July 14, 2012
Module 25: Prone Back 2
First time we are using elbows, knees, forearms & hands in the same session. I like where we lean in the erector muscle & turn to push into the trap area. Anyone would definitely love it. I know what you mean by exploring & sensing knotty parts (marbles) on the back. My uncle was looking for some advice for his painful back the other day & asked me if I could feel some swollen part on his lower back. It didn’t take me long to figure out where that spot was & he was like “yeah just there!”
All techniques shown in this module are very powerful & can cause pain if not done properly. The gist is good distribution of strength among different parts of our body & to locate the correct area, especially when working with knees & elbows. I think I’ve gotten over my initial fear of using these body parts. I now find them really pleasant & just a normal routine of thai massage.
Module 26: Prone Back 3
I’m so grateful for the alternative techniques that reduce overuse of thumbs & exerting too much pressure on wrists since mine are not that strong. The galloping rhythm is an expected variation and it is so welcome. This technique produces less pressure on our wrists than the elephant walking. I could go on & on with it, my partner would never complain. I loved the rocking & rolling of the lower back with the forearms. It’s one of those techniques that feel equally good to give as it is to receive. Thanks Shama for the massage table tip, I’m sure one day or another it will come in handy.
Great that you are getting the hang of working with various body parts. It is really essential to be able to do that in order to work effectively and without stress.
Isn't it a great feeling when someone has trouble and you can find the spot and work on it? It feels good for both - for you as a therapist and for your client.
July 14, 2012
Yes it definitely feels great when being able to do that.
Module 27: Prone Upper Back
Kneading the trap area is something really common, I think everyone has tried this on another person at least once in his/her life but here you show it to us step by step. But I never thought of touching different points with the thumbs or maybe I was doing it unconsciously. Working on this same area with fingertips feels nice too. The wiggling technique & palm circling of the shoulder blades are good techniques as well.
Finally we get to do the cobra! I saw this pose on many websites before and I was really eager to learn how do it properly & of course with you Shama, like in so many cases, we get variations, from the gentle to the most powerful version. I just wanted to know whether we should totally avoid doing the powerful one on someone whose shoulder has been dislocated once/twice before??
Module 28: Prone Summary
Prone position is now over & we get a nice recap with some techniques you did not show previously. It’s always welcome of course.
Module 29: Side Position 1
Some very interesting techniques are taught in this first side position module such as sitting on the inner thigh of the client. It’s like the bloodstop but for this one we use our buttocks instead of our hands. You showed us how to work on the hip using the forearm in a previous prone leg module but in the side position it’s easier to perform this technique since we are much more comfortable & have more leverage. The last technique where you elevate the client’s leg whilst leaning near the hip area was a pretty good one. I’ve practiced this on someone with fairly light legs. I’ve got to try this on someone bigger to see how it feels.
Shama I would like to know whether you turn your clients into the side position or do you request them to do so? Or is it a combined effort from both sides?
Personally I would stay away from doing the strongest cobra on someone who has the tendency to dislocate a shoulder. This can be a very painful experience and is something best avoided. That's why I present the gentler versions. Better be safe than sorry.
Regarding turning clients on the side, this has a lot to do with how big your work space, i.g. your mat, is. If you have a large mat you can easily turn your clients on the side. However if the mat is not so big, you have to ask your client to turn on their side by themselves since they have to scoot around a bit so that they stay in the center of the mat, otherwise their knee will slide off the mat. If you have space enough and a wide mat, it makes life easier.
However in my experience nobody minds if you ask them to turn over by themselves. After all, when therapists work on a table with any kind of massage, every single client has to do the turning on their own, so people are generally quite used to that.
That being said, it is a nice touch if you can turn clients over without them having to assist, but it is not essential for a good session.
July 14, 2012
Module 30: Side Position 2
I liked the whole sequence of palming, thumbing & leaning in with the heel of the hand on the erector muscles. The spinal twist & the rocking version as well are easily performed. When I was doing the spinal twist it was kind of natural not to push the receiver’s shoulder completely down in the first attempt but I just did it gradually till it was a full spinal twist. Arching the body of the receiver is a very nice move especially because of the stretch it gives to the lower back. Many people like to crack that area or give it a good stretch. But unfortunately I cannot do it on people a bit taller than me, my hand then can’t reach their shoulder when I’m holding their leg in the other hand.
Module 31: Side Position 3
Here we start out with a simple circling of the shoulder but the following moves are not that plain & simple. I liked the challenge that they presented. This module, if practiced seriously, will eventually make you an expert in using both hands at the same time but doing different things. My sister was my partner since she was having a lot of stiffness in the neck & trap area. She started to feel some relief when I did the circling of both shoulder & trapezius. It felt better when I used my right hand to massage the trapezius because when I did it with left one, I was pulling too much on the skin. With the arm circling with shoulder stretch technique, her bones were making all kind of noises but no pain was felt. I loved the moved where you rotate the shoulder & lean in the trap, I got it easily. My mom entered the room at that very moment and said ‘hey be careful there!’lol. She probably thought that I was going to break something with my sister. But again no pain was felt, my sis reassured me.
July 14, 2012
I usually re-live my practicum when i post my experience here, i recall the thoughts & emotions too..so that's why maybe it feels alive
Module 32: Side Position 4
Emphasis is laid on shoulder and scapula work in this module. My partner’s scapula was a detached one & so it was easily accessible. I never imagined that we could/should work under the scapula. Here we learn different types of techniques to work on that area which are profound & of course feel good. I loved doing all the traction moves & yes it definitely feels better with the circular motion for both the therapist & partner. The circling eases the stretch a bit.
Module 33: Sitting Position 1
I was looking forward for this one because I was waiting to get more techniques for the neck & I think it’s a very good position to work on that area. Many people have lots of tension which have accumulated in there & when you massage their neck & trap area it feels like heaven. Did the kneading, the rocking & offset rocking and the last one has the tendency to be a bit harsh on people having dry skin. It may end up being a little uncomfortable rather than relaxing. The foot rocking on the back is just terrific & the powerful version is just great but we need to be careful with it though.
I was viewing the summary videos again today and it felt like everything started to fit together (the whole course) & that there is indeed a flow. It’s just so beautiful!
If you really want to learn a lot more about neck work, then you would find that in my Heavenly Head Massage course. This has some of the most extensive neck training that you can find anywhere.
I am very happy that you are feeling the flow and the connectedness of the entire program!
July 14, 2012
My next course will definitely be Heavenly Head Massage but I need to save some money first.
Module 34: Sitting Position 2
The first technique is a great arm & back stretch which has been well appreciated by my partner but since he’s a bit overweight it was difficult for me to return to my initial position (before the full stretch) without his help! Thank you for explaining the importance & benefit of traction, it’s so good to know. The next technique (back stretch with the knees) truly requires practice & balance. It will come into use with people who can’t bear shoulder stretches. The work done on the trapezius with the forearm is really wonderful since I’ve received very good feedback for it. My partner was not aware of the stiffness and tension that were present in that area & when I worked that spot, he felt like pain was being released. He told me that he didn’t even know that his neck/trap area contained that much tension. The last technique shown is a good stretch for the shoulder & at the same time putting pressure on the trap area.
Module 35: Client Communication Skills
Most of the things/topics you discussed about in this module, you already have done so in parts in different videos and it helps so much that you gathered everything here. Communication skill complements our techniques. Through words we can make our clients feel comfortable, reassure them & make them trust us. Without good communication skill I guess we run the risk of penalizing our own career although we may be really good at what we do.
So that’s it Shama (at least for this course). I want to tell you so many things but I guess that I would first & foremost like to thank you from the very bottom of my heart for this beautiful course and for being such a pleasant, patient & dedicated teacher. There’s been a lot going on in my life lately and there have been many stumbling blocks in the way as far as making thai massage my career. But whenever I was doing the course & posting in the forum, I’ve always felt positive energy & this kept me motivated till the end.
Shama you have opened a new path for me & the end of this course is just the beginning of a new journey. This new job will definitely help me be more independent & free but above all, it will help me be closer to my spirituality which I think I have been unconsciously looking for. Thank you Shama for doing what you are doing!
P.S: I’ve had my first pay today for a massage done on one of my relatives. He simply loved it. Along with the money he gave me a kiss on both cheeks & one on the forehead
Congratulations Aruna for completing this big course. You did a great job and it was really inspiring to follow your progress. Through you the goodness, healthfulness, well-being and bliss of this wonderful massage system will spread and touch many people's lives. I am so happy about that, and I am very grateful that you put your trust in me to help you learn it. You are such a motivated student, and I am sure that you will have a a great career in Thai Massage!