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Patcharawadee Schuster's Complete Thai Massage course notes
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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 1, 2018 - 7:21 am
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Module 1

Now, I have a much better understanding about the differences between Thai massage and the Western massage based on your explanations. I would also rather have a therapist who has great touch than those who are able to name all the parts of the body but don’t know how to give good massage.  I just came back from Thailand on April 19th and brought back with me a good Thai massage mattress so that I can work on practicing Thai massage. My husband said he was comfortable while I was practicing on him with techniques demonstrating on this video. I am familiar with the massage tools, and I actually use all of those tools for my Thai massage while working with friends and families and have no difficulty at all with the sitting or standing positions and feel comfortable following the video on Thai massage. A little thing that I would like to work on is the breathing since I never realized that when you lean in, you breathe out and when you lean out, you breathe in. I do massage naturally and effortlessly without an awareness of this principle of breathing.Smile

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Shama
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May 1, 2018 - 9:54 am
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Hi Patti, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course certification program. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure it is all organized correctly.

Certification Checklist

That’s an interesting combination – airplane pilot, nurse, and massage therapist. It seems like your heart is with massage. Smile

Having a Thai body, you naturally don’t have a problem with the various positions in Thai Massage – unlike your western colleagues who initially tend to struggle with those positions.

The breathing is something which I added to my system of Thai Massage since it makes it flow much better and helps you to connect with the movements much better. I modeled this after the breathing in yoga.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 1, 2018 - 11:23 am
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Module 2

I tend to agree with you that Thai massage should be nontraditional and that actually helps improve the quality of Thai massage. That is one of the reasons I decided to enroll into your class. Everything seems to make more sense to me. When I receive Thai massage, if the therapists are not relaxed, I could feel their tensions too. Luckily, I usually have a good massage therapist in Thailand. I have had lots of Thai massage, but I never had anyone performed a Chi Machine on me. I practiced this on my husband for the first time and he said he felt so relaxed. I showed my husband the effects of Chi Machine and he said he felt all of those effects. I will try to use the Chi Machine on the opening move next time.

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Shama
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May 1, 2018 - 7:49 pm
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Well, the Chi Machine is not known in Thailand because it is not part of traditional Thai Massage. Neither is breathing, and neither is rocking. I added all those elements into my style because they really do improve it. So when someone asks me what style of Thai Massage I practice, I can say that it is my own. It is really quite similar to traditional Thai Massage, just with a few additional elements, which make a big difference. Smile

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 9, 2018 - 5:45 am
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Module 3
In Thailand, I usually get a Thai massage starting at the foot, and I got to give this to my husband today. “It’s relaxing,” my husband said, as I massaged his foot slowly and gently using the 1, 2, 3 position pressing on his inner sole. I used my own body weight to lean in and out while pressing on his feet and with proper body positions. The foot moves were not so difficult at all and I enjoyed doing them.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 9, 2018 - 8:28 am
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Module 4
From what I practiced and learned in this module, I think it is best to recognize the eight foot move positions and not to forget to use your own body weight and properly maintain body positions. I practiced a couple of times in each position and the flow of moves got much easier as I continued.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 9, 2018 - 11:25 am
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Module 5
I performed a thigh warm up before in the past but the technique that I picked up from this video is to stabilize the thigh using the foot and knee blocking technique, and the massage move I had done it so many times that is called butterfly move in English. Throughout the session, I was able to position my husband based on the video and he felt good and comfortable.

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Shama
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May 9, 2018 - 12:39 pm
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I have to say that I have never met a Thai person who can write English and express herself just like someone who grew up in the US. Even my Thai wife who has been living with me for 16 years still sounds very much like a Thai person with good, but limited English. How long did it take you to become fluent in English?

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 10, 2018 - 4:58 am
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Thank you for your compliment, Shama. I’ve been living in the U.S. since 2002 and attending school actually helps me to improve my English. But for the most past, I’ve studied English on my own and learning English is a life long process for me that I’ve been trying to be better at it.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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May 10, 2018 - 8:43 am
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Module 6

I am familiar with this move using the forearm to massage the thigh. My husband loved how my forearm massaged his thigh when slowly leaning in on him and gradually leaning out. Great guidelines for the Sen lines of the quadriceps so that we can lean in and out along these lines. My most favorite would be a rocking move on the thigh. My husband loved it and said, “it’s so relaxing.” Overall, I was able to apply a good amount of pressure using my forearm to relieve my husband’s lower legs’ tension. He got up and walked and said, “I feel lighter.” I was quite happy to hear that.

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Shama
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May 10, 2018 - 9:46 am
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You have every reason to be proud of yourself with your English skills. Smile

It sounds like you are doing a great job with the material and are applying it in a sensitive way. I am glad you are getting such good feedback from your husband.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 6:10 am
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Module 7

I assessed the condition of my husband’s hips by looking at both of his feet, which were slightly bending out. Using a small pillow under my husband’s knees worked well while I did a warm up, and I usually used it all the time while giving massages in this position. Those leg stretching moves demonstrated in this video were something that I am familiar with but just this time I got to practice on my husband. It was a good practice. My husband liked all the stretches, but his favorite one would be the rocking motion which helped to relax his hip and his lower back.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 6:11 am
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Module 8

This module further demonstrated how I could stretch the lower legs while also working on the hips. I like the concept of the hip pie that divided into 8 slices, which completes a 360-degree rotation at a 45-degree angle. I used my hands and feet following the positions in this video, and some of them I already did when I gave a Thai massage to my family. The thing that I have found very helpful is the rocking technique that you can position the leg up and down slowly and gently, which worked well on my husband’s stretching session.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 6:11 am
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Module 9

Leg stretches 3 is again helpful and provides a good range of stretches on the lower legs. I consider myself a yogi since I could easily handle these leg stretches. To my surprise, my husband could handle them very well too. I did them slowly and asked him how he felt while leaning in slowly using my body weight. He was able to tolerate it well. After all of those stretches done on him, he felt loose and relaxed. I could see it when he got up and walked out of the Thai mattress.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 6:12 am
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Module 10

I have learned a lot from this module. The positioning of the leg stretches 4 was mostly new, something that I had not done before, but some techniques I have done and am familiar with. I totally agree that maintaining good body mechanics while giving a massage is essential so I’ve tried to following this video carefully. I reread the concept of “hara” and here is my summary “while giving a massage, not just focusing on your hands but also on your naval area where the center of the energy is.” Why is it important for Thai massage therapists to know this area of energy and “try to connect to that reservoir of subtle energy?” Also, I had a massage therapist performed “the blood stop technique” on me, which I really like the feeling of warmth while a rush of blood going down on my legs. It’s nice to be confirmed by you that it’s safe to do so. Other than that it is really a good module to learn from.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 6:12 am
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Module 11

I had to watch the video a couple of times before I started giving a massage, just to make sure that I followed the sequences provided in this video. I started off by doing a Chi Machine, massaging my husband’s feet and pressing them together toward the center three times, pulled the feet and bent them up and down slowly. Then, I started by following the lower leg massage sequences and the upper leg stretches. Mainly, I tried to lean in and out slowly using my body weight so that the body part of massage could gradually relax with slowly rhythms. It was difficult at first since Shama’s type of flow was different than mine. However, my husband really liked the flow I did on him.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 7:16 am
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Module 12

I’ve learned three different ways to stretch the calf muscles while transitioning the third calf stretching technique to the hip stretch. The techniques were helpful, powerful, easy to follow, and had a really good flow. I have never done elephant walking on the knees for sacrum massage, hip and piriformis circling stretch, posterior leg standing stretch, and power hamstrings, hip, and back stretch before. I know these techniques would be beneficial to my clients, especially the yogi people.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 8:11 am
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Module 13

This module emphasized on how to become a massage artist by knowing how to assess clients of their pain tolerance, a scoop and fingertip methods, good pain vs bad pain, and a hip stretch based on a hip pie concept. Overall, it was a good module for me to follow and try to think conceptually.

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Patcharawadee Schuster
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June 11, 2018 - 9:02 am
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Module 14

I did not realize that there were a variety of techniques involved with a hip stretch until I followed the steps in this module. The differences between rocking techniques for men and women were so helpful, which I did not realize before. It was a fun module for me to move around my husband’s body while maintaining body contact. My husband said he felt really good while I was practicing on him.

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Shama
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June 11, 2018 - 9:52 am
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The rocking elements are something which I created and developed in my style of Thai Massage. They give you lots of additional options.

Now you are getting into the upper body section of the course. I think you will find many new techniques which are not normally done in traditional Thai Massage. As you know, in Thailand there is a strong emphasis on the legs in Thai Massage work. In this course I have added many techniques for upper body work to balance this out, especially for back and shoulder work.

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