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Karin Secrest -Thai Back Massage
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Karin Secrest
Eugene, Oregon
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April 25, 2020 - 3:33 am
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 Module 1 - Spinal Analysis:

Just watched a couple of videos. I enjoyed the structural analyses, especially the rotational problems. I was not aware about the possibility that when the shoulder is up, the hip is most likely to be higher as well. 

This course is very interesting as we are on Covid 19 lockdown and massage therapy is "banned." As a result, I can only work with the people in the house and there maybe a lack of practice friends and different body types at this point. Hopefully things will one day be back to normal. If not, I just work on family. I am honestly not sure if massage will be allowed again unless one is digitally considered safe on the smartphone. We will see. No matter what happens, I will never give up in Thai massage. I love it too much.

I am curious to see how stretches work on the opposite of the unnatural rotation. Interestingly, I have a case of kyphosis here at home, and I can see that when lying down flat that the person needs a pillow to be comfortable of the chin is tilted upwards. One person is chronically and unusually stiff here but otherwise healthy. I am curious if I can motivate that person to stretch some more along the way. It is not easy for a person who us unusually stiff by nature and I wonder if there is a health condition possible due to estreme stiffness. It is as of the fascia is totally stuck does not want to give in at all. Luckily the person is jolly and positive and in good spirits and not lazy at all when it comes to general exercises like biking and hiking.

I signed up for the CEU test questions, and I answer the test questions  for the CEU after I watch a video right away too as then my memory is fresh. 

I am so glad to be here. In a way, it has been just slightly stressful not being able to work as usual. However, things are fine and it is important to cultivate and use the time for spiritual practice and learning. 

The Spring has been amazing. I hope you enjoy your Spring too. Here we had daisy flower heaven recently. The meadows were white like snow but this time - from little Daisy flowers. I have never seen so many daisies in my life.

Namaste and thank you for being here.

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Shama Kern
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April 26, 2020 - 6:25 pm
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We are being conditioned for the so-called 'new normal'. Let's see how that affects the massage and spa industry. Like you, I have my misgivings. Here in Georgia (the country), where we are marooned, massage businesses will be the last ones to open up again. There are many Thai women working here, or rather not working anymore. It's very hard on them.

But somehow massage has survived all kinds of viruses and pandemics over the last few decades, and I think that it will survive this one too. I will continue providing Thai Massage education since this is my calling. I am glad to hear that you are determined to stick with it as well.

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Karin Secrest
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April 27, 2020 - 4:20 am
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You are right. Nothing lasts forever. These kine of happenings (virus) come and go. Sometimes they pass literally overnight. Massage has been around for a long time and will continue. Massage is potentially also an immune boosting modality and as such important, especially during these these interesting times.

Module 2 - Theory:

It is nice to have a clear idea of what to do and have a plan ready in case it is needed. While it is true that I also like to follow the flow of my intuition, it is good to also have some basic idea what we are potentially dealing with. It is also good to know our limitations. I liked the questionings about pain, for instance, when, how, and what kind of pain is felt, and if the client moving enough or too little. I had clients who slept on the wrong mattress and the wrong pillow over time it affected their posture negatively. Not sleeping right is just another way to throw you back out just as much as too much sitting.

There is so much we can do though and I liked to be reminded how much we actually can do besides wellness, relaxation, ROM, reduce pain and inflammation... such as realigning the spine, for instance, is something which is usually not part of my plan butif, it would happen more spontaneously. Talking about cell memory was very important too as giving the body a potentially very healing experience helps to let go of trauma, eventually. In Ayurveda it is said that subtle music and kiirtan opens the doors of the cell and releases cellular waste, burns them. For the cell to open and release this old waste, the cells need to feel good and "loved." Hence it is important that the cells of our body are happy through a balanced life style.

The sacrum is often ignored in Western massage and not many people can give a good sacrum massage but as you said,  problems can even affect our balance and throw the entire body out of alignment. 

I remember that one of my clients had decrease of the space between the ischial tuberosity and the lesser trochanter, and complaint ischiofemoral impingement which affected quadratus femoris muscle. All this can be the result of weakness of muscles and inflammation. One can see how beneficial sacrum massage is.

I did not know that 35 muscles are attached to the sacrum, some of them are anterior ligaments (like the sacrospinous ligament, which can not be reached by us - https://www.physio-pedia.com/i.....ray319.png)  in front of the sacrum and hence, it can be hard to work with these, but what is posterior cam be worked with easily.

When I looked into the many causes for lower back pain, I realized that I never thought of overstretching. I would have thought that the lack of stretching, like forward bends, to loosen the fascia, would cause problems.

Kyphosis misalignment reminds me of a tend in which one side is too loose and the opposite side is too tight to hold the tend up. Eventually the ill aligned tend will collapse, just like the posture can collapse. It is really important to stretch and strengthen the right parts. It is easy to see how Thai massage, and stretches, can help here to invite proper alignment and increase ROM.

About the "other ways of possible results of Thai massage," like the feeling of brightness and lightness, sense of positivity, peacefulness, hopefulness, etc. I had people tell me that they felt even "spiritual bliss" sometimes and I had that happen to myself too. The sense of opening, feeling loving can trigger deeper ways of consciousness to manifest at times. Perhaps it is this what has attracted me to Thai massage as it has many correlations to "states in meditation."

To mee Thai massage, the giving and the receiving, is part if a spiritual practice too. Hence, that is why I like to always be connected to this modality, no matter what happens in this World.

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April 27, 2020 - 11:06 pm
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I really like this statement of yours: "For the cell to open and release this old waste, the cells need to feel good and "loved." Hence it is important that the cells of our body are happy through a balanced life style." You expressed it so well!

And also your description how you sometimes feel after receiving a good Thai Massage resonates very much with my own experience. That's the one thing I miss most since being marooned here: the ability to get a good massage easily and cheaply.

Of course those are not happening in Thailand at this time either, but I cannot imagine that this will be stifled for a long time there. It is too much a part of the culture and the scene, and too many people earn a living from it.

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Karin Secrest
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April 29, 2020 - 1:24 am
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It is true, I can not even imagine a Thailand without their healing work. They have so much to offer and I would love to go there again to enjoy this part of their culture myself. It has been so good for me in the past.

Module 3 - The Bigger Picture - Posture

Talking about higher level of massage, the understanding of how the body works and the underlying causes like life style habits, which to me all too often have to do with lack of energy. It is hard to exercise, for instance, or do yoga regularly, if people are chronically tired and depleted. Understanding of yoga definitely matches nicely with the Thai healing modalities as both can address states of depletion (through energizing asanas, pranayama and meditation/sound therapy, massage, stretches, herbal compresses, sen work) and cases of excess (which I rarely encounter these days, but calming slow work is indicated perhaps working away from the head -for heavy thinker- sometimes). Yoga tends to bring all the elements more into balance and that in many inspiring ways, which includes even diet and fasting. Given the fact that there are always changes in our internal and external conditions, the fluctuations of our body-mind needs to adjust to the changes through am life-time of learning and re-adjusting. 

I liked the way how you explain about the position of the feet and the knee on the floor and what it means when they are stiff in prone position. It seems like something one knows as routinely we use props to bolster up the client. However, I rarely get such flexible models as the young women in the video, and mostly have to even invent bolsters along the way, especially of the client has a belly and they can only position themselves sideways. I have a lot of restorative yoga bolsters which I use for larger folks, so they also can enjoy the benefits of being fully prone.

It is always good that you talk about the different body-types too, the larger - often stiffer people, older fragile people, younger - often but not always more flexible people, and show us how to adjust to the differences to attain results results.

I think that restorative yoga bolsters can in some cases be very effective for the comfort of the client in a prone position and can be useful for Thai work as well. For Western heavier builds one can construct the ideal support. Folding up blankets can also be helpful.

The butterfly moves... I have never used enough to cause problems so far on my wrists. Luckily, I am not stressed at my thumbs and wrists so far but I use them carefully. The 45 degree angle is so much more gentle anyway for our own well-being. I am not into stress while working and rarely had any pain as I always care for myself. I just can't imagine to be a decent practitioner when I cause pain to myself doing the work.

I enjoy going over the basics... no matter what, there is always another way in doing anything in a new way, one just needs to be open and look for it once more. Just like when I practice yoga asanas for example, one may do the cobra 100 times and think one got the pattern right, but one day there is the kind of an opening happening, or a balance for the adrenals perhaps, which helps us to perhaps relax or meditate at a much deeper level afterwards. One needs to try to feel oneself into awareness. I notice when I really pay attention or sometimes even don't pay attention - and bring myself back to the moment, using the breath perhaps. The trick is to notice things gently and avoid the judging when one becomes sidetrack. The wandering mind always returns to the center if we  learn to relax into the work instead of stressing us into the work.

Peace!🏮

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April 29, 2020 - 11:13 pm
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You have such an extensive understanding of all kinds of healing therapies. This comes through loud and clear in your comments, and I am sure this is what makes you an extraordinary practitioner.

Regarding my flexible model - I have heard this comment many times in this forum. As you know, this is how most Thai women look like. It is very difficult to find more western types of bodies among the population in Thailand. I have used many models throughout my courses, and all I could ever find were small and relatively flexible women.

I know it would have been better to demonstrate on some western bodies as well, but it was hard enough for me to find models in the first place, and what to speak of finding different body types.

I tried to mention this and show modifications for different body types in my courses, and it seems that you have the creativity to implement this including using the right kinds of props.

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Karin Secrest
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May 1, 2020 - 2:33 am
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It is noticeable that you mention the different body-types plenty and it shows that you are putting yourself into the "shoes" not only of the learner but also of the client. I appreciate that a lot. My goal is to bring more awareness into the the clients which appear almost handicapped from stiffness and restrictions. Any opening we can give them is usually amazingly appreciated. These openings really make people so happy, especially the once which have a hard time to improve their flexibility levels.

Module 4 - Rocking Motions and Back Warming. 

Interestingly, rocking motion is very much part of your particular teaching style as you invented this way of approaching Thai work "ever so new." I have never received rocking treatment outside of your teaching. Thai massage in Thailand did not use rocking motion at all, even it lends itself to it. I experienced it only when my practice client friend practiced it on me, and the effect of letting go of restriction was simply the best. I must admit that I miss rocking work when I go to a regular Thai massage and in a way, I yearn for another person who got trained the Shama way to trade one day. 

Rocking motions are also easier on the wrist, you are so right in that. I use it a lot too. The distinction between linear pressure and rocking makes perfect sense. 

I liked the many ways that you showed poses of how to apply techniques and depending on the leverage we adjust ourselves, using the entire body and not muscle powers, which causes a lot of problems and, I agree, feels less good. Whatever works is what I look for. I know it is nothing new for me to mention, but it is so easy to fall into old patterns of less functional ways to work. I still have my shortcomings at times.

Interestingly, we work here in this video (no.4) from the far side of the spine and do not touch the spine near to our own body. I guess we press the muscles away from the spine to create change as the leverage maybe better to create space in the groove. Variable pressure is already part of me from other courses... but here the difference is from today that you mentioned very little difference when we go into more pressure and less pressure. It is something to be noticed and to be paid attention too and I can't wait to notice more of the variable pressure with minimal difference and how the rhythm stays the same. I basically tried to be more subtle today.

---

Regarding sacrum work (this has nothing to do with this video but the last video). I have a semi-hard medicinal plastic ball which I used on my sacrum the other day, up and down the "groove" and circular and back and forth along the triangle of the sacrum and it was really fantastic. It really loosened up the fascia and restrictions and felt the pranic flow more freely. So, the moves which you teach can also be applied in many other holistic  and creative ways. I just wanted to share this experience. I doubt right now (and I maybe wrong) that I will ever find anybody here in town who knows how to work the sacrum well, except for my practice person who sometimes practices on me as well. In a way, I like to experience in myself  myself what I learn from you.

It is interesting how this work leads to new self-discoveries. 

🏮🙏🏼

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Shama Kern
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May 1, 2020 - 4:44 pm
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I have to say that I would also love to receive Thai Massage with my rocking motions built in. But, as you said, nobody in Thailand knows how to do this, and the same applies to any Thai people doing Thai Massage in other parts of the world. There are some western practitioners who use rocking moves (after all hundreds of people have studied my rocking course), but they are still a small minority.

The fact is that I have never received a Thai Massage based on what I teach, and probably never will. The same goes for my Heavenly Head Massage. Even my wife doesn't know the entire rocking and HHM systems. It is something which I have resigned myself to that I have to be content with teaching it but not receiving it.

Thai people are almost impossible to teach something like this to. They are very stuck in their ways of doing Thai Massage and just don't want to learn something new and different. Westerners are much more ready to learn such things since they don't have a fixed idea about how Thai Massage is supposed to be.

I think that many or most of my students think that all this rocking is part of traditional Thai Massage, but as we both know, this is not the case at all. Smile

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Karin Secrest
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May 14, 2020 - 4:28 am
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Module 5 - Sacrum Work:

The video focused on thumb and wrist joints initially. I use both, thumb and wrist in a direct, poky and linear fashion  minimally and remained pain free so far. The butterfly press feels very good in the offset fashion, the horse gallop rhythm. It reminded me of the elephant walk a little.

Sacrum work is always very nice to do. I had a little breathing problem. My breathing, so I observe, is rather long and so when I exhale and press into the body, the wiggly took too long. So my breathing got reversed a couple of times. I think I should have mastered this by now, but depending on the day, sometimes I am off with my breathing rhythm. I just accept and re-adjust then. The sacrum is very interesting as often it feels as if there are pebbles and tissue as if the fascia is too tight. It takes training to know the sacrum well. I like the way we went up and down the center groove and the edge of the sacrum in an alternating manner.

Knuckling was very interesting, I did not just go up and down but also cross fiber here as the body wanted me to do that, so I felt. Switching position is still not mastered yet but I have my tricks to jostle the hips while I get up, I don't manage to do the rocking while switching. 

This was a nice session and I focused on making the client feel extra comfy through bolstering carefully all restricted areas of the body. 

Module 6 - More Sacrum Work:

This module was very comfortable to practice, and I focused on refining the variable pressure and my breathing a bit longer. Rolling the edge of the sacrum with the heel of the hand going into rocking lighter and faster indeed brought a bit of speed into the practice. It felt nice to compare the rolling up and the rocking and feel the difference. 

It was an interesting contrast to roll up the thumbs onto the sacrum and alternate that with the elbow following the sacrum on the muscle, going up and down on the outer edge where the Gluteus start. It is nice to feel the difference between thumbing up the sacrum and pushing with the elbows at a 45 degree angle, causing the rocking. I noticed today that I  liked to practice alternating 2 techniques back and forth to get a feel for the transition between one method versus the other. I wanted to experiment a transitional flow switching  between different methods.

When one changes the elbow, you can lean and push and change between the elbows going up and down the sacrum on the 45 degree angle. Transition to another transition, perhaps rolling up the gluteus towards the sacrum (working only on the gluteus here).

Practicing transitions again is one of the biggest challenges of the entire course but I find some alternatives. That is because of some of the hip issues I have. I actually put a little square Thai pillow nearby which I use to push myself up without using the client as a push up prop, which does not feel very good, I imagine.

Anyway, today I focused on transitioning nicely and repeat the techniques that way, trying to create a pattern for remembering in future. 

Looking forward to get more practice in. Missing my practice persons as with the lockdown it is not easy to find anybody, even at home (we wor home office, of course).

Hope you do well.

🙏🏼🏮

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Shama Kern
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May 14, 2020 - 1:17 pm
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I can imagine that finding practice persons has been challenging. Here in Georgia (the country) massage will be about the last profession to open up again. 

Regarding the transitions, if you have a physical condition which prevents you from doing this easily, you can break the flow and do it that way. This may be less elegant, but it is not a huge issue. We all have to work within our abilities and limitations. You don't have to be perfect! Smile

I know of a massage therapist in England who lost the use of her hands. She didn't give up but came up with a system of just using her feet for massage, and she turned it into a successful business model.

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Karin Secrest
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May 19, 2020 - 4:15 am
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Module 7 - Moving Sacroiliac Joint 

Sacrum rocking with both hands was easy and nifty going as I practiced that before and use a lot already. The sophistication of the elbow, soft part and the variation of the angles was also interesting as I observed that I did not get the angle exactly right all the time. From the feedback I got I concluded that it still felt good though. Moving the actual Sacroiliac joint moving from there to the glutes I could feel the piriformis clearly. Moving from straight down pressure to pushing to the side and down is a lovely interlude to relax the deep gluteal tensions which we all quire over a lifetime.

I enjoyed the flow between circling the sacrum and having one hand stationary and than reverse it moving the other hand up and down the QL and having the other hand stationary and even add the third "letter J" move in a curvature along gluteus medius and up the lower back was flowing with ease. This really can easily create a nice rhythmic flow for the client.

The rhythmic thumb work with one thumb or both thumbs too was inspiring. Giving in and surrendering into the rhythm of the body is really something which comes very natural.

Here we went up and down with the elbow at the gluteal area rhythmically. It always amazes me how much one can do with the elbow or indeed with any part of the body. One has to practice to remember r though.

This was very enjoyable as I got my practice friend back who likes to practice on me too. I could swear that receiving is a form of imprinting and  remembering too.

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Shama Kern
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May 20, 2020 - 1:11 am
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I am glad that you got a lot out of the sacrum techniques. They are one of the secret gems in my system of Thai Massage. Smile
('secret') because sacrum work is rarely taught elsewhere)

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Karin Secrest
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May 22, 2020 - 3:50 am
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Module 8 - Using Knee and Feet

Moving and shifting weight with the knee on the gluteal area was going smoothly. When I supported myself on the shoulder with one hand, and the thigh with the other hand, I noticed that it is not so easy to keep balance, when not trained enough, and the client is to small, lifting the other leg to bring more power into the area with the knee was interesting as it felt as hanging in there, slightly ungrounded, but it is only for a moment, so no big deal, I am not used to do that move.

Applying direct pressure with the knee, sideways, and circles are interesting as the circle was more like a square a bit, not that round really. I guess it all depends on the skill and also perhaps hw the persons fibers are, lots of people are so tight, plus have scar tissue in their fascia, which can even be feeling like a rope. I will have to try this on other body-types to see if I am unskilled or if I am better with different body-types.

When we used both knees on the gluteals, right leg up, left down - plus sideways moves, that one I practiced earlier but almost have forgotten. I am glad to do that one again. This one can be refined over time.

Perhaps this video is the best video I ever practiced with working the gluteal area. Leaning into the area with the knee and pulling the opposing hip over with both of your hands using bodyweight leaning back, was indeed very advanced. I am glad to learn this once more and want to experiment in future with it more if I get more chances.

Heel rocking was also every interesting. It is always interesting to know that every body-part we massage with can be used in all directions, back and forth, perpendicular, circular, direct pressure and use that with breath and body-weight... again and again it is an art to remember of that at the right time, for the right person, in the right way. Now, we do have so many tools to use by now that it is never possible to do all what we know, but that is why I like the courses, as something new will sink in and become part of me. I have to trust that my own flow is the teacher too. Once I let go of the "anxiety" of forgetting these valuable ways of working with clients, then the repertoire of healing will reveal itself in the nicest way. I just will trust more my own way to integrate the gems which are being taught here.

Perhaps the nicest part of the course is that it shows how to stay in touch the whole time with the body. I admit, sometimes I forget the transitions with my practice person, but I want to make a point to stay in touch the whole time the video runs. It is just nicer for the people who come to me to feel more integrated at the end.

Your practice show/flow in the video at the end, was very inspiring. Again the rocking (Shama style) makes this so unique and special. I am so glad to learn this new way (your way) of inspired Thai Massage. 

This video was really very refined. Thank you Shama.

🙏🏼🏮

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May 22, 2020 - 10:33 pm
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Thanks for this wonderful detailed write-up. I know that my courses are in the very best hands with you!

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Karin Secrest
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May 30, 2020 - 3:16 am
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Module 9 - Problem Areas, Rocking and Elbows

Feeling and palpating, comparing and contrasting different sides, done with fingertips or thumbs too, is something to always can be refined. I always wonder, if another practitioner would find different things when working on a client or if they find the same or similar things what I find and palpate. It would be an interesting research topic of how far different practitioners find the same information while working on clients.

Rocking: While pushing against the erectors with both hands, while one hand other moves up the spine, one handed, or both handed, was fun. I noticed that you always go on my own either up or down the spine.... and that I tend to go only one direction. Perhaps I work that way because I took a class on "Thai Medical Theory," and it said that when a person is, for instance, very heady you work away from the head, and when a person is perhaps more sluggish, you work more towards to heart and head area. So, for this videos  case I worked up and down the erectors, and I think that most clients would likes that even more as returning a pathway gives a sense of completion, hence, staying longer in the motion of rocking can bring more release ultimately. 

I liked to practice with different beats.... like 1, 2, 3 move hand; to 1, 2 move hand; or 1 to 1, move hand; or any other version, that was fun. There is something strangely calming in whatever repetition you choose. Reminds me on zen-doodles, a repetitive way of drawing can induce a state of calm, so why not experience and apply rhythm like that as into this way of healing. Rhythm just feels good and I am glad to increase my level of awareness in this regard.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for me sometimes still is that I loose my breathing rhythm. I keep the rhythm with the rocking well but the breathing does not add up. When I just breath without counting I do better with breathing. I had trouble to combine breathing and counting. Interesting... I think I will be fine after paying more attention.

Module 10 - Energy Work and Body Mechanics

This transmitting of energies, focus, thinking softness, sinking in with the body, the breath, the sending and moving of energy through hands is a gently way to be sensitive with the client. I know from personal experience that I feel understood when somebody does deep energy work on me. "We move energy..."  that sentence alone, I want to keep in mind 

Being comfortable is another important part. If I am not comfortable myself it will be harder to send energy. So the way we work must work for us as well.

Having sensitivity and softness in the elbow was very well explained. I know you explained that in other videos as well. I remember, when I started working with it I always had to make sure that I do not get onto the spine. These days I am more confident. I still check sometimes so. The rocking motion, with both of the elbows ,in the opposite groove of the spine was rather interesting as I had no remembrance of that from other videos... I noticed myself observing my rocking and was enjoying that move. Nice that you showed one technique for the near side of the spine as well, sitting parallel to the spine felt natural as it is nice to have a technique for the far side and one for the near side of the groove. I think that made an impression and will be easy to recall at a later point since I already have experience with the elbow, remembering the elephant walk with it.

About using the tip of the elbow: I actually used it today. I always avoided the tip if the elbow before as it is sharp and there are other parts of the elbow to use, but here today I had  your suggested "softness" in mind and even as the elbow is very pointy and ideal for larger clients when my fingers can't keep up with the density of the adhesions, it all felt just fone for my practice person (I do check in and stop your video to ask questions). It was good to use the tip of the elbow again as my own experiences were not very good with practitioners having worked on me either. 

For many people, those who think of them as advanced, they could dismiss as these teachings as basic, but I find this with me not to be true. There is, for instance, variation of speed, depth, rhythm, usage of hands, fingers, thumbs and elbow in various ways, thinking "softness/energy," combine breathing, focus, and sending, it is just like a healing Qi-Gong session, eventually it becomes a flow then and that has to be practiced and learned. Not every day is the same either. I remember that when I learned to read the pulse in Ayurveda and Thai work, it was said that one does not know how to read the pulse unless one has read it a 1000 times all over - minimum. Hence, that is why the beginners mind is so good, as I always find myself of falling short of either ergonomics, breath, rhythm as not every day is the same. Doing these motions with you in the movie, I find ergonomics very important as that too can easily overlooked in our day to day patterns at work. There is always something very new to pick up in any of your videos.

Thai body work is really just like yoga practice, it all depends on the day, time of the day, season, and our own energy level of how the flow sets in. To refine all of that takes really a life-time. 

Thank you...

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May 31, 2020 - 1:12 pm
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I guess it would depend on the degree of sensitivity how much practitioners could pick up when touching the same spot on a client's body. I have actually run this experiment when I was teaching live classes.

Even if they are both very sensitive, they might still pick up on things in a slightly different way. For example, I often picked up things just from my intuition, like a 6th sense. It wasn't necessarily connected to my fingers touching someone.

There are obvious things that both would find - like knots. But there are things you can intuit beyond the knot - like what caused it in the first place.

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Karin Secrest
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June 5, 2020 - 2:27 am
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Module 11 - Number of Different Systems 

Cross-fiber and circular motions using knuckles, I remember from Japanese Anma massage which I used cross-fiber usually, or I vibrated the groove at the spine. Up/down rocking, or circling as shown in your video sitting sideways was the newest way to feel the knuckles out some more. I enjoy the feeling of working with the knuckles. I notice that I use circular motions less, even with the forearm than moving the tissue up and down, so I focused more on the circling motions to integrate these moves some more. Leaning in and out on the far side of the back is familiar, and after you added the circular motion, it was very integrating to feel the difference between up down, cross fiber and and circular for me as the giver.

Later, using the forearm moving up the shoulder-blade, leaning on the shoulder-blade (arm rests on the leg), there are so many ways to use the forearm, leaning and rolling on and off to the shoulder-joint was very engaging energetically, because it is so true that not every part feels good on the client. I asked a number of times which part felt best. For the most part it was the softer parts of the forearm. What was capturing my imagination was to fall into the flow and feel how to use the elbow up and down the entire back, across the shoulder-blade, up to the shoulder-joint and back again which was quite a long way. I started too relax into the moves. It was interesting that we covered two  energy lines by moving the arm slightly to the to adjust the angle, so one can go up and down at least twice the entire back up to the shoulder-joint and back again. It felt like a little journey, like an amazing move. I notice that when things get repeated  the nervous system tends to relax a lot more. The "Two Sen Elbow Technique" is easy to remember as it moves so naturally once we are aware of how to use the elbow on the lines.

Module 12 - Knees, Feet, Transitioning to Different Sides and Upper Back

Power techniques with the knee, using the hands to control the power is and was a nice exercise to increase sensitivity is weight shifting. I never used my whole weight on anybody so far but it is good to know how to do that through lifting up the supporting leg, I can bring the entire weight into the client. Mu practice friend is too skinny and small to do that though. I think I need to wait till I find the right person to do that. 

Doing foot work I have already done a lot in all kinds of ways. Using the foot at a 45 angle to support was a bit easier to keep balance. I often used a foamed martial arts stick to support my balance but I don't really need that. I practiced the moves with and without the stick and all went well. The stick is of great help for me just in case I get a hip problem during my work. It's something to hold onto if needed. Today, there was no need for that though.

Rocking with the foot is easy going and I liked when you twisted the foot sideways to to release some adhesions perhaps. Transitioning was not hard as it was done in a standing position. My balance was not too bad today.

I liked how the pillow supported my client and that her arm rested over my upper thigh from above and at the side of the head, after which the soft part of the elbow was used. It seemed today like a good idea to palpate with the fingers for tight areas first and then go into with the elbow. My client actually liked the sharp part of the elbow more and craved it to release tensions of the upper back.  As you said, "we can start out gently and then increase the power.

I think I will practice some of these again tonight before I move on so I might not be back before a week from know.

This was fun practicing.

🏮🙏🏼

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Shama Kern
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June 7, 2020 - 10:23 pm
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It was also fun reading for me, and like always, I feel like I am sitting right next to you and observing what you are doing! Smile

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Karin Secrest
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June 18, 2020 - 3:45 am
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Module 13 - Summary Session - Side Positions

In this module, I relaxed and enjoyed watching your summary of back-work with the music... so much harmony, thank you. True,  you invited us to use dozens of styles using every part of hand, elbow and even foot work. This alone can be a very satisfying and releasing experience.

Side-lying, I am very familiar with as this way of working, and it is for the most part the best way to work on my husband. He can relax best in that position. As always, the bolstering is necessary for comfort. Palm-walking, circular motions was familiar already and I always enjoy doing something, I know already but am eager to increase my awareness of watching for new ways ergonomically. There is always a way to do it slightly better than before. Knuckles and elbow work was naturally coming forth, and at the shoulder you leaned in to push... but it looked as if you moved slightly upwards too. I guess the tissue guides us often how the move will end up. This session was self explanatory but there were lots of ways again to sink in and as such needs to be allowed to be taken in some more. The knee at the end with pushing the shoulder and hip back was a nice slight stretching. I liked it a lot and it worked just fine. 

Module 14 - Shoulder-Blade and Back Stretching

Working around the shoulder with the thumbs, holding on on both sides of the shoulders, leaning in and pushing against the shoulder blade, I have not done in this particular move before. It looked as if it wanted to slide over the shoulder-blade, because the shoulder was glued to the underlying structure. Instead of going under the shoulder, my thumbs rolled over it but seemed just fine with my practice friend. I could not get my index finger under the shoulder-blade again but it was a nice pretense. Somehow wiggling works rather smoothly though.

The seven ways of how the spine moves, is very interesting. As you said, they come naturally of we are in certain prone or supine positions. I can see how some healthy and flexible yogi-types want to make this into an offering for special yogi clients... as a practice... for some it may work, and if the practitioner does not experience overkill, it may on occasion work. With me, I would want to move from the massage aspect (warm ups) into the stretching aspect though, it would feel better on my system too, as receiver and as giver.Smile

The backbend, over both of the thighs having the client rest on you, was just wonderful to practice and to experience. It really loosens up the sacrum and opens up the hip flexors. This was very useful. I like when we do combination moves of a stretch and some work on the thigh, very useful.

I did some bolstering later for myself in my restorative yoga bolster. One can use 2 bolsters crossed to give yourself the stretch, the lower part for the hip and the other bolster to let the legs drop, a couple of blankets may do the trick too, still have to try it with blankets. It felt really good. 

Peace for now and soon I will be back. 

🙏🏼🏮

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Shama Kern
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June 18, 2020 - 1:03 pm
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"There is always a way to do it slightly better than before." So true. Sometimes I get responses from therapists that they 'know a technique already'. But the truth is that sometimes a small modification can turn a mediocre way of doing it into a greatly improved way of doing it. Or sometimes knowing how to modify a technique for different body types can make all the difference.

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