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Linda Mills Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Linda Mills
New Zealand
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December 3, 2016 - 3:04 am
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Yes Shama, That's where I found it. It is a great article and I have printed that article off for future reference.Smile

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Linda Mills
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December 11, 2016 - 2:25 pm
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Module 31

I have a feeling that people carry a lot of fear in their shoulders as well as burdens. So this is an awesome module to release some of that tension.

The warm ups are straight forward and the alternating hand circling came naturally to me besides feeling more awkward  and different when working on the opposite side........  swapping hands resolved this.

The shoulder rotation has been tricky.

Knowing what my shoulder and arm can and can't do is easy but it is a completely different scenario when working on another person. Figuring out the mechanics has taken some time. My massage partners felt a little uneasy and unsure to begin with..... fearful of what I was going to attempt to do. 

I went very gently and asked them to show me the range of motion and how their arm rotates...... from there, I was able to figure it out.

I used the concept of a cork screw when working on the trapezius using my leg for leverage to accomplish the technique..... I imagined unscrewing the shoulder. 

I can't wait to get this shoulder routine flowing and fluid like. I am looking forward to just digesting everything I have learnt so far.Smile

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Shama Kern
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December 11, 2016 - 11:59 pm
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Yes, normally when you switch sides, the hands are reversed. For Thai Massage it is important to develop good ambidextrous skills.

There are two full modules just about shoulder work in the side position. The techniques are not always the easiest ones, but they represent a great repertoire for doing excellent work on the shoulders. It will take a while to really absorb those shoulder techniques, but it is well worth it. Most of these techniques are not even taught in Thai Massage schools, for the simple reason that I created many of them myself or learned them from other styles.

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Linda Mills
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December 12, 2016 - 2:48 pm
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Module 32

This is a unique module and that you've put together. As with the previous module it did not go smoothly the first time.

I have been practicing on my husband and mother of 84 yrs, so there were big differences with regard to muscle mass and tone and looseness of fat on bone. So you have to adjust the massage accordingly.

My husband has had a shoulder injury but they basically had the same tight sore spots right under the arm that they did not know were tender until I pressed them.

On my mother this spot was super sensitive. She said she definitely felt freed up afterwards.

I explored with my fingertips and thumbs right under the scapular, no problems for me there.

When you massage people over a certain age there are always going to be issues and varying degrees of pain and stiffness and whether you intend to be or not, you end up being a massage therapist.

I have been receiving donations for my massages in the form of a Koha which is amazing.  Koha is a New Zealand Māori custom which can be translated as gift, present, offering, donation or contribution.

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Shama Kern
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December 13, 2016 - 12:32 am
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That's how I started out originally way back when. First I practiced and worked for free, then I worked for donations, and then I moved to solid paid work.

This is good that you work on different people with different issues and have to figure out what works for whom. That's how you learn best.

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Linda Mills
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December 18, 2016 - 2:32 pm
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Module 33

After a massage on the floor I found my partners unsurprisingly slow at coming up into the sitting position. So it has to be worthwhile if I choose to do this for the right person.

  The back supports looks uncomfortable to do but actually isn’t. I think the back support makes the client sit upright as opposed to slumping forward and they have to be a little proactive the side version is a softer alternative.

My client liked how my knees wrapped around her and the support felt as good as the kneading. When I started the squeezing and pulling, to begin with I pulled the skin around the front of the neck which was unpleasant. But obviously I was grabbing too much and once I figured it out it felt good.

I gave a new client a fright recently by moving my hand abruptly to another area of the body which she was not expecting. I can definitely see exactly why you recommend sliding hands into a new position and remembering to keep body contact at all times.

The back arch feels wonderful but I do find I slide back on my bottom when I straighten my legs. I have to be careful not to pull on the skin at the wrists.

I love the body dynamics of the back twist.

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Shama Kern
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December 18, 2016 - 11:51 pm
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No doubt, some of the techniques in the sitting position require some extra practice time and good balance. You probably won't use them that much since it is just not as relaxing for the client unless you really need to do some serious back stretching work. But they are great tools to have in your repertoire and are well worth learning.

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Linda Mills
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December 21, 2016 - 11:25 am
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Module 34

One of the women I massage is an extremely flexible yoga teacher. I am bending her in ways I would not have thought possible. She requires a very firm hard touch and I am happy to say the techniques you have provided in this course enable me to give her what she wants. Especially where I am using my body for leverage and the knee work on her shin muscles. I rediscovered the leverage technique you use for a more powerful stretch in the soft area of the glutes

The intimacy is no problem for some but others I can see it would take time to build their trust. But once you have it, it is a wonderful opportunity for them to let go of any resistance. Some are going to need a slow and gradual reassurance to overcome self consciousness.

I am now much more aware of the affects of gravity on the body and the compression that takes place over a day and over a life time. Traction must be hugely beneficial. Apparently astronauts grow 2 inches while in space.

For my first attempt at traction for arm and back I worked on my husband. It was not so straight forward as he is so tall and nothing happened........... there was no stretch.

I tried on the yoga teacher who is shorter but because she is so flexible and I still did not get a good traction. I will continue to practice on others. I also found that I have to be careful for the compression in my own back.

The back arches felt good and worked well. The trapezuis forearm work is fantastic. Easy to do and effortless. I love the way we move together in this one. I will do this one often........ to anyone who complains of stiffness in this area Laugh

These sitting on the floor these techniques are so wonderfully ergonomic and supportive provide they can sit on the floor of course.

The last technique is unusual  but get the stretch done. I was awkward on the other side using my left hand. Yes I definitely required the feed back.

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Shama Kern
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December 21, 2016 - 8:24 pm
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It sure sounds like you have come a long way with this course, and I am quite impressed with your dedication! Smile

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Linda Mills
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December 22, 2016 - 12:24 am
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Module 35
Thanks Shama! Its been a wonderful learning experience. I have gained so many new insights. Not only that............. I have made new friends.
I can see that client communication is absolutely vital and it can make all the difference to the massage. Gaining your clients trust has to be earned and may take time.

I have been customizing my description of what Thai massage is according to the person as there are thankfully a minimal few, that may find it hard to swallow that there is such a thing as subtle energy or chi.

Your right about encouraging feedback and not just once but continuing to do so through the session. Today I happened to ask if there was enough pressure and she said no. I would not have known if I had not asked! She said she did not want to tire me out. I explained that I could give her double the pressure and without much extra effort at all.

At this point in time I will not offer a purely therapeutic massage but I definitely will in the future. I would like to get more experience behind me and assimilate and fine tune everything I have learnt so far.
Talking about the practical things is something I will include from now on.
Cell memory sounds fascinating and I would like to find out more about it.
There have been massages where I have had trouble concentrating or losing my focus due to the clients chatter. I suppose there is nothing I can do about that.

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Shama Kern
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December 22, 2016 - 12:51 am
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You are right, it is possible to become distracted by a client's chatter. But it is better to deal with this occasionally rather than having a rule of 'shutting client's up' which is like pouring the baby out with the bath water. Laugh  We can't always work under ideal conditions, but we can go a long way trying to get as close as possible.

You are done with the certification portion of the course, but there is still plenty of bonus training material to come. If you feel inspired to do so, you can post something about your experience with those bonus courses here in the forum. I always love to get feedback on those as well.

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