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Nicole Robertson's Complete Thai Massage Progress Notes
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Nicole Robertson
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August 13, 2019 - 3:54 pm
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Module 1

I liked learning about the energy flow when it came to comparing Thai massage and western massage. I have noticed a different when going to Thai massage places and getting a sports massage. Sport massage is a bit more painful and mostly focuses on the anatomy, and Thai definitely has that flow aspect and is more soothing. I am wondering if there were any tips on how to keep the face facing down during the prone position when massaging on the floor? I am someone that usually gets a neck cramp if I turn my head to one side too long. I also think it is more comfortable having your neck in line with your spine when getting a massage. 

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Shama Kern
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August 14, 2019 - 12:58 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 are jumping the gun a little here. Laugh Yes, there is a very good way of making someone comfortable in the face-down position in Thai Massage. There is an entire video about how to do that when you get to the prone position in the course. Definitely it is not comfortable for most people to turn their head sideways for an extended period of time, and they won't have to!

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August 14, 2019 - 12:25 pm
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Module 2

 

The Chi machine looks incredible to do and feel. I definitely want to perfect this so I can use it on my clients and see how they feel from it before doing gym work. Any tips on how to perform this on a massage table as well? Obviously, it is better to do it on the ground based on your ergonomics, but it would be nice to know just in case the ground isn't an option. 

Definitely will practice those exercises. I can easily sit on my heals, but my toes are not very flexible, so I will have to work on that everyday. 

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August 14, 2019 - 1:13 pm
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The Chi Machine can be done on a table. However you have to do it with muscle effort by lifting the legs and swinging them sideways. On the floor you can use your hip motion to get the swinging effect, and you don't need any effort since the heels are resting on your thighs. So the table will work - it's just not as effortless.

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Nicole Robertson
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August 16, 2019 - 10:18 am
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Thanks for the info! glad it is still possible. I tried the chi machine for the first time on one of my teammates and she enjoyed it!

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Nicole Robertson
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August 20, 2019 - 4:01 pm
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Module 3

 

The video has so much useful information and I will definitely need to look at it a few more times. I plan on trying this tonight on my girlfriend. She is very flexible in her ankles, so I am wondering if there is something extra I can do to be able to make her feel more of the stretch? Also wanted to know if some of these movements are "too much" for people who have hurt their ankle in the past? I know some who have sprained their ankles and are very stiff and sensitive when it comes to certain movements.

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August 20, 2019 - 4:04 pm
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Module 4

 

I like the idea of conceptual thinking and not just memorizing things. That has helped a lot when watching the last part of your video. I plan on rewatching module 3 again to better understand the movements and routine of the massage techniques. Should the massage go in the same order as what you do in the videos, or does it not matter? Curious to know if certain movements help more than others when loosening up and massaging the ankles/feet.

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August 20, 2019 - 11:59 pm
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Some people are so flexible that certain stretches don't do much for them. However we have to keep in mind that the goal of Thai Massage is not just to stretch people, but to balance energy flow, make people feel better, and provide a blissful experience for them. It's the overall result of a session that counts, not how much we can stretch someone. If you realize that someone totally doesn't need a particular stretch, just skip it and do something else.

And yes, some techniques can easily hurt someone with previous injuries or severe stiffness. The art of it is to evaluate what works for a particular client and do just that. Don't think that you have to do all techniques on everyone. The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. All this will become much clearer later in this course.

The order in which I show the movements is a good guideline, but there is nothing wrong with changing it either. None of this is written in stone. In the end it comes down to becoming more creative and intuitive and sensing what works best for you, your client, and a particular situation. That takes quite a bit of practice and experience to get to that point, but this is the goal to look forward to. Smile

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Nicole Robertson
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August 21, 2019 - 3:54 pm
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Thank you for that! And it will definitely take some practice. I did the foot massages to her last night, and there was one exercise that she didn't feel the stretch, and she wanted me to hold her shin in place while i bent her foot in for the stretch, and she enjoyed that. But I will be sure to do it for balance energy flow, and not the stretch.Laugh

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Nicole Robertson
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August 28, 2019 - 5:16 pm
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Module 5

 

Im enjoying the leg warm-up techniques, but I am struggling with the push pull technique. I am either not having enough weight with my knee on their calf or I am putting too much weight on their leg. Is there a trick for this technique?

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August 28, 2019 - 10:59 pm
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The only function of the knee is to stabilize your client's leg so that it doesn't move up and down when you push and pull. So the impact of the knee should be as light as possible. The client's thigh can move up and down a little bit, but not a lot. You have to make sure that your knee is on the calf muscle. If you touch the shin bone, it will be painful.

Another thing is that this technique should not be done so strongly that the leg would lift up a lot. Do this gently. You are not supposed to pull so much that the entire leg wants to lift. Put more power in the 'push' than in the 'pull'. 

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August 30, 2019 - 12:12 pm
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Module 6

 

First, thank you for the response on my last post on Module 5. Ill be sure to put more power in the push movement rather than the pull movement.

I recently tried the massage techniques from Module 6, but I tried them on the ground (which I know is easier), but I was wondering if there were any tricks for doing these massages on a table? I am not very flexible in certain parts of my body, so it becomes a little painful and stressful on my body when I give massages on the ground.

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August 30, 2019 - 10:43 pm
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If you have a low and wide table, then you can do these techniques, but if the table is of standard height and is narrow, then you cannot do it in the same way as demonstrated in the video. In Thailand many therapists work on low and wide tables.

However you can create something similar for the table by working from the outside instead of from the inside. It won't be exactly the same, but it doesn't have to be. For example instead of having your leg under the client's leg, you could use some kind of cushion to elevate it a bit. You can get a very similar effect.

However be aware of your body mechanics. If you do this by bending down over your client's leg to work with your forearms, your back will hurt very quickly. You might have to substitute your hands for your forearms, or assume a low stance, or have a cushioned stool available for one of your knees for better support without bending down too much.

Here is some advice: In Thai Massage there are literally hundreds of techniques. You will never be able to do them all in your sessions. There are many more techniques in this course then you can do in one or even two hours. So if you have to skip some techniques, that's not a problem - let's say if you can't get them to work on a table. 

The main thing with table work is creative modification. Play around with different options. Try sitting on the table and making yourself as ergonomically comfortable as you can. First use those techniques that can be easily done on a table, and then gradually add in some more techniques once you figure out a way to do them on a table. Try adjusting the height of your table until it feels most comfortable for you.

You won't be able to do ALL techniques on a table, but you don't have to. There are plenty enough of them to come up with a great table session. First go through more of the course without stressing over it. Pick those techniques that come easily to you and focus on those first. Then build from there.

What I am trying to say is don't pressure yourself to do every single technique on a table. And don't give up on floor work either, if possible. Smile

Many of our students have found that over time they became more flexible and their own health improved by working on the floor. And some adapted it all to the table. You will have to figure out which of these options works best for you.

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Nicole Robertson
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September 7, 2019 - 9:07 pm
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Thank you! That is great advice! I definitely want to gain more flexibility when doing these exercises on the ground Smile

Module 7

I am writing Module 7 and 8 in close time because the link to the forum wasn't working for me for the last couple of days. I am having trouble with wrapping the foot under my leg when it comes to stretching them with my leg pressing into their hamstrings. My hand is too small for my roommate's foot, and I tried wrapping my foot under my leg, but I wasn't able too. Am I not doing it properly, or could it be his ankle not being flexible enough?

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Nicole Robertson
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September 7, 2019 - 9:10 pm
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Module 8

I liked the pie chart visual, that makes it very easy to "memorize" all the stretching techniques. If your client is super flexible in the hip stretches, is there another way to make them feel the stretch? My girlfriend is very flexible and doesn't really "feel" it when I move her knee to her shoulder.

The calf massages was liked a lot by my girlfriend and roommates. They said they never experienced a massage like that.Smile

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September 8, 2019 - 1:04 am
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Regarding your hand being too small to hold your partner's foot - did you watch the second video in this module (#7) which has a solution for exactly this situation?

You will run into people who are so flexible that a particular stretch doesn't do anything for them. The thing is this: Stretches are meant to open restricted joints and increase range of motion. If someone is already totally open, then you can't open them even more, and there is no reason to do that. Yes, there are ways to make stretches more extreme, but it doesn't really serve any purpose in such a case.

Remember that the purpose of a Thai Massage session is not just to stretch people. That's just one option. The overall purpose is to make people feel good, to improve and balance their energy flow, to stimulate their healing mechanism if that is needed, and to make them feel as if they went to 'massage heaven'. 

What counts is how someone feels after a complete session, not how effective a particular stretch was. The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

But for the sake of completeness, the stretch where you press their leg into their shoulder can be greatly increased in power by pressing the leg into the opposite shoulder instead of into the same-side shoulder. That's the 215 degree technique in the hip pie. It's the same technique, just towards the opposite shoulder. That's a much more intense stretch.

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Nicole Robertson
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September 11, 2019 - 12:39 am
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I did try to hook my partner's foot on my leg in the second video that you showed, but it kept slipping out, so I will just need to practice that.

That makes sense, referring to Thai massage not just being about stretching. All the people I have massaged so far have said that felt better after the massage in many ways, so that is a good sign.

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September 11, 2019 - 12:41 am
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Module 9

 

My partner enjoyed all the massage exercises I performed on the video. I had a problem with keeping their foot in my groin when performing the inner thigh massage. Is there a trick to keep their foot there without it slipping out?

I also struggled with certain positions because my back tensed up during some of the massage exercises and the positions I had to be in. Most of the tension in my back occurred when I was in a half kneeling position and bending my body forward to rock my partners legs/hips.

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September 11, 2019 - 12:07 pm
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While you still have one hand above the knee with the thigh in the air, you can pull the leg towards you to prevent the foot from slipping out.

When the thigh is all the way on the floor, and you need both hands to work on the inner thigh, you can't pull the leg towards you anymore, but instead you should shift your body weight forward, leaning into the foot with your body. That fixes the foot in your groin in one spot and prevents it from slipping out.

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Nicole Robertson
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September 16, 2019 - 12:12 am
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That helps a lot thanks!

Module 10

My parter enjoyed the exercises in this module, but my back was hurting in certain kneeling positions. Any tips on how to have better back support in the positions?

My partner really enjoyed the spinal twist stretch.

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