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Linda Mills Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Linda Mills
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September 2, 2016 - 12:13 pm
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Module 1

I am thankful for the yoga practice I have had to date as I can see it will be of great benefit. A certain level of suppleness is an advantage so I have a head start. 

I very cautiously tried a few things out on my mother of 84 years. I tested out different body positions around her with an  new awareness of my ergonomics. Her feed back was very positive and surprise surprise she is happy to be my practice partner! 

Just like my piano lessons I am aware of the importance of getting the foundations right and feeling and sensivity will follow.

I am inspired and excited by the potential for it to be a healing art form that both my husband and I can both benefit from…….. a great way of connecting and sharing.

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Shama
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September 3, 2016 - 3:46 am
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Hi Linda, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage course. Your yoga background is definitely a big plus. 

That’s amazing that your 84 year old mother is happy to be your practice partner, although some of the more intense techniques won’t be suitable for her. For those you can enlist your husband.

Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list:

Certification Check List

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Linda Mills
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September 4, 2016 - 5:40 am
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Module 2

I am now working on anyone who walks in the door who is willing and able. It’s giving me a variety of feed back.

Yes I understand its not just about mechanical technique but don’t you have to learn the tune before you can play it beautifully?

I fatigued quickly in my first attempts at Chi Machine. I had to make adjustments ergonomically so that it worked for my body. 

I worked up to 3 mins on my husband who said in his own words” I felt a tingling and a magnetic energy holding me to the ground.”

I enjoyed resting in the stillness afterwards and observing his stillness.

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September 4, 2016 - 3:30 pm
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Yes, you have to learn the scales before you can play a symphony. I will keep mentioning the symphony so that it is clear what the goal is. Some Thai Massage students think that the scale is the final goal, and that will keep them in the “massage mechanic” category instead of in the healing artist corner. 

If you fatigued quickly when doing the Chi Machine, then you are muscling it instead of being in the flow of your natural rhythm. Imagine gently swinging your hips sideways without much effort, and imagine your pelvis being filled with water which is sloshing up against the sides of your pelvis during this technique.

You have to get the speed of this movement up enough, otherwise you will end up using too much effort. Also a common mistake is to make your sideways movement too big which will make it harder to do. Rewatch the video and try to match my speed, and remember that this move comes out of your pelvis and not out of your arms.

In spite of all that, you did get the intended effect with the technique. Now you just have to learn to do it with less effort on your part.

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Linda Mills
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September 8, 2016 - 2:01 am
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Module 3

The first thing to mention would be the how rigid and stiff my partners feet are compared to the women you are massaging. Their feet seem much more pliable and flexible and easier to massage. He also has a bunionFrown that I had to be careful not to hurt. I imagine that smaller feet would be easier as well as his are rather large. So his feet are a little challenging to begin.

I managed to get a nice rhythm going over the past days and my co ordination improved when I changed the direction of the circle. I assume this does not matter?

I have gained a greater insight into how my body works as the tool and I am liking it Smile

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Shama
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September 8, 2016 - 11:51 pm
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Yes, the direction doesn’t really matter. And it is true that big, stiff feet are harder to work on than smaller, more pliable feet.  Here in Thailand people are normally smaller and more flexible than their Western counterparts. So my models are rather the norm than the exception.

This of course applies to the entire body. Large, heavy stiff bodies are harder to work with. The good thing is that Thai Massage offers many options to make this easier. You will find throughout this course that you can use your body to great advantage by using not only your body weight, but also many body parts like forearms, elbows, knees and feet. This can often offset the large size issue.

Here in Thailand there are tens of thousands of small framed female therapists, like my models, who are working very effectively on much larger western clients. You will learn all that in this course! Smile

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Linda Mills
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September 13, 2016 - 3:57 pm
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Module 4

I liked that you reinforced what we did in module 3.

I have practiced the chi machine on quite a few people now and everyone has a unique description of the sensation they feel…… pulsating energy from beneath, buzzing, wavy pins and needles…. so this has been fascinating and intriguing.

My body has a nice momentum going now that feels natural and can I relax more and think less. I have been practicing smooth transitions which required a bit of brain gym to begin with. I am learning about how far I can take a stretch with feed back.

My thumbs are feeling it with the kneading.

I have learnt not to assume that a person can get off the floor without help namely my 84 yr old mother.

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Shama
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September 13, 2016 - 4:51 pm
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“Relax more and think less” – that’s a great description for success with Thai Massage. Smile 

Be careful not to overdo it with your thumbs. Later on in the course you will learn many ways to substitute thumbs and hands with forearms, elbows, knees and feet. That’s an essential skill to learn in Thai Massage, and by the end of the course you will be an expert in preserving your hands and still doing very effective work!

I have had elderly clients who needed help getting on and off the mat – no problem – we just help them.

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Linda Mills
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September 17, 2016 - 5:17 am
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Module 5

I appreciate the importance of warm ups and applying them in smooth gentle way and I am being careful about not making any jerky sudden moves.

I think the hand positioning for the top of the thigh is simple yet clever. The stabilizing and blocking using my body mechanics really works and helps to make my partner feel secure. I am looking forward to the alternatives to using my thumbs.

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September 18, 2016 - 1:56 pm
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Actually there is an entire bonus course included with this program (Body Mastery For Massage) which does a deep dive into working with many different body parts. You will find more thumb alternatives than you ever thought existed! Laugh

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Linda Mills
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September 19, 2016 - 2:53 pm
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Module 6

The entire weekend has been consumed with Thai Massage. I am feeling so enthusiastic as I got a real sense of how it can be an artistic art form. I found myself slipping into a natural rhythm as I leaned and rocked and rolled and held.

To begin with I watched this module many times wanting to to get the transitions smooth. Actually I found the transitions required the most amount of energy. 

I am happy my forearms are now being put to good use! I was quickly told NOT to use my elbows when leaning into the groove on the thighs. I am thinking it is better to lean in softly with the forearms to begin with as I had a few yelps and also not to assume that you would apply the same pressure to the opposite leg.

Great to hear there are so many alternatives to thumbs……. Yay.

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Shama
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September 19, 2016 - 3:37 pm
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Well, there are certainly worse thing to be consumed with! Laugh

It’s inspiring to hear your enthusiasm and it’s great that you are spending some serious time with the material! And yes, better get good with the forearms first, and then start developing sensitivity in the elbows, which is clearly more difficult, but very doable.

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Linda Mills
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September 21, 2016 - 3:28 pm
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Module 7

thoroughly re read the transcripts from the beginning and picked up on quite a few small points that can make all the difference like “as soon as you work with your arm only, you cut off the energy flow.” Also it just reinforced what I had learnt and reminded me of what I had completely forgotten.

I know its cliche, but what you do a lot of you get good at and this is definitely the case as it gets a little easier every time.

It was fantastic to start the stretches in this module as they are dynamic and fun to do.  My partner immediately gave me the thumbs up!

I just wish I had started Thai massage years ago.

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September 22, 2016 - 12:23 am
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It’s never too late. One of my students started this Thai Massage course when he was 68, and then he went to Canada with his Thai wife and started a successful Thai Massage business. And yes, he was personally involved in the beginning. I think by now his wife is doing most of it, and he is 71 or 72 now. Amazing!

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Linda Mills
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September 26, 2016 - 2:25 pm
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Module 8

All the warrior poses and lunges I’ve done in yoga are really paying off in this module.

I have had to tweak and make minor adjustments to my own body positions to make it work. I guess this is why there is such a variety of postures which have developed over the centuries….. like the alternative positions when dealing with tall bodies which I have had to apply for my tall husband.

Its really sinking in now the importance of customizing the postures according to who you are massaging. Not only their bodies but their personalities as well. Some people are not very vocal at all. This in itself is a skill to be developed over time and also knowing when to intensify a stretch or decrease it or not do it at all. 

I was astounded at how rotated out my nephews feet were, almost flat sideways on the floor. Then tight the other way.

My brain liked the symbolism of the pie.  

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Shama
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September 27, 2016 - 2:48 am
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Regarding customizing the sessions according to personality as well – there is an entire module about this at the end of the course. 

“Knowing when to intensify a stretch or decrease it or not do it at all.” – That’s where the art comes into play. Without this skill Thai Massage can feel unpleasantly mechanical.

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Linda Mills
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September 28, 2016 - 1:11 pm
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Module 9

My mother proved to be a classical example of what you were demonstrating in this module.

I decided that her right hip was tight according to the position of her foot which proved to be absolutely correct. It revealed itself fully in the spinal hip twist. She also unconsciously engaged her adductors on this side which I had to tell her to release and proceeded with the relaxation technique and rocking.

The next morning she informed me that she was NOT woken by leg pain during the night for the first time in years. So this is really encouraging. 

Thank you Shama.

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Shama
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September 28, 2016 - 9:57 pm
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Great! You are already doing intuitive therapeutic work – and you are getting results! Congratulations!! Just imagine what you will be able to do in a few months from now when you have gone through the entire course.

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Linda Mills
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October 1, 2016 - 1:06 am
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Module 10

 I started a massage on my husband in the evening physically and mentally tired Frown………which did not end well at all. There was no softness of touch and his body was tense reflecting my own. So I learnt the hard way not to repeat this.

I have also learnt in this module the importance of maintaining awareness and focus rather than entering into a daydream as you can easily go too far with a stretch and inflict pain.

I love that you have included the Hara. It would translate to the Manipura Chakra in the Satyananda Yoga that I have studied.

With the blood stop I noticed on two different people that they did not feel the same rush on the right leg and I was wondering if it was to do with the heart being on the left side?Confused

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Shama
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October 3, 2016 - 1:18 am
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In my experience it has nothing to do with the heart being on the left side as I can feel it on both sides. However it is quite normal that people experience elements of the massage differently or have differences between the left and right side of the body.

I have never investigated this phenomenon in depth since I have never had such a feedback. But you can trailblaze it and keep asking people if they notice a difference between left and right leg, and then keep me posted.

It is also possible that you unconsciously use less pressure on one side due to using or not using your predominant hand.

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