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Melissa Bean's Complete Thai Massage course notes
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Melissa Bean
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March 9, 2016 - 11:42 pm
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 Module 1

I began practicing the chi machine on my husband first who is a large frame, 5' 11", 215lb. I found the Rythm pretty easily. My husband reported feeling warm and energized after chi machine. However, he did say it made his knees feel uncomfortable  because there was no pillow under his knees.  

I also tried it on my 8 yr old and he said he felt warm and relaxed but it shook his ankles too much. I did notice his ankle joint seemed to be s little loose feeling.  I'm not sure how firmly I should be grasping or cupping the heel of foot. 

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Shama
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March 10, 2016 - 12:58 am
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Hi Melissa, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage course. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list:

Certification Check List

I fixed the first issue for you by adding your full name to the topic title and to your forum profile. Without that it is next to impossible to find your forum thread among hundreds of others.

The Chi Machine is not supposed to be done with a pillow under the knees since this prevents an easy free movement. However there are some people who have issues with this technique. They might be hyper mobile (knees hanging trough), they might have knee problems, or very heavy legs. You can try it with a pillow under his knees and see if you can still get the intended effect.

And yes, there are people with very loose ankles joints which often make an audible cracking sound. What all this leads to is a recurring theme throughout this course, which is that not every technique works on everyone. All the techniques in this program are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

The real art of Thai Massage is not to perform a fixed sequence, but to learn through experience, intuition and sensitivity what techniques work on whom, and then do those and skip the ones that don't.

The sequences are the best way to learn the techniques, and they can even be very useful for general sessions, but just keep in mind that they are not written in stone, and many times you will come across a situation where you have to modify or even skip a technique. You will learn that throughout this training.

Naturally this is not something which happens at the early stages of the training, but it is something to look forward to once you get to the later stages of the course.

Try holding your son's foot more around the ankle than only at the heel and see if this works better on him.

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Melissa Bean
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March 11, 2016 - 10:23 am
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Shama said
Hi Melissa, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage course. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list:
Certification Check List
I fixed the first issue for you by adding your full name to the topic title and to your forum profile. Without that it is next to impossible to find your forum thread among hundreds of others.
The Chi Machine is not supposed to be done with a pillow under the knees since this prevents an easy free movement. However there are some people who have issues with this technique. They might be hyper mobile (knees hanging trough), they might have knee problems, or very heavy legs. You can try it with a pillow under his knees and see if you can still get the intended effect.
And yes, there are people with very loose ankles joints which often make an audible cracking sound. What all this leads to is a recurring theme throughout this course, which is that not every technique works on everyone. All the techniques in this program are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.
The real art of Thai Massage is not to perform a fixed sequence, but to learn through experience, intuition and sensitivity what techniques work on whom, and then do those and skip the ones that don't.
The sequences are the best way to learn the techniques, and they can even be very useful for general sessions, but just keep in mind that they are not written in stone, and many times you will come across a situation where you have to modify or even skip a technique. You will learn that throughout this training.
Naturally this is not something which happens at the early stages of the training, but it is something to look forward to once you get to the later stages of the course.
Try holding your son's foot more around the ankle than only at the heel and see if this works better on him.

Great, thank you. I will modify a bit and let you know how it goes

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Melissa Bean
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March 14, 2016 - 10:26 am
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Module 3

i really like all of the movement incorporated into this routine. The pressure in the arch of feet and all the rotation really seemed to soften the tissue a lot. I felt the most awkward performing the second technique, I didn't feel like I was treating both feet equally. Overall my client really enjoyed the  work and was very relaxed.

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March 14, 2016 - 11:03 am
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Module 4

today the foot routine flowed a lot easier. I enjoyed the additional information on flowing and not getting too caught up in the exact mechanics of it. I would enjoy learning additional information about feet reflex points.

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Shama
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March 14, 2016 - 10:05 pm
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The foot techniques which are used in Thai Massage are not meant to be specific reflexology sessions which would require a session all by itself.

However there is an entire system of Thai foot massage which is separate from Thai Massage and which focuses only on the feet. This is the Thai version of reflexology. It is done with oil or lotion and with the client sitting in a chair ( a recliner ideally).

I teach this entire system in my Thai Foot Massage course which you might consider adding to your skill set at some point.

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Melissa Bean
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March 19, 2016 - 10:12 pm
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Module 5 leg warm up

 

The first step in the warm up is a totally new technique to me. I have been doing a similar warm up with my palms without trapping the foot. I found trapping the foot very helpful. The squeeze and roll technique on calf and inner thigh was easy to perform with my hands and very comfortable for my client. I have been practicing the chi machine and foot sequence regularly also.They are flowing more easily now.

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March 30, 2016 - 5:51 am
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Module 6

This leg warm up with elbows was preferable to me. I felt a bit uncomfortable about sitting so close to the groin area, especially if I was working on stranger. I'm getting much more comfortable with leaning and sinking versus using muscular energy. 

My client really enjoyed the work on all 5 sen lines. And loves the calf massage!

about how many times should I go up and down each sen line? Just use intuition?

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Shama
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March 30, 2016 - 10:52 am
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Yes, just go by your feeling. There is no hard and fast rule for how long you do any technique. It depends on what the client needs most, how much time you have for the session, and what your intuition tells you. I am not a big fan of coming up with all kinds of rules for Thai Massage.

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Melissa Bean
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April 3, 2016 - 8:27 pm
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Module 7 

elephant walking /foot assessment:right angle foot stretch

 I tried using the elephant walking technique on my massage table and was unable to get the full range of motion.   My client has severe arthritis in her hip and cannot really open the knee at all . I did use the rocking technique to help loosen the hip.

Foot and ankle assessment is very helpful in determining which hip to treat first,  I enjoyed having confirmation of that. I have always assessed the hips by looking and feeling the feet.

 The cross pulled hip stretch looks like it feels very nice. My client did feel some ease in the lower back after using the stretch. I'm excited to practice this technique on more clients. 

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April 4, 2016 - 9:35 pm
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Many times when someone is so restricted that a full stretch is not possible, the best solution is to use rocking techniques instead. They are more gentle and easy on the client, and they can be very effective. There are many examples of this coming up in the course.

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Melissa Bean
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April 17, 2016 - 9:37 am
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Module 9 

 

I did this part of the routine with warming up the leg. I found the ergonomics of this routine very easy on my body. The hamstring work is so effortless when you support the leg with your body in the lunge position. My client was eager for me to treat the other leg! The spinal twist technique was also so much easier to execute by adding the bouncing. 

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Shama
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April 17, 2016 - 4:05 pm
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You got it! Thai Massage is not supposed to be a strenuous effort, but a graceful flow of whole body moves.

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Melissa Bean
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December 6, 2016 - 11:09 am
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Module 8

leg stretches 2

i love working on the calf in this position, the calf muscles are very pliable and passive. My client really liked the compression/ circling movement. I enjoyed stretching the  hamstring from a lunging position. It was very effortless on my body. I did not try version where did you use elbows to give pressure on hamstring. I do a similar stretch on my  clients on the massage table . However, I really enjoyed learning the rocking motions to help release tight hip flexors.

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Shama
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December 6, 2016 - 12:10 pm
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I guess (or I hope) you mean "use forearms to lean on the hamstrings" instead of "use elbows to give pressure on the hamstrings".  Laugh

The latter sounds pretty gruesome and is NOT what I show in the video. The former is a good technique which does not cause any discomfort. 

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Melissa Bean
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February 16, 2017 - 2:59 am
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Module 10

Hi Shama, I am curious what health conditions or contraindications there are for spinal twist in Thai bodywork. I have practiced these leg stretches on several clients who are healthy and don't have any but certainly I was probably avoid of someone with disc issues. Anyways, as always performing these stretches in a lunge position is very easy on my body. I enjoyed practicing the different variations of spinal twisting. I could feel the pulse while doing the blood stop, but my client didn't seem to notice any real surge in energy. I will keep practicing that. 

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February 17, 2017 - 2:34 am
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Here are two articles which explain the concept of contraindications for Thai Massage:

Thai Massage Contraindications Part 1

Thai Massage Contraindications Part 2

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