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Mary Cline - Complete Thai Massage Course
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Mary Cline
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January 2, 2017 - 10:48 pm
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Module One

In an issue of massage therapy magazine received this past year a headline read "It all stems from Anatomy".  Also, my classes stressed anatomy anatomy anatomy--and I am grateful.  But I am looking so forward to this course with an emphasis on energy and connection.  

Until the mat ordered arrives I will continue to use the table.  Although the table is limited, the few Thai Massage courses I participated in, have guided my body mechanics more than any other type of a course.  And the sampling in the first video will be in my mind and body as I incorporate them into the massage I am doing tonight.

Watching a good massage therapist is like enjoying a dance performance by Alvin Ailey or Bruce Wood.  I never thought of this connection until now.  At bicycling events, in which I participate, I will watch the massage therapist.  Maybe I will introduce Thai massage to these events as a bicyclist and a massage therapists.

I am very glad to have found this course so early in my massage career!  I was told I was too old to start a massage practice but with Thai massage it seems more than doable.

With Peace and Gratitude..

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Shama
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January 3, 2017 - 1:30 am
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Hi Mary, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum community.

I know that anatomy is the guiding principle in western massage. However there are other ways to look at the body, namely the eastern way as in Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Tuina, Acupuncture, and yoga therapy. All those do not use anatomy as their underlying strategy.

There is nothing wrong with using anatomy, but it is only one way. The energy approach of the eastern styles is another way. Ideally you would be familiar with both. I have several articles and videos on my site which dive into this subject in more depth. Here are some of them:

Thai Massage Sen Line Therapy Introduction

Surprising Facts About Thai Massage And Anatomy

Do Thai Massage Therapists Need To Know Anatomy?

Yes, Thai Massage - at least a good version of it - is like a dance, like music, like Tai Chi. It is an artistic performance, a joy to watch and to practice. This is what this course is all about.

Also please take a minute and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure it is all organized correctly:

Certification Check List

I am looking forward to observing your progress and assisting you whenever necessary.

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Mary Cline
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January 3, 2017 - 5:10 am
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Thank you..

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Mary Cline
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January 9, 2017 - 9:30 am
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Module Two

This session mentions several Rights--mindset, posture, attitude, and breathing.  Can you explain the difference between mindset and attitude? They seem the same to me.

Today Chi Machine didn't stump me nor did I fumble about.  It was the first time on the floor too.  This week my attempts were on a table since I don't yet have a mat or floors with carpet.  (My sister has carpet). The table just doesn't feel right--too short for some people, too narrow etc.. The floor was comfortable.  However I didn't extend to two minutes due to lack of practice in the kneeling on toes position.  But I will get there! 

I feel confident with this movement.  Her hips were in motion but I couldn't visibly see her neck or head move.  She said she felt it, but that part of her looked rigid.  

Today while sitting with my mother I watched the video with the sound off.  It was my third or fourth viewing.  I could really focus on the practice.  So I recommend watching a few times with sound and then without.  

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January 9, 2017 - 10:03 pm
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Mindset and attitude - I have been asked this before. Technically there is  a difference, but we don't have to get into semantics and analyze things too much. In hindsight, I should have mentioned only one of the two in the video to keep it simple.

When I made those videos, I didn't work from a script. I just started talking and showing as if I were in a live classroom. So I didn't scrutinize every word I was saying. Smile

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Mary Cline
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January 12, 2017 - 9:29 am
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Module Three

I loved this module. Although it requires some coordination, like tapping your head and rubbing your belly trick, by making circles with my body while concentrating on the hands. My client really liked it and all feedback was positive.  She wears high heels all of the time and has so for thirty years.  Wearing flat shoes pains her.  She likes deep pressure.  What should I do to increase pressure for these postures while not using my muscles?

Is it ok for me to take this course past four months?  Since I work an office job Monday through Friday here in Texas, my practice time is limited.  Going slow works for me if it works for you!

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Shama
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January 12, 2017 - 1:03 pm
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Yes, that's fine. So far the official time for the certification has been 6 months, but I will change this to one year since many students cannot keep up. Anyway, I have never really enforced this rule.

Regarding more pressure on the feet without using your muscles - you can use forearms, elbows and feet. That will give you lots of power with almost no effort. You will be introduced to all these techniques later in the course.

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Mary Cline
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January 19, 2017 - 8:29 am
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Module Four

 

First of all, keeping body motion, in this case the feet, was so beneficial.  For all of the anatomy I have had this method of using these concepts simplified and solidified my previous experience.  I intend to think of movement for all parts of the body in this way.

There were a lot of different techniques to practice but today I worked with a grain of confidence.  Yesterday's practice felt like a disaster and disappointing.  But today it sunk in!  The feet are so important.  I can't say I prefer one position over another and my neighbor, who was my partner, liked them all.  I remembered to use my body more.  Coordination is still an issue but I am getting there.

Other than the circle motion position,  I find the pulling up with the thumbs the most difficult.  This motion is used again in the next module too.

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Mary Cline
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January 19, 2017 - 8:36 am
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Module Five

 

Today I moved onto Module Five (and Six).  Everything went well.  I had watched Four and Five quite a few times.  But this practice went much better than previous attempts.  My partner was quite comfortable and patient while I worked on my position.  My breathing was far from even good but I at least remembered to make it part of the massage.  The palm work is the best for me.  My partner was good with the thumb work and the palm.  But the palm feels better to me in this position.  And the thumbs feel awkward.  

Her legs were warmed up!  

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Mary Cline
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January 19, 2017 - 8:43 am
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Module Six

Using forearms is my favorite.  I use them a lot in my practice.  Finagling my body to the right and the comfortable position is the tricky part for me.  But I can see working on the thighs with my forearms for forever.  I demonstrated to my partner using my body weight versus using muscle and she definitely felt the difference.  She said using my body weight was a deep but gentle.  I liked her description.  Her next visit will include many of the previous movements before starting Module Seven.  

I am almost caught up!

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Shama
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January 20, 2017 - 1:50 am
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That's normal and to be expected that some of those techniques feel a little awkward in the beginning of the course. But this tends to resolve itself after a while with regular practice.

The forearm techniques are very useful in Thai Massage and are used a lot by the therapists here in Thailand. They are the best way to prevent stress in your hands and thumbs.

I am glad to hear that your muscle pressure versus body weight experiment turned out the way it was supposed to! Smile

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Mary Cline
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January 30, 2017 - 8:17 am
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Module Seven

 

There wasn't anything to dislike about these moves.  My clients have liked it and I have liked it.  The warm-up can be intense but pulling back makes it perfect.  Everyone has felt great after.  My confidence has grown.  But I'm still working with symmetry of breath, movement, and posture.  I am still clumsy.  With each new module I am adding and building up--starting with feet, warmups and legs.  Slow but steady.

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Mary Cline
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January 30, 2017 - 8:30 am
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Module Eight 

The whole pie thing was great.  It really makes it easy to understand the concepts even if my positioning is clumsy.  The calf work was easy to incorporate and adapt to table work as well.  Thank you for that!  The last piece, embracing the leg, was the most comfortable. At this point I feel so out of shape personally.  Even though you said this wouldn't be used on a lot of clients, my client liked it best and she isn't exactly in great shape.  That postion is frequently seen on football fields prior to games.

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Mary Cline
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January 30, 2017 - 8:39 am
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Module Nine

The positioning of my hand and wrist, on the thigh, hurt.  Not hurt, hurt but felt awkward.  I wanted to use my fist instead.  Would that be ok?  Too much?  My client, same client as module eight, didn't seem to mind but I forgot to ask her.  These training modules are great and my partners have been great.  They listen to the video as much as I do and help with the process.  

Although her thigh wasn't anywhere near the ground a pillow didn't seem to help or hinder much.  Is the pillow used more for a barrier to prevent pushing down too hard or is the thigh supposed to rest upon it?

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Shama
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January 31, 2017 - 12:49 am
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The fist on the thigh is a bit too much in my opinion. Where exactly does your hand hurt? Normally your hand would only hurt in the following two scenarios:

  1. You are using too much pressure with your hand instead of moving the leg with your body weight. Make sure that you are not muscling the move.
  2. You are bending your wrist too much, like at a 90 degree angle. In this case change the position of your hand so that the wrist angle is more like 45 degrees, i.e. move your hand a little away from you so that it wraps around the part of the thigh which is on the outside.

From what I can see I did not use a pillow in the video. However you could use one on people with very limited mobility. I never use a pillow for this since I can easily control the intensity of the stretch without a pillow. And if I feel that the client is too stiff and cannot handle the stretch, I just switch to a rocking movement instead of the linear stretch.

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Mary Cline
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January 31, 2017 - 10:51 am
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Thanks so much.  I will watch the wrist angle.   

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Mary Cline
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February 3, 2017 - 8:55 am
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Module Ten

My partner is wonderful and a runner so she really enjoys the leg work.  Completed the pie.  The spinal stretch from Nine and again in Ten is a bit slippery when reaching under the spine/rocking.  I felt like I was losing her.  But the full stretch from shoulder to knee feels good on my part.  And she loved it too.  What was amazing to me was the subtleness of her leg resting on my ankle.  My movements were are so tiny for such a big stretch.  The calve stretch is a different version of a stretch I use on the table.   I really need to work on my body mechanics and breath.  Both are being skipped over my concentration with the movements.  

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Mary Cline
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February 3, 2017 - 9:06 am
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Module Eleven

I've been trying to do a little of my own summaries before each module.  It helps me to remember.  But I feel I go too fast.  Your massage is a ballet where mine is more of a barn dance--grace versus clumsy.  And there were moves for the feet that I had forgotten but liked.  I explain to my partner if something hurt but it was a good hurt to breath but if it was  bad hurt to let me know right away.  All my partners provide great feedback.  They help with all aspects--I align my body differently and they let me know if it is good, better or not.  

 

Thanks so much...

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Shama
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February 3, 2017 - 1:29 pm
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If you do it for 17 years, like myself, it won't look like a barn dance anymore - I promise! Laugh You might be able to speed this time frame up considerably, like a few more months of practice. Laugh

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Mary Cline
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February 7, 2017 - 8:31 am
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Module Twelve

After viewing this module I thought it might be frightful but it was the best!   The achilles tendon/calve muscle wasn't difficult and any work on the calve by my partner was appreciated by her.  The response from the version where I use my belly was kind of umph;whatever.  She didn't see the point even with traction.  But that version flows move beautifully into the next--the knees to chest.  I was reluctant to sit on her, for one thing I am big and she is tiny, but she loved it.  So I will definitely keep at it.   Elephant walk on knees for the sacrum was the most difficult.  It looks the easiest but position must be perfect and my partner was very helpful when she couldn't feel something she offered suggestions to get me in the right place.  

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