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Mary Wese Complete Thai Course notes
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Mary Wese
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June 15, 2018 - 9:45 pm
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module 1

I’ve been practing thai massage for about 6 months, learning what I can from youtube videos, books and from getting Thai work done on myself.  there are many holes in my education that need to be filled in, to say the, least! First hole filled in: breath.  breath out with compression.  I like it : )

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Shama
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June 16, 2018 - 12:51 am
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Hi Mary, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage certification program – glad to have you with us! Smile

Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized.

Certification Checklist

I understand – there is a big difference between piecing Thai Massage together from various sources and getting a complete, well rounded, comprehensive education with good support. Plus, as you will see, there are some very unique aspects to our training program here which go way beyond typical Thai Massage training. The breath is just one of them! Smile

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Mary Wese
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June 17, 2018 - 8:25 am
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Module 2

I practiced on Stephanie today, being mindful of my breath and exhaling on compressions. It felt much more comfortable for me to do that, as opposed to my normal *sporadic* breathing through compressions. It felt much more rhythmic even though I had to be conscious of doing it. I was also mindful of the comfort of my body through my normal routine: experimenting with unilateral leg compression while kneeling on one knee with the other one extended. Usually I would do bilateral leg compressions while kneeling and it puts strain on my wrists and lower back.  Unilateral was easier on my body.   No wrist strain as I leaned into each compression with my lower body, lower back felt  zero gravity.  I appreciate the time you took to emphasize the importance of therapist comfort. I’ve had two therapists tell me how hard Thai is on their bodies, and neither one has has any in-depth training. The only therapist I know that has had in-depth training (in Thailand) tells me he can do it all day and not get worn out by it … that it is energizing. So this is the therapist  want to be like. The energized one!

I will be doing more Thai training with my boss on Monday. I’ll be mindful of breath and body mechanics.   

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Shama
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June 17, 2018 - 9:31 pm
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Working in a conscious and mindful way will definitely make a big difference in Thai Massage. There are several very useful methods for accomplishing this. Breathing is one of them. Throughout the course you will find more methods.

This awareness also helps a lot with working in a flowing, effortless way. Getting worn out when doing Thai Massage is definitely a sign of doing it wrong.

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Mary Wese
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June 20, 2018 - 7:11 pm
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module 2

 I worked on chi machine with my mom and  stephanie,  focusing on moving the hips. I didnt feel so bold as to be almost violent. it was just a little rocking and it didnt really seem to affect the shoulders.  ill step up the boldness the morecoften I practice. would this be good to end a massage with?  

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June 20, 2018 - 8:58 pm
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Actually, I don’t think that this is necessarily the best way to end a Thai Massage. My all-time favorite way to end a session is a trancey neck, head and face massage. I have created an entire course around this called Heavenly Head Massage. That’s what I have always used to end my sessions. At least this is my personal preference. Smile

Of course there is nothing wrong with doing the Chi Machine at the end, but I think that the head massage is even better.

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Mary Wese
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June 29, 2018 - 3:35 am
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Module 3

ive been adding a few of the footworks into my routine, trying to play with them and see what feels right. I’ve practiced on several people. I feel successful with the opening side to side foot rocking and the counterclockwise circling. I was hoping for some acupressure points. Will that be coming in the future?

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Mary Wese
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June 29, 2018 - 3:41 am
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Module 4

It has been easy to incorporate the top of the foot into the time spent at the feet. It is easy to remember all the things you can do with the feet from your chart. Still working on several people from family members to co workers to my kids friends moms; basically anyone who will lay down on the mat for me 🙂

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Mary Wese
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June 29, 2018 - 3:53 am
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Module 5

this module has definitely been a departing from how I’ve trained myself so far with YouTube videos. I have gone from working bilaterally to unilateral because of body mechanics for starters. What was different about this module is thAt you didn’t work up the leg, but went from the feet to the thigh and then down. I have been used to working straight up the leg. It seems easier to work on the lateral leg lines this way because you don’t have to move to the outside and I like that the techniques you show are closer to kneading moves than they are compressions. I like it because it may lend itself to a more personalized massage than just compressions up the leg. But it is a challenge to figure out how to integrate these new things in with old things and not feel like I’m working on the legs for 30 minutes of an hour massage. Would you say that the objectives in Thai massage are sen, muscle warming and stretching?  And if you have those covered you are doing alright?

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Shama
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June 29, 2018 - 2:54 pm
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Regarding acupressure points – Thai Massage works with energy lines, not with acupressure points.

Yes, if you can work the sen lines, do muscle warming and stretching, then you have some of the main ingredients of Thai Massage. However in order to do them correctly, there is a lot to it. It involves correct body mechanics, correct breathing, a good flow, a good energetic connection, good communication skills, good transitions, and additional techniques like rocking moves. All that and more is coming up in the course. There is a lot more covered in this material than you could ever learn from youtube videos. Smile

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Mary Wese
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July 11, 2018 - 5:42 am
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Module 5

Worked on Keith. His hip was tight and I supported his knee with a pillow when it was in butterfly position. His opposite hip was coming off the mat as I pressed on the folded out knee. What does this mean?

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Shama
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July 11, 2018 - 9:08 am
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That’s normal in the case of tight hips that the opposite hip is coming up a bit – nothing to worry about. With repeated sessions the hip will loosen up and the hip won’t come up anymore or come up less.

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Mary Wese
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July 16, 2018 - 9:00 pm
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Module 11

Shams, I am so used to reverse engineering stuff that this is the video I should have seen first! Lol. I haven’t had a chance to practice this all together yet but I have a question about timing. I understand that traditionally, a Thai massage session is much longer than a standard American hour. So in an hour massage, how much time would you spend on the legs, provided there wasn’t any specific body issue to address?  How much time would you spend on legs in a 90 min massage?

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Shama
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July 17, 2018 - 8:38 am
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Here in Thailand the therapists generally spend 40% to 50% of a session on the legs. However I never agreed with this approach since it doesn’t leave enough time for a good upper body workout. The reason probably is that traditional Thai Massage does not have as many upper body techniques as I teach in my program. So I spend about 30% of the time on the legs. If someone clearly needs mostly upper body work, I might cut that down to even less or even cut out the legs entirely in a session. 

However the opposite also holds true. If I notice that someone needs mostly leg or hip work, I would increase the time I work on the legs according to the needs of the client.

So it comes down to this: Thai Massage is not a fixed sequential process, but an intuitive, creative system which is tailored to the needs of a client. In a general session where the client doesn’t have any specific issues, 30% of legwork is a good general rule, but this rule can be broken when the condition of the client requires it.

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Mary Wese
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July 18, 2018 - 9:17 am
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Module 11

i worked on Ashley and got as far as the straight leg (at 90 degrees) stretch. As a very flexible person she liked the knee to chest press toward each shoulder. She is long legged and I am short so when doing the spinal twist I used my leg instead of just my hand and the extra weight gave her a deeper twist. 

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Mary Wese
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July 26, 2018 - 9:35 am
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Module 11

Practiced on Stephanie today. I was able to do all warm ups and stretches on both legs. I am feeling more comfortable sitting underneath someone doing thigh work, but body wise for me there is a slight strain in my ribs on the opposite side that I’m leaning too. Example: if I am sitting under client s right leg and leaning to my left, my right ribs are mildly strained. I make mention of this because you say often that as a therapist we must feel good to make others feel good. 

Stephanie liked all the stretches ( she is a runner) especially the stretches involving the it band. Her quads were tight so I spent extra time working on those muscles. She also really liked the sacrum rock. The stretch than cane after the sacrum rock was intense for her and with prayer feet was almost too much torque, but sliding my feet a bit more forward helped and we made it successful. 

I tried prayer feet on a coworker last night… who was not very flexible… and there was too much torque!  I almost fell backwards lol. When I showed him the video of what I was trying to do he laughed at me and said “ no that’s not going to happen”. 

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Shama
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July 26, 2018 - 6:02 pm
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I imagine you are referring to working the thigh energy lines with your forearms, correct? If so, try to eliminate the strain on your right ribs by lifting your right hip a little when leaning down with your left arm. In other words, try to compensate with your body for this strain. 

Regarding the “prayer feet”, there are definitely techniques that should not or cannot be done on everyone. Not to worry, there are so many techniques that you can easily skip a couple. Smile

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Mary Wese
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August 15, 2018 - 7:25 pm
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Module 16

Im a short legged 5’2 andcwhile watching the bilateral shoulder work it seemed like this therapist position would not work for me unless the client was someone petite like your model. I tried module 16 on a coworker who is average size and female. I don’t know that I would feel comfortable in the same position with a male client because I would almost be sitting on him. What would be a better position to do this work?  I haven’t watched ahead yet to see if you offer any suggestions 

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Shama
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August 15, 2018 - 7:47 pm
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Mary, your module numbering is a bit confusing. You wrote about module 5 (2 posts about that), then you jumped to module 11 (3 posts about that), and then you jumped to module 16. So I am not sure which modules you have been writing about.

While I am happy to reply to you here in the forum, if you want a certificate, you would need to write one post per module (and clearly numbered), as per our certification guidelines:

Certification Checklist

Regarding your question: Thai Massage does require more physical interaction between therapist and client than other styles. Here in Thailand most therapists are female and about your size, and they don’t have an issue with this physical proximity. In my experience clients also don’t have an issue with it. They just want a good massage, and good results. Most of them have their eyes closes and are not concerned with your position.

Now if you work on a really large person, then I agree that this technique is not so practical. The good news is that there are two full modules about shoulder work coming up in this course once you get to the side position. You will find lots of alternatives there.

As far as this particular technique is concerned, you could just do it on one shoulder at a time, using both hands for more leverage, and skip the bilateral version. It’s not exactly the same, but very similar.

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Mary Wese
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August 15, 2018 - 9:05 pm
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yes Shama, I apologize for skipping around in the modules. I thought I would have more time to practice module by module  during the summer but have found I have had to pick through modules to find specific bodywork (like hips or shoulders) on a “need to know something now” basis. When  school is back in for the kids I will be going through the modules in order and posting. Thank you for answering my question. 

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