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Kathy Pabst - Complete Thai Massage -Course notes
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Kathy S Pabst
Atlanta, GA
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February 19, 2021 - 4:53 pm
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Module 12:

The different options for preforming the different techniques were enlightening. While I haven't encountered clients yet who are unable to do some of the things shown, it is nice to have the options available to me for when I do. Will also be nice for when a client is having a hard time releasing into a movement or is resisting due to an injury or a fear they may carry in their body. 

I was surprised by the standing sandwich stretch for the posterior leg. I thought it would've been more challenging, but it came rather naturally and was received well. I am a bit taller for a female, at 5'10" so sometimes the positions are a little challenging with my smaller clients. I did this on 2 taller clients and it worked well. I will continue on and try this on a smaller client today and hopefully it will be just as easy and enjoyable for her.

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Kathy S Pabst
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February 19, 2021 - 5:31 pm
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Module 13:

Scooping, circling and wiggling are great additions for my clients with tighter hips. This will be a great option for those who I need to go in much more gently with to warm them up mentally and physically.

I do like the idea of the hip pie to keep my mind on all the different ranges of motion as I move their body around, but I have not had much success with the 225 stretch. I think this is one of those stretches that even though the hip is 'going' in that direction, it is a smaller move and not easily done or accepted by the clients bodies I've worked on so far. I will keep working at it though. I'm also struggling a bit with the 315 hip stretch. Just seems clunky and so far the bodies, they have been men and due to different hip mobility in men, this may be part of it, the bodies have not been very receptive. I'm still working on the positioning of their legs and need to practice before introduce to a newer client or one I don't know as well. I think that once I figure it out, it will be a nice stretch and to feel the pressure on the leg in that area will be nice.

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Kathy S Pabst
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February 19, 2021 - 8:04 pm
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Module 14:

Lots of good stuff in this module. The hip rocking has been well received, whether on the hip points or at the side. The one side hip rocking was very well received. I am still working on my positioning for this one. Right now it feels like more effort than it should so I know its my positioning. I do have shorter arms, so some things are more challenging for me regardless. The other big struggle is the half back arch with quad stretch. So far, the times I've practiced, it has not felt good on their knee. I need to watch the videos more to see exactly how you got the leg in that position smoothly for one, and also the correct position. I think this could be a fabulous addition to this stretch if I can figure it out. 

Thank you for breaking down the movement around the body. I did watch the supplemental video earlier in section 1, but always good to see it again. Great to practice on all this moving for balance and flow in general for our bodywork. 

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Kathy S Pabst
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February 19, 2021 - 8:11 pm
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Module 15:

This abdominal work is interesting. I have done the hara waves move with one hand under the low back and other on belly. So you like sandwich the low body and 'wave' along the back and belly. I like both options, but the 2 hands and even the palm rotations, really help you feel connected to the client. Its such gentle work that it creates like a bond with their body. 

I had practiced the thumb rolling under the ribcage twice before my session this morning. Both times they were too ticklish. But, my client this morning loved all the rib and sternum work. She is also a massage therapist and gave excellent feedback for me. As I went in the the sternum on her, she was very sensitive, much more so than my husband and son that I worked on last night. I backed off to one hand and then went to the sternum rocking and she loved that. So we continued with the sternum rocking for a bit and then went back to the palm circling on the sternum and she received it much better. I started in with one hand again and then added the other to go in gently. She loved it. Then moving on to the clavicles and shoulder was fabulous for her especially with the work she does. She found the elephant walking along the shoulders to be very soothing. 

You were right also, my son and husband really enjoyed the chest walking. I was surprised exactly by how much they loved it. 

I am very excited about these modules! Great additions.

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Kathy S Pabst
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February 19, 2021 - 8:24 pm
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Module 16:

This shoulder work is fabulous. As I worked on my husband he felt things moving and breaking up during the shoulder and neck pulling and the trap work. My son enjoyed it as well. And again, my client this morning really benefited as well. The 2 handed trap circling is a nice way to really connect with what is going on in the traps and rhomboids. Nice addition. Once you get the hang of sliding the knee under the shoulder, things get much simpler and accessible. 

I have preformed the row boat on 4 different bodies now and received different feedback for all. Nothing bad, just better foot placement for one and the other has a bone spur on her thumb so I had to adjust my hold on her wrist to protect that. 

Once I figured out the hand placement for the triangle arm stretch, it is nice and interesting to see how much each person has opened up as I press on the thigh and elbow. Main issue I've found is making room for the hand with the pillow I am using. I may need to re-evaluate what I am using as it is a little disruptive to have them pick up their head so I can scoot the pillow over to make room for their hand. I'll figure that out.

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Kathy S Pabst
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February 19, 2021 - 8:31 pm
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Module 17:

The hand and arm work is amazing. My client today could feel energy lines opening up and cool tingling throughout her body as I worked. All have loved the hand work and my daughter also felt the tingling in her hands when I was finished. She said her hands felt so much more open and relaxed. Yay.

Sliding off the hand has been another favorite. Our hands are so busy and clenched up so often, it is so nice to have this extra work to help release that tightness. 

My client today was helpful. As mentioned previously she has some thumb issues and lots of tenderness. This hand work felt really good for her and hopefully, this along with the arm lines that brought the tingling, I'm hoping areas were opened up to provide even more release for her thumb. I will follow up tomorrow to see how she is feeling. 

I like the palm massaging that leads into the 4-finger traction. Just seems like it would feel really nice. Seems to be good so far. The wrist shake and finish is a nice way to wrap it up.

I am very excited with all these new options. So many new additions! I can't wait to have my next clients come and work on them.

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Shama Kern
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February 19, 2021 - 10:22 pm
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The 225 and 315 hip stretches really don't work for everyone. They are quite strong, and for people on the stiff side just too much. In such cases just do the hip circling move which includes all angles, but in a gentle way.

Otherwise you are getting great feedback and seem to be doing very well. Smile

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Kathy S Pabst
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March 17, 2021 - 9:45 pm
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Module 18:

I was able to practice the figure 8 shoulder movements. At first the client, my daughter, mentioned it wasn't feeling so great on back of the arms. I switched my arm placement and she felt much better and enjoyed the sensation quite a bit. I was also surprised by how much I could lift the hip off the mat in the lower spine twist. I thought that would be more challenging. The upper body twist was also a favorite for my daughter. I liked the feeling in my body as well as I leaned back into it. 

I will need to continue to work on the transferring. I have some knee issues and seem to keep my butt up in air too much as I transfer over. My daughter told me I looked like a frog. Haha. I know what the issue is though so I know what I need to work on. I do want to continue with all of this section 2 to smooth things out and make them more a part of me, but I do enjoy the work and trust eventually it will all come together.

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Kathy S Pabst
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March 17, 2021 - 9:48 pm
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Module 19:

These videos seem to be my favorite. I like how it wraps it all up and we get to watch it as a nice flow. I am having some trouble deciding how to make transitions from one area to another so I don't feel like I'm switching sides too much or not enough. Some clients come for Thai because laying supine or prone for too long bothers their back and they like that there is more movement of their body. But, I found I left one of these clients on their back a little too long. She didn't say anything, but I could tell by her body language. I know this will all come to me as I work through everything more consistently, for now I'll just work through it in my head between clients.

Thank you for the final video in each section though. Much appreciated.

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Shama Kern
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March 17, 2021 - 11:42 pm
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More intuition and more flow will develop with time and practice. The more you get comfortable with the techniques, the better you will be able to focus on refining it all.

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:12 pm
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Module 20:

My first time working the feet with the elbows, my client/friend informed me to be careful as the inner side of the foot can be a bit sensitive for some, herself included. Good feedback, so I lightened up and she really enjoyed it. I like the traction/compression option into rocking too. 

The achilles/calf stretch here speaks to me most in this version. Seems more accessible to me and I enjoy this stretch. I will probably stick with this one for now until I feel more comfortable with the others.

The new pillow option are very helpful. I started using a smaller pillow which is very helpful for the forearm triangle stretch, so thank you for that. 

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:18 pm
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Module 21:

The prone leg work on the hamstrings I have been doing, but not the 3 different lines of the leg and the hip work is an addition that is being received rather well.  I am able to move around the clients leg easily as well, so that is good. I also find your options for coming out of the leg to be very smooth and natural. Ending with the calf work is a nice transition to the other leg as well.

The prone rocking here is so nice too. I like that it can be added in whenever seems appropriate for me as well as the client.

Prone triangle stretch with the knee work also was received better than I expected. My client enjoyed the sensation. I think we forget how hard the front of our shins work and they need attention too. Would this be a good stretch/work for someone with shin splints? Seems like would be helpful, if not too painful. Ending with that hip press is awesome. All clients I have done this one to so far have really enjoyed this work.

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:25 pm
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Module 22:

I have been doing a version of the double heel to glutes, but not the single leg version. This is a nice warm up to the full movement and helped me get a good feel for how the client was receiving it before going in with both heels to glutes. I also appreciated the ways to make it more intense while keep the knee safe. I was able to practice this on my daughter who was surprisingly looser in her quads than I expected, but she also has knee issues. I was able to safely give her this stretch and she really enjoyed it. The double heel to glute options were nice too. I like option of opening their knees out a bit to increase the stretch. So simple.

The options with me sitting on their sacrum will need some work. I have done a psoas stretch from this position and I can surely see the benefit with a larger legged person, but doesn't feel quite natural yet. I'll continue working on it as opportunities present themself. I am glad that you spoke about where to sit on their low back area so we know where sensation will get more intense for them. 

Performing the knee on the glutes will take a little more practice. I think the glutes can handle more than I expect, but then when add the hip lift with the press it gets real pretty quick. Or maybe, the knee only is a nice warm up/prep stretch/introductory touch before the hip lift addition. Either way, it was received well, even though it was intense for that client. Easy enough to control how deep we go.

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:29 pm
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Module 23:

I was so excited to do this sacrum work on my massage therapist client. Any time I can give back to her I am excited, but knowing this work isn't done often enough, I was happy to work on her. I worked on my family as well so I got familiar with a few sacrums as suggested. Laugh

My client was excited when I started the sacrum work. I will need to develop more touch with the hands/palm circling the sacrum. Finding I can go much deeper than expect. The thumb rocking is so simple and effective, my client would've enjoyed that for quite a while. Ending with the percussion moves is a nice transition into the next phase of work. 

I did practice the full glute rocking with my knees on my husband. Figure he's a safer first try since he is bigger and I know can handle my weight. It actually seemed to come together more fluidly than I expected. I'd still want to practice a few more times before I bring this completely into my work.

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:33 pm
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Module 24:

The prone back series is a nice warm up for what comes next. It is like a great way to introduce my touch and feel things out before going in more deeply. It does require awareness of my touch as I rock along the spine to make sure I do not go too far and overstretch the skin and it becomes more uncomfortable than enjoyable. 

As I practiced this, I could feel the differences in each clients backs. Some were more open and receiving while some were tighter and less willing to move. That would be where I would hang out with these moves a little longer to help them relax into the movement and continue preparing them for the erector spinae work that follows.

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Kathy S Pabst
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April 19, 2021 - 9:39 pm
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Module 25:

Love the erector spinae work. These muscles work so hard every day and don't get the love they need. I found your ergonomic discussion very helpful. The first time I went in to do this work, I found myself leaning in at an angle to their body. Exactly what you said not to do. I took some time to figure it out and get myself situated. I found that I had my knees more aligned with their hip level than with the waist to shoulder level. Lesson learned because it was not comfortable at all. Could feel my back and hips responding and not in a nice way.

The trapezius lean is such a welcome addition. The client I used this on had requested trap work and this is so accessible and controllable as you use your leg to press into the arm and get deeper. Her muscles really responded well to the work and I could feel her traps begin to release.

I admit I was nervous going into the spinae with the elbows, but since I've done elbow work before, I had the confidence and it went well. I just need to focus on slow movements with the breath so I don't rush through it too much. I will need to work on the knee rocking. I rewatched the video and I think I rocked in and out on back instead of side to side. She didn't seem to not enjoy it, so think it was OK, but will be good to try this rocking side to side. The options for different knee techniques for intensity will be helpful as well for those larger/stronger clients.

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Shama Kern
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April 20, 2021 - 12:30 am
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This was my reading quota for the day! Laugh

It does sound like you are getting quite comfortable with it all, and like you will easily be able to incorporate it into your work.

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Kathy S Pabst
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May 11, 2021 - 10:03 pm
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Module 26:

Promise I won't post as many at once this time. Cool

I finally feel like I'm making this all work in my head. Its not like its hard, but some of it seems repetitive and I think its keeping it straight which work is on far side of spine versus closer side of the spine. I was intrigued when felt the groove in the scapula you mentioned. It takes a few tries, but when find it, it is a very natural space to work in. I also like the gallop pace, mixes things up a bit. And the thumb rolling of the sacrum and back are being well received.

I've been working on my daughter a bit. She's a high level soccer goal keeper and needs the work anyway. I have learned a bit from her as she does not sugar coat her works. Like at all. Anyway, she has been dealing with bronchitis for probably 6 weeks and her lungs are a bit sensitive. Its been interesting to see how she responds to the work on her back where the lungs are. She isn't quite as sensitive anymore, but it is a good lesson that I need to be mindful as working on this area, especially for anyone who may have lung issues. 

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Kathy S Pabst
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May 11, 2021 - 10:08 pm
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Module 27:

The trap work is always a winner. I'm getting mixed up on when I work only one side versus both sides together. Good thing is that all the work is appreciated regardless, so I guess I'll just go with it. I do feel the benefit of the fingertip wiggle along the erector spinae. I also have some previous work on the scapula that I've been doing. I like these new options as its a bit easer to get in there. The other options require a bit of thumb work/strength and when the scapula is not very loose, it is challenging to get in there, even with putting their hand behind their back. But this option, prone with shoulder elevated and hand behind the back, the scap really lifts up nicely and I can get in there easily.

I was super surprised by how easily my first client came up into cobra as I lifted her. Thankfully she is a friend and a client. She liked the stretch and I then tried the second version sitting on her butt. Was a good lesson though that i don't need to pull too hard to lift her up by the shoulders. I have had the opportunity to practice all 3 versions and all are very accessible. I like having the options. 

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Kathy S Pabst
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May 11, 2021 - 10:12 pm
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Module 28:

I always love these final videos that cover the entire sequence learned. So good to see it as a flow. The only struggle was figuring out how to maneuver around the body when going from the scapular release into the shoulder stretch with the backward rotation where their arm is draped over the opposite thigh. Once I was able to practice it a few times, I figured out a flow that worked for me to keep it all smooth. 

I will probably be going back to this video a few more times. Its all good work, but think my head is starting to mix things together, or I'm just thinking too much and getting in my own way. I realize intuition is half of it, and keeping the client safe and comfortable.

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