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Lynn J. Babiera's complete Thai massage course notes
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Lynn J. Babiera
Tokyo, Japan
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November 10, 2021 - 5:26 am
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Hello everyone, Namaste. I have been taking my time absorbing the material and I have worked on my husband thus far and some of my students. Here we go.

MODULE 1

I love how it is highlighted that Thai massage is all about sensing and feeling. This same aspect is of importance when teaching a Yoga class. Sensing what the mood is so that you can lift the student’s spirit with the practice you guiding them with. The same goes for being in the right mindset. Before I teach any Yoga class, I do some checking in with myself so that I can intentionally guide the student.

Everything highlighted about breath awareness correlates with Yoga. When adjusting students’, the instructor needs to breathe correctly enabling the student to transition fluidly into the pose. This is something that requires a lot of practice so that you can fully connect with what you are doing. I am looking forward to learning as much from this course and will continue to practice techniques over and over so that I can improve the placement of my body providing an effortless and enjoyable experience for my client.  Thank you.

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Lynn J. Babiera
Tokyo, Japan
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November 10, 2021 - 5:28 am
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My work in progress.

MODULE 2

Chi Machine

The Chi machine looked extremely intimidating when I first watched the demonstration video. I didn’t know if I would get it right or feel comfortable doing it. I informed my client (my husband) that this will be the opening move for our session together.

As I completed the brisk rocking motion, I watched his hips and noticed how his entire body moved. It felt comfortable for me and I relaxed even more once I started noticing his entire body moving fluidly. The feedback that I received was that the experience was extremely relaxing. He enjoyed the vibrations he could sense and feel in his body which made the experience extremely relaxing and pleasing. He could sense and feel the energy being given off by me, the movement being transferred from my body to his. It didn’t feel intense but strong enough that he could feel vibrations in his body and in his arms. He highlighted that he felt a back massage as his head was moving.

I don’t have any questions about this technique. I personally love it and I resonated with it very quickly because I understand the concept Chi due to practicing a little bit of Yin yoga and also teaching it. The Chi machine will definitely be added to the series of moves I use during a massage and the more I practice the better I will get and provide a better experience.

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Lynn J. Babiera
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November 10, 2021 - 5:40 am
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Hello again, I am posting about everything I have watched and worked on thus far and made notes while I was doing it. I am sending it all today. I am very particular when I am learning and try to capture as much as I can. I have scribed everything from my experience with the moves and what the client has shared with me. I am now picking and choosing the techniques I resonate and feel most comfortable practicing. For wanting to receive a certificate I am writing about all the techniques offered. Hope this is acceptable

 

MODULE 3

Foot Massage

Squeeze and bend out

This technique I have to get used to. I have to work on the placement of my body so that I don’t tire myself out. I had to adjust my position a few times so that I was using my body weight correctly. I was getting lost in the timing and the fluidity of the move which made me confuse myself. I guess I was overthinking it too much. So, what I did was close my eyes and this helped me connect more on the intention of the move and I was able to focus a lot better on the placement of my hands while counting the positions. I noticed I was also worried about if I was applying too much or too little pressure.  I had to practice this a few times before feeling a lot more comfortable doing it.

The feedback I received was that he enjoyed the placement of hands on the feet along with the simultaneous movement of foot to the side which stretched his ankle. He highlighted that this sort of ankle stretch is very difficult to do on your own which I thought was quite interesting. I have to work a lot more on this one to feel absolutely comfortable.

Circular and bending and twisting technique

I need a lot more practice with this technique. It took me a few times to more or less synchronize moving my body with correctly placing my hands in the 3 positions on the foot. The feedback I received was that the pressure on the foot felt good, however I should ask the client if pressure feels comfortable. My practice partner/client highlighted he needed a little more pressure applied. Also, I should ask if the twisting to the side feels comfortable. He highlighted his right ankle is tighter than his left. He felt some discomfort when I transitioned into the twisting technique. The experience to the squeeze and bend out technique feels similar to this technique.

Bending both feet in at the same time

I could sense my client is a little tight so tried to be as mindful as possible not to apply too much pressure. I asked this time if it felt okay and the energy felt pretty good. The feedback I got was that he felt the stretch into his connecting muscles leading up to his thighs and glutes. The experience was pleasant.

Bending both feet down at the same time

I didn’t experience any difficulties with this technique. I felt comfortable and used the weight of my body while applying the stretch. My client said it was a great counter stretch and felt really good. The amount of pressure applied was enough and it felt relaxing and pleasant.

 

Bending both feet forward at the same time

Could sense and feel my client’s ankles were a little tight so I didn’t apply too much pressure. After applying this technique 3 times I could sense my client was feeling a little more relaxed and the movement felt a little more fluid. He said the experience was good. My journey with all these techniques is to keep at so that my movement is more fluid and my client can sense and feel my confidence.

Push, pull rotate technique for foot and leg

The challenge for me was push first then pull and getting the position of my body correct. After a few times of contemplating and then applying, it all came together. There is room for improvement. My client said it felt very relaxing and he could sense and feel his hip being stretched and thought that the amount of pressure applied with the push and pull was adequate. The stretch didn’t feel intense but was satisfying.

Twisting the feet out one at a time

This technique felt quite natural for me completed with changing the hands. I felt very comfortable and the feedback I received was that it felt relaxing and satisfying.

Shaking the foot up and down for relaxation

I enjoyed doing this technique. I am always concerned about the placement of my body. I focused on lot on keeping my arms straight and breathing. I felt comfortable doing this technique and especially enjoying the second bobbing up and down. I could see my client was enjoying it. He said it felt relaxing so much that the sensation went to his lower back and hip.

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Lynn J. Babiera
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November 10, 2021 - 5:44 am
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MODULE 4

Foot Massage 2

Kneading the soles of the foot by rolling up the thumbs

I placed a pillow underneath my client’s knee because I know he has tight ankles. I felt very comfortable doing this technique and giving it to my client. He said it was very relaxing. I think I will definitely have this technique as part of my routines.

Circling the inner side of the heel and circling on the outside of the heel

I first started practicing this technique only doing one foot at a time. After feeling a little more comfortable attempted doing both feet and it felt challenging to complete the movement fluidly on both feet at the same time. I stopped and started again. My client said the experience was relaxing but she thought me doing this move one foot at a time felt better. I am wondering, can this technique be done one foot at a time? I will challenge myself going forward doing both feet until I get this right.

 

Circling the top of the foot with the thumbs and fingertips

 This technique didn’t feel at all comfortable for me to provide mainly because I was so worried that I was applying too little and then too much pressure while working on the rays/ crevice on each section of the foot. I had a little difficulty trying to sense and feel the last ray of the foot. My client said it didn’t feel uncomfortable and the pressure felt satisfactory to a point that it could be a little harder. I don’t particularly think this will be my go- to technique since it doesn’t feel comfortable for me to give. Maybe a little more practice?

Rotate and wiggle the entire foot in both directions

This technique felt very comfortable for me to provide. The fact that I could lean my arm on my thigh for support gives me more leverage to facilitate the smooth ankle movement. I enjoyed giving this technique. It felt effortless to do and my client thoroughly enjoyed it since she said she never really focuses on her ankles.

Transition

Practiced the transition a few times changing from one side to the other. I don’t think I have any issues with it and feel comfortable doing it. My client said she didn’t notice the change.

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Shama Kern
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November 10, 2021 - 6:23 am
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Hi Lynn, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

"I noticed I was also worried about if I was applying too much or too little pressure." - Initially there is really no way of knowing if you apply the right amount of pressure. This is something that develops with experience. There are also methods of finding out what the right amount of pressure or intensity is for certain techniques and stretches. You will find this explained later in the course more in detail.

"I am wondering, can this technique be done one foot at a time?" - Yes, it can, but I think that with a little more practice you will find that it is not difficult to do on both feet. The advantage of doing it on both feet is that it saves you time in the session. Obviously doing it on both feet separately doubles the amount of time that you need. Since you only have so much time in a session, it makes sense to economize your work by doing more with less time, if possible.

"I don’t particularly think this will be my go-to technique since it doesn’t feel comfortable for me to give. Maybe a little more practice?" - Definitely with some more practice, these techniques will grow on you and feel more natural. You can't expect that in the beginning everything will feel easy, natural, and flowing. These things do take some time to develop and mature. And yes, working on the top of the feet is more challenging in regards to feeling it than on the soles.

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Lynn J. Babiera
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November 21, 2021 - 2:29 pm
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Hello, hope all is well. Please see my progress notes below.

 

Module 5 (Leg Warm Up)

I have watched the video a few times and have also had the privilege of practicing this a few times on 3 students I work closely with. I must admit I thoroughly enjoy these techniques. 

I have noticed that when I am in my zone, I pull my belly in and this really helps a lot with me focusing on my breath as I lean in and out. All the movements flow pretty well and I just really need to work a lot more on transitioning from one side to the next. I have tried not the focus on worrying too much as before about the amount pressure I give off, but instead really just trust using my body weight with the flow of my breath. All the feedback I received was that it felt very relaxing and the muscles felt lengthened afterwards. I have also done a 35 minute flow of techniques picking a few techniques from each module and letting them flow into a sequence. This has worked pretty well so far. 

Thank you so much for the great content and the way the videos are presented. 

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Shama Kern
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November 22, 2021 - 8:45 am
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This sounds great - I am happy to hear that you enjoy the material and that it flows well for you! Smile

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Lynn J. Babiera
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December 7, 2021 - 7:26 am
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Greetings, and hope all is well. 

 

MODULE 6 (Leg warm up with forearms)

This module I have probably watched the most going back and forth, checking, double checking the positions I need to be in and the transitions.  I first practiced on my 6 year old son and he thought it was the funniest thing ever. We ended up laughing the entire time and I decided to work on my friend who has been struggling with tight leg muscles.

I struggled a lot with getting the positioning of my body correct and also the amount of pressure i needed to give off. I watched the video again and decided to give it another go on my husband. When i practiced on him the first time I wasn't using my bodyweight correctly and he said it felt like a lot more pressure could be used.

After watching the video again and focusing on the use of my body weight it changed the entire experience for me and my client. I moved a lot slower and this felt better. I have been confusing myself a few times when I transition from one leg to the other leg about the positioning of my body but it has somewhat improved and felt a lot better after practicing again today.

I probably need to stop overthinking it. I am going practice this again this evening before moving onto the next module. My favorite technique from this module is the IT band one. I received great feedback that it felt amazing. If you complete all the techniques, it can be quite something. There is so much to consider and be mindful about.

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Shama Kern
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December 7, 2021 - 7:33 am
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True, Thai Massage is quite a complex system, but when you learn it, you have an amazing set of tools available. Smile

Sooner or later you will get to the point of feeling it more rather than overthinking it. But that can take some time until you know the techniques so well that you don't have to think about them anymore. At that point you will start to feel more, sense more, and become more creative and intuitive.

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Lynn J. Babiera
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December 21, 2021 - 11:26 am
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Greetings and hope all is well. 

MODULE 7 

I love how this module opens up with evaluating your client. It is a great reminder that everyones anatomy is totally different and you have to be so mindful. So after the evaluation, it was evident that my client's one hip was far tighter than the other, so I needed a prop.

I found some of the techniques challenging to do and was very hesitant with the elephant walking warm up on the thigh and calf. My first attempt my client said I could give a little more pressure. My second attempt I leaned more in and that improved the experience by a whole lot. I struggled a few times with the right angle foot stretch. My client is a bigger and heavier than me and his foot kept on slipping out of my hand. I took a break and then attempted again, and sat a smidge further back and this improved the movement. The lesson I learned here is that this particular technique didn't work well because of the size difference and will most likely be the case with other techniques. I need to practice the circular hip lift a lot more to get it correct but I understand the concept. My client said he enjoyed the butterfly stretch, hip walking stretch and the hip lift cross pull stretch. I feel like can improve a lot more, so I have a lot of practicing ahead of me. Great content. Thank you.

Happy Holidays. 

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Shama Kern
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December 22, 2021 - 8:06 am
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I think I would like to modify your statement that the technique did not work well due to the size difference between you and your client. Pretty much all Thai Massage therapists in Thailand are very petite women who work on any size clients. They have learned how to adjust their positions and how to modify the techniques so that they can work on pretty much anyone. You will learn the same things throughout this course, as you will see! Smile

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Lynn J. Babiera
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December 24, 2021 - 12:24 pm
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Hi Shama,

 

Thank you for your message. I think I should rather have asked in a question format about size difference. I appreciate your feedback and highlighting that techniques can be modified.

Regards..

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Lynn J. Babiera
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January 10, 2022 - 10:29 am
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Greetings and Happy New Year!!!

MODULE 8

After watching the video and few times I felt ready to practice. I chose two candidates to work on since I wanted to grasp the difference of tightness with these techniques. I was very pleased with the options provided to warm up the hip area and this worked very well on my client who had less range of movement. After warming up the area I worked through the hip pie rock stretch and it worked amazingly well. My client felt relaxed and the movement allowed me to sense how far to go. My client said he felt some release in the area and it felt great. This was so good to hear. When I worked on my other client who has wider range of movement, the stretch felt so comfortable and I could sense and feel that she could go even deeper. It's amazing how all bodies are so anatomically different. I had to adjust my body a few times to get it correctly placed but after correcting that part, I feel confident I understand it. Looking forward to the next module.

Warm regards...

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Shama Kern
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January 10, 2022 - 10:54 am
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It sounds as if Thai Massage is starting to feel more natural to you. Smile

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Lynn J. Babiera
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January 19, 2022 - 10:51 am
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Greetings and hope all is wellSmile

 MODULE 9

Attempted as much as I could in this module. My client (also my yoga student) I worked with on the day has lower back issues and is also very tight in the hips.She is pretty familiar with her body and highlighted where she felt tightness, so the bouncing warm-up work well. This also presented me with how much range of motion is available to her. After spending a little time warming up I could sense and feel her relaxing into the movement. From there on I had to play around a little with what felt right for her so I attempted the hip pie rotation stretch along with the 180 degree stretch and the supine twist. I communicated with her throughout asking if the pressure was enough and if it felt comfortable. The communication between us helped her a lot with surrendering in the stretches. All of these techniques blended well for what she was experiencing in her body. She was extremely relaxed when we ended which was a good sign for me. I had a few hiccups transitioning to the other side but slowly figured it out. Practice, practice, practice. Ready for the next module.

Warm regards

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Shama Kern
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January 21, 2022 - 5:26 am
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Good communication with clients is important enough that I included an entire module about this topic in session 35 of this course. You will also see throughout this program that I often use communication as a therapeutic tool.

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Lynn J. Babiera
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March 8, 2022 - 10:30 am
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Greetings! I have been away for a while. We moved house and I have been busy teaching at Training Programs. I just haven't had a chance to write down my feedback. So now I'm back. I have not stopped practicing though. 

 

MODULE 10

I was excited to see the modification for the spinal twist for working on bigger people. The spinal twist stretch in itself is a great stretch. I chose to work on one of my bigger students to work through this module and it really helped me gain some confidence. The stretch felt so comfortable to give and we communicated with each other about what the level of comfort was. My student was pretty tight on his the left side so we did a lot of warming up movements beforehand. When we attempted the stretch I slowed down the movement a lot because I could feel how tight he was. And after a few minutes I could feel his lower back opening up. It even cracked. He said it felt great! I was a little hesitant about doing the compression technique on the femoral artery because it seemed a little scary but attempted the technique. My student was very relaxed at this point and when I asked him what it felt like, he said it was a very warming and pleasing sensation. I completed the calf and ankle stretch last night on my husband. Had to do it a few times before it felt absolutely comfortable for me because i wasn't using my body correctly the first 2 attempts. My husband does a lot of running so this was a great stretch for him. 

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Shama Kern
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March 9, 2022 - 8:00 am
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"My student was very relaxed at this point and when I asked him what it felt like, he said it was a very warming and pleasing sensation."  -  Typically the therapists are afraid of this technique, and the clients love it. Laugh

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Lynn J. Babiera
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March 25, 2022 - 1:50 pm
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Greetings!!  Hope all is well.

 

MODULE 11

This has been my favorite part of this training.The build up to this point and putting everything together to provide a sense of relief and calm to the person you are working on. I chose to work on my very good friend who has been experiencing a lot of discomfort in her lower body. So I selected stretches and techniques that I felt the most comfortable giving. I played some relaxing music in the background to set the mood and also to get me into me into the right headspace. I gave a lot of thought about the transitions and wanted to have it feel effortless. Lots of room for improvement still but it went pretty well. When I was doing the forearm leg warm-ups I asked about the pressure. We spent a little longer here because in some areas she wanted more pressure and other areas a lot less. The pie stretch along side the supine twist was her favorite and she highlighted she felt a lot of relief. I feel like there is definitely a lot more room for improvement still but I feel confident now that I can do this. Just like any practice, you improve, learn and grow as you go along because it's a journey in itself.

Thank you so much for all the great material. I have learnt so much in a short time.

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March 25, 2022 - 8:36 pm
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"I feel confident now that I can do this."  -  Excellent. I have no doubt that you can do this, especially when getting further along with the course material. Smile

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