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Michele Werts Complete Thai Massage Course
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Michele Werts
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
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July 7, 2017 - 8:00 am
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I just signed up today and am practicing the use of the forum for future submissions.

Namaste’

Shelly

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Shama
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July 7, 2017 - 12:16 pm
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Hi Shelly, welcome to our forum and our community. It looks like you have the forum figured out. The only thing missing is that you write something in the bio of your forum profile so that we have an idea who you are, what you do, and from which country you are. That makes it easier to relate to you. Smile

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Michele Werts
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July 8, 2017 - 12:55 am
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Module 1

I had the opportunity to participate in some training in Thai Yoga Massage during my Yoga Teacher Training over the last year. We practiced with one another during class and then I had the opportunity to train one on one with the Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, as well as receive therapy.

I have watched videos of Thai Yoga Massage being provided on a table and have to agree with you that it is far more effective providing this therapy on the floor. I do not have a lot of upper body muscle strength and would not be a good candidate to provide Western massage. I found it to be effortless in using my own weight as leverage.

I also noticed when practicing and receiving that the movements are very similar to my own yoga practice and the yoga I teach. I can see the benefit of using the breath with movement as this is something I do in my regular yoga practice. I like that I can incorporate my knowledge of yoga and of reiki together with Thai Yoga Massage and believe wholeheartedly that we are more than our physical structure. In fact, our body is just the vessel to a deeper energetic level incorporating nadis, marmas and chakras, and connecting us to the universal energy.

One technique that I practiced in person that I did not see is forearm rolling, and I was wondering if this is considered kneading. In closing, I am so grateful that this training is available and cost effective. I will be using my husband as my primary practice partner and will attempt to enlist some friends as well to provide me with a variety of bodies to work on.

Namaste’

Shelly

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Shama
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July 8, 2017 - 2:27 am
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I use forearm rolling quite a bit, although I didn’t list it in this video. You will see that I cover it later in this course.

Thai yoga can be done on a table, although it is just not so practical. On the floor you can get on top of someone which provides much better leverage. You also don’t have to walk around clients to get to the other side and break contact in the process. And you don’t have to climb up on the table and perform wobbly acrobatics. Laugh Oh, and your clients arms won’t fall off the edge of the table. And you can turn your clients from supine into side position without having to ask them to do it themselves. I could go on, but I am preaching to the choir, I think. You are already convinced.

Yes, you can totally use your yoga and Reiki experience for Thai Massage. I have a similar background as you have, and this has resulted in me including yoga and energy components into my Thai Massage style. They are great additions and improvements.

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Michele Werts
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July 12, 2017 - 10:11 pm
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Module 2

I like that you do not teach a traditional style and believe it is important to incorporate “old world” with “new world” techniques to move with the times. I think it is beneficial to include a variety of modalities to create something unique and tailored for the people we are working with. Being comfortable with touch is integral in what we do and this is one of the tenants I learned in yoga teacher training. If we are not fully confident in providing an adjustment, we should not lay hands on. Laying hands on should be intentional and should be for the right reasons, not because of what ego says. There is a correct mindset when doing body work of any type and all involved must be considered to maximum benefit. When practicing thai yoga it is a beautiful dance of movement.

I practiced the chi machine on both my husband and my six year old son. I found it a bit more challenging to practice on my husband because he is bigger bodied person and felt I was putting out more energy to accomplish the movement of his hips. My son loved it so much he asked me to do it twice and said “you can practice everything on me mommy as much as you want!!” He is adorable! It was far easier to practice on him. I am not a strong person and I understand that what we are doing is not based upon muscle strength, but I did find it more challenging and tiring because of my husband’s size. How can I accommodate for the significant difference as I am smaller for someone bigger bodied when providing Thai yoga massage?

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July 12, 2017 - 10:39 pm
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I noticed that I had forgotten to post my usual link to our certification check list in the beginning of each thread to make sure it is all well organized (which it seems to be already in your case). Anyway, here it is:

Certification Check List

Also I hope that you don’t mind that I changed your display name to Michele, since this is what you listed in your certification registration. If the names between the forum and the registration don’t match, it can make it really difficult for me to find people. After all there are 12000 posts in this forum. Smile

You are right, I am not much of a traditionalist. I do and use what works best, even if this means that I have to borrow a techniques from a different modality. That’s the case with the Chi Machine, which I originally learned in a Chi Nei Tsang training.

My general rule is that all techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. Although Thai Massage is about the most therapist friendly and ergonomically effective body work I know, you will still find that there are techniques which are just too difficult to do on much heavier people. In this case you simple skip them. That’s the correct thing to do. 

Throughout the course I offer many alternatives for accommodating various body sizes and weights, but if you have the ergonomics down and you still find yourself straining, then just omit a particular technique on a much heavier person. Nothing wrong with that. Just the opposite, that’s part of the art, to not mindlessly follow a sequence even if it kills you. Smile

It is definitely possible for small women to work on much bigger men, since this is what’s happening in Thailand. Pretty much all therapists here are often very small-bodied females, and they do very effective work on often much larger men. You will learn in this course how to do this.

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Michele Werts
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July 18, 2017 - 7:06 am
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Module 3

I’m so used to using my nick name for most communication, I forget that it can be confusing to use both my first name and nick name.  

My husband was not available to practice, however my son happily volunteered.  🙂

I found it easy to use my body when doing the foot massage routine.  It was challenging at first to get the rhythm right when making circles with my body while I am massaging each foot.  I finally got the hang of it after several tries.  My son was able to give me good feedback during as well; letting me know whether I was placing too much pressure or not enough, and whether what I was doing felt good for him.  It is difficult for me to sit on my feet for that length of time due to an old ankle injury.  I use blocks when I practice hero pose during yoga due to the pain in my right ankle.  Is there a modification for sitting on my feet for long periods of time since it hurts me too much?  

I like the transition of placing my leg under his leg for the foot rolling/twisting.  I noticed that it was difficult for my son to keep his leg straight when circling my body.  How do I prevent this in the future with others who may have the inclination to also bend the knee?

Overall, I liked practicing this sequence, and my son enjoyed it very much.  

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Shama
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July 18, 2017 - 12:14 pm
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Regarding your ankle – I don’t know what injury you had. However my experience has been that many course students initially had problems sitting on their feet, but with regular practice this issue just resolved itself.

If it does not resolve itself in your case, there are things you can do. For many techniques you can sit on just one foot and raise the knee of the other leg. That’s one way to relieve the injured ankle. This works for some techniques but not for others.

In some cases you can sit cross-legged instead of on your feet. That works for the Chi Machine, for example.

In other cases you can just be on your knees instead of sitting on your feet.

Another solution is to replace one technique which requires sitting on your feet with a similar technique which works in another position which does not require sitting on your feet. This works quite well with foot work for example. There are several ways of working on the feet.

I happen to show a whole bunch of foot techniques in this course which are done in this sitting-on-the-feet position, but there are alternatives. Some of them are shown later in this course, and others are included in more specialized courses like my Thai Foot Massage course.

For example in the very next module there is a really nice foot technique where you knead the sole of the foot. I show it in the sitting on the feet position, but you can do it in the one-knee-down-and-the-other-one-up position as well, or even in full kneeling position.

Let’s see how it goes for you during the next few modules. If you absolutely cannot do much of the sitting-on-the-feet, let me know, and I will work with you to find alternatives.

And the final option is to skip certain techniques which are hard for you to do. The general rule is that the techniques in this course are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. There are many more techniques in this course than you could ever do in one session, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with skipping some.

Regarding the buckling of the knee issue – one thing you can do is to make sure that your leg is not right under your partner’s knee. If you are a little further away from the knee, then the natural weight of your partner’s  leg will prevent a lot of buckling. However if your leg is right under your partner’s knee, then this will encourage the knee to buckle.

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Michele Werts
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July 24, 2017 - 1:16 am
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Thank you for all the great feedback.  I will keep everything in mind and work with what I am able to do.  

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Michele Werts
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July 24, 2017 - 1:41 am
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Module 4

I had the opportunity to practice the foot massages on a friend of mine and she provided me with positive feedback.  I utilized the video while working with her because there were many steps.  I find the videos helpful to ensure I provide the correct techniques.  I liked the reminder from the previous module.  I did find the circular movements were a bit choppy for me and realize this will take a great deal of practice.  My friend, who suffers from hip problems, stated that she felt much better after practicing all of the techniques up through this module.  It seems that pushing on the bottom of the feet (bending up) is more like a hooking motion.  I did what you suggested regarding placement of my leg under hers and not having my leg directly under her knee.  This helped to stabilize the knee, which did not bend.  I also placed a cushion under my ankles to provide better support for me due to my ankle injury.  (I have a severed anterior talofibular ligament which causes me a great deal of pain when sitting on my feet)

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Shama
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July 24, 2017 - 1:55 am
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Great, the knee issue is resolved, and you have one workaround for your ankles already – there are more. We have to work within our limitations. Luckily Thai Massage facilitates this with many options.

If your friend is already feeling better with just the foot work, wait until you get to the hip work. She will be really happy! Smile

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Michele Werts
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July 24, 2017 - 2:32 am
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Thank you!!!  I am really enjoying the course.  I am a little behind due to life happening and am hopeful to catch up soon over the next few evenings.  SmileSmile

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Michele Werts
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September 5, 2017 - 7:56 pm
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Module 5

I’m finally starting back up after illness and death in the family.  I’m far behind, however hope to catch up over the next 2-3 weeks.

I liked the leg warm up and agree that it is important to not stretch a muscle before it is warmed up.  I teach this in my yoga class as well.  I also like that I don’t have to use every technique, to only use what I am comfortable with using, and that the flow is like a dance.  I like to think of my yoga sequencing as a dance.  The push-roll-pull with both hands was confusing for me, or at least my hands kept getting confused.  I think though with more practice and watching the video a few more times I will get the hang of it.  I tried using some the techniques on my own legs as well; what a great relief to provide self healing (as much as one can).   

I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  Smile

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Shama
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September 6, 2017 - 12:46 am
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Sorry to hear about the illness and death in your family, and welcome back!

You don’t have to catch up, you can just continue where you left off and work at your own pace. It’s not a race to the finish line! Laugh

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