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Melissa Francis Complete Thai Module Courses
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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 12:49 am
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Module 1

 

In yoga, we are taught alternative poses for students that might have difficulty holding a certain position. Occasionally when working with students, I would push gently on them, when in a more restorative pose, lets say for example, when in a twist. I did not realize until watching this module all the different type of techniques in Thai Massage. I will definitely be implementing them in my classes. We work with the breath often, but when noted in this module, I was not breathing when rocking the client or compressing. I will now know to exhale as I push into the student. 

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 1:00 am
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Module 2

When I was in yoga teacher training, I felt that the "technique" was forced, with how to teach.  I noticed immediately that Shama asked "does Thai Massage have to be traditional?", the answer was no! We are to make it our own, because then it does become mechanical when trying to be something we aren't. I really enjoyed teh chi machine and I am excited to make this an every session technique with my clients. When practicing on my husband, it was very relaxing for him right from the start!   

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May 8, 2022 - 1:07 am
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Module 3

I enjoyed this module because I could relate to when I do Reiki. When we do energy healing, whether it is on its own, or during yoga we like to end with the feet. It was interesting to hear your different techniques. I do not do massage work during reiki, but in yoga I might massage some areas. I really enjoyed the push pull and rotate technique. And when practicing, I received good feedback.

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 1:11 am
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Module 4

I took notice to how important connection is with your student.  I feel this will come in handy for me. As previously noted, I am a yoga teacher as well as do Reiki.  Connection is a huge part of my job.  Relaxing is too of course.  I loved how you constantly remind us to connect and do what feels right. If you forget something during the session, it is okay! Because who I am working on, will not know what I have forgotten or "messed up" on.  I have circled in my notes "circling and wiggling technique with ankle joint". Anytime I practice on someone, after a module is learned, I highlight the one that was enjoyed most.  I felt most comfortable when doing this move. 

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 1:24 am
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Module 5

Once again, as in most modules, I loved how you talk about being relaxed and intuitive.  I really appreciate the consistency of this reminder.  It relieves the stress of thinking that I need to do exactly what you're showing us.  As always, I practice on my husband after I learn a module.  The quadriceps butterfly technique is not something I believe I will use in a formal appointment.  I feel like even with someone as large as my husband, it was quite uncomfortable for him.  However, I did like the push and pull technique, it just felt right to do.  He enjoyed it as well. 

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Shama Kern
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May 8, 2022 - 1:26 am
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Hi Melissa, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. It looks like all is on track and correctly organized now!  Smile

For your reference, here is a condensed version of our certification tutorial - our certification checklist:

Certification Checklist

It seems that you appreciate the teaching style and that you resonate with the non-mechanical approach - glad to hear that.

I am curious, what was it about the butterfly technique that felt uncomfortable to your husband?

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May 8, 2022 - 1:30 am
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Module 6

When starting the course, I had to constantly remind myself to not use just the arms, but the entire body. It is still challenging for me, but as you note Shama, practice constantly and before I know it, it will not be something I need to remind myself to do.  Same with the 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 when moving up and down the leg.  Once again, elephant walking is challenging for me. I guess I am stronger than I thought!Laugh My practice with my husband gave good feedback when working on the calf doing the gentle calf muscle rotations. 

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May 8, 2022 - 1:34 am
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Module 7

Success! I enjoyed the elephant walk when working on thigh and calf, as the knee is bent at 90 degrees. I was about ready to boycott the elephant. Thank you for the reminder of synchronizing breath with movement.  I always watch the modules once, then the second time I watch I take notes. Then I work on my husband and quickly scroll along the video with each move I practice. I seem to grasp it better this way when watching entirely the first time, before I take notes. Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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May 8, 2022 - 1:35 am
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May I suggest that you try the butterfly technique with a different approach. Try to lean in very gently and focus on feeling with your hands instead of trying to press. For the time being forget about the intensity and just try to make it feel good. Focus on soft hands and your breathing and make sure that you only use your body weight.

Done right, the butterfly technique should feel very good for the receiver and very easy for the giver.

"I was about ready to boycott the elephant." -  Glad to hear that. You would have hurt the elephant's feelings.Laugh

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 2:08 am
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Module 8

Wow, well the "hip pie" was a lot to learn. However, it will definitely come in handy once I can coordinate the exact motions.  I feel a lot of clients hips are tight. Not something we necessarily ever work on prior to exercising in general.  I learned a lot in this module but I really really loved the Squeeze push and pull, on the calf! When it feels good to do it, I know it would feel great as a client.  The compression feeling is something my husband took a liking to. It's that feel good pain.

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 2:21 am
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Module 9

This was a fun module! I could relate to this module very much so, as a yoga instructor and energy healer.  I made sure to write down how to execute a stretch. And realized I used full awareness at all times in my practice and life in general. I am really excited to use thai massage to those suffering with dis-ease. I believe, as you noted, to combine power with softness is key. There is a fine line in how to work with every client but that sweet spot will be different for everyone. So I really took on to the full awareness. When working with my husband, him and I really loved teh gentle spine twist and rock. I got a thumbs up for that one!

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Melissa Francis
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May 8, 2022 - 2:54 am
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Module 10

Again with the anatomy of a thai massage and relating to softness. I can't express enough how much I continue to love this. It has always come natural for me, so it feels good to know that I will be sufficient in this.  The term hara, is very similar to the chakra solar plexus, or at least this is how I take it, the energetic enter of the body.  Does hara mean energy in general, much like chi? I enjoyed learned about the blood stop technique. I did not get the hang of this right away, like most things, it will take practice.  This module was very beneficial.  

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Shama Kern
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May 8, 2022 - 4:36 am
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"Does hara mean energy in general, much like chi?"  -  The hara is the location where the main reservoir of chi is located. Just like the heart is where the blood is distributed from, the hara is where the chi is distributed from.

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Melissa Francis
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May 9, 2022 - 8:16 pm
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Shama Kern said
May I suggest that you try the butterfly technique with a different approach. Try to lean in very gently and focus on feeling with your hands instead of trying to press. For the time being forget about the intensity and just try to make it feel good. Focus on soft hands and your breathing and make sure that you only use your body weight.

Done right, the butterfly technique should feel very good for the receiver and very easy for the giver

  

This made sense to me immediately and I will definitely try this.  I will give it another try with him. He is tight in general in his legs, so I will gently lean rather than press. Thank you!

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Melissa Francis
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May 10, 2022 - 4:01 am
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Module 11

It was nice to have a summary tying everything together. Especially if I needed a quick refresh on that first half of what we have learned.  Seeing how your video was over 20 minutes and that was just, what, 1/4 of what we are learning! Its nice seeing everything once more to be reminded of maybe something I didn't grasp the first couple times I have watched. I can see why traditional thai massage is lengthy.  I will continue practicing what was taught and perfecting the techniques I enjoy most. Teaching yoga, what I have learned so far has been great because I can tie in some techniques during savasana. Thank you!

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Melissa Francis
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May 10, 2022 - 4:10 am
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Module 12

Welp! This was my favorite module. I really did enjoy everything that was taught from beginning to end.  My husband has very tight calves and this was perfect for him to be my guinea pigLaugh The compression and traction  being added to a stretch, really adds time to a session...which is great. With learning so many in this module, I could do so much specifically on calves.  When I begin to perform Thai massages, my plan is to offer specific areas of interest that the client might want. Is this ever offered in a traditional Thai massage, specific areas? I loved when the legs were extended from the client, and their feet are against belly. I felt I was getting a belly massage myself! Then taking that right into double knee to chest, LOVED it!

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Melissa Francis
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May 10, 2022 - 4:18 am
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Module 13

I can relate to this with respect to working with the client, not just on.  I had a traditional massage once and it was so mechanical and, just.... detached.  The massage therapist was definitely not in tune with me. I get we all have off days, but this was a continuous thing. Unfortunately I had to stop seeing them. If a wellness provider is not working therapeutically, as you stated, it is not an effective treatment.  So I appreciated this section with respect to communication. I even capitalized it in my notes. COMMUNICATION. The pain scale is helpful as well.  I can relate to this with working in the medical field with asking patients to rate their pain, and as well as with yoga. I like to start my class by asking them to take notice of their bodies and what they are bringing to the mat. If they can check in with themselves, work through whatever tightness they might have and then I bring them back to that at the end of class. Of course, with hopes that they feel better from when they came in.  It really is about being an artist and flowing. Making it your own.... like you said in the very beginning of this course "you only get one chance to make a good first impression."

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Melissa Francis
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May 10, 2022 - 4:28 am
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Module 14

This sort of ties in to what I was talking about in the last module. Communication to me is not only verbal (of course you do not want to talk your clients ear off) but also physical. Why on earth does anyone think it is okay to remove a hand from someone? It honestly creates a huge disconnection.  It has been really bad for me and a therapist took her phone out and text someone, twice. If it is an emergency, then explain... or maybe do not bring phone in. There is a way to go about things, and that was not it.  

With the hip rocking technique, I loved the rocking you described for the men.  I believe I will be doing that on both sexes, it felt like a better handle/grip to maintain. Something so simple, really does provide so much relaxation.  The transitions help, especially seeing them from side to side.  Hope I don't lose my balance ever!Laugh The low back pull when rocking, hand on hip was a winner for my husband.  Something about having each hand in a different spot, provides so much of that "a-ha" moment. 

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Shama Kern
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May 10, 2022 - 6:42 am
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" When I begin to perform Thai massages, my plan is to offer specific areas of interest that the client might want. Is this ever offered in a traditional Thai massage, specific areas?"  -  It certainly is offered in my style of Thai Massage. This is exactly the reason why we have so many specialized therapy courses to address specific issues and areas. These courses are meant to enable the therapist to do such specialized work.

Examples are knee therapy, hip therapy, foot therapy, abdominal therapy, sacrum therapy, sciatica therapy, back therapy, arm&hand therapy, neck therapy, and shoulder therapy. We have extensive training on all of those. Even with the Complete Thai Massage course (when you have gone through all modules) you will be able to do specialized work on areas like the back or shoulders.

Regarding effective communication, there is an entire module just about that in the course (#35).

I have seen this a lot in Thailand that therapists use their phones during a session. I find this offensive and extremely unprofessional. Phones should never be used during a session in my opinion.

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Melissa Francis
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May 18, 2022 - 6:39 pm
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Module 15

I could relate to this module immediately, as you stated many people hold emotions within the abdomen. I believe that is how dis-ease is created. We hold lots of stress and tension and it manifests into something "toxic".  Connecting energetically, thankfully, comes off effortlessly for me. One of the reasons why I decided to learn thai massage. I liked the sternum techniques, especially when using the palm to rock up and down.  I feel a lot of tension could be held there. Specifically with those that are protecting their heart, when related to yoga and chakras.  In releasing any tension there, I believe it allows us to take a better breath.  When working below collar bones on a client, I do this often to my yoga students. The only difference is, I stand behind them, so I can kneel and work on their head as well, allowing them to receive energy. 

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