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Shama Kern
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October 16, 2012 - 11:01 am
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You are moving right along, just passed the midpoint of the course. How are the reactions and the feedback of your practice partner?

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randi
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October 25, 2012 - 9:12 pm
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The videos and practicing have been wonderful. I have had much positive feedback from my partner. He is a very active man who is physical at work and is so appreciative of the stretches and differences from the Swedish-type massage I was taught in school. 

The summary videos are a wonderful tool to watch the flow and transitions and to touch back on the hints given through out the videos. I am finding that to practice (we do practice, just after I've watched a couple times first) along with the video isn't the best idea unless it's one of the summary videos. While I need to hear and learn the techniques, helpful hints, and explanations; my partner doesn't care as much. 

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randi
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October 25, 2012 - 9:46 pm
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Video 20 was a wonderful video on the leg in the prone (face down) position. Enjoyed the use of elbows and knees as massage tools. In school I was taught that when I had the option to use the elbows or fore-arms to reduce stress to the finger joints with the thumb in particular to reduce risk of carpal tunnel or arthritis. I was thankful for the suggestion of the small head pillow for prone position, I know this can be carried over into all types of massage. I, for my own use, hate the face cradle on a massage table and so I'm always open to alternatives, seems like a simple and obvious idea, wish I'd thought of it. 

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randi
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October 25, 2012 - 10:19 pm
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Video 21 was more prone leg technique warming up the hip thigh and calf with a stretch. I know ideally the knees and feet are turned in, what do I do when my partner's feet and knees turn naturally outward and he can't turn them in? Should I just accept that difference and just make sure there isn't pressure on his knees or is a pillow recommended, perhaps a technique that could help correct it? The rest of the practice went well and was enjoyed.

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Shama Kern
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October 25, 2012 - 10:36 pm
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Just like you, I have never enjoyed having my face in the cradle of a massage table. I much rather prefer my improvised or rigged up Thai Massage version. Did you ever see that little video I made about that? https://thaihealingmassage.com.....ks-part-1/

Regarding the turning in or out of the feet: If someone lies face down and the toes are pointed out, this indicates an imbalance in the hip joint and it is not a natural position. However if the feet are pointed out so much that the client is not lying on their knee caps, then you can work in this position. The problem comes in when they cannot turn their feet in or out enough to get them off their knee caps. Then you really need to use support pillows under the ankles.

Yes there are techniques to correct the turning out of the feet, but this goes way beyond a forum post. There are very effective leg rocking techniques and a whole number of hip stretches which address this issue. But I can tell you that this is a long term process and not easy to correct at all. It takes many sessions to make headway with this. It also takes a structural or postural analysis of the client which is also beyond the scope of a forum post.

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randi
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October 31, 2012 - 8:48 am
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Video 22 covered variations of leg and gluteal stretches. Points were made to not stretch the clients knees by stabilizing with my own. It was fun and much appreciated going through the different quadricep and gluteal stretches since that is an area that my partner frequently suffers from tension in.

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October 31, 2012 - 9:23 am
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Video 23 covered technique to massage the sacrum by first exploring the area to become familiar with the shape, edges and the variances in different people, circling, the thumb rocking and then percussion.

I am excited about being able to practice the techniques shown for the gluteals. I was told when talking the LMT classes that most people wouldn't be comfortable with gluteal massage and I wouldn't perform it often; but I've found the opposite is true. Once they find I'm perfectly comfortable working in that area it has been more requested than any other body area and that there has been at times a visible show of relief that it's okay to ask to have that area worked on more. The use of leaning in with the knees looks fun and I believe the practice session will not only be fun for me but enjoyed by my practice partner. 

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Shama Kern
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October 31, 2012 - 11:24 am
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You are right, in my experience pretty much everyone really likes gluteal massage, and so do I! What they say in the LMT classes is simply not true in this respect. I always include sacrum and gluteal massage when I work on someone's back, and it does not matter if it is a man or woman - they all like it. I cover this even more in several of my courses, like in the Sacrum Massage course and in the Thai Rocking Massage course.

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randi
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November 10, 2012 - 11:01 pm
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Video 24 covers technique to work on the back. The moves are smooth circular movements using the whole body and "wiggling", breathing with pressure change. The traditional Thai massage techniques were not used because of the stress they put on the thumbs and wrist joints.l

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November 10, 2012 - 11:33 pm
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Video 25 is the second prone back video including techniques for those who need a bit more pressure. This video shows using the fingertips in a back and forth motion or circling along the erector muscles to find areas that need a bit more work then working in broader area using the whole hands and elbows pressing along the erector muscles.

Using the knee techniques with caution and control on the back would be useful for larger people or to cover the largest area which would allow more pressure with less discomfort. 

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randi
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November 11, 2012 - 12:16 am
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Video 26 is on prone position back work and some neck work. Starting off with the fore-arm technique covering the length or the erector muscles, leaning in with body weight. Using soft part of the fore-arm it is okay to carefully work on top of the shoulder blade making sure to get feedback. Elephant walking techniques were also showed with different rhythms. Fore-arm use was shown for the lower back. Thumb technique was shown rolling over the erector muscles using a rolling motion instead of a direct pressure.

For some one with a slighter build use mainly the hand techniques. 

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Shama Kern
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November 11, 2012 - 11:16 pm
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I think after those three modules you should have a pretty good size arsenal for the back. There are many more back techniques in those videos than are typically taught in traditional Thai Massage, and I only teach techniques which do not stress your thumbs or wrists.

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randi
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November 19, 2012 - 11:53 am
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Video 27 was more work on the back and including work on the trapezius and the scapula and shoulder. Other than my partner saying it felt "weird" working under the scapula everything went well practicing. Even the "weird" comment wasn't a bad feeling just an unfamiliar one. 

 

Video 28 was summarization of the prone back technique. As with the other summery videos I am always happy to see how the techniques flow together. 

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Shama Kern
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November 19, 2012 - 6:38 pm
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For people who are not familiar with it, many moves in Thai Massage can appear to be "weird". It is quite an exotic system of massage, no doubt about it. And it works extremely well, weird or not Laugh.

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randi
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November 23, 2012 - 11:10 pm
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Videos 29 and 30 covered techniques used during a side lying position. Side lying, as explained, is especially good for people who are pregnant and/or uncomfortable laying on their stomach. Video 29 showed techniques used on the thigh and hip region and touches on the subject of pillow placement. Video 30 works up the back, using techniques such as elephant walking, leaning in on erector muscles and spinal twists.

Practice was unremarkable since there was no major negative issues or real positive ones. My partner would have been more appreciative if he were pregnant or needed the side laying position, I'm sure.

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Shama Kern
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November 25, 2012 - 11:12 pm
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If practice is unremarkable since the partner does not have any issues, then it is a good idea to spend more time focusing on your quality of touch, the smoothness of the moves, your own best ergonomics, and feeling the body and the energy of your partner.

Ultimately these are the elements which make a massage mediocre or outstanding. We cannot always impress our clients with our skill of fixing something, especially if they have no issues, but we can always impress our clients with the quality of our touch and the energy that comes out of our hands.

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randi
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November 30, 2012 - 5:58 am
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Thank you for the helpful words. We (partner and I) had trouble focusing and were pensive due to the holiday. I let it ruin my calm. I'm working on it. 

Video 31 was shoulder work in the side lying position starting with circling and and finalizing with shoulder stretching. At first the movements were clumsy but, as usual, once I stop trying to think about it everything became much smoother. 

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randi
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November 30, 2012 - 6:41 am
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Video 32 was the final video on the side position covering shoulder work. It started of with the stretches, asking partner for feedback. Video recommended using the one to ten method. I personally love scapula work, both doing and having it done on me so I was thrilled with that bit. I have never had anything but good responses. I get as excited about shoulder area as some people do about gluteals or feet. Of course working slowly and with fluid movement. Second half of video showed a couple traction technique for the shoulder and arm and some circling and gentle stretching to "cool down". 

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Shama Kern
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November 30, 2012 - 6:04 pm
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According to my experience lots of clients love good shoulder work. Most of my clients have some shoulder issues and almost all of my clients love to receive shoulder work. I think you could make a special sub niche modality just with shoulder work.

You probably know that I produced an entire course just about shoulder work (Ultimate Shoulder Massage) which introduces even more techniques for the shoulders (70 altogether). This course is also a good deal since you get to pick another one of my therapy videos for free with it. This is only valid for those who already own the Complete Thai Massage course. Since there is some duplication between the two courses, you get another $30 course for free. Something to keep in mind for the future!

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randi
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December 5, 2012 - 9:40 pm
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Video 33 begins the section showing sitting technique. I did have to recruit my 12 year old to sit for me since the people I usually work on either had trouble with the sitting position or weren't as flexible in the shoulder area and I wanted to be able to practice everything shown. Because of that I do want to thank you for the suggestion of using a pillow for smaller and/or bonier clients. The practice was great and he loved the back stretches and twist. I can tell that the techniques used could also be used with the client sitting in a massage chair too. 

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