It is so exciting to begin this new journey of learning! I started a few weeks ago, then needed some techno help in understanding the postings. It is easy to put my lap top on a chair, then have my husband or son on the carpet and begin. My question is when using these techniques on my massage table, the contour body pad most clients lay on will need to be removed when doing any of these techniques, so they can be flat. I am assuming they will work their magic just how you are teaching them on the floor but on the table directly.
The wonder of it all is that while doing the Chi Machine on my husband, my sinuses opened up! And he fell asleep, as my son did, so the feedback was slow at the end of this training! I really like the traction component, and getting my body, and leaning just right per the client. Finding the right fit for my hands on the ankle, and watching the leg gently be stretched was awesome. Knowing that I am doing the opposite of all that compression so many bodies have to deal with daily was fun to have a solution to share. I will be thrilled to see how this technique works with those with chronic hip, lower back and abdominal issues over time. It may be worth getting up on the table for, and figuring it all out so I can share this.
Happy July 4th! It also is my son Lance’s Birthday today, at the tender age of 35!
Hi Linda, welcome to the Thai Rocking Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure it is all correctly organized:
For the rocking techniques to work, you need to use them on a flat surface without the body contour pad. The rocking will work on the floor as well as on the table. In general you will have better leverage on the floor for many techniques, but I know that many of our students are using them for their table work.
If you use them as part of Thai Massage, the floor is often a better choice. If you use the rocking in combination with any other massage style which is done on a table, then this would obviously be the better choice. However in both scenarios the contour pad will not be helpful and might even get in the way.
I have to admit that I have never used one of those pads, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But you can experiment with this – with and without pad – and see how it feels to you and what feedback you are getting.
You must have done a good job with the Chi machine to put both of them to sleep!
There are many traction elements in Thai Massage. This is quite unique compared to most other massage styles which work mostly with compression. Traction is very useful and feels amazingly good in most cases.
By the way, I have a daughter at the tender age of 35 years as well.
It felt good that one hand rocks and the other anchors keeping the leg in position. Made sense and when applying felt rhythmic going through the lines to the lower leg. The practice is always to use my body, not arms, and to allow this to feel like an organic extension of my body, with little muscle effort on my part.
What will be good for my clients with this is the aid for the gastrocs as so many people have foot and calf symptoms from such dysfunction. This will be an added addition in my tool box. A good reminder is to check in with the heel, that it is happily in place, going nowhere!
MODULE #4 HIP STRETCHES
This lesson took more practice and watching to be sure I was in proper alignment with client’s leg, hands, and leaning the correct way. I like the contraction/traction component of all these moves, allowing the client to feel, then benefit from those 2 extremes.
The hand on foot move and rocking took a bit of concentration, while the bent knee with blocked foot and crisscrossed hands felt good to do on my part too! Seeing that hip come up and the rest of the body responding to the twist was fun. Joe said it felt good, as I ask along the way, to get my feedback.
In watching you do the leg throw up, and client, relax down, seemed like an easy thing to do, but then I saw that Joe did not relax into it, as I spoke. So I held one hand under the leg and did the heel/adductor rock for security and comfort, and he really let go then, so I could rock those 2 hips up under femoral artery notch. My back actually felt better after these 2 modules tonight! I will practice all these on family going on vacation on Saturday to the beach!!
MODULE # 5
There are a few of these, I may be able to incorporate with clients on the table, while the floor is of course way easier. My question is when I choose a few of them, do you rock about 2-4 minutes, or go by gut and intuition, watching the client?
When I do the bent knee rock to either shoulder, etc. should I be concerned if clients have knee symptoms? And maybe never do on a total knee replacement?
I liked the twisted position, felt good to do and would love to feel this myself! So if a client has some metal or rods in the back, I would check in, and twist and rock more gently I think.
Thanks for reminding us our goal is to help them feel good, rocking or twisting. Also to quantify the pain is key, as I ask that daily to many as I journey along.
I always work by gut and intuition. There is no specific timing for the rocking moves. If someone is very flexible, I might not do much rocking. If someone is quite stiff, I might do quite a bit of rocking. If someone is badly locked up, I might use primarily rocking techniques, and use them for a long time.
It is possible to overdo rocking, so you have to watch out for that too. If you do almost only rocking moves for a whole session, it can feel for the client like being on a ship in rocky seas, and some people can even get motion sickness from whole-body rocking moves. So it is important to blend the rocking in with the session, but alternate with non-rocking moves.
If someone gets dizzy from whole-body rocking moves (like hip rocking), then use smaller rocking motions like circling or wiggling moves. This is a creative process and cannot be nailed down to specific lengths of time for the techniques.
You always have to watch out for any symptoms. It is important to always communicate with the client and ask how it feels. I often ask specific questions, like if it feels “good, bad, or neutral”. That gives me a good idea how it works for the client. And knee replacements definitely require special consideration and elimination of any techniques that could twist the knee in any way. Especially on such a client it is important to ask how the technique feels, if there is any discomfort, etc. Stretches that impact the knee joint should be avoided on people with knee replacements.
MODULE # 6
I appreciated this hip session as so many of my clients have many issues here, along with the Lower Back. I have been using the psoas stretch on all my clients, after I ask and explain, and they seem to really relax from this gentle motion.
I have been ending the massage with the heart gentle rock, and this new rock down from the rib cage down through the hips. While practicing this straddling move for the right psoas while under the lower back, it seemed like a stretch for my short hands and back when on the floor. If I do this on the table, it may be a bit easier as I will be at a move level playing field
As a small person (used to be a jockey) most people I work on are bigger than me. But a small women friend truly liked this module to practice on especially the feet in groin and locking hands above her knees.
The belly sandwich rock took a bit to get used too for a while, but eventually felt good. Getting the flat hands and rhythm just right I initially felt awkward with, but with time, got in the rhythm. The relaxed arms like you said are key to remind myself of to have relaxed elbows and use my entire body. On the table I have used on clients the hip/belly rock like you said as it can be all one flow to end the massage with, or incorporate instead of an abdominal massage, which I do not always do with clients.
Thanks for all the reminders you give us for pointers, as they are extremely helpful, for our learning curve.
The abdominal work does require some finesse to feel right, but when you ‘get it’, it can be really powerful in releasing physical and even emotional tension which many people store in their belly area. I have an entire course just about abdominal work which consists primarily of rocking movements, and I have had some amazing results with this work. It’s worth it to practice it until it flows. It’s not for every client, but for some it is super useful and beneficial.
Many of my clients are loving the sternum 2 handed rock. I am playing with it to precede my end of massage with the side rocking of the body beginning at the breast area of the side ribs, all the way down to the ankles. Many have said they feel floaty, longer or a new relaxed feeling! Focusing these moves of the rib cage, since I do not do much here usually will be of benefit for my clients.
As FYI, I have been getting up on the gluts of many, my husband one of them, on the table, and many are sensing that release of the SI joint when lightly rocking them!
This is one module that I can mostly use while clients on the table. Many are enjoying the release of the upper arms with my heels in the pocket of their rotator cuff while supine. I have always shook my clients arms, but now do it in a more intentional, focused on breathing way.
I have always done the scap move but used my knuckle of thumb and now really like the finger tips in there, and feels a bit better for all of us.
Thanks for all these applications Shama, as so many of my clients are chiming in to see what benefits they are experiencing along the way
of my learning!!!
MODULE # 10
Yes, that is what I am referring to – and yep – on the table, with a bit of steadying necessary, with sneakers on and straddling them to get my knees on the gluts! But sounds like oh so worth it!!! LOL
I really loved the sacrum rock, the circling, and the rocking with thumbs on sensitive areas. So many clients are feeling the release of this work, be it gentle and slow or fast and firm. Women and men are liking the knees in the glut move. One lady yesterday said once I stopped, she felt like she was floating on a cloud!!!
I sure would like to know where all grads are of this program so I can feel this work on me!!!!
The finger in the scap move is much better than what I have been doing for 30 years, so have embraced this new model for ease, and simply watching how the client responds. I like finding the rhythm of my breathing along the way, finding what works for which strokes in terms of the inhale/exhale.
The placement of my body while doing this like you said is paramount, for this move, at the 45 degree. Today a client said she felt her leg was a bit longer and more relaxed than the usual massage that I offer. Another client mentioned that once I stopped the rocking she had a feeling of calm, and that when autistic kids do the rocking and arm slinging, they do that to release the stored energy in their bodies to feel calm. And she equally may do that too, but the rocking I did today, was not labor intensive on her part ~ I did all the work!
There are a whole bunch of graduates of this course in our facebook group. Maybe you can ask there if someone is in your area by any chance. I have seen therapists connect in there for similar reasons.
It’s great to hear that you are doing so well with the sacrum and glute work. It also has been my experience that this is much needed and that clients appreciate it. However for some strange reason, most therapists avoid this area – either because they think that it is somehow inappropriate to work on there (I could never understand this one), or they just don’t have any useful techniques for this area.
There is one person here in the forum who used the Thai Massage and the rocking techniques to work on her autistic son, and she got amazing results with him. You can find the thread if you type ‘autistic’ in the search box. Her name is Alina Bent. Quite an interesting thread.
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