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Linda Mills Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Linda Mills
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October 4, 2016 - 12:33 am
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Module 11

 I think you are right Shama as I had a third person say it.

It was great to get this module and to see the whole massage flowing.  Actually is my favorite module so far but only due to the fact that I have prepared for it fully in the previous modules.

I unintentionally did a 2 hour massage on my sister, spending 40 mins just on one leg and not realizing how much time had passed.

I told her what I thought was going on with her hips and she said that was exactly what her osteopath had told her.

As I leaned into a posture slowly she would just say YEP which let me know exactly when to stop the stretch. She enjoyed the end of the sink the most.

The next day she told me that the ball of pain that was waking her for the last 5 months was not there during that nights sleep. She said “ bit of a miracle really”.

I did not realize until this module that you do not have to go back and forth between legs for each posture which made a huge difference to the massage. It flowed beautifully and I got a real sense of how it can be meditative.

I noticed that you moved your partners arms…. re positioning them  quite a bit too.

Smile

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Shama Kern
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October 4, 2016 - 1:47 am
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This is quite impressive, considering that you are not even halfway through the course! When you are all done with the material you will do some amazing work, I think! Smile

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Linda Mills
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October 8, 2016 - 10:28 am
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Module 12

I played with all the variations of stretches for both calves and hips, finding what works for my body and applying the various strong and light versions where necessary.

 I have found so far that woman in general are far better at expressing feedback than men and more observant of their physical condition. (the women in my family, in great detail). For example my mother said that when I did a particular stretch on her hip it seemed to release her tongue. I did it to the other leg  and she said, "there it is again!" So just a funny thing to take note of.

When I stepped between my mothers legs, I saw a momentary look of, "good heavens what is she going to do now!"Surprised

I like the way the postures compliment one another as a counter stretches. I love the gentle elephant walk for the sacrum.Smile

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Shama Kern
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October 9, 2016 - 12:55 am
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This has been my experience as well. Women are more receptive to being nurtured with massage, and they are more willing to express themselves. Men, take notice! Smile

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Linda Mills
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October 9, 2016 - 2:31 pm
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Module 13

This was a very timely module as the partner I was practicing on had groin issues which I was able to work on and relax and try the stretch again. Replacing the word pain with discomfort is brilliant. At this stage I need constant feedback so good to have some new ways of asking.

I can feel that I am gaining strength and stamina and seem to be moving a little less clumsily around my partner. I'm sure you are not going to divide the pie up into any more slices!

 With each new module the massages I am doing are getting longer and longer just because I want to keep practicing all the moves.

I am wondering on average how long you would massage for? 

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Shama Kern
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October 9, 2016 - 11:59 pm
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Actually I never did less than two hour sessions. I know that there are lots of people who do 1 hr sessions, but I always felt that I need two hours to do a good job. Especially most of my clients came to me for specific issues that needed targeted therapeutic work, and I never liked the idea of being under time pressure in my sessions.

Of course this doesn't work if you are in a spa environment where you have no control over the bookings, but I always worked for myself, and I just told everyone that a Thai Massage takes two hours, and nobody ever questioned that.

This might not work for everyone, but it did for me. Smile

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Linda Mills
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October 12, 2016 - 12:00 pm
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Module 14

Yes I can absolutely see how a massage can last that long. I feel I don't want to get caught up with time frames and counting.

I practiced this module on quite a heavy women, adding to the body types I have massaged so far. She worked out at the gym before hand with a weight session involving lifting and squatting. She informed me the next day that she was sore only in her upper body where I had NOT massaged! Great to hear.Laugh

I have been aware of the space requirements needed in this module as I work to the side of the body..... having couch in the way and also not having a pillow at arms length.

I found the transitioning in this module a bit challenging as it requires agility, co-ordination, balance, strength, spacial awareness at the same time trying to be graceful.Laugh But I will get there.

I have asked my husband  to be proactive in a passive way when I massage him, mindfully using his breath with the intention that includes us both. He was on the phone to his mother at one point and I don't thinks this works.Frown

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Shama Kern
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October 13, 2016 - 1:56 am
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If clients or partners are on the phone during sessions, it can feel quite disconcerting. Definitely better if you can persuade him to turn the phone off during your practice sessions.

You are right, the transitions take a while to learn. Actually good transition moves are generally not taught at all in most Thai Massage schools. However they should be an essential part of doing a nicely flowing session.

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Linda Mills
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October 16, 2016 - 1:01 pm
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Module 15

I think we underestimate the tension held in the belly and here is a great way to relax and relieve it.  Tension in the abdomen would result in a loss of power I would think.

 I feel its going to be interesting observing the differences in people I massage to get a real feel for what is normal and not normal. I found it easy enough to do. Preferably you would have to do it on an empty stomach?

I was told by one of my partners that he massages his own belly when it feels uptight and there is a definite knot that can be relaxed. 

Why would the solar plexus be so sensitive is it the norm?

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Shama Kern
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October 16, 2016 - 9:03 pm
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Very true, the positive effect of  belly work is often not known or really underestimated - unless you have a background in Shiatsu or Chi Nei Tsang.

I massage my own belly sometimes, but I use a vibrating massage tool with infrared light which works very well for me.

I remember from my martial arts days that the solar plexus is one of the points where you can kill someone with one punch. Yes, it is normal that this is so sensitive, and massaging this point doesn't feel good anyway.

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Linda Mills
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October 17, 2016 - 2:21 pm
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Module 16

I like the way the two slightly different positions of sitting on and off my foot which changes the position of the shoulder in which you are working on..... very clever.

I can see why you are telling me to focus on the Hara as the shoulder pulling and leaning moves require quite a bit of energy and power on a big man. I felt very tempted to sit on him but resisted and refocused on the Hara and my breath. Where you place your attention makes such a difference.

I noticed I was pulling on the skin a bit on his forearm with the row boat technique but he seemed to like it this stretch anyway and I enjoy doing it.

I gently tried different angles of the arm triangle just to see how it changed the stretch.

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Linda Mills
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October 22, 2016 - 10:14 am
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Module 17

I am very proud as I now have 2 massaging callouses on the top of my feet where I have been sitting on them frequently to massage!SurprisedSmile. My mother is still reporting painless sleeps..... we believe due to Thai Healing Massage.

The non threatening nature of massaging the hands and arms lends itself to massaging just about anyone at anytime who  needs tender loving care and attention and made me think of the arthritic hands of old people or people bed ridden in hospital or sad people.

My mother has a condition called essential tremor where her hands shake when making definite movements like holding a cup of tea. I gave her a long arm and hand session following the instructions in this module and we will be observing any improvements.

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Shama Kern
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October 22, 2016 - 10:54 pm
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You will probably have to repeat the hand sessions several times, but I am pretty sure that you can get a positive result with it. It might not eliminate the condition, but any improvement is a step in the right direction. We have to remember that any condition which has developed and persisted over many years won't just disappear in one session. However I have personally seen great results on my clients with sometimes severe conditions. It just takes time.

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Linda Mills
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October 26, 2016 - 12:53 pm
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Module 18

This course you is actually improving the quality of my well being. I am now more conscious of being in the right frame of mind before massaging and making sure my body is healthy and fit and calm as I am very aware of transferal. So its a wonderful incentive. It encourages me throughout the day to be mindful knowing I will be massaging at the end of the day.

I notice my husbands hands are at very strange angles when I place them above his head and stretch from the hip. Its very awkward placing them in position as well. 

As I move around the body I am also trying to be silent. I have had massages where I can hear the person tiring and puffing and if I opened my eyes probably perspiring.

The figure eight shoulder stretches are awesome but require strength so trying to get the technique correct.

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Shama Kern
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October 26, 2016 - 6:46 pm
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It's true, Thai Massage helps you to be more mindful. It also helps you to be more flexible and move more gracefully. If Thai Massage is done correctly, there should never be the need for huffing and puffing, tiring and perspiring.

The figure 8 does take more strength than other moves, however if you really move your body along with the movement, you can reduce this effort considerably.

There are cases where you would not do this technique. For example if you are a 100 pound woman and are working on a 230 pound man, then the figure 8 would just take too much effort and should be skipped. That's why my mantra is that the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

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Linda Mills
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October 30, 2016 - 2:37 am
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Module 19

As great as module 11....... it feels very satisfying to get to this point.

Before I started this course, I had no previous experience in giving massage besides the massages I had received, which have been western style. I had one single Thai yoga massage which inspired me to do it myself. So everything is pretty much new to me.

Intentionally I have not googled or utubed any other instruction besides this course ....... so it has been fascinating, exciting and enjoyable.SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

I feel it is coming naturally to me. The previous modules to date have been very thorough and I find all my questions are answered when I look back, or re-answered in module 19. 

Modules 11 and 19 are great as a quick reference to remember and reinforce.

The hand squeezing and twisting has taken time to get to get good at and well worth it. Do you ever put oil on hands?

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Shama Kern
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October 31, 2016 - 12:17 am
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I wasn't aware of the fact that you had never given massage sessions. That makes your progress doubly impressive! Smile 

There are a couple of areas of the body where I sometimes use a little oil. One is the hands, and the other one is the neck. I do that in both cases if I am doing a prolonged session on hands or neck. The reason is that it is easier on my hands, and since there is less friction, there is no chance of the client getting 'skin burn'. The skin burn is mostly an issue on the neck.

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Linda Mills
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November 1, 2016 - 12:20 pm
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Module 20

Thanks for your encouragement. Still challenging though.

Not sure how to go about turning a person into the prone position besides just asking them? Maybe you have an elegant way of doing it?

My husband is not so comfortable in this position with stiffness in neck so I have used pillows as you suggested in the support material.

Yes I have to be careful of thumbs so I am definitely interested in pursuing alternatives. I did get loud feedback on parts of the foot that were painful. I found that the pressure you can apply with the elbow can be strong so I had to softly ease into the leaning and rolling.

The momentum of rocking felt better slower for my partner and I am wondering why rocking feels pleasant.

The elephant walking feels great to do up the back of the legs with the ergonomics of body weight making it easier. 

 

Would you be asking your partner to switch sides after a while if they have neck issue perhaps.  I have experienced this very thing............ too long lying in one position with neck to the side.

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Shama Kern
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November 1, 2016 - 2:35 pm
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Regarding turning the head when lying face down, this is answered in the video of the support lesson #16 which you received a day or two ago. If you did not watch it yet, you will find a good solution there.

Regarding turning a person into the prone position, you will find the solution in this video:

Repositioning Clients In Thai Massage

Why does rocking feel pleasant? Ask any baby why it quiets them and comforts them when it cries and the mother instinctively rocks it. Smile

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Linda Mills
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November 1, 2016 - 11:56 pm
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You certainly cover everything Shama! Excellent.

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