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Kendre Petrick's Complete Thai Massage Course Notes
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Kendre Petrick
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September 21, 2021 - 1:22 am
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Module 1

I always ask my clients if they are familiar with Thai Massage at the beginning of the treatment. If they answer no, I explain to them I use my elbows, arms, thumbs, knuckles, percussion, and even my feet. My clients often ask about the reason for percussion. I explain it to them in a medical professional way, but I lack a layman's way to describe it and its purpose. Any ideas on a better explanation that will engage the client and give them understanding?

I do feel like I am in a fluid dance as I move around the client to create the entire massage. I do not use squatting as much of the other positions, I am curious to find out throughout the course where and how this position is used.

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Kendre Petrick
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September 21, 2021 - 1:28 am
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Module 2

I incorporate Thai Rocking Massage/Chi Machine in the beginning or end of Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage for some clients. This technique is also incorporated in Shiatsu massages. I find this an effective way to initiate circulation; cardiac and lymphatic. I did not associate it with Chi until watching the module 1 video. This makes sense and this motion does actively create kinetic movement energy.

However, in using Thai Massage ergonomics with other types of massages that are mattress based, I find some positions a bit difficult to hold for a while. I use an Ikea full size Matrand mattress which actually conforms to how I move around the client and supports my ergonomic placement of feet and ankles, while creating no discomfort in my knees. Plus my clients think it is very comfortable and it is firm enough to support both me and the client.

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Shama Kern
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September 21, 2021 - 9:21 am
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Hi Kendre, welcome to our forum and to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

Regarding your question about percussion, you can tell your clients that it is an excellent alternative to deep pressure which can be painful. Percussion penetrates deeply without the deep pressure and is never painful (if done correctly). It also has a stimulating effect on the energy flow, i.e. opening blockages. It is a gentle and effective way to warm up an area of the body. The rhythmic motion feels very pleasant and almost hypnotic. For example, many people use rhythmic sounds (like a metronome or an electronic version of it) for getting into deeper states of relaxation and/or meditation. In a similar way, the steady rhythm of percussion is very relaxing.

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Kendre Petrick
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September 24, 2021 - 2:05 am
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Hi Mr. Kern. Thanks for the information about percussion and reasons why it is used. Great reference to sound vibration and its healing frequencies, I did not think about that.

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Kendre Petrick
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September 24, 2021 - 2:27 am
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Module 3

In regards to practicing Thai foot reflexology, I originally saw your video on YouTube. This is was sparked my interest in also taking your instruction because it was really in depth and dynamic. I offer a foot massage and reflexology package. I have a lot of clients with plantar fasciatis and this type of massage that you have explained I will incorporate into this package. I am really interested in the sitting position you used, as I think think was be a great hold for the foot to perform reflexology, instead of sitting below the client. Does shaking the individual limbs act the same way as a full body shake for chi energy?

The technique for hip rotation is completely new to me. Is there any contraindications for this particular action?

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Kendre Petrick
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September 24, 2021 - 2:56 am
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Module 4

When you demonstrated the small circles on the top of the foot, I think the lines on the feet are in relation to Sen lines. I am familiar with the meridians in TCM, but Sen lines are a part of TTM and I do not know if these actually do run into the feet or not. The reason I question this is the TTM lines run on the inside and outside of the legs.

It is good to know that a client does not exactly know what your routine or sequence is, and every therapist has a different style. It gives me the flexibility to try new forms of massage and work a on solid routine that I can always follow. This foot sequence is new to me, however remembering the full range of the foot's body movements will definitely help me to complete the entire sequence.

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Shama Kern
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September 24, 2021 - 8:24 am
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Regarding your interest in foot therapy like Plantar Fasciitis, you might want to consider taking our Thai Foot Massage And Reflexology course in the future which goes much more into specific treatment protocols for such conditions.

Regarding your question about contraindications, there is a section coming up in the course which explains this in detail.

Regarding sen lines in the feet - yes, there are definitely sen lines running into the feet according to the traditional Thai Massage system. But for the purposes of this course, you don't need to have detailed knowledge of them. They become more essential when working on the legs.

There is also more information about this coming up later in the course.

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Kendre Petrick
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September 26, 2021 - 1:56 am
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Module 5

I also work within a gym and many of my clients workout before or after their Thai Massage session. I recommend my clients to work out before the massage, as opposed to after, for the same reason you mentioned about having the muscles warmed up before hand. I also recommend taking the day off entirely from working out, but many have time constraints and try to fit everything in while at the gym.

The push pull technique is new to me. I will incorporate this into my routine. The hand roll techniques are very thumb intensive. I hope to learn some strengthening exercises for my thumbs.

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Shama Kern
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September 26, 2021 - 2:57 am
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The hand-roll techniques should not feel very thumb-intensive. Make sure that you work with your entire body and use bodyweight instead of just pressing with your hand and thumbs. You can lighten up on this technique, or you can even replace it with heel-of-hand rolling which eliminates thumb work.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 9, 2021 - 1:58 am
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Great replacement technique, the heel of hand roll. I will try this next time, thanks for the information.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 9, 2021 - 2:20 am
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Module 6

The sitting position in this video is very comfortable. I have been using this in my sessions for legs and even foot work and reflexology.

In regards to the previous conversation, heel of hand can be used along with forearm techniques. I find it interesting that this position effectively massages the top and bottom of the leg with the practitioner's arm and thigh.

This is a very in-depth video for leg work. Some of these techniques are very beneficial to those who are pregnant, as it loosens up the pelvic region and improves birthing capability.

 I realize the video is for detailed explanation and learning, but how long does this massage for leg work normally take?

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Shama Kern
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October 9, 2021 - 9:57 am
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There is a summary video coming up where you will see the entire flow of the leg work as in a real session.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 10, 2021 - 2:40 am
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Perfect.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 12, 2021 - 2:04 am
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Module 7

This module I enjoyed learning how to stretch out the hip. Many clients have hip dysplasia. I can see where this technique will be really helpful in loosening up tight and subluxed joints within the hip and S.I. joint area.

The foot-hip stretch while holding both legs and walking stretch I use when the client is prone. Is there a preference on whether this is more beneficial prone or supine?

I was taught to do the hip lift cross pull stretch straight and not at an angle towards my shoulder. I see the difference with the lower back being stretched, whereas the straight pull only addresses the hip joint.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 12, 2021 - 2:31 am
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Module 8

I think it is great that a session can use different techniques, especially depending on what the client needs. This will also help me learn the new techniques over time and practice.

There have been times where I have had to skip over certain stretches due to client bodily condition or size. However, there are ways to implement based on the impediment.

The hip pie is a good way to remember all the stretches to perform. I like the one handed calf stretch, especially if I should need to give a hand a break. I have been using the two hand technique alternating fingertips. The squeeze and pull back of the calves is a great exercise as well. I will definitely include these two new techniques for those who tend to get leg cramps easily.

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October 12, 2021 - 8:32 am
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Regarding your question if the foot-hip stretch is more beneficial in prone or supine: This stretch can be very uncomfortable in the prone position. In the supine position the leg does not have to be parallel to the ground if the client is not so flexible. But in the prone position the intensity of this stretch is magnified since the client is not able to let the leg 'float' according to ROM limits as happens naturally in the supine position.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 14, 2021 - 12:52 am
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What about a side position with the foot-hip stretch?

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Kendre Petrick
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October 14, 2021 - 1:20 am
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Module 9

You mention joint stiffness within this video. I have clients who have arthritis. It is not contraindicated necessarily, but to perform and modify the massage technique to client body condition and limitations. How can I treat a person with arthritis, any suggestions you find helpful?

I could see where the techniques of Lorenzo Becchi would be beneficial for stretching and traction of the spine, similar to a gravity table. Actually being put into these stretching positions while under gravity traction seems like it would be very effective. Thanks for sharing this neat video and style of therapy.

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Kendre Petrick
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October 14, 2021 - 1:56 am
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Module 10

I really like the full lumbar twist stretch and information of mechanics for taller clients. I have been taught to perform a similar stretch via Shiatsu. Which uses breathing while bringing the knee towards the chest and then a into the twist position while holding the shoulder. I like this initial rocking technique and then the stretch already in position. It would be ideal for those with lumbar issues.

Body mechanics are so important. I find that I flow and float around the client. It's graceful. If I put my body in a non ergonomic position or a wrong position, I know immediately and readjust if static.

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Shama Kern
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October 14, 2021 - 8:08 am
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"What about a side position with the foot-hip stretch?"  -  This stretch is totally doable in the side position.

"How can I treat a person with arthritis, any suggestions you find helpful?"  -  Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body attacks itself. This only happens when the natural balance of the body is seriously out of balance.

You cannot just massage away arthritis. One of the main causes of this condition is caused by too much acidity in the body. To remedy that, the client has to make the body more alkaline by changing their diet, getting sunshine, breathing better, doing intermittent fasting, stopping harmful and acidic habits like smoking and drinking, just to name a few applicable remedies among many.

If the client doesn't do anything to address the causes of arthritis besides taking pills, you will have a hard time making progress with the massage. Massage is just one element of arthritis treatment. It also helps to make the body more alkaline, but it is not sufficient as a sole remedy for arthritis.

Good therapy needs to take the client's lifestyle habits into account. Positive lifestyle changes along with Thai Massage can definitely improve arthritis. It is not so much a matter of which techniques to use, but of turning the body more alkaline. This is holistic treatment, not an application of some techniques.

You can inquire about the client's lifestyle habits and get a feeling for what might be causing the arthritis. Then you can make some suggestions on what helps to make the body more alkaline. If you don't know anything about this topic, then it would be a good idea to read up on it.

Of course you can argue that this is beyond the scope of Thai Massage therapy. However if you want to be a really effective Thai Massage therapist, then you will need to learn more and know more than just applying techniques. Thai Massage is not just a system of techniques, it is a holistic therapy.

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