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Linda Depew's rocking notes
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Linda Depew
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January 2, 2017 - 4:54 am
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Have now watched the first rocking video a couple of times.  Most of it was already familiar to me as I already do a fair amount of rocking in both my Thai and table massage.  In recent months I seem to have developed a philosophy of when in doubt or nothing else works, rock it out.  Just one surprise:  that you include the small finger motions (which I have always referred to as “vibration”) in the rocking modality.  I am looking forward to the upcoming lessons where I expect I will find techniques to help me refine the rocking that I already do with clients.

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January 2, 2017 - 3:45 pm
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Well, I was trying to come up with a name which included rocking, swinging, shaking, wiggling, vibrating – anything that is different from linear, static pressure. Couldn’t find anything that describes it all in one word – so “rocking” it was.

Nowadays I often call it “motion techniques” which probably isn’t much more descriptive either. But the “rocking” name has stuck since I originally came up with this style over a decade ago.

“When in doubt or nothing else works, rock it out” – this pretty much describes my own philosophy as well. Smile

Just as a memory jogger, take a look at our certification check list to make sure it is all organized:

Certification Check List

I changed your display name from LindaD to your full name to make it easier to find you. 

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Linda Depew
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January 16, 2017 - 12:17 am
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Module 2

I have never become as proficient at the chi machine as I would like, even though my clients say it feels good.  It is very well explained in this module, so I am hoping this refresher will help me to smooth out my technique a bit more as I keep practicing.  The tractioning rock is deceiving.  It looks very simple, but is a bit more challenging than I expected to get a smooth rhythm going.  Feedback was good though, as my client who I practiced it on has some minor sciatica issues, and this technique gets things started moving.  The assessment portion of this module led to an interesting discussion with my client when I noticed that she was much stiffer than usual (feet pointed straight up with little movement to either side).  As I am a big believer in communication about life-style issues that affect my clients’ challenges, this led to a discussion about what she might be doing differently in recent days.  We reached the conclusion that trying to continue her outdoor walking regimen on streets covered with sheets of ice may be counter productive.  Without assessment techniques and communication these types of challenges can go undiscovered.

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Shama
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January 17, 2017 - 1:37 am
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Well – the Chi Machine is not one of those straightforward techniques where you just press or pull somewhere. It does take some time to find your groove with it. That’s quite normal. There will be a point where it just clicks for you and then it is super easy. Smile

The rocking moves require more feeling, sensitivity and body awareness than more direct, linear types of techniques. For me they have become so natural that they feel like an extension of my body, or like a perfectly synchronized move with a dance partner. That’s supposed to be a preview of coming attractions! Smile

Like you, I am also a big believer in communication about life style issues which affect my client’s health. This type of communication has always been very important in my therapy work. I am glad to hear that we are on the same wave length here!

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Linda Depew
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January 19, 2017 - 11:24 pm
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Module 3

I really like this technique.  It’s a nice warm-up to get things moving, while at the same time clients find it very relaxing.  While my initial practice is always on a small, fit client who loves the THM techniques in general and on whom I move on to perform a number of other more strenuous techniques, this is also very good for my more challenged and challenging clients who are unable to get on the floor for a Thai massage due to weight and knee issues.  This technique adapts well to my table massages, especially a client for whom direct compression is often uncomfortable.

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January 20, 2017 - 2:00 am
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You are spot on with your reasoning what and whom the rocking techniques are useful for. I also use them as a lead-in for many stretches on pretty much all clients. It’s just a gentler way to get into some of the stronger stretches in Thai Massage.

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Linda Depew
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January 22, 2017 - 1:52 am
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Module 4

I like that the first move provides an opportunity to do some knee work.  Unfortunately, too many people in my area have had knee replacements, so I am very conscious about trying to help many of my clients avoid the same fate.  The feedback I got from the tractioning moves were that they felt okay, but nothing great.  I guess not every move can feel amazing, and I do think the tractioning is a good way to get things warmed up and moving before going into the more intense techniques.  The final stretch requires quite a bit of preliminary work on the adductors on many of my clients (even one of my ardent yoga practitioners), so it is quite rewarding just to get to the point that I can even use this technique, and it is a great way to keep the area opened up once I get a client to that point

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January 22, 2017 - 10:20 pm
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Regarding the knee work, one of our fellow therapists, Alex Negrea from Romania, reports excellent results from using the techniques in my knee therapy course with clients who have knee issues. You might want to give this course a try. This would be a really useful tool to use as a therapeutic and preventative method for knee issues.

Regarding the traction moves – there is only one in module 4, the leg push-pull move. From what I have seen among course students, the issue with this technique tends to be that they don’t get this move to ‘flow’ initially. If this move doesn’t flow freely, it doesn’t feel good at all.

Try experimenting with slightly slower or faster speed of execution, and try to make the move really round, so that it feels like a circular movement which doesn’t get disrupted but just keeps on flowing.

The other issue which I have observed with this move is that often course students don’t let this move come from their entire body. Instead they muscle it, and/or they are too timid with it. That will make it feel mechanical and lifeless. This move requires a very pronounced back and forth movement of your torso.  

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Linda Depew
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January 30, 2017 - 3:29 am
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Module 5

This is a very interesting module.  The circular movement of the first technique quickly demonstrated which areas were tight and needing extra attention.  This, along with the stretch on the adductors, made it clear to myself and my client that while we had been doing much work and made great progress in the area of her hips, we had sorely neglected the adductors, and we found doing therapeutic work here very helpful.  On the other hand, we were both surprised at how easily the cross body stretch worked out.  The lower back twist rocking was surprisingly easy to do and was quite well received.  The one point where I think I am really missing something in this module is at minute 9 when you say the stretch is a very powerful stretch.  It seems like you are doing a very slight, gently rock in an easy position.  I feel like there must be something more that I’m not picking up on.

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January 31, 2017 - 12:23 am
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Regarding the “very strong stretch” statement – if you do a gentle rocking without much lateral movement, it is not strong. However what I am demonstrating in the video is that I am moving the knee medially, towards the mid-line of her body. The further you move the knee medially, the stronger this stretch will be.

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Linda Depew
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January 31, 2017 - 3:27 am
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Thanks, I probably didn’t realize how far medially you were going when I watched the video.

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Linda Depew
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February 1, 2017 - 4:38 am
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Module 6

I have been using the first technique for quite a while, and it has become one of my “go to” moves in my tool bag.  I love the way it gets things warmed up and moving, and it is always well received.  I also use the variation on the side of the hips, but don’t find it as effective.  Continuing up the sides, while nice for some, can often produce fits of giggles as several of my clients are very ticklish, and no, it doesn’t matter if I use my fingertips or the flat of my hand; any touch produces similar results, but we’re working on it.  I like the rocking and stretch done on one side at a time; it works very well on my smaller clients, but is, of course, more difficult for me on larger clients.  The last technique is the kind that I often like to use on my clients after I’ve done more intense work to let them just relax and let go of everything.  I haven’t tried it with my table massage clients yet, but think it will translate quite well for them as well.

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February 1, 2017 - 9:00 pm
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The good thing about the rocking techniques is that you can pick and choose whatever you like and what works best for you. You can build them in anywhere at any time. It’s a totally flexible system.

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Linda Depew
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February 27, 2017 - 9:54 pm
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Module 7

This module proved rather challenging for me.  I am unable to do the first couple of techniques because I cannot sit on my heels long enough to perform the movements.  The swinging technique at min. 9 worked very well on my small client I practice with (and was exactly what she needed the first time we tried it), but she may be the only one I will ever be able to use it with.  The push-pull abdominal technique is a bit challenging with my hand under the back, but is very comfortable with both hands on top of the body.

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February 28, 2017 - 12:51 pm
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Not to worry – these are artistic and playful techniques which are nice to do but by no means essential. If you cannot do them, there are plenty of other rocking techniques which are easier to do. I present all levels and options in this course, but this doesn’t mean that you need to be able to do it all.

The belly sandwich technique is quite easy when you figure out that you need to combine the hand movements in such a way that the heels of the hands approach each other at the same time, and then the fingertips of your hands approach each other at the same time. But agreed, the on-top-of-body version is easier and is sufficient in itself. 

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Linda Depew
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April 6, 2017 - 12:06 am
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Module 8

I agree that the rib cage is a generally neglected area, so it is great to have a technique that addresses it.  While the slower technique is good, I think the rocking version is more effective in loosening the muscles and fascia and getting energy flowing.  The basic chest technique is something I have been doing on all my clients (Thai & table) for some time, but again the rocking variation feels more effective.  Many of my clients have shoulder issues, so additional shoulder techniques are always welcome, but I do find lifting the shoulders the way you demonstrate rather challenging.  Working with one shoulder at a time is easier for me than rocking both shoulders, and I do love doing a spinal twist (as do my clients).

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April 6, 2017 - 8:01 am
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I think you know that I always encourage modifying techniques so that they work for you. Adjustments and creative modification are an essential part of good Thai Massage.

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Linda Depew
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April 7, 2017 - 1:00 am
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Module 9

I really like swinging the arm both for checking resistance and for loosening, and this adapts well to table massage, as well.  As for telling clients to relax, sometimes this works but for some the tension is so much a part of them they can’t tell if they are relaxed or not or the more they focus on it, the tighter they hold the stress.  In the later case, I find just gently holding the shoulder for an extended period works well or a contract and release technique can help.  I generally check range of motion on my clients, and swinging the arm while moving it up toward the head is a nice technique for testing range while increasing it at the same time.  I like the arm rolling technique so much that I am trying to figure out how to add arm rests to my table so that my table clients can experience it, too.

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Shama
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April 7, 2017 - 9:20 am
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Now you are getting really creative with arm rests on your table. Smile

I have used the swinging extensively with excellent results to release unconscious resistance patterns. If you combine it with good communication, you can really make clients aware of things they never knew about their bodies.

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Linda Depew
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April 8, 2017 - 6:57 am
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Module 10

I love sacrum work.  I think therapists don’t work the sacrum much because good sacrum techniques aren’t taught in many of the schools.  The combination of pressure and movement in the first technique can feel amazing to the client.  The circling technique is much like I was taught in Swedish massage, and while okay, I don’t believe it feels nearly as good nor does it seem to be as effective as the 1st technique in this module.  One of the things I like about rocking the lower back is that it gets most of the body moving.  I haven’t yet perfected working with my knees, but think as I get more coordinated, I will really like this process.  Re your discussion of energy, I was taught in my original training to place a strong emphasis on energy, but it is easy over time to get caught up in the daily mechanics of life and work and to loose that focus.  I think for me, continuing my studies is as much about refocusing what I already know as it is about learning new techniques.  I find lately that even in my more western style work, as I am following the length of a muscle, I often am also thinking about the sen line running through the area.  I think I have an advantage over some of the therapists I know who don’t have this dual perspective.

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