Thai Healing Massage Academy | Thai Massage Online Courses

thai massage back stretch

Learn Thai Massage

ONLINE

Convenient - Effective

Professional Training since 2001

Thai Healing Massage Academy logo
Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_TopicIcon
Kathryn Morris' complete thai massage notes
Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21
May 7, 2023 - 9:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

"Is there any point where you would recommend suggesting a client see a therapist that is closer to their size?"  -  I can tell you my experience from living in Thailand for two decades. The vast majority of Thai Massage therapists in Thailand are small women, some of them tiny. They often work on much larger clients - especially large Westerners. So it can be done if you make sure to use your body weight and have good body mechanics.

However you will have to skip some techniques and modify others so that you don't strain your body. There are many examples coming up in this course on how to do that. Keep in mind that the clients will never know which techniques you skipped. As long as the overall experience is good for them, they will be happy.

I will have to admit, however, that working on much heavier clients is more difficult - no question about that. But thousands of small Asian women are doing it every day, so it can be done.

I have had a couple of cases in my career where massively overweight clients came for a session, and I did not work on them a second time. There is a point where you have to take care of yourself first if you want to be able to help others.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22
May 9, 2023 - 12:18 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

Module 13

Completion of hip pie – working WITH a client – good pain vs bad pain – measuring success of your work

The more you work with your clients and practice your touch, the more perceptive you become so long as you are open and paying attention. You can feel the flow of energy and fluids through the body. You can feel the tension patterns and how they connect. You start to get a feel for what pain or other sensations the client is feeling in their body feel like under your hands. You see slight variations in facial expressions or changes in breath. All of these are signals about what you are doing and any adjustments that may or may not be able to be made.

Some clients are really good at giving verbal feedback and communicating, while others can’t or won’t no matter how you word your questions or encourage them. For these clients in particular I have found it is super important to learn to read their other cues. Another thing I tell my clients is that sessions should never be painful, that there is an “oh that hurts but it feels so good, and it is helping don’t stop” which is ok, but something that makes you say ouch or want to stop is a signal to back off or change it up.

I have found that I can feel the difference between these when working on my clients, the bad pain tends to result in a contraction of the muscle or holding of the breath while the good typically results in a deepening of the breath and feelings of softening in at least 1 area of the body. I also avoid using the word pain, I tend to ask if there are any areas bothering them or causing problems, just a lighter version of figuring out what their body projects are.

When someone is experiencing intense pain, starting by simply holding the area (no massage, pressure, or movement), has been effective for allowing me to slowly introduce touch and work the area. It allows the client to direct their breath to the area and let go of anything they may be holding onto like guarding or fear, it helps them relax instead of tensing in anticipation. The biggest obstacle to my current flow is my strength and ability to move smoothly, which is rapidly improving with my yoga practice.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23
May 9, 2023 - 12:21 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Shama Kern said
"Is there any point where you would recommend suggesting a client see a therapist that is closer to their size?"  -  I can tell you my experience from living in Thailand for two decades. The vast majority of Thai Massage therapists in Thailand are small women, some of them tiny. They often work on much larger clients - especially large Westerners. So it can be done if you make sure to use your body weight and have good body mechanics.

However you will have to skip some techniques and modify others so that you don't strain your body. There are many examples coming up in this course on how to do that. Keep in mind that the clients will never know which techniques you skipped. As long as the overall experience is good for them, they will be happy.

I will have to admit, however, that working on much heavier clients is more difficult - no question about that. But thousands of small Asian women are doing it every day, so it can be done.

I have had a couple of cases in my career where massively overweight clients came for a session, and I did not work on them a second time. There is a point where you have to take care of yourself first if you want to be able to help others.

  

Thank you, this was incredibly helpful. I have been trusting my intuition and modifying things where I can, but certain things I simply can not do with this person. This gave me the reassurance I needed to continue trusting myself.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24
May 9, 2023 - 8:00 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

From your comments about module 13 it is apparent that you have moved past the stage of just learning techniques and are picking up on all the subtleties. Great! Smile

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
25
May 11, 2023 - 6:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 14

Hip rocking – maintaining body contact – transition

I feel like hip rocking is a great warm up and a gentle way to say hello and get a feel for any tension or restrictions that may need to be addressed. The rocking techniques have been a good indicator of whether or not a client is a “helper” or has trouble relaxing and letting go. When I encounter these people, I find that I have to take a different approach to the warmup starting with slow holds and no movement and sometimes even coaching some breath work or pulling from meditation skills.  The quad and low back stretch looks deep and powerful. So far none of my clients have had the mobility for this technique, but we are working towards it. You make the transition look so easy, and mine needs work. The balancing exercises and maintaining my yoga practice are helping. While I use my whole body for table massage, it uses different muscles. Getting used to moving around on the ground is helping my own mobility. I love that this modality is beneficial to me as well as my clients.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
26
May 14, 2023 - 8:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

"I love that this modality is beneficial to me as well as my clients." -  Yes, this makes it unique among massage styles.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
27
September 11, 2023 - 6:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

Module 15

I always love adding new abdomen techniques to my repertoire, it is one of my favorite areas to massage and, in my experience, one of the most important. I typically start abdominal massage with a simple hold to listen, just like you demonstrated, and always notice the breath first. I find when my clients have what I call stuck breath where either the inhale exhale or both are struggling, simply holding helps their breath unstick.

When I feel no breath/they are a shallow chest breather, I find placing one hand on the abdomen and the other on the sternum helps deepen the breath and drop it into/connect it to their center or even lower. The push and roll is a great technique for releasing tension patterns I frequently find here including, the bottom or top half of the x being taught, the left or right side, or the cross/opposing sections.

Placing the hand on the center and doing the circle is similar to something else I already do but is more efficient at finding certain tension patterns. It did not occur to me until I saw you do it, that on a mat you can position yourself over the client for abdominal massage which will eliminate awkward twisting on my body for bilateral work like the thumbs under the ribs.

It is much easier to do the rib flow back and forth, and elephant walking on a mat than it is on a table. Being able to be over my client instead of next to them has allowed me to do more techniques without stressing my own body. My abdominal massage is more effective due to better positioning. Thank you.

I have watched many more modules than this. I am not caught up with posting in the forum. Thank you for your patience and for allowing us to go at our own pace. 

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
28
September 13, 2023 - 5:14 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

"I always love adding new abdomen techniques to my repertoire."  -  In this case you might really enjoy our Abdominal Massage course which is much more in-depth. It's only a $47 course but has lots of unique material about the abdomen.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
29
September 25, 2023 - 7:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 16

Shoulders

Push and pull with foot in the shoulder: sometimes I drop into this move easily. Foot placement is perfect, rhythm flows, and it feels amazing. Other times it is much more difficult. I have noticed when clients have tension in the subscap and or serratus anterior it is easy to accidentally pinch the skin. Most clients say overall they enjoy this move and it feels good, some of them have to get over the initial shock of being touched with a foot.

The moves with the leg under the shoulder are too much for my clients that have rounded shoulders or extreme tension in the neck. They report a tingly sensation down their arms that they find uncomfortable. These clients prefer moves that depress the scapula to moves that circle or protract the scapula in any way. 

Elephant walking on shoulders. All clients have reported this helps and feels good including several saying it helps with their breathing. The sweet spot for not being uncomfortable has varied greatly due to anatomy and can be tricky to find without proper feedback (the sweet spot does not feel the same to me on everyone).

I have learned that I need to work on asking for feedback as well as guidance on what good feedback is. 

The triangle stretch is too much for most of my clients. Sometimes working the forearm first helps with the tension/stretch felt in the wrist. Sometimes their arm simply is not ready to bend this way. One of the most fascinating things about this course is the clear cultural difference in how our bodies are treated and cared for. Several moves that have been listed as gentle are still out of reach for at least some if not more of my clients. However, mindful movement, breathwork, relaxation techniques, and self care are not part of culture. Many people here still see massage as a luxury or only a thing to do to accompany physical therapy, and they see those as only a thing to do when a doctor says and until they are better, not as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
30
September 25, 2023 - 9:09 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

Module 18

Transitions and Spinal Twists

These moves came more naturally to me than the previous video. Clients like it when the twist is taken just a little further each time while using a slow to medium pace with a smooth rhythm. I have found it is important to make sure you are lifting the arm up and over, not just straight over the body, to eliminate any pinching in the opposite shoulder. The closer to the spine you get your hand, the deeper the stretch. Putting the leg into the triangle shape deepens the stretch and can be felt all the way into the hips. These moves alone really loosened the shoulders and felt amazing for my client. The biggest difference from the other styles of massage I have studied is the way in which movement is used. While the warmup moves are nice and at times necessary, the way in which joint movement is utilized has been my biggest take away and have been my favorite moves. My preferred style for the mat is already developing and typically involves using the gentle rocks and waggles, followed by the joint movement, and then finishing with stretching. When something is really stuck or blocked preventing movement, I start pulling from my tool kit to address the specific area and find the style that works and is received best for that particular client and issue. 

Most of my practice bodies can feel the tension moving down when we do a practice video that is just upper body. When we do a session that involves upper and lower body, they prefer to start with upper body twists then work to low body twists. 

Today we discovered that placing a small pillow under the hips and sacrum may alleviate any pain or discomfort experienced while lying face up on the mat. I also feel that getting a slightly softer mat could assist with this. 

 

(I originally listed this as module 17 by mistake and posted them out of order, module 17 will be my next post)

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
31
September 26, 2023 - 4:35 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I can see that you are really doing a deep-dive into the course material and not just applying it mechanically, but adapting it to your client's needs and conditions. Excellent!

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
32
September 26, 2023 - 11:57 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 17

Arms and Hands

So much can be found in the hands! Tension, stress, emotions, energy blockages, etc. This is great work. I have found that not all clients have the anatomy or mobility for both arm positions. People who have a medially rotated humerus or have pronated forearms do not go into the palm up position as easily or comfortably. Luckily there are so many ways to work on the hand, this doesn’t impact the ability to give a great hand massage! 

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
33
September 27, 2023 - 2:39 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

That's something you will find more often - not all positions or techniques work for every client. That's why my mantra is: "The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences."

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
34
October 23, 2023 - 5:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 19

Summary 2

The summaries are really helpful for finding flow and piecing things together. This time when I followed along, I was working with a larger client that I could not do certain moves with. I was able to replace the demonstrated move with something else that worked for myself and the client that did the same or similar thing. It was funny that you had mentioned making sure you had enough room for above the head because I had not done that this particular time and had to improvise. Improvising like that was not bad though, it tested my ability to adapt the session and it turned out well.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
35
October 23, 2023 - 7:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 20

Prone position legs 1

I love using the elbows on the feet! I have found this works especially well for people with tight but ticklish feet. At first the pushing and pulling of the heel and the rock felt weird, but my clients loved it. Both they and I could really feel those moves alleviating tension and encouraging the hips to relax. Those moves in particular are also really good at showing where higher restricted points are in the hips and low back. The tendon circles and elephant walking are also really popular and effective.

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
36
October 23, 2023 - 9:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 21

Prone position legs 2

Amazing leg and hip work! This works for the table as well as the mat which is awesome! I do have some clients that are so tight in the front of their legs and hips (quads and or iliopsoas) that the sitting under the leg/hip position is simply not doable for them. The stretches and knee work really help open the restricted clients up and work towards being able to accomplish that position. All of my clients that have been in this position have loved when I work all the way up into the hip with the leg in each posture. I have really developed a love of working with my knees during this course and have seen significant improvement with clients when incorporating it, especially when I am working on the larger muscles of the legs. 

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
37
October 23, 2023 - 9:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

"Improvising like that was not bad though, it tested my ability to adapt the session and it turned out well."  -  Improvising is more than 'not bad'. It is an essential skill in Thai Massage. It goes right along with being intuitive, creative, and adaptable. Smile

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
38
November 3, 2023 - 10:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 22

Prone position legs 3

I feel each of the stretches impacting a different area of the client's body even though they are similar and essentially targeting the same muscle groups. For me, the sitting on the butt stretch is currently only effective for large clients. I will have to work on my own leg strength and posture in order to safely implement it on smaller/average sized people. Every time I use my knee on someone's hip the response is oh that’s amazing that feels wonderful. The stretch with the knee in the hip makes it easy to target specific areas of hip tension as well as give the intensity some clients need. I have felt multiple releases through the low back, hips, and pelvis doing this work including releases that see a complete shift in the set of the hips (in a positive pain relieving way). 

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 10167
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
39
November 4, 2023 - 6:08 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

"I have felt multiple releases through the low back, hips, and pelvis doing this work including releases that see a complete shift in the set of the hips (in a positive pain relieving way)."  -  You must be doing something right to get such results! Smile

Avatar
Kathryn Morris
Louisville, KY, USA
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
May 24, 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
40
November 27, 2023 - 8:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 23

Sacrum and Glutes

Hooray for sacrum work! In all of my massage courses, this is the least addressed area. In fact some classes have even taught us NOT to work on the sacrum. This feels like a huge missing piece for back pain and limited hip mobility. In fact, I have found doing sacrum and glute work before the supine hip stretches can make the hip stretches more impactful. 

Forum Timezone: Asia/Tbilisi
Most Users Ever Online: 254
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 14
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
mwisdom: 186
DKThai: 174
Merri Lou Dobler: 169
Karin Secrest: 164
Ernesta Andriunaite: 116
Dean Samuels: 103
Newest Members:
fbksfire1008
Adam Masters
sparestorationcenter
Mariah Kuipers
Tinafon
Rhiannon Van Der Meer
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 5
Topics: 1542
Posts: 24802

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 6
Members: 1195
Moderators: 0
Admins: 1
Administrators: Shama Kern