February 15, 2018
I have never taken a Thai course before. In addition, I almost hate to admit, I have never RECEIVED a Thai Massage before! However, I see the value in several aspects of Thai Massage. The use of your entire body to perform the massage. The ability to perform it anywhere with the clients full clothed. The fact that you need very little equipment. The rhythmic quality of the work seems very soothing and comforting. The stretching as opposed to the constant pressure of massage.
I look forward to learning new ways to move my own body and new ways to work with my clients.
I am currently in the beginning of Spring Training with a major league Baseball team, so I will be following along and posting as time allows. So far, finding people to practice on has not been a problem! If anything, I may have TOO many!
February 15, 2018
Module 2- Chi Machine
I have already been incorporating some form of shaking or vibration into my massage routines for years and have found it very useful for a few different reasons:
#1. Introduces the client to your initial touch in a non threatening manner
#2. Relaxing and repetitive motion calms the CNS
#3. Often disarms a tense client and allows them to relax and "let go"
It did take me a few minutes to get the rhythm of the "chi machine" However, once I did, I found it to be a much easier way to use a full body motion and much easier on me. I will need to practice to make the motion more relaxed and practice the winding down of the motion at the end. I could see this as both an opening segment, or something you come back to if the client starts to tense during the session.
February 15, 2018
Most Thai massage begins with foot massage. Personally for me, this is usually the most relaxing aspect of a massage and the most important as I spend a lot of time on my feet. For my athletes, ankle mobility is very important.
Since I have practicing the sitting on my feet and toes, I was actually quite comfortable performing the foot massage. I started my clients with the Chi Machine move just to have some level of introduction to my touch and to relax them on the mat. From there, I moved up and between their feet and worked on bending the feet outwards with firm, but gentle pressure. After sliding back, I grasped the feet and completed the 1,2,3,2,1 sequence. I actually spent some time practicing this move on my own thighs before transferring it into my session and felt it was quite helpful. I would like to see the circular motion done it real time to see how fast someone trained in Thai actually completes that. For now, I kept the general speed of my work fairly slow and methodical. For bending the feet in, I really concentrated on a downward pressure towards my body. Allowing the tarsal bones to open up and stretch deeply. After 3-4 deep stretches, I moved forward and used my entire body to stretch the feet toward the Clients head and then again down and away from the head. Being careful not to jam the joints. After several passes. I moved to the position to twist the feet inward and outward, I was afraid it might be difficult to transition but it was easier than I thought and more intuitive than I expected. I LOVED the compression and decompression aspect of this part. Again, it felt good to incorporate my entire body into the movement. The final move "the shaking" felt like a good way to shake off any tension that may be left in the ankle and hips.
So far, feedback has been very positive and the work feels very intuitive.
February 15, 2018
NOW I finally feel like I am putting this together and starting to play with the movements, and not just do them in a sequence. This morning I had a very willing participant who had very sore feet. I explained this wasn't traditional foot massage, but that I would be incorporating some kneading techniques with the soles of his feet- unfortunately, he was unable to bend his leg to allow access to his foot to really practice this technique, so I skipped over it and did more or the in and out to help with his hips (Since the work seems to transfer all the way up to the hip joints) I was able to do the heel circles medially and laterally. Again, I started the sequence with the Chi machine for practice (in this case, it was VERY helpful in getting him to "let go" and relax) Then instead of looking at my notes or the videos, I just looked at my list of In, Out, Up, Down, Twist R, Twist L. Top, Bottom. I allowed the session to flow and was less concerned about the number of times I did a move and more about the feeling in the tissue. Was the tissue and joint starting to feel looser? Was the CL relaxing into a deeper state? I was happy with how easy the session flowed, even with trying, but skipping the kneading the sole of the foot (not sure he even noticed it was something I tried but couldnt do) (Bolstering was not a possibility as his very limited ROM in hips made it impossible to get his leg opened at all) I even went back and repeated some of the moves for my benefit. The client was very happy and said his feet felt way better!
Wow Kelli, you came out of the gate with flying colors! Welcome to our community and to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. It looks like you got it all figured out (meaning you read or watched the tutorial). However at the beginning of each thread I always post a reference to our certification check list to make sure that it is all correctly organized, so here it is:
You expressed some of the advantages of Thai Massage very nicely in your very first post.
Regarding seeing the circular foot motion done in real time - you will! There are several summary sessions in this course where you will see everything not only in real time, but all connected in one flow. By the way, this particular technique is not usually done in traditional Thai Massage. I learned it a long time ago from a very unique and creative Thai Massage master here in Chiang Mai who passed away many years ago. He had all kinds of really unique techniques in his repertoire which he had all invented himself.
February 15, 2018
(APOLOGIES for posting as a new post- could not figure out how to delete!)
I have been incorporating the moves from the first 4 modules to make sure I feel like I am providing a better experience to those brave souls who are willing to come in and let me practice. It also gives me the opportunity to practice those moves and helps me to develop a little bit of flow with the Thai massage.
The butterfly move is one of my favorites and I have actually transitioned this to my table sessions as well. I just need to remember to keep the movement coming from my entire body, not just my arms. No issues with holding the foot steady with my foot- feels comfortable.
Thumb rolls- up calf and thigh are easy to perform, positioning and getting into the position is probably my biggest issues since some people are more flexible than others. I really enjoyed the pushing and pulling technique and got very positive feedback from clients about how that particular move felt. Everyone commented on how much more mobility they felt in their hips when finishing up this sequence.
My biggest issues- using my full body and becomingmore comfortable moving my body around my clients. As well as positioning clients that have less mobility. In addition, repeating this over and over will make it feel more fluid.
A few techniques that I was able to even throw into my regular massages (I get right up on the table to do the leg butterfly) and so far the feedback has been great.
No problem, I deleted the separated topic.
Many Thai Massage techniques can be done on a table. The only thing to be aware of is that it is harder to position your body correctly to take advantage of your body weight - the table blocks this to some degree since you can't get right on top of people. Therefore the tendency is to use more muscle effort on the table - something to watch out for.
Using your full body and moving around your client's bodies will take some time to become comfortable with. In a couple of months from now it will have become second nature.
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