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My Thai healing massage journal
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randi
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August 29, 2012 - 7:39 am
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I have now watched both lesson one and two. 

I was so pleased with the explanation of ergonomics and quality of touch.  Your explanations of each were very simple and easy to understand. I am at the end of my western massage therapy program and the lessons of using body-weight instead of muscle and concentrating on flow and quality touch will be practiced in my other classes as well.

I have practiced the Chi Machine move on the husband and the children. I’m a bit stiff with the movement since it is unfamiliar but I’m sure that will change with practice. 

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Shama
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August 29, 2012 - 11:13 am
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Hi Randi, welcome to our forum! I am glad you are off to a good start with the course. Yes, you are correct, the Chi Machine will take a little getting used to. The way how I teach Thai Massage is as much an art as it is technique. So it is never just about “put your hand here and press there”. It is about creating a graceful , synchronized and flowing experience for both you and your client which is a lot more fun and satisfying for you than merely following a mechanical or clinical protocol.

Once your body and mind gets used to flowing with the movements, it will become much easier. Naturally this is not something that happens right away, but with patience and practice you will definitely get there!

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randi
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September 2, 2012 - 8:28 am
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I was able to watch through the session 3 on foot massage and practice one my partner. I was struck with the ease of it once I realized how similar the body movements (rhythm, rocking, using the whole body) are to playing floor games like “row, row, row your boat” as a child. 

With the use of the whole body and the whole of the hand on the foot in particular I was not at all sore in the thumbs after.  

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Shama
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September 2, 2012 - 11:04 pm
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Interesting analogy, that’s one I haven’t heard before :)

Looks like the methods on how to use your body correctly are working in your favor.

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randi
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September 10, 2012 - 2:16 am
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I veiwed and practiced videos 4 and 5 now highlighting points on body mechanics and using the body as a whole instead of singular parts and muscles and conceptual learning as opposed to breaking apart the massage into techniques to be performed.

I was excited to be able to practice more on the foot and be able to cover all of it with my partner and move up to warming up the leg with the butterfly move. I am becoming more comfortable being down on the floor with my partner and body flow is improving.

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Shama
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September 10, 2012 - 12:49 pm
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The more comfortable you get with working on the floor, and the better your ergonomics get, the easier it will be for you to use your body and your body weight to do powerful work without using much of your energy. Thai Massage should never be about muscle effort, but always about using your body to its maximum potential. And this can be done much better on the floor than on a massage table. You might just fall in love with this style of working:)

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randi
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September 17, 2012 - 7:44 am
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I’ve received, watched and practiced lessons 6 and 7 continuing warm-up and going into some leg stretches while touching on techniques besides thumb use such as rocking and fore-arm use. Both videos continue to remind to use the whole body, body weight instead of muscle pressure and the importance of breathing with movement, and working slowly. 

I was very interested in the the observing of the foot to get clues on the condition of the hips and how the findings will guide to what area needs work. 

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Shama
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September 17, 2012 - 11:00 pm
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Using the foot observation to determine the condition of the hip is a very useful skill which is known by very few massage therapists.

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randi
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September 22, 2012 - 9:47 am
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After finishing videos 8 and 9 covering leg stretches I was very happy with the “hip pie” concept which made it easier to visualize where I would logically be going next with my partners hip. I enjoyed working with my client and trying out the different ways to loosen up a joint such as rocking and moving the knee in a circle. 

It seems obvious to include the client or partner in the stretch by encouraging feedback and telling them when their tense but I really had to sit back and reflect. I do normally ask for feedback but I don’t think I ever thought just to ask them to help relax an area they’ve tensed up. The spine stretch where the knee is crossed over the body is something I’ve had really great comments on, it’s already a favorite. 

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Shama
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September 23, 2012 - 8:47 pm
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There are quite a few good comments by students in this forum about the usefulness of the ‘hip pie’ concept, as well as the motion based rocking techniques. Regarding the feedback techniques, they work wonders on the right people, but on others they don’t work at all. I cover that more in later modules.

I am glad the spinal stretch is working well for you:)

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randi
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September 24, 2012 - 8:26 am
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I enjoyed continuing the spine stretch in video 10. The anatomy of a Thai massage move was a nice small list covering important points in every move to have. My husband who’s been wonderfully supportive and willing to try every move wasn’t as willing with the blood stop but I was able to continuing practicing on another person. 

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Shama
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September 24, 2012 - 12:11 pm
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The only problem with the ‘blood stop’ is its name. It is a perfectly harmless Thai Massage move which does not stop the blood flow but just slows it down and then accelerates it once you let go. It also feels very good. Maybe I should invent a new name for this move like ‘circulation accelerator’ or ‘Chi pump’ or something like that:)

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randi
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September 30, 2012 - 9:51 am
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I was able to get the husband to try the blood stop or “chi pump” after a little persuasion :) . I’m getting about a 50% success rate with that of anything happening at all, but with time and practice i’m sure that will improve.  

Appreciated watching the Video 11 watching the moves come together and how to flow from one movement to another. I understand that it was a bit quicker than one would normally move.

Finished video 12 and included that in the daily practice. Some of the moved I’ve not been able to do since my partners all seem to be males much larger than me and I end up with a foot in my chest but I’m glad that there are alternate positions given for the different stretches. 

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Shama
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October 3, 2012 - 10:26 pm
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No problem with that. Not all moves are meant to be done on everyone. Just pick the ones that work on a particular partner.

For the “Chi Pump” (I like that name), first locate the femoral artery with your fingertips until you feel the blood pulsing strongly. Then put the heel of your hand on that exact spot and move it around until again you feel the blood pulsing. The final step is to slowly sink into that spot with your body weight. If you don’t feel the blood pulsing, you are not in the right spot. Like you say, it will come with practise:)

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randi
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October 8, 2012 - 10:13 pm
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Video 13 on completing the leg stretches reviews the anatomy of a move, and emphasizes the use of the 1 to 10 discomfort scale,communication, and paying attention to areas of discomfort . Information on different kinds of technique such as finger circling, scooping and fingertip wiggling and the importance of working in a therapeutically instead of mechanically. 

Video 14 on hip rocking which is gentler than using more intense stretching, using a lighter touch in a rapid motion letting the body flow naturally, not pushing and using the whole body. I appreciated the technique on fluid transitioning from side to side. 

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Shama
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October 8, 2012 - 10:59 pm
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It appears that you figured out how to do the fluid transitioning. You will need this one a lot.

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randi
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October 8, 2012 - 11:09 pm
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Video 15 introduces the abdomen and chest area. The abdomen is of special importance because it is the physical center of the body, the energetic center of the body and the largest concentration of organs in the body and many people hold emotion there. It is of importance to work gently and fluidly in the direction of the intestines and pushing/pulling gently along the three lines. In the beginning placing a hand and feeling for breath, listening with the hands and synchronizing breath to connect energetically. Special consideration is made during work on the chest area while working on  female circle outside of rib-cage with palms instead of the elephant walk that can me used with a male. 

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Shama
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October 9, 2012 - 11:57 pm
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Good summary – you definitely went through the video Smile.

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randi
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October 16, 2012 - 8:04 am
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Video 16 was working on the shoulders after moving up from the abdomen and chest, being careful not the put pressure on the bone and keeping the hands and fingers relaxed. The Anatomy of a Move was reviewed and the importance of the quality of touch was emphasized with the importance of maintaining constant contact. Firm fluid sliding between from back to front between neck and shoulder was followed by hand circling using the whole body, then alternately lifting and leaning into the shoulder being careful to slide and keep contact down the arm when transitioning into the stretches. Proper from when positioning hand by the head for the upward stretch is important to keep from stressing the client’s wrist.

Video 17 on Arms and Hands starts in the soft area of the front of the shoulder. Pressing is used down the arms alternating weight from one hand to the other using a circular movement of the body being careful not to put weight on the elbow. This is followed by a sliding off of the hand keeping arm at and 45 degree angle. Tracing of the three lines, outside, inside and center with thumb with circling and squeezing is to loosen muscle and increase circulation. This is followed by the hand massage with the 4 steps of squeezing, pulling, turning and alternation and then tracing the from the wrist to the tips of each finger with our thumb on both sides, being careful to work between the bone instead of on top on the back of the hand.

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randi
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October 16, 2012 - 8:37 am
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Video 18 was on shoulder transition maintaining body contact, and making it part of the flow of the massage. This video emphasizes the personal state of energy and relaxation and how that effects the client.

I appreciated the additional moves for the back for those who need it for the upper and lower spine being careful to not press on the spine. 

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