In the first module I learned what the many different techniques are to giving a quality thai massage, the tools used (various body parts) in the massage, positions of the practitioner, and various terms used to describe the process.
Compression, traction, stretching, twisting, rocking, percussion, kneading, thumbing, and holding...lot's of cool techniques to bring to a well rounded massage. I look forward to learning and trying them out. I understand that by using my thumbs, fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, knees and feet I can apply the techniques without bringing too much strain to any one part of my body. This, coupled with the position I put myself into (wether it be sitting on my heels, squatting, sitting or half kneeling (almost a lunge), I will be sure to keep my own body in good alignment and use it more effectively to treat the client.
No matter the position of the client (supine, prone, sideylying, or sitting), the quality of the touch is more important than the technique being used. This allows for a feeling of safety and groundedness in the client so they can relax and enjoy the process more freely. If I am comfortable, this will translate into the client being comfortable, therefore I must use my entire body during the massage rather than one or two isolated muscles. It will bring a natural rhythm and flow to the process (I'm guessing).
The breathing is much like yoga. A rhythm using the breath and the technique is applied, matching the practitioners breath with the clients...very cool.
My mindset and attitude as well as proper ergonomics and breath were discussed in this module. If I am comfortable in my body, mind and spirit, I will convey this to the client and, along with ergonomics and proper breathing, will be able to provide a pleasant experience for the client.
Also discussed was the various names for the massage. Thai Yoga Massage is part of the western lexicon. It was coined by westerners because of the yogic-like positions. Thai Massage and Thai Traditional Massage are used interchangeably. This course, I understand, is not that traditional, however.
The Chi Machine sounds great...in theory! I had problems with practicing this as my helper is my son who has a sore heel. I am recruiting others, however, and look forward to trying it out on my next "victim"! HA! I like the idea behind it though, and I feel that as in yoga, one can churn up the prana or chi to bring a more invigorating sense of wellbeing.
Thai on the feet. I liked practicing this. It is very easy to find the 3 points on the feet and rocking back and forth using the 3 points up then down the feet was easy to follow. had a difficult time with the circling as I rocked the feet back and forth, but it started becoming more coordinated the more I practiced.
I was concerned about pressing the tops of the foot down and in because the video looked like the client was super flexible and perhaps this wouldn't be the case for my client. However, the feedback was that it felt really good.
Twisting the foot while holding the heel at the 3 points was a lovely practice for the client as well. They didn't realize their foot could move like that...so how cool is that?
The final demonstration in the video reminded me of dolphins diving through waves and I really liked the action of synchronizing the movement with a nice rhythm.
Welcome to the forum and the course! You are joining a long list of yoga teachers who want to add Thai Massage to their repertoire. It makes perfect sense - actually it is the ideal combination. I got into Thai Massage way back when because of my yoga background as well.
Both the Chi Machine and the circular foot technique take a little practice, learning how to use your body in a new way, in a more fluid and connected way. You will hear a lot about this in my course. I emphasize flow over mechanical movements.
Once your body and mind get the hang of this concept, it will become second nature, and it will take your massage to a level where it is a real Thai Yoga Massage, not just a sequence of techniques. But I think you picked up on this already:)