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Orsolya Toth (Orshi) Shoulder Massage Course notes
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Orsolya Toth
Sardinia, Italy
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May 19, 2017 - 5:39 pm
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Hello Everyone,

I purchased the course yesterday, I cannot wait to get the first module and start practicing the new techniques.

I attended a thai massage course a couple of weeks ago and I am totally in love with it. I never want to massage on a table and with oil ever again! So I decided that I will specialise in thai massage, hence started to take Shama's course. I really appreciated the free videos I found on the website and they convinced me that I will get a quality training in this massage technique.

as soon as I get the first modul and go through it, I will be back.

Til then, have a  wonderful, wonderful day Everyone!

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Shama
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May 20, 2017 - 2:37 pm
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Hi Orshi, welcome to the forum and our community. I am glad to hear that you fell in love with Thai Massage. I know the feeling because that's what had happened to me 18 years ago as well. Smile

It is such a great and versatile system with a tremendous therapeutic potential. I am looking forward to reading your feedback about the course modules.

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Orsolya Toth
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May 21, 2017 - 5:00 am
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Module 1 - shoulder massage

I received the first module last night, watched it couple of times and I already used the techniques on 2 clients.

one has stiff neck that causes also headaches, the other one strained one of the muscles in the chest area (probably serratus anterior but it is not an official diagnosis.), close to the shoudler bone, slightly below it, over a month ago and it still hurts.

The first client really liked and felt serious benefits all over her back from the first two movements - when just leaning on and then elephant walking on the area between the shoulder bone and the ribcage. (the first 2 techniques in the video).

For the second client, all the movements felt good, however he said after the treatment as if we 'woke up' the muscle and it was hurting. I thought we might have overworked it but I was quite easy on the pressure and didn't use any strong thumb work, so maybe it was just already inflamed.

For me the rocking and leaning at the same time type of techniques prove to be challenging as I sometimes skip a 'beat', but the clients said that it felt ok. Will work on it to make it smooth.

The technique when I have to put both hands on the back, on the trapezius
probably I was pulling it too much as the customer felt that his neck 'stretching too much': his adam's apple didn't feel too comfortable. I was pulling him too much because I couldn't put my hands under his shirt and my hands were not really moving that freely. I will have to work on this to find out how it is done better so the client doesnt feel 'side effects' (like the pulling adam's apple).

I really enjoyed the first module, it didn't disappoint, I really appreciated the description for the therapist's posture, as this is the point most online courses forget about.

I am ready for the second round and I cannot be more amazed how wonderful thai massage is! Now I just have to find a fellow therapist so we can do some treatments for each other!

Have a great day, evening, night, Everyone!

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Shama
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May 21, 2017 - 9:13 am
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You are not wasting any time! Smile

Obviously when you do this the first time, you won't be able to gauge the intensity precisely. That will only come with practice and experience. Definitely feel free to experiment with hand placement and intensity until it feels right for the client.

And make sure that your touch is gentle and soft. This doesn't mean that you don't use power. It just means that you are working with the power of softness instead of the power of force. Or, you are working intuitively instead of mechanically. Again, this will come with experience.

It looks like you have it figured out, but to make sure that everything is organized and that we are on the same wave length I always post our certification check list in the beginning of all threads:

Certification Check List

The only thing which I had to change is your display name. It needs to match your certification registration, otherwise it can be a detective job to find you. Smile

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Orsolya Toth
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May 23, 2017 - 3:13 am
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Module 2 - supine position

And the plot thickens! more and more complicated techniques but I really enjoyed doing couple of them on a 78 year old lady today. 

She really liked the ones where my leg/knee was under her shoulder. to my surprise as I thought she would find it uncomfortable but she enjoyed the kneading movements and the palm and finger circling.

As a therapist I found those movements easy to execute even on an elderly person and I was really to notice that I could tune in and do it with a nice rhythm this time. I didn't use my elbow and I didn't do the leaning/rolling into the pectoralis as I thought it would be too harsh for her.

The last two techniques will be useful for her as well, I will do those ones on her next session, while tomorrow I will have a guy with lots of muscles so I will do the 'tougher' ones on him.

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Shama
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May 23, 2017 - 7:46 am
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The plot will get a lot thicker, but it will get easier, because the principles of it all remain the same. No way around the fact that there are lots and lots of techniques to learn. However one good thing is that you will be one of very few therapists who have such a repertoire of shoulder techniques. And another good thing is that you can re-watch the videos for however long it takes to learn it, so there is no performance pressure. Smile

There is no such thing as an age limit for Thai Massage. You just need discretion what to do on whom. Apparently you figured that out already.

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Orsolya Toth
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May 24, 2017 - 10:27 pm
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Module 3 - supine position

Shama and the universe knows what I need! 

This morning I had a client who has difficulties relaxing during the treatments, he always 'helps' me by holding his limbs when I work with them, so the techniques demonstrated in this module were perfect to make him let go. The movements really worked, by the end he was able to let it go completely. He doesn't have  problems with his shoulders but these techniques helped him anyway to understand that he can relax completely.

I used also the palm circling on the shoulder from the previous module, but he was just texting me now that he has a bit of pain there. It might be the intensity I used on that area. To be honest I have problems using the right strength with thumb press and such, as in the end usually become a little sore and I don't really know if it is a good sign or not. Lot of pain is definitely not what we are going for and it never works but light pain could be a sign that the area was worked on, right?

As I am always practising the new techniques, I am beginning to forget the previous ones, so I will start reviewing them again from Module 1.

have a great evening or morning Everyone!

 

( I love writing these notes and reflex on the experience. And I love it when I wake up in the morning and I find Shama's insight about my thoughts or about this wonderful treatment!)

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Shama
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May 25, 2017 - 1:02 am
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I distinguish between good and bad pain. Good pain is a natural reaction when muscles are tight or range of motion quite limited. The sign of good pain is that it is releasing quickly.

Bad pain is sharp, it does not release and it feels damaging or at least not helpful to the receiver. There should never be any bad pain in any massage.

What causes pain? Some of it can be a normal reaction of a tight body. Some of it can be too much pressure or too strong stretches on the part of the therapist. Sometimes there are clients who are just highly pain sensitive, and it seems that whatever you do, it hurts them.

The best way to avoid causing pain is to start out gently, ideally with some circling or rocking moves, and gradually increase the intensity based on client feedback and in conjunction with the one-to-ten questioning method.

Starting from the beginning is not only a good thing, but an absolutely necessary thing! Smile Unless you do that, you will never remember all the techniques.

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Orsolya Toth
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May 27, 2017 - 3:55 am
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Module 4 - prone position

Best movements so far!

I tried the trapezius techniques on my friend who is sitting 12 hours a day in front of the computer and his whole shoulder area sores all the time. He loved it and felt immediate relieve.

I had some problems with the prone shoulder rotation and the prone shoulder downward stretch as the coordination of both hands was not really successful. I kept practising so in the end I think I managed to to do something similar. I will have to practice it a lot and will be ok I guess.

I already do the palm rotations for my clients so it was nice to see that you think it is a nice way to smooth the muscles and nerves with them.

I really liked this module as the techniques let me work on the trapezius a lot. I have a lot of clients who have major issues in that area so these techniques will be a relief for them and they are techniques that are not really difficult to master, so I am using them in my treatments straight away.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend, Everyone!

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Shama
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May 27, 2017 - 6:01 am
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Good to hear that this fits right in with your practice! No doubt some techniques will take quite a bit of repetition to get them right. Re-watching the videos helps. Many students have told me that they picked up things when watching the videos the second or third time which they had totally missed the first time around.

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Orsolya Toth
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May 30, 2017 - 2:52 am
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Module 5 - side position

This modul proved to be rather challenging for the therapist position. Im not really a short person, 1,75m but the techniques,  where I had to be above the client with me leg on the other side, were rather challenging as non of my two friends i practiced on were tiny like ur model in the video. In the end i could figure out the dynamics and with modifying my position I could achieve the same result. At least this is the feedback I got from my friends.8

I loved the trapezius push + arm pulling back technique (sorry, i dont remember ur deifnition, i apologize) i loved doing it and my models liked them too. 

I also have to work on the 'not muscling but working with the whole body' method. Even if I always use the leaning in and our/ back and forth method, some of the new positions give me some difficulties. Probably it is just too many movements together and with practice it will become more natural and will feel better for both of us.

Im in Berlin now for 3 days so I might be slower with the moduls this week but as soon as I get back home on Thursday, I will continue practicing the new moduls.

Have a wonderful week, Everyone!

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Shama
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May 31, 2017 - 10:14 am
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It is true that my model is "tiny" by western standards, however by Thai standards she is average size. I know it would be ideal to have a model which corresponds more to western sizes, but this is very difficult to come by in Thailand.

However I have done these techniques on many much larger clients, and it works equally well. You just have to do a little adjustment and modification, but it seems that you have that figured out already. Smile

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Orsolya Toth
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June 2, 2017 - 4:37 am
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I am back from Berlin, and today I got back to work as well.

I received module 6 and 7 and in this post I will write about module 7 as today I had a client who needed the techniques in the prone position, while tomorrow I will have 1 client and 1 friend who will need the side positions, so I will post about the module 6 experience tomorrow.
I apologise for mixing up the modules, I just wanted to share my experience immediately after practising and it happened that I needed the techniques in a different order. 

Module 7 - prone position

The work with the foot was a huge success: my client is a middle sized woman with a lot of pain all over her upper back.
Not only this client, but also most of my clients want me to 'beat them up', stretching, pushing, kneading painfully ( I know ... explaining them that huge pain doesn't equal to 'curing' them wasn't really successful so they still want painful treatments 😀 )
With this technique using the feet, I can satisfy their request and use some strong pushes without being too painful, or uncomfortably painful - how you wrote above: causing only good, comfortable pain.
As a therapist I found these techniques quite easily executable, probably because it requires less body coordination from me.

The forearm pressure technique is very easy to do and my client liked it a lot, saying that it feels great. She is a waitress, she work with her arms, hands so she appreciated the work on her arms.
I didn't use my knee in her case as the pressure was good enough for her at that moment.

I am also writing a list with the techniques I like the most so I can use them immediately and I have a list of the techniques that I need to practice, so for each client I always add one of the techniques from the second list, making sure this way that I slowly learn all the complicated ones as well.

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Shama
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June 2, 2017 - 8:45 am
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No problem that you reverse two modules. I know why you did it! Smile

I will never understand the rationale why some people think that pain equals healing. Plenty of Thai people also think like that. Confused

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Orsolya Toth
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June 3, 2017 - 12:36 am
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Module 6 - side position

I am so grateful for this module as it turned out I was doing the scapula loosening techniques slightly wrong. well, not wrong because it was not painful or anything, it just felt 'nothing special, like I was not doing anything'.
You explained it perfectly and while I had positive feedback from my clients before when I was doing it to them, this time they said that it felt even better. 

the tractions, and arm 'pulling' techniques were also comfortable for them, they appreciated the angles that they usually cannot achieve with usual exercises.

I tried to use as many techniques we learned so far as I could on my 2 clients today as both had upper back pain for months now - they enjoyed them and while these techniques require a lot of 'movements', they were able to completely relax and let everything go which was showing in the quality of the whole treatment. We were calm and enjoyed the therapeutic effects of the massage almost for the whole 60 mins I was working them on. Usually I have the same feeling during my treatments but this time it was just even better and I think it was also because of all the techniques that just beginning to settle and now I do them with more confidence and with more ease.

Cant wait for the last 2 modules and will be really sad not to see mails with new modules. I will do as many treatments as I can to save up for some courses 😉

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Shama
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June 3, 2017 - 9:21 am
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I am so glad to hear that, and I am looking forward to seeing you back in the forum with another course. It seems that this material was made to fit you perfectly! Smile

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Orsolya Toth
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June 5, 2017 - 3:12 am
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Module 8

I don't think we will be very close friends with the knee techniques at the beginning 😀 I tried them on one of my friends I decided that I will do some balancing exercises ( I found your videos with exercises on your FB page, they are awesome!) before I start using them on my clients. I got the feedback that it felt good when I was able to keep my balance but my friend told me that he felt a lot when I was struggling to keep myself balanced. So I will bring my balancing act to perfection and only then I will use it on paying clients. otherwise it wouldn't feel too professional in my opinion 😉

on the other hand, the techniques on the elevated shoulders, in all positions were a hit. my friend loved them. I was able to get the right angle, pressure, position so I enjoyed doing them. 

I am ready for the last module, even if I could continue for years and years studying your techniques and listening to your thoughts about these treatments!

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Shama
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June 5, 2017 - 10:52 am
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No doubt about that knee techniques require good balance, and you need to develop sensitivity in the knee. This can take some time.

Regarding continuing for years - I hope to see you in more courses, and then your wish might come true! Smile

I have many students who have been with me for years and who have worked their way through many or all courses.

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Orsolya Toth
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June 5, 2017 - 10:31 pm
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Module 9

Well, I finished the last lesson just right now and I had to sit down and write immediately.

I am extremely happy that I chose this course.

Not much before purchasing this shoulder course I attended a complete thai massage training (in person class in Europe) but I left that training with small number of techniques on the upper body, especially for issues of the shoulder. I fell in love with thai massage even then (I even packed my massage table and haven't used it since 😀 ), but after this shoulder massage course I feel that I found my place in the world of the million massage types.
I used at least half of the shoulder techniques learned in this course during my treatments in the last 2 weeks and they are so effective that I see immediate improvement after a session. And it is not just the massage technique itself but also the way how you, Shama teach us to execute those movements perfectly.

There are techniques that I still have to practice (I think a massage therapist never can say that he/she knows everything), and have to learn more techniques that are perfect for both the client and the therapist as we are all different. I think after Shama's course I also understand how to be creative, how important it is to personalize the treatment for each client, how important it is that I am, the therapist is comfortable as well. 

I like thai massage because it is just pure joy giving these treatment, it fills me with energy, it keeps me in shape and the energy is just flowing like crazy during these session. I feel alive and what more could we want from a job? 😉

So I thank you Sharma for sharing your knowledge with me, us your. I will keep coming back, no doubt about it. Next year I'm planning to go back to Chiang Mai again, I will definitely try to go and say thank you also in person.

I wish all the best to You, Shama, and to Everyone in this wonderful community!

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Shama
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June 6, 2017 - 12:11 pm
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I am really happy to hear that you liked this course so much. I have no doubt that you will put it to excellent use. I am looking forward to meeting you here again for another course or in person in Chiang Mai! Smile

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