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Norico Cuevas' Thai Back Massage progress report
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Norico Cuevas
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November 23, 2019 - 8:52 am
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Module 14

Most of the clients I have had (for a Swedish or Deep tissue) have rounded shoulders, and I can see they would have quite a lot of benefit from side lying shoulder blade work. But in real life, it is almost impossible to move the shoulder like the video because their arms are very heavy. And some of their entire upper back feel like one big steel plate. if I try to move their shoulder, i would have to use both of my hands, and press between the edge of the scapula and spine with my knee,,,, if it is possible?

I tell my clients to try to move the shoulder blades in daily life. One thing I heard about monks in Japan (and it is same with in other countries) is that they do not have stiff shoulder, because they constantly move their arms above their heads, by cleaning windows, or floor with wet towels (pushing the towels while doing upward dog pose). I give them homework to move their arms above their heads. 

I have been wanting to learn the stretch! I already know and do some stretch, but not this one. I will incorporate this move in my sequence. It is getting cold here, where I live. I have to warm up their bodies before I start stretching. 

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Shama Kern
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November 23, 2019 - 10:52 am
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You can easily avoid the 'bone pain' while pressing down on the erectors by simply changing the angle of the pressure. Instead of pressing down, you lean in on the erector muscles. For that you have to change your position and sit lower. There is always an alternative where you can modify techniques to suit your clients. Not every technique will work well on every client.

I know, some people have a back like a 'steel plate'. Don't try to break your fingers in such cases. Just focus on loosening up the back with your forearms, knees, and elbows as much as possible.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 24, 2019 - 12:56 am
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Thank you very much. 

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Norico Cuevas
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November 24, 2019 - 1:02 am
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Module 15

 

I did this cobra technique several times to my clients. I hold them by their wrists not by their hands. I feel it is easier to pull their body.

Let me know what to look when they fill out the intake form, to judge cobra technique should be avoided. I basically avoid this technique when the client is old. What do you think?

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Norico Cuevas
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November 24, 2019 - 2:47 am
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Module 16

Do not controlled by the technique, but do what works for the client and for me. Be creative, when one technique does not work. For the stretch body work, if the client's body is too stiff, work on the muscle for the first few sessions. After all, we are here to help people become healthy, not show off the technique. 

If the pressing on the back is difficult because of the hamstrings too tight, place a bolster under the knees? I think it works. Or have them sit their legs crossed. 

my findings from this module 

ps

I wonder if it is my PC issue,,,, I have a audio problem with Module 16 and Module 17...so far

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Shama Kern
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November 24, 2019 - 9:28 am
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I agree that it is often better to avoid the cobra technique on older clients. You can do a great Thai Massage session without lots of stretches.

You are correct - if someone has very tight hamstrings, a bolster under the knees would definitely help.

At my end the sound of all videos is fine. There must be a PC issue at your end.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 25, 2019 - 7:26 am
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Module 17

I like the idea of asking the degree of tension they feel by numbers, 1-10.  I always have to guess if it is too much or not to stretch their body. I ask, "are you feeling ok?", but it gives clients a choice of only YES or NO. I would tell clients before the session starts, or write on intake form, about this numbering.

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November 25, 2019 - 8:55 pm
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We have a little course - just one video - called "Communication Secrets For Thai Massage". It's included in the Complete Thai Massage course, or also available separately for $17. Our students really like it. It is all about how to present Thai Massage to new clients, how to prepare clients for a session, how to explain the process to them, how to relate to them better, how to establish good communication, and how to 'read' them. You might find that useful:

Communication Secrets For Thai Massage

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Norico Cuevas
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November 26, 2019 - 10:23 pm
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Module 18

Sitting position spinal twist, this is what I was having a little bit of problem with before. The way I learned previously was to do while I was standing up, and with the client hands behind her head. It was OK, but not as stable as the one in this video. definitely vote for this technique. IT is much less stress on my back, also. Supine position, in very similar to what I do, but never thought of losing the client's foot with my foot. Great!

Thank you!

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November 27, 2019 - 10:17 pm
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If you just learn to improve many of the techniques that you already know a little bit, then you are already way ahead. But I am pretty sure that there are techniques in this course which are new to you, correct? Smile

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Norico Cuevas
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November 29, 2019 - 5:51 am
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There are many that I never used. Even the ones that I used or learned, you provide many versions, which helps a lot, for all the clients bodies are different, and so are therapists' bodies. The one technique works for one client, but may not work for a different client. 

I also like the rocking style, which I never learned in the previous thai massage training. It is easy to mix with the technique I know (for Thai massage and other modalities). I like using the technique at the end. It feels good, and also, it wakes up the client after the relaxing swedish massage.  

What means a lot to me in this course is, that you have to be flexible and creative to make your technique works for your client. You cannot just follow the technique as it is told. For that, knowing a lot of versions (for tall people, short people, stiff client, flexible clients) is important. It sometimes create your own moves. 

Thank you very much!

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Norico Cuevas
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November 29, 2019 - 6:38 am
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Module 19

Another version of spinal twist! Thank you! By the way, what is the significance of twisting the spine? There are many moves in the daily life that you twist the spine, so I guess it prevents injury...?

For the traction, I can see that the traction can go against the gravity, and it also  let the energy flow. For this traction, I am afraid that the clients head would drop backwards. 

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Norico Cuevas
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November 29, 2019 - 6:19 pm
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Module 20

Traction sitting down position: I am having trouble with the hands position, so that a client does not have a skin burn.  Well I personally do not like to touch someone's arm pits directly, (unless the T-thirt covers his/her arm pits area), but I have to practice.... 

In USA, it is hard to not to think about the body contact, it is not much so if a female therapist work on a female client. (or male to male). Sadly, Massage Envy case (or cases) made people more conscious about body contact. Sometimes, people overly react, and sometimes, unfortunately, people claim about the therapist so that they get discount or free massage. It happened to my buddy male therapist. He is very therapy oriented person, yet, a female client claimed that he worked on her back too long. And because of that, he was force to take a break from his work. And because we have those "review" systems, they can say anything they want, and sadly, it directly affect our income. I would use a thin cushion wherever I need, just to protect myself. Otherwise, this traction techniques would work soon great that I know. 

Noriko

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Norico Cuevas
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November 29, 2019 - 7:05 pm
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Module 21

What an eye opening module, both "child pose traction" and "Tok Sen by machine", and especially machine-use!  I have never heard of using pounding machine for Thai massage, but it makes sense about saving our hands. We have made massage therapy as our career, but it does not mean we have to sacrifice our hands for someone else's health (or comfort ), if there are something that can do as great job as our hands, why not? Especially for the back, they cannot place the machine without straining their body, anyways. 

And "child pose traction", I never thought of the technique, even if I do Yoga and from "child pose" I stretch my back (spine) by placing my hands further away from the body. I know it feels great, with the pressure on back.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 29, 2019 - 8:22 pm
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Module 22

Even though I am already doing some Thai massage, I am learning more from this module. Before, it was more technique to me, but now it added creativity (flexible mind). There are YouTube, or classes about Thai massage out there. And somehow, they are all different. It does not mean one is right and one is wrong. They are all right. We are lucky to have an access to all the information. We can be as creative as possible using all the information. Some works and some don't depending on your body type and clients' body type.  

Before, I was feeling pressure that I have to make it look like real "Thai massage"; I feel pressure to use one or more of those Thai massage technique that you see on the advertisements. I feel like, it is time to go back to the very basic, and re-establish my approach to massage therapy itself. Now, i do not have any concrete /specific idea, how I would do this business. But I feel like, thai massage is one puzzle piece of a big art of one's health. 

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November 29, 2019 - 8:59 pm
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What is the significance of twisting the spine? There are 7 ways to move the spine: bend forward, bend backward, bend left, bend right, twist left, twist right, and traction. All these are important to maintain the range of motion, the fluidity and flexibility of the spine. Without that, people are prone to all kinds of back issues: scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, back pain, collapsed shoulders and upper back, arthritis, nerve issues, and a whole lot more. The twisting is one of the natural functions of the spine. Without it we would be unable to turn around easily.

I know, unfortunately touching your clients has turned into a big issue in the US nowadays. Thai Massage uses more body contact than table massage. Without this body contact you would lose a lot of the leverage for moving people around, and you would lose the advantage of working effectively with your body weight.

You will undoubtedly make Thai Massage your own after a while and develop your unique personal style. That's what I always encourage students to do.

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Norico Cuevas
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November 30, 2019 - 4:47 am
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Module 23

I just had a massage session a few hours ago, and had to wake up my client from a nap on the massage table. I felt bad, but on the massage table, I had to verbally ask.  In Thai massage session, I still verbally ask. I have seen on Youtube video, in that a therapist beautifully flip a client over. It goes something like, lift a client leg, and swing the leg couple of times, and somehow, beautifully flip the body from prone to supine. In reality, I thought, it is not possible, at least to flip the body like that. It is certainly beautiful to watch, and it is like a dance move or something. So, I always ask verbally, except for when I change the client's position from supine to sitting. I do the same as in this video. Changing the body position does not come easily,,, I need to practice till I can do it without thinking. I think it is a good idea to tell client that I would change the body position in the session, but he/she does not have to do anything. That he/she just let me do it for him/her. And when i do change the position, I would still like to tell him/her briefly with soft voice that I am changing the body position. 

Now, unlike Thailand, we have very cold winter here. I need to warm up the muscle before any stretch work. The floor is made of tile, and even with decent mattress, the mattress sometimes gets really cold in touch. 

 

Thank you very much for the very detail course. In the future, I would like to see the course , "how to deal with tall and heavy people", with real heavy set person in the video. In real life here in the states, massaging heavy people is everyday thing. Easier said than doing. Even they are regular size people, at the end of the day, after doing massages in other modalities, the body feels heavy.

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Shama Kern
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December 1, 2019 - 12:17 am
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In Thailand it is very difficult to find big and heavy people. Since all my courses were filmed in Thailand, I had to choose from the available models, and they were practically all typical small Thai women. I have heard that request for seeing heavier people in my courses, but I just couldn't find any.

By the way, we have videos which show how to turn people over from one position into the other. I know it is definitely in the Complete Thai Massage course, and maybe in others as well. If it is not in the Thai Back Massage course, then maybe I will add it to this course too one of these days. Smile

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Norico Cuevas
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December 1, 2019 - 5:58 pm
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I know it is difficult to find big people in Thailand. I have a Thai friend here, and she is a bit chubby, but short. I go to Thai restaurants here, but ALL THE PEOPLE who look asian are short and thin. 

Now I am interested in learning Sen line, and reflexology. I am trying to pick one..

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Norico Cuevas
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December 1, 2019 - 8:14 pm
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About Child Pose Spinal traction

I experienced this traction. My impression is not much of a spinal traction, but it was more like back muscle, especially Lats stretch. Am I doing it wrong?

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