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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Video
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Leslie Weissglass
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December 26, 2017 - 11:22 pm
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Module 1 : Introduction

I thought the set up on the floor is very helpful but since I am recovering from a torn meniscus and I have a bursar on my big toe I will be adapting on the table.  With my background in yoga and your assistance I hope to be a great Thai Massage practitioner even though I will be working with my clients on the table.  I wish I could work on the floor and will be practicing the exercises to help me possibly achieve this goal.  But for now I am going to accept where I am and do my best with what I can physically do. I understand I am more limited but am determined to make this modality work for me because I believe in the philosophy.  I enjoyed reviewing the energy flow surrounding the Hara.  If the Hara is in the center of the body why do we start at the feet?  After just completing massage school this month which was very clinical, I can really appreciate the less clinical approach and focusing on energy and quality of touch.

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Leslie Weissglass
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December 26, 2017 - 11:34 pm
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Module @ Chi Machine

I appreciate that there is so much more to Thai massage than just technique.  I have a better understanding about what goes into a move.  This feels much more natural to me than some of the more clinical techniques I have just learned at massage school.  I look forward to becoming a Thai Massage Artist.  The different names for Thai Massage were very confusing to me so thank you for the clarification.  Can I say that I am certified in Thai Reflexology as I just received my certification and it says Thai Foot Massage. My challenge will be to be able to apply ergonomics to the table so any tips will be helpful.  I agree that when I feel good giving the massage my clients feel that the massage is more effective and relaxing.  With the Chi machine I found that it was tricky to do.  I will keep practicing.  I was watching a different video on Table Thai and they showed it by holding on to the balls of the feet and moving like they are windshield wipers.  I have tried it both ways to see what will work better. I think it may depend on the size and looseness of my client.  Can this technique be done after footwork?  Also I signed up for the certification course and want to make sure I am on the right track for this.

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Shama
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December 26, 2017 - 11:44 pm
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Hi Leslie, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program and to our community. For starters, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Check List

Many course students adapt the material in this course to the table. We all have to live with our limitations, and we don't need to be perfect with what we are doing, just try our best.

Regarding your question "If the hara is in the center, why do we start with the feet?" - the answer is that the starting point and the center of the energy are two unrelated subjects. Where we start or end the massage has no connection to the location of the hara.

Besides, there are different ways of looking at energetic patterns. There is the chakra system, the aura system, the nadi system, the meridian system, and the sen line system. They are all different in some ways, but the central energetic principle remains the same.

Just because the hara is located in the center of the body doesn't mean that we should start there, or exclusively work there. After all the energy flow goes throughout the entire body, and the objective of Thai  Massage is to unblock energetic obstructions in the body, wherever they occur. 

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Leslie Weissglass
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December 26, 2017 - 11:44 pm
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Module 3 Foot Massage

I have just recently completed the certification for Thai Foot Massage.  The review has been very helpful.  I am seeing the techniques in different ways this time.  After having the opportunity to practice some of these techniques from my last course I can see the way I approach a client is equally as important as the technique.  I have gained a great deal of confidence in doing the foot techniques with my clients and am more relaxed when I do them.  This has made me a better practitioner.  I look forward to continue to learn and grow as I practice this art form.  I understand the importance of first impressions when in a session.  I feel like the Chi machines is a lot for clients new to Thai and find that saving it until after foot work is more relaxing.  What are your thoughts. 

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December 26, 2017 - 11:51 pm
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There is no clear cut distinction between Thai foot massage and Thai reflexology. Here in Thailand all shops where foot massage is done, even though is might be primarily reflexology work, call it Thai foot massage. Also Thai reflexology is different from western reflexology. So you can certainly call yourself a Thai reflexologist, since this was covered in your course.

The Chi Machine can theoretically be done at any convenient point during the massage. There are no hard and fast rules here. I personally like to use in the beginning, but you can certainly do it after the foot work, if you like.

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 4:22 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 4

I have been practicing and find that the movements and techniques are coming more naturally now.  I went back over the videos to watch how your body moved and this was very helpful in understanding the techniques not just from a technical view.  I enjoyed practicing the circular rotation technique especially after I got the hang of it.  It really is a nice way of loosening up the foot.  I am very careful of hand placement and the direction of pressure so I don't crunch the toes.  I had that done to me and it does not feel good.  I will continue to practice the pressing using my whole body.  If feels much better!

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 4:31 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 5

I appreciate that I can now use similar techniques that I learned of the foot, on the leg.   I believe warm up is very important and really like the leg warmups.   I am trying hard to be flexible and not to mechanical on the different techniques now that there are so many to choose from.  I found the Butterfly move very interesting.  My husband found the leg warm up using the Butterfly technique very relaxing.  Thai massage feels good to me because I am using my body weight and fluid movements instead of muscles.  After learning western deep massage I really appreciate this.

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 4:49 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 6

I enjoyed learning another way to warm up the legs beside using my hands.  I am new to massage and my hands have gotten really tired lately.  I am glad I now know how to use my forearms because my thumbs have gotten sore from western massage.  I am working on using my body more effectively to have power instead of over-stressing my hands, especially my thumbs.  I appreciate the feeling of softness and how it has not much to do with pressure.  I have had  terrible massages because therapists didn't have soft hands.  If feel that this is one of my strengths and will continue to practice soft hands, although this part comes naturally for me.  I am very interested in learning more about the Sen lines. Is there any good books you can recommend that are not too technical?  I enjoyed learning Elephant Walking.  I can remember having that move done on me in the past and really found it relaxing.  Now I can practice it on others. thanks!!!

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 5:40 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 7

I agree that warm up is important before stretches.  Understanding how individual body's function differently is something that I would like to learn more about.  We touched on it in massage school but I thing that this is something very important to know how to do in order to be a good therapist.  I was confused in massage school about how you can look at the feet to see whats happening in the hips.  Your explanation is great and very helpful.  I am still confused about why the hip rotates out of balance,  can you explain further?  What causes a postural misalignment and how does Thai massage help? Can you be specific?  I am going to buy some support pillows and am wondering if you put covers on them to keep them clean.  I have seen pleather bolsers which look easy to clean but they don't seem as accurate a fit as the Thai pillows.  Any good suggestions for keeping the pillows clean between clients?  I felt that the stretches using my feet felt a bit awkward and I clearly need to practice these.  Will we be learning other rocking techniques, I see you have a separate course for this?

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 5:52 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 8

I appreciate that as Thai massage therapists we are asked to use our intuition.  This is a little difficult right now because I am so in my head learning all the techniques and stretches.  I can see that with practice and time this modality is so lovely.  I appreciate the uniqueness of the modality and how that relates to the uniqueness of the client.  I found the hip stretches much easier when I thought about it like a pie.  I tried the technique of loosening up the hip joints by rocking the leg up and down.  This really worked wonders on my husband.  I am a slow worker and appreciate working slowly.  Sometimes in massage school the clients were used to therapists working fast and getting a lot of moves in.  This never felt right for me and now it makes sense.

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 6:12 am
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Leslie Weissglass Module 9 Leg stretches 3

I agree that may people have tight adductor muscles.  I tried the bouncing technique on my husbans and it seemed to help him relax the muscles a bit.  I like the idea that if a client is tight and locked up you can make them aware of it and often this alone helps.  I also tried telling the client to breathe into the stretch.  Is this okay? I tried the Elephant Walking on the thigh adductors.  Can you explain how working on the Sen line 2 is beneficial for the client.  I would like to make more of an association with the sen lines and the individual stretches.  I know I dont really need to know this right now but I am very interested nonetheless.  The hip pie 135 stretch was not going to happen for my husband right now.   I tried rotating the leg but it was still to much of a stretch.  We had better luck with the Hip Pie 180 stretch.  This was a great stretch and seemed to help his lower back to.

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Leslie Weissglass
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January 5, 2018 - 6:25 am
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Module 10 Leg Stretches 4

I agree that the massage needs to feel good to the practitioner as well as the client.  It will not be effective if I feel uncomfortable.  In massage school I have tried to do some deep that didn't feel good on my hands and I would assume didn't feel great on the client either.  This concept is very important to me because the energy needs to feel right or whats the point?  I find the hara of particular interest to me.  I agree that when you work on a client it is less important about what your hands are doing and more important to focus the attention on the hara.  I continue to focus on working with my whole body instead of my muscles.  My husband enjoyed the spinal twist even though we kept it gentle and not too deep.  I think this is a great stretch to have someone help you with as I practice this pose personally and would love to have someone stretch and assist me. 

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January 5, 2018 - 10:11 am
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I am glad to hear that you appreciate the therapist-friendly nature of my style of Thai Massage. Just FYI, in most schools Thai Massage is taught differently, with mostly thumb work. I have intentionally changed this.

Regarding your question about the sen lines, there is information coming up in this course about this. But since you asked, here are some references:

Thai Massage And Traditional Sen Lines

Thai Massage Sen Line Therapy Introduction

Thai Massage Sen Line Training Course

"I am still confused about why the hip rotates out of balance,  can you explain further?  What causes a postural misalignment and how does Thai massage help? Can you be specific?" 

That's a question which requires more than a quick forum post. In a nutshell, postural misalignment generally comes from lifestyle habits. For example, men carrying a wallet in a back pocket of their pants can thrown their posture off. Women carrying a handbag on one shoulder can throw their posture out of alignment. People wearing high heels will ruin their posture. People who sit all day long kill their posture. People who always look down at their computer or mobile device can cause havoc with their neck and upper back. People who wear the wrong shoes can throw their posture out of alignment.

All those things are covered in more detail in our specialized therapy courses, like the Thai Back Massage course and the Thai Foot Massage course, for example. There you will learn how exactly Thai Massage can help. You will also learn about these issues in this course and in the bonus courses.

Yes, I do put covers on pillows to keep them clean.

Yes, you will learn more rocking techniques in this course.

When I have a particularly stiff client or someone with a significant issue, I do sometimes ask the client to breathe into a tight muscle or joint, and I have found that this can really help them since it makes them aware of the issue and allows them to participate constructively. However you have to be careful not to use this breathing a lot since any active client participation will take them out of their relaxed, dreamy state. Only use it when you can't get someone to relax otherwise.

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Leslie Weissglass
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February 3, 2018 - 9:01 pm
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Module 11

 

I learned a great deal from this module.  It was helpful to see the flow from one technique to the next.  I am still feeling a bit shaky about integrating the different techniques.  The more I practice the more confident I become.  Its still difficult for me to remember what should come next.  I am trying to follow my instincts and watch this module over and over to get the hang of the flow.  I was thinking of making a visual chart for myself with some of the basic techniques as a reference.  I am back and forth on whether I should focus on mat work or table work.  My knee is getting better but I have a bursar on my big toe which limits my range of motion when squatting.  My toe has limited rom and I have great pain when I try to squat.  It seems that there is so much floor work that requires squatting and kneeling.  I'm 53 and continue to practice the exercises you suggested.  I want to be able to do the floor work because I see that many of the techniques would be tricky on the table.  I suppose this is part of my journey.  Any thoughts?

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February 3, 2018 - 9:16 pm
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Floor work definitely has advantages. You can do more techniques on the floor than on the table, and you have better ergonomics. Age doesn't have anything to do with it. We have lots of students in their 50s and 60s. Here is what I suggest. If you can get your body used to the Thai Massage positions on the floor, by gradually working towards more flexibility, great. That would be ideal.

However we all have to work within our physical limitations. If you cannot get your body used to it, then just work on a table. It is better to do good Thai Massage work on a table than suffering on the floor. Although there are limitations when working on a table, you can still do a lot of excellent Thai Massage work in this way. 

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Leslie Weissglass
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February 3, 2018 - 9:27 pm
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Module 12

I love the idea that I can have a variety of ways to do a similar stretch.  I can really see the value in having this knowledge because each person is so different in the way that they respond.  Also I am different each day so I may feel more comfortable using a variety of techniques depending on my own body as well.  If my knee is feeling good I may try one technique but if it is bothering me I know I have an alternative approach.  The concept that I need to feel relaxed and comfortable when giving the massage has really resonated with me.  My instincts and intuition is so much more in-tuned when I am feeling focused.  Now that I have finished massage school I definitely have a better understanding of the technical aspects of muscles and anatomy.  This has proven helpful in understanding the different stretch options you have shown.  I would like to better understand compression and traction.  What is the benefits of compression and traction.  Generally I don't particularly like the feeling. I appreciated the concept of ending a deep stretch with something relaxing. 

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Leslie Weissglass
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February 3, 2018 - 9:48 pm
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Video Module 13 Hip Stretches 2

I felt very comfortable implementing the anatomy of a move.  Working with my breath really helped me relax and feel the energy better.  I learned about quantum touch at my massage therapy school and think that this is a similar.  What do you think?  I resonate with working with softness.  I have been told that I have very soft and gentle hands.  This seemed to be a negative aspect when learning at my massage school.  I am glad that I have found a modality that allows for gentle hands.  I am trying to understand how to focus on my hara.  I have now really come to a clear understanding of this yet.  Any suggestions?  Focusing on body posture has been a number one priority for me.  I understand the importance of feeling comfortable and without proper body mechanics this is not possible.  It is so true that the more relaxed I am the more I can read my clients.  I appreciate the idea of good pain and bad pain.  Using pain to understand an underlying issue is very helpful.  I tried the scooping technique on my husband because his hip joint muscles where tight.  This massage intervention was very helpful. I find the hip pie concept helpful in figuring out what should come next.  I like the variety of versions that I can use depending on my clients needs.

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February 3, 2018 - 10:37 pm
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I studied Quantum Touch a long time ago and I have incorporated the breathing concept of this method into my style of Thai Massage.

The hara concept is another thing which I incorporated into my my style of Thai Massage. It is not part of traditional Thai Massage. However I have found it very useful to get centered and focus on one's energy instead of just on one's hands.

Compression is part of pretty much all massage styles. If you are pressing or leaning onto a muscle, you are compressing it. Traction is a method of opening up joint space and counteracting the effects of gravity.

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February 4, 2018 - 4:25 am
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Module 14

It is interesting that the rocking technique is so similar to elephant walking.  At first try it was a little getting the hang of the rocking using light touch.  As soon as I relaxed into the technique is was easier to do and my husband enjoyed it more  When I was able to establish a natural rhythm it felt much easier for me to do too.  When working on the second rocking technique I focused on my hara not the muscles and the rocking seemed to flow with the energy.  It was very nice.  I found the transition from one side to the other really really hard.  Between my knees and toes it was just not happening.  I will have to figure out other transitions from one side to the other. 

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Leslie Weissglass
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February 4, 2018 - 4:39 am
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Leslie Weissglass Complete Thai Massage Module 15

I find it interesting that the abdominal cavity is the physical center of the body, energetic center as well as the largest concentration of organs in the body.  I agree that people store emotional problems in this area.  Is the hara between the second and third chakra?  I worked on synchronizing my breathing when working on these techniques.  It made the work feel softer and more gentle because I felt more in tuned with the client.  I spent time listening to the energy that my hand was feeling.  This is something I will continue to practice.  When doing the abdominal massage I felt that having gently and soft hands were a big benefit for me.  I naturally have loose wrists and gentle hands so I felt that I could work slow and soft and it would be more beneficial to the client.I particularly liked the rocking of the sternum.  I thought this was a very energy opening technique.

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