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Karl Ellerbeck Thai Shoulder Massage Course Notes
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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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May 29, 2021 - 5:33 am
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MODULE 1

I have an integrated massage practice and use a table.  I will be setting up a separate room for floor based massage where I have an infrared sauna installed, but until that is accomplished I will adapt the techniques for table use.

I typically have 4 - 8 hours booked each day, 6 days a week, giving me plenty of opportunities to practice the shoulder work, though typically the client is undressed, so draping is of concern as well.

Today I used compression, rocking and range of motion (circling) with three clients.  

1 client was very relaxed with good proprioception and movement was easy and satisfying to us both.

2 clients were quite guarded and stiff and it took a long time (relatively) to stretch and create enough safety to get good results.  I think that as my body gets used to the movements I will facilitate better and that will translate to their bodies as ease and comfort.

I noticed how relaxed the model is in the training video and recognize how that makes implementing the techniques taught easier.

It was fun experimenting and I wish I had a practice partner to work with my body too!

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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May 30, 2021 - 7:06 am
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Hi Karl, welcome to the Thai Shoulder Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

By the way, we got the forum profile issue fixed, and I already added your full name to your profile. The only thing missing now is that you write something about yourself in the bio section.

It seems that you have quite a busy practice. Where in the world are you located?

It will take some time before your body and your mind are all synched up with the Thai Massage moves, but once this happens, it will all flow and will feel totally natural to both yourself and your clients. Smile

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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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June 9, 2021 - 3:38 am
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Hi Shama,

Thanks for the support!  I've updated my profile with a bio.  I practice in Northern Virginia, US in a town of about 40,000 people (Winchester), which is about 60 miles west of Washington, DC.

I have a practice partner now so I am doing some floor work practice at her studio/meditation room.  She is quite flexible so it makes learning the rhythms easier. It'll probably two months or so before I have a room properly prepared at my clinic.

I am enjoying your videos, not just because of the content, but your embodiment of ease of movement and presence too.

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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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June 9, 2021 - 4:03 am
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MODULE  2

I couldn't figure out a way to have my knee under the shoulder (as shown in the video) and still have proper access to the shoulder so I inserted a towel roll instead. 

I have my stationary massage table set down as low as possible and I use my legs as much as possible for the body rhythm movement. The table is very stable but I do use lower back muscles more than with my "regular" massage techniques.

These rhythmic movements shown in this module are well received by my clients, though it takes a bit of "non rhythm" to keep some clients from "helping by anticipating".

I have started floor practice stretching and mobility but it's not easy so it will take time. I just turned 70 and haven't sat on my heels with toes flat for about 30 years... I used to meditate that way. I'm patient and persistent!

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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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June 9, 2021 - 4:55 am
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MODULE  3

 

I can do the first stretch on the table because the hand sinks into the extra foam padding I have on my table but stabilizing the hand with the foot while working on the floor makes it feel like the client's arm is able to be freer.

I can't do stretch # 2 on the table because the foot is essential but it's a great move on the floor! I can do a modified 2 on the table by wrapping the client's arm around my hips, block the pects with my opposite extended arm/hand while rotating my hips to pull the arm towards, and then rotating the other way to extend their arm/shoulder. There is a natural wind/unwind movement with my hips/torso to effectively create a modified # 2 stretch.

Arm dangling/swinging is easy to do on the table and is a technique I've used for years.

Arm throwing is new to me but works great on the table. I used it most recently with a triathlete who really wanted to "help". After a few cycles, he was able to unhook from "helping".

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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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June 9, 2021 - 5:24 am
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Module  4

 

I found that doing the Prone shoulder work after the Supine shoulder work is better than starting with Prone.

Since I have the face cradle in use when the client is prone, I can change the angle and height to make the client more comfortable as well as create a more open neck while it is flexed when supported. 

I had to use a towel under the shoulder to help with the positioning of the Prone Shoulder Backward Rotation. I trap the arm around my torso with a strap so that I can use both arms.

By changing sides to do the "power stretch" I did not need to use the strap because my lower arm supports their arm and shoulder.

Because my hips are still not flexible as needed the floor work is not as comfortable as the table work.

Unless my client needs to be "activated" at the end of a session, I seldom use tapotement to finish, rather, I use circular movement and energy work at the end to encourage peacefulness.

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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June 9, 2021 - 7:27 am
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Wow, you just turned 70 and are still doing massage work - that's impressive. You must have done something right in your life.

I know, the 'helpers' are something! This is especially noticeable in Thai Massage where you move client's around so much.

You seem to be quite creative in adjusting the techniques to the table - excellent! If the towel under the shoulder works for you, by all means use it. I might show the techniques in a particular way, but this does not mean that there aren't other ways to do it.

By the way, I read your bio, and you have quite an array of skills there! Smile

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Karl Ellerbeck
Winchester, Virginia USA
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June 10, 2021 - 9:02 am
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Hi Shama,

Thanks for the note!

Yes, I've been fortunate.  I have had good "life teachers" and I try to apply their wisdom in my life.

I read your COVID-19 travel adventure... you have had an interesting turn of events. I am glad that you have the publishing platform (Thai Healing Massage Academy) to teach us and to support you. I enjoy your presence and presentation.

I first took massage classes in 1970 while studying Mechanical Engineering (University of Washington) in Seattle where I was born and raised. I've been doing massage and other wellness practices full-time since 1993. 

I hope your stay in Mexico is fruitful!

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Shama Kern
Thailand
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June 10, 2021 - 10:30 pm
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We are just in the process of settling in. It takes a while to figure things out in a new country. At least we are legal residents already.

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