock away from the center. Honestly, if I do the easier version just right, it would be good enough for a beginner.
There are 2 moves, one in which the foot is under the armpit and the hand is on the knee and the other were the foot rests on the opposite popliteal fossa. Both moves bring the hip up but target the flexors in a different manner. I am not sure when I would use one over the other right now (pressing the hip down and away from the midline was good to remember) - I need to feel them out on me trying to use a big bolster perhaps or finding some way to passively stretch myself first into something similar (restorative yoga can do that). I sometimes create a little move from your lesson not unlike yoga to feel this passively, using restorative yoga methods. Since I don't get that much Thai bodywork, at least I want to learn some motions anyway.
I liked the last part too, were we sat on top the clients buttock and we lift the leg over the knee up. It was very easy. I happen to like how easier moves are offered and the difficult moves take a little while to master. Well I just as I notice that I get better with my knees I think I could get better with the complex moves as well.
so, I am enthusiastic to strengthen my own flexors. Luckily I have some issues with my own hip and so I can understand my clients so much better. Ut's all a blessing in its own way.
On your lessons there is something for any type of learner, beginner, advanced, athletic type, more normal created body type, etc. Above all nothing beats the nurturing quality of this learning. For me it is the nurturing quality which invites the flow, the hara, the light ideations, the goodwill, the speaking with the muscles, and other organs, the devotion and the love.
I think I am off strengthening my flexors. there are tons of nice exercises available at the internet.
You are right that stretching and strengthening are both necessary. Of course massage is passive and strengthening is not happening there. That's why is it such a good idea to combine yoga with Thai Massage. I have often recommended yoga exercises or other exercises to my clients, if they had any serious issues. If someone just wants to experience a Thai Massage, I would not recommend any exercises, but for therapeutic sessions I often do make such recommendations. In some of my newer therapy courses I have included an entire module about such self-help exercises for clients.
Hip Therapy 11 - The Flow.
Yesterday, I practiced parts of Hip therapy 10, the one where I I tried to cut corners to reach the glutes from the other end but again, the leverage did not match right, even my person was flexible ("using my knee across to work at the buttock was not possible as the person was comparably large and not flexible."
Anyway, I observed your artistry and the flow with all my heart and later did my flow. My nurse, flexible yogini said that the flow was very good even though I remembered nothing what I just saw on the video. I kept the hip pie and sidelying in mind and from there I went and the flow came on its own.
Thank you for everything. I will focus now on the artistry movies and write something up for inspiration.
I also need to repeat everything I learned as I am worried to forget.
I want to learn more rocking ways as well, as many clients are not flexible and I am in need to learn that too.
Sending my greetings to all who do such wonderful sharing and work. Thanks Shama and family. I feel very connected to you all.
So this course is finished now. Feeling a little heart ache when I finish something.