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Minako Davis -Complete Thai Massage Progress Note
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Minako Davis
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September 10, 2017 - 4:50 am
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Module 1 -Introduction

 

My impression about Thai Massage is two people’s yin yoga with tai-chi movements and shiatsu.

So the mat is more fits for this healing art and more adoptable to me.

 

On the mat, the client is feel grounding and relax easily to get into meditation state as well as awareness of breath. Also have more space to move freely for client and myself.   

Face down position will be need a pillow that neck in straight otherwise face lay on side will hurts neck by twisted. So I just put pillow down on their chest area to support clavicle also under arms. And I also use a table pillow down to lift face from the floor but still give a space for breathing.    

On the massage table, even on lower table the client is feel a little unstable but face down position is give a easy breathing with head pillow. But I can’t get working on arms to open. It’s just need a space for clients and therapist to move.      

I like to use variety type of pillow and bolster for support their body and to get comfortable during therapy session.

What I learn most in this lesson is how important to get good position that client and I are need to be comfortable and relax all the way. Because of this is make energy flow between two of us though healing art in physically and mindfully.  So how am I approaching them with techniques in the way of creating a flow is another challenge for me as well as keeping the right posture and physical form of position as therapist. I was tend to focus more on client’s body that not to keep myself to comfortable position when I working on them in massage and stretch.

I was doing more like physical work for myself that I didn’t think I was doing.     

Use own body weights to reduce strained my muscle and looking out for align my position with clients are very good tips for me to keeping good relaxing posture even with movements. I’m just need to use to get more close with them and find comfortable position for me to work along with their body.  I should use body as tools to connect with them in the movements.

To aware the breathing along our movements are more like yoga and tai chi concepts that I already do for me but as soon as I feel my ego come towards to session ( trying to working so hard for myself ) I tend to tense and forgot about breathing deeply that make synchronized along with another energy body.    

So I’m practice to keep my control on not just assisting their flow movement but reading the flow dance like their in out energy freely flow with mine in the movement together.

I’m keep practice to align my body with another person and to be centering myself with conscious breathing on any position and movement in comfortably.

Thank you for inspirational lesson and I’m keeping practice to get comfortable and get confidents for what I’m doing.

 

   

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Shama
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September 10, 2017 - 9:51 am
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Hi Minako, welcome to our forum and the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Check List

You are right, on a table it is hard to work on the arms since you cannot extend them out sideways. There is much better support on a floor mat and you can do a lot more than on a table.

There is a section in this course where I show what pillow set up I am using for the face-down position.

It seems like you are in the right spirit for this course and you have the perfect background to get the most out of this course! Smile

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Minako Davis
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September 13, 2017 - 1:09 pm
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Module 2 - Chi machine

 

Thank you for another great lesson for me to understand more how important to being good posture during the session and also being comfortable and being relax for me and client.

 

Since I’m practice yoga and reiki I understand what you was mention about being right mindset, right posture, right attitude, right breathing are so important for Thai massage.

What I’m doing at beginning of session is leading client to do abdominal breathing in a few times for bring up and being at meditation state for both of us.

I think that is make me easy to approach them as physically and mindfully to being present.

This will keep me in good posture at least for beginning also feel like my spine will extend to top of my head as I breathing center into my core.

Follow the principle of ergonomics, I’m trying to keep my back straight and put up my pelvis aligned right angle with client’s body. This posture is an good solution for ease my back pain that I’m having since my last pregnancy. and it’s like doing yoga pose that I have to keeping my balance on posture that give more awareness into core muscle by breathing even moving my arms and legs.

I also need to adjust myself balancing with toes bent outward in setting tall position because I don’t have long arms to reach their body so as keep my back straight when I lean over.  

Chi machine method, This great lesson is a seems like to activate energy flow within my body then deliver it to their body. It’s seems like the sitting seiza position to begin was for maybe for activate root chakra to sort of kundarini energy that stimulates flow within along movement.  

It’s was not easy to move side to side motion for myself at beginning and move their body as make sequence of our chi movement together. I was tend to swing my arms and moving with my shoulder at same time. And It’s was difficult to just have a little grip to hold their foot to lift and shaking their body if a person is tall and especially have heavy big foot. The more bigfoot wants spread heel outside that it’s hard to holding them little close center on my lap.   

As your instruction I tried to hold on their ankle and side of foot and pull it out their leg as I lift to shake. In the way I use my core to pull it to me once in center and release on my lap that almost like I’m paddle a boat. when I try to breath into core to swing back on side to side I thought it’s moving into more like oval circle motion that I was making and that’s was working for rocking their body.

As I pull down their heels their side neck and shoulder area get pull down and going to slightly side then up and side then down. I watched hip is moving and side of body and even behind ears. The entire body seems like rocking side to side but sacrum, shoulder blade, back of head are feels like up and down to side way of stimulation that I might be felt. ( I asked another person to do and felt like given self massage ). So I think I need to practice make a moving more smoothly as rocking baby to sleep. Overall I think this is great technique to experience for beginning of session for me and client.    

                

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Shama
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September 13, 2017 - 9:06 pm
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You will be happy to know that some of the elements which you mentioned like breathing, pulling up energy through your core, and being mindful will all be discussed in more detail later on in the this course.

Clearly your yoga and Reiki background are very helpful for practicing this course, since you can easily relate to the concepts which are presented.

It is true that working on much larger and heavier persons can be more challenging, and in some cases it makes sense to skip certain techniques on such clients. You do not have to do every technique on everyone.

Also it is very useful to practice the techniques on different persons, ideally with different sizes and weights, to feel the difference in how their bodies react.

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Minako Davis
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September 28, 2017 - 1:04 am
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Module 3 - Foot massage 1

I like most about Thai massage Reflexology foot and hands, ears. and I’m fascinating about foot massage because I think it’s great beneficial. Those are always need it effective under the various situation and be able to do by own. but get foot treatment by somebody else is always feels luxury and nice.  

In this lesson I learn how to using my body weights to pressure and stretch their foot out along with reflexology point. And working on stretching legs to get flexible ankle to all the way to whole foot. It’s seems like to doing foot and ankle yoga stretch for client to helps balancing on the their feet while lie down before they get up standing on feet again.  

At first I was hesitant to pressure their foot with my weight but I also know that if you standing on something around on foot that’s therapeutic way for who don’t have arch on feet that need some pressure to open around that area. ( My mother was always standing on half cut of bamboo pipe when she working at kitchen.)

I like this techniques that I’m able to do with sitting position and give them relax by my moving circulate and rotating motion to spread pressure on their feet to flex.

It’s was not quite easy to working with both hands at same time because I feels like it’s stimulating my brain to do multitask hands coordination that I need to be in balance with flow.

I just image my thumbs moving like a roller ball on their arch area on each points and rest of fingers was wrapping and holding in other sides of their feet to support.  

My hands are too small to holding and squeezing for big feet person just put more weight on base of my thumb area to slide off to center my hand.  That part I can use as open hands in base area pressure on their feet to bending down.

On the video seems like your hand pressing on right bellow of her ankle bone or the front ankle of the area that third and little finger of the root. ( please correct me if I’m wrong )

Follow your instruction I was more careful with my arm’s position and angle to not hurting their ankle but also my wrist. For press their feet I raise my bottom to put my weight on them. But if I can’t reach to get good angle I was get more close to their foot so bending their foot too much.

In bending and holding their toes out was not easy with my hands on big feet person. So I try to do as you do on video put bottom my hand to attach below their toes to push up to press with my elbow out back. Also I put my fingers are grabbing on their below toes on front area as same as curl toe up so toes not bend out too much.

In other techniques that working on foot and legs also hips was good way of using my body tool to support their lower body but I just find it to difficult that I’m in sitting position with straight a leg under their knee. Maybe because I have back problem that I need more stability my cores.

And my legs are short and their legs are longer I couldn’t get my shin is go under their knee and can’t keep my foot to lock side of their hips to get right angle.

The angle is important to line up with their body as you said so I was adjust my position to fit on crossed our legs comfy and still able to work on their foot with my movement.

People are like it how I flexing their foot and legs. I like the movement that holding their foot on my side hips and twist their upper foot to another direction. It’s seems like Japanese Katana movement. I like to get better practice using my core during this movement too.            

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Shama
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September 28, 2017 - 10:58 pm
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That's interesting about your mother standing on a half cut of bamboo pipe in the kitchen. It is amazing how such simple home remedies can be so helpful.

If you are working on a person with large feet, then you can use some alternative techniques which are easier on your hands, like using your forearms and elbows. We will get to these techniques later in the course.

For the "bending and holding their toes out" there are several alternative techniques which have the same effect, but are easier to do on large persons - again this will be shown later in the course. 

Your size and the client's size are always an interplay where you need to modify and adjust until it works for you. Throughout this course you will see that I often offer several ways to do one technique, depending on what size of client you are working on.

Also you will see the foot massage again in the next module, and this will clear up some of your questions.

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Minako Davis
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October 16, 2017 - 1:00 pm
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Module 4 - Foot massage 2

 

Thank you for making it simple conceptual way to learn more about foot massage.

Along with Chi machine technique I can easily practice it with flow movement that give us chi direction to move.

I like the kneading motion to work on whole foot that I can rolling their foot with right amount of pressure on them using my weights. In the video it seems like you are moving circle motion with your thumb pressing so as your four other fingers are folding into floor to squeeze the whole foot.        I just need to put pillow under their leg to open hips position because some of them are not flexible or have back problem. I tried kneading with my knee to press and rolling to another side of foot which was worked for big feet area. I just know that good amount of pressure are feels good on feet

I also like how you was stimulating inside and outside of the heel around bone to press circle and pull up to slide edge of foot. I like it to do that all the way of side of the foot along with line of side of foot  if I was able. Because I learn before that those area are stimulating back area on reflexology.  Most likely person I have working have back problem who also have a stiffness back of ankle and foot areas. I really appreciate your image of top foot pressure line on transcript with details. Because I think that working with that area are very effective for client to get flexible on ankle area that connects with foot.I often pressing that spot of my foot to release soreness my ankle and feet. It might be something to do with my high instep I like the combination of movement for traction and contraction on foot to ankle all the way loose it up and feel light on foot.

So I’m try practice movement with good pressure technique on client foot and ankle to feel lighter.    

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Shama
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October 16, 2017 - 9:54 pm
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Yes, when you do the foot kneading you might have to put a pillow under your client's knee.

Using your knee on the foot in this position is not so convenient. However using your knee on the foot with the client lying face down is much easier, because the angle of the foot is more favorable and the leg is straight and relaxed.

You are correct. Foot work links into the upper areas of the body as well. There can be a connection with the hips and even the spine.

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Minako Davis
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July 23, 2018 - 9:01 am
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Module 5 - Leg Warm Up

I can see how warming up muscle before stretch is something very affecting the whole progress after all.

It’s definitely make difference of their legs just do yoga like pose for massage.

To use my legs to hold client’s foot for lock their leg inward position is gave me a good position for work on the area of muscle with quite good amount of pressure.        

At first I thought that hands position as butterfly was both hands in sideways and meet in center on the line ( It was splits pressure on the muscle that can give them uncomfortable with that position ).  But hands on top of each other and along with line was make it sense to me. It will fast up press along on the line and control amounts of pressure on muscle area by hand.

The squeeze and rolling up with thumbs and finger techniques was easy for me to use together with lower heel palm techniques in some areas when my thumbs gets too weak to press.  

Then again use my foot or knee to lock client’s leg for pose is not just helping my posture and pressure for them to stretch their muscle as receive stimulations on sen line.   

It might be that’s why you direct to going along on sen line on foots and calf muscle to thigh areas are starting out from outer line and going up and down ?

I think that If stimulate outer line of inside legs then working on middle of area to lower of area of muscle going up and down it’s helping them to open leg stretch easier.  

Then when I push and pull with using both hands on thigh area is a little hard for me to get grip but using my toes and top sole of foot for lock behind knee area is works for some client.

I like this techniques is stimulate outer sides of legs at same time to do it on inter of legs.

At last Thank you for let me get back on the track I like to see more about it.  

 

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Shama
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July 23, 2018 - 10:23 am
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Welcome back, Minako! Smile

I have one student who had all kinds of issues which prevented her from completing the certification. It took her three years to finish it!! But she did, and she ended up doing very well with the material. Laugh

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Minako Davis
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August 4, 2018 - 6:03 am
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Module 6 - Leg Warm Up With Forearms

 

This lesson was challenge for me to get comfortable with my position and client.

Using my body as tool to support client’s thigh was different than I usually do.

I use bolster for that position to lift their thigh then working on legs with sitting position.

But  I support their legs with my thigh to work on their calf muscle and inner thigh when assisting client to tree pose.

So I just try to practice with my son who is athlete needs working on the legs and I’m able to get comfortable with.

Comparing with using bolster I’m physically more close with his body and using my body to support and learn on his body to press and squeeze against my body.

It’s just because I’m close to his thigh that I’m able to pull my elbow close to me when I put my weight to learn and press with forearms.

Being that position is help me to relax my arms also not to twist my wrist to press up and down with forearms.    

And it’s was difficult technique that use elbow and my abdomen.  Use the side of elbow to squeeze their thigh into my belly with extra pressure by my fist to lock their thigh was tend to use my strength to pull instead press to pull arms in to my abdomen. I was try to close my armpit use thigh to squeeze his thigh for support because his hamstring was so tight that difficult for me to press with small area of arms  .

The forearms sideways was needs more practice as stay on sen lines.  

Overall I can see why use my weight to press on his body is more effective and relax his muscle because more I can get comfortable with position more less use strength on my arms then we will be able to sinking into muscle to stimulate energy lines.  I like learn more about sen line.

 

   

 

 

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August 4, 2018 - 11:31 pm
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You can do something similar with bolster support while working from the outside of the leg. However the method which I show - once you get good at it - is actually easier, more comfortable, and uses your body and its weight more effectively. 

The technique where you squeeze the leg between your belly and your upper arm should not require strength. If you really lean down on your thigh with your forearm, creating a firm lock, then you only need to pull your upper arm towards you a little bit. Most of the power comes from moving your upper body forward.

However there are several ways how to work on the leg. I like his particular sequence because you can work on 5 energy lines from essentially the same position, and by using your body weight. Just make sure that you are leaning, and not pressing.

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Minako Davis
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August 21, 2018 - 10:36 am
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Module 7 - Leg Stretches 1

 

Thank you for good instructions for how indicating misalignment of hips and legs from looking at foot angle. Also how important that observe their body and figure out how approaching with each person’s needs. I like hip adjustment stretch because that’s what I need to loosen my back discomfort.

I reviewed and apply the position that use my weight to lean over their thigh to open hip leg warm ups. This time I was pay attention my sitting position and the angle from their outside knee to work on inner thigh and calf.   I’m usually hesitate to lean all the way but I’m more comfortable with this angle to do elephant walk and so as butterfly position from their knee side to move toward their joint.

When I do walking with feet stretch I also use bolster under thigh but I think it might be less effective compare without it. Because my foot not going to touch the area that want to apply like I want to use middle sole of my foot but sometime I use toe area. Which areas foot should I use for good pressure ?

I like outer thigh and side hip stretch that I learn this lesson.  When I working on that area I put bolster between legs to let one leg bent inward to lean on bolster and I put my foot or rice pillow to lock their edge of foot. It’s might be totally different stretch with different approach but what I like about are hip and side thigh area as well as behind and above the knee area can be stretched by little twist and pull motion.  For some big and heavy leg bolster I thought it’s hard to pull and lift it up so that the bolster between leg to under thigh is help me with leverage.

In another hands I thought  the circurating hip motion is great way to ease that no need to use bolster to lock that motion.  

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Shama
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August 21, 2018 - 11:13 am
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You have the best control if you use the center part of your foot. In this way you can even roll your foot up a bit on the thigh. If you use your pad below the toes, it can feel wobbly. If you need extra power on big legs, you can also use the heel of your foot. But this is harder to do since there is a tendency to slip.

You shouldn't need pillow support when you are walking with your feet on the hamstrings since just the pressure of your feet keeps the leg in the right position. Also if you keep putting pillows below the legs, it can disrupt the flow of your work. There are some techniques where pillows are appropriate, but don't use them more than absolutely necessary.

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