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Nicole Gordon Complete Thai Massage Notes
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Nicole Gordon
New Jersey
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June 11, 2020 - 8:20 pm
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Module 1

I like that this video really just laid out some of the basics and some foundations for what we are going to be learning. I am pretty active and workout often, so I am confident that the therapist positions should not be a problem for me. I don't usually put my clients in side lying and never in sitting positions so I look forward to being able to try new ways that can help clients more effectively. I also like that this Thai class is not anatomy based - I know anatomy pretty well right now, and I find it can sometimes be distracting when learning a new modality and worrying about all the O, I, A - what's moving what, what's causing what, trigger points here, referred pain there, ect. I'd rather learn the modality and let the anatomy filter in on it's own as I go. I really think I'm going to enjoy this program and I look forward to transitioning to mostly mat work in the near future. Thank you for offering this class. 

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Shama Kern
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June 12, 2020 - 1:33 am
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Hi Nicole, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

You seem to be in good physical shape, so that is already a good starting point. I am glad that our program can make up for the lack of physical classes near you. You might find that this course will take you much further than most physical classes do (this is based on the feedback of many of our course students), plus you will have permanent access and can refer back to it for as long as you need to.

My approach to teaching Thai Massage is to not have it happen just in the head, but really feel it and use it in a creative and inspired way. Smile

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Nicole Gordon
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June 15, 2020 - 3:42 am
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Nicole Gordon said
Module 1

I like that this video really just laid out some of the basics and some foundations for what we are going to be learning. I am pretty active and workout often, so I am confident that the therapist positions should not be a problem for me. I don't usually put my clients in side lying and never in sitting positions so I look forward to being able to try new ways that can help clients more effectively. I also like that this Thai class is not anatomy based - I know anatomy pretty well right now, and I find it can sometimes be distracting when learning a new modality and worrying about all the O, I, A - what's moving what, what's causing what, trigger points here, referred pain there, ect. I'd rather learn the modality and let the anatomy filter in on it's own as I go. I really think I'm going to enjoy this program and I look forward to transitioning to mostly mat work in the near future. Thank you for offering this class. 

  

Module 2

Due to Covid my options for practice were limited to my 8 year old and my husband, lol. I did the Chai Machine on my 8 year old first. He was pretty easy to practice on and it didn't take much to get his whole body to rock. The only trouble I had with him was that his left knee wanted to keep bending so I had to make sure that I held his legs a little more taught than I needed to do with my husband. My son lived it! He said he felt a "wave throughout his whole body" and he said he "felt totally relaxed like jell-o". 

My husband is 6'1 and has very long legs, so when I worked on him I had to slightly move my arms a bit to get his hips to move and slightly picking up his legs definitely helped me get some momentum. He really liked it and said it was very relaxing. 

Because I didn't get a mat yet and I was just working on a comforter on the floor, my feet definitely felt pinched between my sits bones and the floor. The carpet didn't feel very good on the tops.of my feet either. I just used a towel to take some of the pinch away and so I wouldn't get rug burn until I get my mat. 

Overall I really like this move. It is really relaxing and I think it helps clients let go of some of the tension they are holding and gets them open and receptive for the session. 

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Shama Kern
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June 15, 2020 - 10:14 am
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A good mat is essential so that you and the client are comfortable. Did you see the video about choosing a good mat in module 3? Did you figure out already where to get one from? This is a topic that comes up a lot in the facebook group. If you find a good source, our members would appreciate if you post it in the group, I am sure. Smile

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Nicole Gordon
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June 18, 2020 - 4:39 am
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Module 3

I really love the foot sequence! This lesson made me really appreciate the 3 days in between lessons. It is nice to have all that time to rewatch the video and practice. The 2nd move was way more challenging to get than I thought it would be (and I still wouldn't say I "got" it, lol). I noticed when I broke it down as you suggested it was a little easier to get into the flow. When I began doing  the press and twist while alternating sides I found that the circular movements of my body became easier and much more natural. Maybe because my body was following the hand movements rather than trying to get my hand movements to follow my body.

The push-pull-rotate was the other move that feels a little awkward when I'm doing it. I think I need to work on the position of the clients foot when I'm twisting and pushing because I have a hard time shifting and using my bodyweight when I push the leg. My husband has very tight internal rotators, so the difficulty I have with the external rotation and push might be effected by the tightness in his leg. 

Overall I really liked the lesson and my husband had no complaints, except that he was not a big fan of bending both feet in at the same time. Although I was pressing more towards the top of the foot closer to the toes, he complained of pain in the area around the tarsals of both feet. He has rheumatoid arthritis that usually effects the joints in his hands/wrists, so I'm not sure if that has something to do with it or maybe I can make an adjustment to what I'm doing. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Thank you. 

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Nicole Gordon
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June 18, 2020 - 4:50 am
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Shama Kern said
A good mat is essential so that you and the client are comfortable. Did you see the video about choosing a good mat in module 3? Did you figure out already where to get one from? This is a topic that comes up a lot in the facebook group. If you find a good source, our members would appreciate if you post it in the group, I am sure. Smile

  

I did watch the video and I actually found a post online from another thai therapist that suggested getting a matress topper. I looked around and decided to go with the one she suggested from a company called Sleep on Latex. I got a firm 2" king size topper and ordered a matress protector to keep it clean and protected under the top sheet. It came in the mail today and I tried it out right away! What a difference from just being on a comforter, lol. I knew it would be much easier on my body and I figured it would also make a big difference for the client as well - and it definitely did.

I noticed there was a post in the Facebook group about mats and I will post a comment there with what I'm using. 

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Shama Kern
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June 18, 2020 - 1:16 pm
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Sounds like an excellent solution - and thanks for posting it in the group. Smile

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Nicole Gordon
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June 21, 2020 - 6:03 pm
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Shama Kern said
Sounds like an excellent solution - and thanks for posting it in the group. Smile

  

No problem 😁

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Nicole Gordon
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June 21, 2020 - 7:21 pm
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Module 4

I found the review and the breakdown into the 8 directions of movement very helpful in remembering the techniques from Module 3. I have been practicing the foot moves from both module 3 and 4 and I can see that I am definitely getting more comfortable as I don't have to think as much about what I'm doing and I can put more focus on what I'm feeling in the clients body as I work through the techniques. I noticed I do have a habit of going into muscle mode instead of using my bodyweight at times when my body mechanics are off, so I just use that as an indication it's time to adjust myself. 

 

The new techniques taught in module 4 are pretty easy to do and I haven't had any difficulties weaving these into what I learned in modile 3.

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Shama Kern
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June 21, 2020 - 8:43 pm
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Sounds like you are progressing in the right direction. And...this is a good time to retrain the muscling habit. Smile

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Nicole Gordon
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June 28, 2020 - 4:14 am
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MODULE 5

This module was pretty easy to pick up on. When doing the butterfly technique I had a little difficulty because my husband's leg is much longer than mine so it was hard for me to lock his foot and move up his quads while doing the butterfly technique with proper body mechanics. I couldn't find the right position for my arms and I always felt they were a little to far in front of me and I couldn't gets that slight downward traction towards the foot as I lean in. If you have any advice or modifications for this move when dealing with a much taller person that would be great. 

The only other thing that was a little uncomfortable was using my thumbs for the lef lines on the thigh and I find it much easier and more comfortable to use the lower part of my palm instead. I'm sure on a different client it would be easier with with my thumbs but the tension in his legs puts more tension on my thumbs than what is comfortable. 

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June 28, 2020 - 10:37 pm
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As for an alternative modification you could try to stabilize the position by locking his leg in between your knees and your lower legs. In this way you wouldn't have to be so far away from his thigh due to his long legs.

It is perfectly fine to replace the thumbs with the lower palm in this case.

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Nicole Gordon
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June 29, 2020 - 8:43 pm
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Shama Kern said
As for an alternative modification you could try to stabilize the position by locking his leg in between your knees and your lower legs. In this way you wouldn't have to be so far away from his thigh due to his long legs.

It is perfectly fine to replace the thumbs with the lower palm in this case.

  

Thank you. I tried this and it worked perfect!

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Nicole Gordon
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June 29, 2020 - 8:55 pm
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MODULE 6

I found that the techniques in this module worked very well to solve some of the problems I had in the last module with my husband being so tall. Also his left quads are a lot tighter than the right and the forearm was much more comfortable for him on that leg than the butterfly compressions. 

 

One technique I had a bit of a problem with was the "lean in and roll" on the inner thigh. I couldn't seem to get my leg to sit under my husband's leg properly. His thigh always hung out over my leg leaving his thigh unsupported and when I would lean in I would just kinda flop down. I tried adjusting my angle but it either his leg was bent out too much at a 90 degree angle or if I sat closer t ok his feet then I was just to far away. I can gook his leg around my leg (his shin against my calf) but then I don't get the rocking motion with my body the same way as you did when your clients leg rests on your hip.

 

Thank you. 

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Shama Kern
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June 29, 2020 - 11:22 pm
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Sometimes significant size differences can make it difficult to execute a certain technique properly. Often you can modify it in some way. In this particular case you could try to NOT keep his foot in your groin, but let it slide behind you a bit. That would allow you to get closer to his inner thigh in spite of his long legs. Play with that and see if you can get it to work. 

If you still have trouble, just skip this technique on him and try it whenever you have a smaller person to practice on. There are other techniques which you can substitute for this lean and roll on him. You could use your knee for example. But that will come later on in the course, in one of the bonus modules.

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Nicole Gordon
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July 2, 2020 - 7:02 pm
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Shama Kern said
Sometimes significant size differences can make it difficult to execute a certain technique properly. Often you can modify it in some way. In this particular case you could try to NOT keep his foot in your groin, but let it slide behind you a bit. That would allow you to get closer to his inner thigh in spite of his long legs. Play with that and see if you can get it to work. 

If you still have trouble, just skip this technique on him and try it whenever you have a smaller person to practice on. There are other techniques which you can substitute for this lean and roll on him. You could use your knee for example. But that will come later on in the course, in one of the bonus modules.

  

Thank you. I will try to adjust and see if that works better. My husband is definitely not the ideal client to practice on - especially when he's the only one you've got, lol  he is tall, skinny,  and not even slightly flexible 🤣😂 - but since everyone here in the US can't seem to get it together so we can get Covid-19 under control, right now he's all I've got, 😂🤣 I'm planning on reopening my practice in the next couple of weeks, but I'm not really sure that's going to happen based on how things are going around here. I'm in New Jersey and we are doing "ok" right now, however, I live near the beach area and all the bars and beaches are open, so social distancing/masks are not used consistently. We will see how it looks in 2 weeks 🤞🏼 

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Nicole Gordon
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July 2, 2020 - 7:25 pm
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Module 7

 

The elephant walking was a little too much for my husband. He said it was ok but he didn't look like it was ok, lol, so I just stopped and did the rocking instead. The right angle hip stretch worked very well. Even though I didn't have any problems doing it the way in the Module 7 video, I tried the modified version anyway. Because his adductors are so tight I had a problem keeping my foot in place because his leg kept wanting to pop up and I didnt have as much leverage as I did when doing it the original way. 

 

The hip lift cross pull was easy to get the hang of and he liked that one a lot, bit the circular hip lift cross pull is definitely going to take some practice for me. I felt as though I was just lifting and dropping and not getting the circular motion correct going enough.

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Shama Kern
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July 2, 2020 - 11:42 pm
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It sounds like you have a not-so-easy practice partner with a big size discrepancy and lots of stiffness. This can definitely be challenge. On the upside, when you will be able to work on smaller/lighter/more flexible persons again, you won't be believe how easy it will be. Smile

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Nicole Gordon
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July 5, 2020 - 5:02 pm
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Shama Kern said
It sounds like you have a not-so-easy practice partner with a big size discrepancy and lots of stiffness. This can definitely be challenge. On the upside, when you will be able to work on smaller/lighter/more flexible persons again, you won't be believe how easy it will be. Smile

  

That's what I figured, lol. Sometimes it's better to learn with a difficult person because it makes working on most other people much easier. 

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Nicole Gordon
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July 5, 2020 - 5:39 pm
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Module 8

I really enjoyed this module. The calf work was really nice and effective. I also liked the knee warm up. That was actually one of my husband's favorite techniques. He gets a lot of pain in his knees from playing soccer when he was younger so even just those little moves felt really good. 

The hip pie 180 degree stretch was a little to much for him. He tried to tell me it was ok but his face told me it wasnt, lol. He said he was feeling the pinch in his hip flexors and so I switched over to the modifications. Out of all 3 he liked the sideways rocking with my leg the best. He said the others felt ok but that one was the mist comfortable. I tried going back into the 180 degree stretch after warming it up a little more but it was still a bit too much to be comfortable for him. 

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