Actually most westerners have a hard time sitting "Japanese style" just as much as sitting cross-legged, at least for an extended period of time. With the feet under their buttocks, their feet or ankles start hurting and their knees can't handle it. Even I myself - and I can sit comfortably cross legged or on my feet - usually tell the therapists not to do sitting position on me since it is just not so relaxing. However the sitting position does have some very useful therapeutic applications, and that's what I use it for. I don't use it for a general Thai Massage or a relaxing Thai Massage since then it kind of defeats the purpose.
Sure, in most youtube videos you see some super yogi type model being stretched in all kinds of positions, but the truth is that most every day clients are not the super yogi types, and they can only handle so much.
Regarding the neck flexion, it does not have to be flexed at all during the twist. It's just that my model put her head down quite a bit, and I did not really notice it so much during the shooting of the session.
April 10, 2012
Not sure which stretch you mean. The last one on the video is the twist, and I don't think you are referring to this one. Do you mean the one before where I have my feet in the back while pulling back on the arms? If you do, this stretch cannot be done on people with stiff shoulders. In this case it can be replaced with the back stretch which is shown on module 34, around minute 8.
The real art of Thai Massage is to know through lots of practice and experience which kind of stretch you can do on which person. As I mention throughout the videos, not all techniques can be done on everyone, and not all techniques are meant to be used in a session.
I often do sessions with no stretches at all. If someone has a stiff shoulder, for example, it does not work to approach this issue with some massive stretches. It is often better to use pressure, motion or rocking techniques around the shoulder until this joint has opened up enough to do stretches on it.
There are quite a few stretches which I rarely use, and this is one of them. There are some people who are flexible and who really enjoy strong stretches, but this is definitely not for everyone.
April 10, 2012
Ok, now I know what you mean. This stretch (when you pull the arm back behind the head) has some requirements. First you don't do this 'cold'. You need to do some opening shoulder work first, warming it up and relaxing it. This is best done in the supine position.
Second, when you actually do this stretch, just do it very gently since this can be a very strong stretch. Also experiment with the angle of your partner's forearm to see if the effect is different.
Third, when you work on someone who has rather stiff shoulders, you don't do this stretch at all, since it can be overkill. There are plenty of much gentler techniques to choose from. Not all stretches work for everyone. They are all options to choose from and need to be matched up with the right client.
When you first start working on a stiff client, you begin with easy techniques, lots of warming, circling, rocking, pressure. Then you gradually introduce more intense techniques when they can actually handle them. And some of them will never be able to handle certain techniques, and that's ok too. Then you just don't use those.
April 10, 2012
Module 35. Client communication.
What I've seen is very logical. But for me it sometimes takes several sessions to get client start honestly telling what he/she is feeling. And one moment more, Many people often tell that it's 8 out of 10, when it's actually 10 already and they're in pain and clenching their teeth), so I have to adjust the scale in my mind.
That's very true, you may have to build up trust with clients before they are ready to open up. Some do it right away, and some take a while. And the 1-10 scale is definitely something that you have to adjust so that it works for you. It is just a tool to work with, a very effective one, but you still need your intuition for how to use it right. That of course goes for pretty much everything in Thai Massage.
By the way, congratulations for having made it through the entire course! As you will see, it is not over yet....:)
April 10, 2012
Magic Touch Secrets.
I like this one, I heard of most of those things, but it's the first time I get it together.
It still feels like a lifetime learning and goes a long way beyond massage itself. A lot of the aspects you talking I think need practicing when you are not doing massage. I now try to concentrate on one aspect at a time and not thinking about others.
All in all, nice video, enjoyed it.