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Mary Jo Brandl's Complete Thai Massage progress notes
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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 8, 2017 - 10:35 pm
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Just getting things set up.  Watching the video and playing around so I know what I am doing.  The video is great by the way,  I learn much better by being shown what to do vs just reading it.  Thanks

MJ Brandl

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Shama
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February 9, 2017 - 12:09 am
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Welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. While you are getting organized with this, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:

Certification Check List

If you learn well by being shown what to do, this course will work great for you. In addition you have transcripts which are very useful as reference or if you are trying to find something without watching an entire video again. 

I am glad you liked the intro video and I am looking forward to working with you and following your progress with the course. Smile

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 10, 2017 - 7:14 am
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02/09/2017 Module 1 — Introduction

So far still feeling good about this decision to learn Thai Massage.  I was a good review for me to learn the difference between traditional massage, western style, and Thai massage working with energy.  I guess I had forgotten just how similar to yoga Thai massage is.  With my current massage background the techniques of Thai massage all make sense to me.  The body parts used I understand also.  I did have an 8 hour class that touched on Thai massage in massage school so the things that were covered in Module 1 were review for me so far.

I did get down on the floor and move around in all the positions the therapist will need to get comfortable with.  I will need to work on my toes a bit, but understand it is something that I have to get use to and just like learning to ride a bike I will get better at it.  I think Thai massage in general is very beneficial for the therapist as well as the client.  I like things that will keep me fit, healthy and flexible.  

I have always been told I am a different type of massage therapist, because I use my senses to guide me through the treatment.  I sense what the body is telling me and do things based on what I feel.  So knowing that Thai massage has to do with quality of touch an using energy I think this will be a good fit for me.  I am familiar with the energy lines and the techniques used in Thai Massage. I focus on breath a lot when I teach my movement class to seniors.  I am aware of how to use the breath and why its important.

My husband is very excited to be my practice partner as he loves to be worked on!!!!  Looking forward to the next lesson.

MJ

MJ Brandl

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Shama
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February 10, 2017 - 10:19 pm
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There are two sentences which caught my attention because they are totally in line with what this course is all about.

“I think Thai massage in general is very beneficial for the therapist as well as the client.  I like things that will keep me fit, healthy and flexible.”

” I sense what the body is telling me and do things based on what I feel.”

I can tell that this course will really resonate with you because this is totally how I feel as well and what I teach! Smile

You will hear a lot about breath awareness in this course. This is something which is normally never taught in Thai Massage training, but it is very much incorporated into my style.

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 12, 2017 - 9:05 am
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02/11/2017 Module 2 — Chi Machine

 

I have completed module 2 with the Chi Machine.  I had to laugh at this lesson as I remember learning this in massage school.  We were taught how to do this with the client lying on the massage table and we had to lift them by the ankles and shake them back and forth.  Needless to say learning your method of the Chi machine on the floor and rocking side to side was soooooooo much easier!!!!!  The Spa I recently started working at also has a Chi Machine and I was very surprised to find out there was a machine for this modality. 

My husband was my partner in practicing this technique.  Seeing the proper and easy way to do this technique in your video made it very easy to duplicate.  I was able to do this technique with ease and my husband said he was able to feel the warm sensation all the way up to his hips and a tingling sensation up to his knees and he became very relaxed and enjoy it.  I explained to him that what he was feeling was the life force energy inside of him called Qi.

MJ Brandl

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February 13, 2017 - 2:10 am
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That’s where I got the name for this technique from – the actual machine.  The human version is definitely more effective, though.

I am glad to hear that you found this technique easy. It is normally one that many course students find rather challenging. Maybe you are just a natural for Thai Massage. Smile

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 15, 2017 - 9:25 am
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2/14/2017 Module 3 — Foot Massage 1

I practiced on my husband on 01/12/17, 01/13/17 and will tonight also just remembered I also needed to do my post on this module. On 01/12/17 I watched the video first and then followed along with the video as I used my husband as my practice partner. I did start with the Chi Machine first so I can continue to get comfortable with that as well. I found it easy to follow along with the video and as long as I use my body weight the process of doing all the moves is very easy and smooth once I can get into a rhythm.
My husband was able to relax and enjoyed the work very much. He said he felt warmth throughout the body and an unexplainable feeling, kind of like an out of body experience. He said all the movements felt great, no pain on the joints and super awesome on his feet as he has planter falsities. He also noticed that it also released other tension and stress throughout the body.

The next day I tried to glance at the transcript and recall the process of the moves as I worked on my husband. I did alright, but want to do it along with the video again. This made me think of a few questions:

1.) can you do the traction and pushing the foot and leg and hip forward on someone that has had a hip replacement?
2.) are there any contraindications for Thai massage?
3.) are we being taught a routine? Should we continue to build on each thing you teach us and add it onto the routine?

I also noticed this section only had 4 questions on the test.

I am continuing to work on sitting the traditional Thai way as I find my feet tend to get tingly when I sit that way longer than what I am use to. I also continue to work on sitting on my toes.

MJ Brandl

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Shama
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February 15, 2017 - 2:43 pm
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I recommend not doing this on someone with a hip replacement. Better to be safe than sorry. The other issue is that someone might experience some kind of problem with the artificial hip, even if it is totally unrelated to your work, but might blame you anyway.

There are two reports about contraindications in this course. You will get them automatically in the supplementary series. If you want to see them earlier, you can also use the search function in our blog and type in ‘contraindications’. That will bring them up as well.

You are being taught a routine. However this routine or sequence is not something which you are supposed to use exclusively. It is a good way to learn the techniques, and the general structure is useful for doing whole body Thai Massage sessions. 

However later, when you know all the techniques, you can modify this routine, you can only use certain parts of it, and you can use your creativity and intuition to decide which techniques best suit a particular client. 

Not all techniques work well for every person. That’s something which you can only learn with experience. I also keep mentioning this throughout the course along with helpful hints and possible adaptations for different body types, sizes and weights.

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 20, 2017 - 8:47 am
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02/19/2017 Module 4 — Foot Massage 2

Thank you for responding to my questions from my last post. I did enjoy this last module and I like the fact that you do not recommend we stick strictly to a routine, but also work by what we feel and the client is not going to know if we are following the book.   I work at lot, mostly by what I feel and feed off the energy I receive from the client I am working on.

I am surprisingly finding this easy to follow and do. Not sure if it’s because I am a natural at Thai massage or if it’s the great videos you but together! I love the fact that the videos are around 20 minutes and not much longer.  I tend to have a hard time focusing on new things after 20 minutes and tend to lose interest. Thank you for keeping the lesions at the perfect length of time.

Again I have used my husband to practice on.  I have asked for his feedback in weather it feels better when I go slow or faster with the movements and his opinion was he enjoyed it more with the slower movements.  Everything felt good and relaxing, nothing that I did hurt his body in any way.

I continue to practice the moves to get more comfortable with them and work on the transition of moves to keep things smooth. I pay attention to how I do the movements and make sue I use my whole body instead of using muscle strength and exhausting myself. It is all going very well so far. I continue to look forward to building on with each lesson. 

MJ Brandl

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Shama
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February 20, 2017 - 8:20 pm
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It seems to me that at least part of the reason is that you are a natural for Thai Massage, otherwise it wouldn’t come so easily for you. My videos might be great, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some students struggling with the material. Smile

Not everyone is cut out to be a good Thai Massage therapist, just like not everyone is cut out to be a good nuclear physicist or ballet dancer.

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 22, 2017 - 11:51 pm
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02/21/2017 Module 5 — Leg warm-up

I like that this lesson expresses the importance of warming up before stretching! So many people don’t understand this concept. The video was great at showing how the leg warm up was done. I did struggle a little bit with this lesson only because I had to find my own comfortable way of supporting the leg from rolling around. We as the therapist are starting to move around more and keeping things smooth as we transition from one leg to the next needs some practice. I also get nervous as we get close to the genital area, working on my husband it is no big deal, working on a stranger awkward. I am doing well at using my body weight to lean into the muscles and using my breath. I need to keep practicing the work as I am not use to working on the floor and sitting on my toes and legs for extended periods of time. I know it will get better with practice and time and I am still excited about learning this type of massage. The feedback I get is that it feels good, they had no idea the body could be warmed up that way, never knew those muscles hurt, makes me feel amazing!

Working with the thumbs and rolling up is easy for me as I learned Tui Na (deep tissue Chinese massage) in massage school. I learned Tui Na massage before I learned Sweedish massage. So far everything you have taught makes perfect sense. Thanks!

MJ Brandl

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February 23, 2017 - 2:47 am
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Regarding your nervousness about getting too close to the genitals – as long as you don’t touch them, there is no problem. If you try to set up too many “safety zones” in Thai Massage, you won’t get very far. You will get a video later on in the course which addresses this issue, but since you mentioned it, I will give you the link right now:

Controversial Touch Issues In Thai Massage

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 27, 2017 - 7:21 am
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February 26, 2017 Module 6 — Leg Warm-Up with Forearms

This was a great lesson and good demonstration of a perfect way to warm up the muscles on the leg when they are glued down to the bone. My husband practices Karate and I feel they don’t warm up good enough before they stretch and they never seem to cool down. Therefore my husbands leg muscles seem to stick to the bones and he is enjoying me practicing Thai massage very much. He is very aware of the feeling of the blocked energy lines being opened. He is amazed at how this leg warm up made his legs and overall body feel. He appears to be tighter on his dominant side, so I have to use pillows to support on one side and not the other. I am still getting use to moving around on the floor and transiting from one leg to the next. I am doing well with using my whole body as a tool, I am just not use to working on the floor so I am still getting use to that.

I like this lesson as it also shows how to use the whole body effectively and not to use just the thumbs. As a massage therapist I have done a lot of acupressure point work and trigger point point work and the thumbs can take a beating. I am a firm believer in mind/body/spirit all coming together so we can be whole and I feel Thai massage is a modality that works all three of these areas.
I will continue to practice and over time I will continue to get better and things will flow much better as I find and get my feel.

MJ Brandl

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Mary Jo Brandl (MJ)
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February 27, 2017 - 7:35 am
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Thank you for the link on controversial touch! It was great information I appreciate it!

MJ Brandl

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Shama
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February 28, 2017 - 12:38 am
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Thai Massage is definitely the closest thing to a body/mind/spirit modality that I know. If it would not include all those elements, I would not have fallen in love with it! Smile

It sounds like you can do a lot of good for your husband!

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