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Melissa Francis Complete Thai Module Courses
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Melissa Francis
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May 18, 2022 - 6:51 pm
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Module 16

I am really excited getting into the shoulder modules, really the upper body in general.  The reminder of how the quality of touch, is most important is great. I think, as you've said, things become mechanical if not going in with the right intention. I really loved working with the shoulder rowboat technique. Having the arms pulled slightly as well as leaned into, I have had good feedback. Much like the leg work, I love the pushing of the foot into th armpit.  The arm swinging techniques were great! It felt good to my husband, as sometimes his shoulder get a little stiff. These subtle movements really help loosen things up. 

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May 19, 2022 - 3:33 am
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"Connecting energetically, thankfully, comes off effortlessly for me."  -  That's great and puts you way ahead of the game.

"I really loved working with the shoulder rowboat technique."  -  I am impressed. Smile This is one of the techniques that many students have a hard time with.

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Melissa Francis
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May 23, 2022 - 7:34 pm
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Module 16

I am really enjoying the shoulder and arm modules. I find it more relaxing, even for myself when implementing this work on someone. The shoulder rowboat was great! Much like the technique on the lower body.  I like the push and pull techniques, they seem natural for me. When practicimng the arm triangle shoulder stretch, it was SUPER confusing initially. Once I figured out the smooth transition, it was loved from my students! It is crazy how releasing it felt to them, during a yoga course I just taught. It is nice for me, because I get to practice on those during their resting pose, and ssee what they think!

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May 23, 2022 - 7:41 pm
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Module 17

As soon as I started the video, you recapped from previous technique on arm swinging. I forgot about that! I received great feedback on that one, when practicing. I actually think I will start with that and end, when working on arms. When pushing down on clients hands, it is so powerful for me. The energy connection in general with thai massage is fantastic, but when connecting palms it is a whole other experience. I loved how you used both hands on one hand! I have never thought to do that. It is getting two massages in one. The best feedback I ever receive is when working on any part of the hand. So any techniques learned, I am really grasping and putting forth immediately in my yoga courses. Who knew there were so many massages on the hands!

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Melissa Francis
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May 23, 2022 - 7:50 pm
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Module 18

The more practice, like with anything, the more comfortable I am getting. Though it will take a long time to do this without thought, I appreciate the fluid transitions being taught.  I think this is something that occurs over time. The goal, as you stated, is to not create a disconnect...physically and energetically.  I did not pay attention to this, when I am working with someone in yoga. I have adjusted shoulders, then to hands and I did not maintain contact. I find this very important now, in any form of work I am implementing.  The traction was great! I loved the alternating traction/rocking, as one arm goes up and one arm goes down. I benefited from this, like you said some will. It felt great and definitely worked in my favor. Like any twist, it creates such an a-ha moment! So learning the upper spinal twist was fantastic! I will be adding this one to my next yoga class. Great module!.  

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May 24, 2022 - 3:09 am
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"As soon as I started the video, you recapped from previous technique on arm swinging. I forgot about that!"  -  It is pretty normal to forget some previous techniques since there are so many. That's why it is essential to re-watch previous videos a couple of times.

"The best feedback I ever receive is when working on any part of the hand. So any techniques learned, I am really grasping and putting forth immediately in my yoga courses. Who knew there were so many massages on the hands!"  -  There are even more hand techniques. We have a small course just about hand and arm work, in case you want to go a bit deeper. The fact is that you can easily do an entire session just on arms and hands, and it feels amazing!

It's great to hear your enthusiasm! Smile

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Melissa Francis
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May 27, 2022 - 7:12 am
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Module 19

The summary session, is great because even thought I watch each video a few times, not all is remembered.  So with the summary, I pick up even more. I worked a yoga party after I watched the recap and was able to utilize some of the techniques shown. I was also able to work on transitioning, as you reviewed again. I received a lot of feedback after class and students LOVED when their legs were extended in the air, with me standing over them and their legs against my back, with the pulling at ankles. It felt great for me as well! Watching you working your entire body, when putting everything together is great, and super important for me to continuously work on. I definitely learned more! Thank you

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May 27, 2022 - 8:41 am
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I always like to hear how Thai Massage is integrated into yoga sessions.

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Melissa Francis
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June 1, 2022 - 9:00 pm
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Module 20

As a client, I love having massages on belly. I am excited to learn this. I enjoyed the first technique taught and how important, and the emphasis you put on working on the sole of foot by LEANING. The constant reminder is great, especially about using the entire body, NOT muscle.  By using the body, it will save hands, unlike a traditional massage therapist.  Creating a softness to the client is key, but also keeping that connection energetically. The push and pull with the palm on heel is a weird motion, but it was great once I grasped it. Practice is key! I like how there are so many variations with certain techniques. THe calf and achilles stretch was a great one for my husband.  He is very tight in those areas, so it was a slow start.  

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Melissa Francis
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June 1, 2022 - 9:06 pm
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Module 21

I never realized the position of feet, if lying on stomach. I would think this goes for anytime when doing work on the body, yoga included. I will carry that with me to all my practices.  The phrase "sink in" is a great analogy to remember. It is easier to create that pressure, or rather envision in when using that term. I do the same with my yoga students, I say "marinate in the pose". Allow it to work within the entire body. Like you said when removing stress from a specific area in the body, it helps the entire body relax. This is very true. I love that the chi machine is in the prone position too! I feel like its a good start and finish to a session and believe I will do that during my work.  I liked the IT band stretch when leaning into the client. It felt good to work on my husband, and I know I would like that myself.  As a runner, this would be great if someone could do to me.  I find myself closing my eyes along with the breathing when working on someone. It creates a softness within. 

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Melissa Francis
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June 1, 2022 - 9:11 pm
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Module 22

These were definitely power stretches at their finest! When watching these I knew it would be difficult to do on my husbands because he not only has massive legs, but also has meniscus issues. He was very hesitant, as I was to do this. BUT I was glad to see you gave a variation with the reverse leg lift stretch.  So my question when doing this, as I'm sitting on their buttocks, where am I grabbing the leg at? Is it supporting the knee?

I am always surprised when seeing so many variations of specific areas. I believe once I create a flow when working with someone, I will grab a couple from each section. I feel like I will be utilizing the hip flexor and quad stretch, in a yoga class. I think we hold tension in our glutes. I was told that one time from a massage therapist, to take note of what you're flexing when doing something like standing to wash dishes. The tension created in glutes was crazy! I know my students will love some glute work, especially in partner yoga!

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June 2, 2022 - 7:01 am
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"So my question when doing this, as I'm sitting on their buttocks, where am I grabbing the leg at? Is it supporting the knee?"  -  Actually, this is explained in the video. You lift the leg with clasped hands just above the knee (not on the knee). That's where you have the best leverage for the lift, and this is also the best and closest place to support the knee without touching it.

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Melissa Francis
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June 16, 2022 - 10:28 pm
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Module 23

l like the idea of tracing and exploring the area, before beginning working. Everyone's anatomy is so different and they might not know what areas produce discomfort. I also think this is beneficial to determine a pain scale.  When working in circles, is clockwise the norm to do because of how our system works? I automatically go clockwise when working, in any situation, but curious what this means with respect to our body.  Who wouldn't love release knots in the body! This is great with the thumb rocking. I enjoyed learning all the different techniques when working on the glutes and lower back.  The percussion technique was liked when practicing on my husband. 

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Melissa Francis
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June 16, 2022 - 10:33 pm
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Module 24

I am glad this area is being shown right now. In yoga, it is not often we lie on our bellies, so I like transitioning into this position, to somewhat created a massage on the belly. I have never ended a class in prone position but maybe I should offer it! Besides the pillow for the head for comfort, if a client is not comfortable on belly, I imagine this position is to be completed avoided? The breathing reminder is so important to hear because I feel like a lot of people hold their breath in general. So hearing a breath, might help with the client as well. Sometimes people do not realize they are holding their breath.  All the gentle techniques shown was nice to work with, when slowly transitioning from one to the next. 

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Melissa Francis
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June 16, 2022 - 10:38 pm
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Module 25

When this module started and the position of the body was noted, I never realized the distance of my knees, when kneeling in other positions. With yoga, it is not often we are feet together, so this makes sense to have knees hip distance apart as well. When working on my husband, I like exploring the back to find all those "knots". When continuously making circles in some spots, you could someone feel that spot release, how cool! Often times, I believe, people hold stress in spots they might not know they are holding! With this technique, could really help clients out.  I enjoyed the elbow work. I felt good once I got the groove of this motion. The gentle rock from side to side, while kneeling, was a nice feeling for my husband. This was a great module! I was excited to start learning more on the back.

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June 17, 2022 - 7:48 am
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"When working in circles, is clockwise the norm to do because of how our system works?"  -  In general yes, although there are exceptions depending on which side of the client you are working.

"I have never ended a class in prone position but maybe I should offer it!"  -  I have never ended a massage in the prone position and would never do that. I recommend ending a session in the supine position with some neck/head/face massage. That's ideal for ultimate relaxation and a super-blissful feeling.

We have many yoga teachers among our students who end their yoga classes by going around and giving their students a little head and face massage during savasana. They report that this is a hit with their students.

"Oftentimes, I believe, people hold stress in spots they might not know they are holding!"  -  Definitely very true. It is our job as therapists to find out where those spots are and then release them. This is, as you found out, a very rewarding experience not only for the client, but also for the therapist.

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Melissa Francis
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June 20, 2022 - 9:42 pm
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Module 26

Learning how to work on back is fun! Recapping on therapist friendly techniques is appreciated. Often when giving some a rub on their shoulders, just for fun, I can't believe how exhausted my hands get. Since learning how to do Thai massage, I am constantly aware and cautious on how to carefully work on someone. With the entire body of course! It was very comfortable to sit with my husbands arm propped on my thigh. It was also very easy on my body, as he is a bigger guy in general. So leaning in with all my weight, was perfect for him.  I enjoyed the gallop technique because it created a circular motion, which, when received, was nice to change things up.  The shoulder/neck squeeze was great! Getting used to the motion took a minute, but was well enjoyed.

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June 22, 2022 - 6:57 am
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Thai Massage certainly saved my massage career when it comes to saving my hands and wrists. I could not even imagine working on large clients with only my hands.

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Melissa Francis
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June 23, 2022 - 10:23 pm
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Module 27

This module reminded me a lot of what my massage therapist does on me.  I suppose she intertwines traditional and Thai massage.  Do massage therapists learn a lot of thai massage techniques? This module was quick and to the point. I enjoyed how you do a technique then relax everything with a stretch. Or even something like wiggling the fingers or using the palm, it is a nice addition to complete an area that is being worked on.  I loved how you said "create space" with respect to working on the shoulder blade.  It certainly does feel like that when it is being done to myself. The cobra stretch, all 3 versions, were by far, my favorite! I cannot wait to have my students get into this position and allow me to give them that extra oomph! 

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Melissa Francis
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June 23, 2022 - 10:27 pm
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Module 28

It was nice to have a summary with tying all these modules together. Especially if I needed a quick refresh on that first half of what we have learned.  I cannot believe everyything that we have learned so far! 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 appreciate how you say for us to "design what works for me and my clients".  I will continue practicing what was taught and perfecting the techniques I enjoy most. I always emphasize balance to my students, and I caught how you discussed creating balance with respect to a side being tighter than the other side. Thank you!

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