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Laura Sprague - Complete Thai Massage Course
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Shama Kern
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August 31, 2021 - 9:29 am
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You are right, clients don't always speak up and say what is on their mind, so your daughter is a good practice partner in this regard.

I have played soft music in most of my sessions, so nothing wrong with that, especially if it helps you.

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Laura Sprague
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September 2, 2021 - 6:48 pm
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Module 24 

Prone Back 1

This was an interesting lesson for me because it taught me something about using body weight that I can apply to my whole practice, not just these moves.  When I tried the opposite-side techniques it felt like I couldn't get the rhythm/feel the elasticity like I often do in these sort of leaning moves, even when I tried to relax.  After a bit I stood up to see if I could get a more direct push and that worked!  I was standing like a giraffe with my legs wide, back straight, shoulders directly over my hands, and then I could really feel it and so could my client, in a good way.  I am short, and I know this, so any time I feel like I can't get a good angle I'm going to see if my height plays a factor and attempt to adjust accordingly.  Of course, once I found this position the more I relaxed, the deeper I sunk in to her back and the more she enjoyed it.  

I asked her about the sensation of pulling in her skin and she did not notice that to an uncomfortable degree so I think I may be getting better at that (although she is a tough, strong woman in her late 40s so I don't expect her skin to be sensitive like my daughter's skin.  I found my body wanting to move in small circles as I applied pressure and wonder if that is an acceptable and beneficial way to do it.  The last technique with the hands pulling in opposite directions was challenging but watching you do it on the video again helps me absorb the technique with my mirror neurons.  🙂 

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Shama Kern
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September 2, 2021 - 8:37 pm
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I am glad to hear that you are figuring out ways to adjust your techniques creatively, like the 'giraffe pose'. Laugh  Whatever works is the right way to do it, as long as it is comfortable for you and doesn't strain you.

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Laura Sprague
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September 12, 2021 - 12:14 am
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Module 25

Prone Back 2

Note: This week I worked on Modules 25, 26, and 27 on multiple clients, so I will be posting them in succession today.

Working with the spine is such important work; I appreciate your encouragement to really take the time to explore as much as I feel like I need, plus it clearly feels nice for the client.  

The upper trap technique is, for me, at a better angle than many trap techniques and everybody requests traps so I try to get to them in as many ways as I can.  I tried getting in there with my forearm too and that worked.  

The elbows on the far-side erectors works really well for me leverage-wise and I did not have to do my giraffe stance :).  I explored in there with my fingers first as you suggested and then when I leaned in with my elbows I asked my clients how it felt which was very good for most and one could use even more pressure.  She has a very strong back so I felt okay trying the knee techniques with her, although I was a little nervous at first.  When I got the hang of it she really liked it.  The forward rocking was the most natural one for me and I did not try the leg extension version yet. 

One person liked the elbows-on-erectors rolling so much that we went back to it a 3rd time in one session!

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Laura Sprague
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September 12, 2021 - 12:32 am
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Module 26

Prone Back 3 

I have some pain in my thumbs already at 54 and I'm glad you've created alternatives to the traditional techniques.  I felt like their forearm on my thigh was a comfortable position at first however when I leaned in with my forearm I'm not sure I ever got that angle just right so I'm going to play with that.  I was able to generate a feeling of "softness" in myself when I was doing it so it wasn't lacking benefit; it's just not flowing for me yet in that position.  When I got up higher, though, and put pillows under the shoulder and arm instead of my knee, then I could get leverage for the technique and then it seemed to feel very nice.  The walking and galloping on erectors feels easy and natural as long as I get up high enough.  

Elephant-walking either side of the spine while straddling hips is definitely one in which I must stand for an adequate lean-in feeling.

I worked on the squeeze/pull technique (where the North hand is squeezing the trap and the South hand is circling) multiple times and every single time my hands want to copy each other with their wonderful mirror neurons.  Even though I have heard you say that if a technique doesn't work for you, don't worry about it, I have highlighted this move for practice as it looks like it would feel so good! So I really want to get it.  

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Laura Sprague
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September 12, 2021 - 1:04 am
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Module 27

Upper Back

Note: Here's the last of my 3-in-a-row, which I recall is not the way you want us to post.  I practiced a lot of massage this week, so that's the good news. Next week I will make the time to post as I go, and I hope you'll accept these entries.

I found myself shifting up and down a bit when doing the initial circles and kneading of the upper trap, trying to find my leverage between the 1/2 kneeling and my giraffe-type standing.  When getting up under the shoulder blade with the arm behind the back I was surprised at how hard this was for all 3 people I tried it on even though one of them is very flexible in general (she was surprised, herself, which just shows me why it is an important stretch to do).  After I saw that once I had each person put their own arm behind their back instead of me lifting it there. With the person who was surprised by her own tightness, when I palpated the inside of the blade and leaned back a little she really didn't feel much, which was yet another surprise to me because I assumed if it was tight going in to the position it would be tight in the area of focus.  This was the same person who wanted me to go back to the elbows-in-erectors just medial to the scapulae twice because she loved it so much, so that was interesting to me and told me more about her tension patterns, that it was more about her head position (erectors) that her shoulder rotation or something like that, which informs my personal training of the same client when we are looking for areas that need more strength.   

I was able to do the technique with their arm extended on my thigh very well and I adapted it to make it easier for me by sitting on their sacrums.  I don't know if that gets the arm high enough though; I didn't lift anyone's arm very high, i notice in retrospect, maybe because I wanted to avoid that over-stretch feeling I gave the one girl with the arm behind her back.  So I can ease into that one.  

I love cobra pose!  I was able to practice each of the three variations, and once again I found because of being short that the positions with my knees closer to their head gave me more leverage so even if they could stretch more I stuck with what I could do more effectively for the most part.  

The percussion at the end is hypnotic for me, too; it's one of my favorite parts to give and one of the first techniques I ever learned.  

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Shama Kern
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September 12, 2021 - 4:31 am
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Don't worry about posting 3 modules in a row. The whole purpose of the forum posting is that I can see, or rather read, that someone is actually practicing the course material, and that is very obviously the case with you. Your posts are excellent and in-depth. Smile

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