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Mariah Komp's Complete Thai Massage Course Progress Notes
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Mariah Komp
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February 28, 2018 - 1:48 am
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Module 1

This is exactly what I was hoping for. Working with energy, healing, getting into my body, using something other than musle…

I have struggled a lot with ergonomics, I think this has created a lot of discomfort and injury for me.  I have a tendency to really tense up, twist, torque, and use a lot of muscle to get the massage done (yes, I know this isn’t good). I am looking forward to practicing these new positions and getting into my body more. Some of the Thai Massage therapist positions feel stiff and/or wobbly to me right now, but comparing them to a yoga pose helps me frame it in a positive light. Learning to use my body weight instead of my “muscle” will create a huge shift for me, though I worry that I won’t be able to apply enough pressure. If a client asks for more pressure, and you are using your full body weight, what then?

Another thought that came up with this module was, vulnerability. For me, this is something that is hard but that I have been making an intentional effort to live in more often.  I believe this work, if I allow it, will be a path that helps me open more and enjoy the genuine connections that come from being more vulnerable. 

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Shama
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February 28, 2018 - 2:07 am
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Welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Check List

You have an interesting history with Thai Healing Massage Academy. You enrolled in our free introductory course in December of 2012, then enrolled (or rather were given) the Complete Thai Massage course in April 2013, and now in February of 2018 you got your second wind (translation: now the time is right) and it seems that now it will come to fruition. Smile

Also the new upgraded version of the course has many improvements: re-edited videos, supplemental training material, Thai cultural material, audio-only version and illustrated transcripts.

This could definitely be your path to better use of your body, without tensing and straining, and to a more holistic approach to massage. 

Regarding your comment about body weight – if you can’t give more body weight, then you could also not add more pressure by using muscle power. However you will see that this is not an issue. You will easily have enough power when you learn the many ways of doing this.

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Mariah Komp
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February 28, 2018 - 7:29 am
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Yes! My first time around, I was mostly just doing the motions, the techniques. Now, I understand the intention/purpose.

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Mariah Komp
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March 2, 2018 - 6:08 am
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Module 2

Chi Machine…while I was practicing this I noticed I kept getting very rigid. I had to keep reminding myself to relax my whole body.  It felt a little unnatural at first, to just rock someone, like I should be doing more.  Getting their body going in the right way was also a challenge.  It helped to do the exaggerated rocking every now and then to readjust where I was focusing.

One of my practice partners was having a lot of pain in their knees and hip before one our sessions, their pain was gone afterwards!  Another practice partner said, “I really like the Chi Machine, it feels good” (Age 9). 

I will keep working with this to learn how to stay in a relaxed state and get the body going the way I want without the exaggeration.

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March 2, 2018 - 5:07 pm
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You will probably find that Thai Massage will help you in many ways. It can help with making you more relaxed, more in tune with your body, more aware how you move, more intuitive and perceptive, and even more flexible. That will not happen right away, but it will all come in time. Smile

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Mariah Komp
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March 11, 2018 - 3:08 am
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Module 3

I found the circular motion to feel pretty natural and enjoyed using it, will take sometime to make it flow though.  Getting in and out of the ‘leg under client’ position was a bit choppy for me.  I will need to practice getting comfortable moving the client around (and myself) in those ways.  I worried that the leg stretch, pushing down and in on the top of the foot, would be uncomfortable. However, my practice partner said it stretched her leg, from her foot to her out hip, and felt great.

When I did the last part of this module, where you give the leg a gentle shake, I noticed a big difference in using my muscles vs. using my body.  When I just used my muscles, only the bottom part of the leg would “shake”, when I bounced with my body her whole body moved gently.   

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Shama
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March 11, 2018 - 9:56 am
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Great realization! This will apply to many techniques in this course. I am glad you could verify this right in the beginning.

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Mariah Komp
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March 12, 2018 - 6:53 am
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Module 4

So many moves to remember!  I play the audio version while I am practicing to help me remember all of them.

The ankle massage has been very beneficial for my practice partners who have regular leg and foot pain. I found that my thumbs were sore the day after doing the technique that uses primarily thumbs on the sole. This may be a technique I use sparingly. I am really enjoying the other foot massage techniques, especially the stretches, and so are my partners!

The ergonomics are still a conscious effort for me. I find that I am hunched or stiff and just using my muscles from the shoulders down.  I notice a difference in the overall quality of touch, pressure, and my comfort when I readjust to use my whole body.  As you said in your last response, this applies to many of the techniques..if not all!

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Shama
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March 12, 2018 - 9:45 am
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Wow, you are getting very serious about this. I just saw that you enrolled in the Heavenly Head Massage course as well. That’s really a great combination. I always use parts of the HHM course to end Thai Massage sessions, and I have done countless stand-alone HHM sessions. I really love this! 

If some techniques are too much for your thumbs, you can skip them. There are so many techniques in this course that you can never do it all in one session anyway. Remember that the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. However you may find that your thumbs will become stronger after a while. Just make sure that you don’t use your thumbs without the proper support. There will be more on this throughout the course.

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Mariah Komp
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March 13, 2018 - 11:46 am
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Thank you!

My thumbs, wrists, and shoulders are part of what led me to a different style of massage. I was using them in ways that were not ideal and probably without the right support.  

I sometimes let myself get too focused on memorizing everything.  I am going to choose a few of the foot techniques that feel the best to me and work on really getting the flow and feel for those.

My favorite part of the body to work on is the neck.  I love working with neck and jaw issues, headaches, injuries. Clients have had great outcomes from chest and neck work.  I’m excited to dive into learning more about how to work with those areas.  

I really connect with this style of massage (and like that they keep their clothes on) and am looking forward to all there is to learn!

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Shama
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March 13, 2018 - 9:37 pm
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If you love working on the neck and jaw and chest, then you will find the Heavenly Head Massage course to be a real gem. I can’t wait to read how you relate to this.

Yes, good idea to focus on some foot techniques that feel best to you and getting a good feel for them. You can always add more techniques at a later time if you feel inspired to do so. The course will always be there waiting for you! Smile

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Mariah Komp
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March 15, 2018 - 1:46 am
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Module 5

I liked that the techniques were similar to the foot work, it just flows up!  Initially, I was unsure about body placement but I am getting more comfortable moving around the client and moving the client around. 

My practice partners have small bones and muscles, I found with much of my weight available to me I had quite a bit of leverage when leaning into the quad and needed to lighten it. The push down, pull up move was my favorite here. I could use my whole hand and get my body into the movement. 

Such a difference from table massage!  Really appreciating the ease of no draping and no hunching over a table trying to get enough leverage.

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Shama
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March 15, 2018 - 9:10 am
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Here in Thailand most Thai Massage therapists are small Asian women who weigh around 100-120 lbs. However they can use their body weight very effectively to work on often much larger clients.

I am glad to hear that you appreciate the advantages of Thai Massage. Smile

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Mariah Komp
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March 18, 2018 - 2:29 am
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Module 6

Response to your reply above — That is a good reminder!  I am noticing that it is going to take some time to retrain my brain from the traditional western massage standards and methods. 

This module was so far the most clunky feeling.  Getting in and out of the positions was not graceful.  I felt that I wasn’t getting the outer thigh technique correct and it felt ineffective.  I will keep working with it.  I am thinking it is an issue with how I am using my body.  I definitely feel like I was using more muscle than body in that position. 

It’s interesting that the outer thigh is also a place I found awkward to work with in other styles of massage. Any extra suggestions for working with this area?

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Shama
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March 18, 2018 - 6:36 pm
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The outer thigh feels a bit strange to work on since you don’t feel much muscle there, just the IT bands, and they are often stiff and hard and pain sensitive. Also the next few modules will initially feel a bit clunky. This is a normal sequence of events. In the early stages of Thai Massage training, it seems uncoordinated, clunky, your body refuses to move gracefully, and it is hard enough just to remember the techniques. 

Towards the end of the course it all looks very different. You won’t have to think so much about the techniques anymore, your body is used to it all and moves more easily and gracefully, and you are starting to feel some ‘flow’. 

It is the same when you first learn yoga, you just stare enviously at all those yoginis who look like goddesses of flexibility and grace while you are struggling with the simplest positions. Laugh

You just have to get through this initial phase and stick with it. Time will resolve those issues. I felt clunky as well when I first started with Thai Massage 18 years ago. Smile

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Mariah Komp
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March 26, 2018 - 10:36 am
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Module 7 

Thank you for the encouragement.  After practicing with module 7 several times I was still not feeling like I was really doing it right. It does indeed feel clunky and I was feeling a bit discouraged.  I will continue to practice and recommit to the process of learning this healing art. Maybe I’ll also get back into yoga!

I like the whole body motions these techniques incorporate and how they are requiring my body to learn new ways of moving and being. I am looking forward to becoming more skilled with this area of the body. 

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Shama
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March 26, 2018 - 8:03 pm
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Module 7 is still the very beginning. The good thing is that a lot of what you learn in these modules is also applicable to other areas of the body. So the learning curve will flatten out a little after a while. These modules are the most challenging since it all seems to be so new and different. Once you get over this hump, it will feel easier. Wait until you get the first summary session. This will put it more into perspective and after that it will get a little easier.

However there is no way around the fact that Thai Massage is a complex system which does take some time to learn. Make sure to re-watch each video a couple of times.  

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Mariah Komp
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April 9, 2018 - 7:21 am
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After taking some time to consider I am going to focus on one program at a time.  I will finish the Heavenly Head Massage course and then return to this course.   I want to pull my focus in and get more comfortable with the first 7 modules before moving on. I’ll be back here soon!

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Shama
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April 9, 2018 - 9:46 am
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Sounds good! The HHM course will keep you busy enough.

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