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Raechel McBride's Complete Thai Massage course notes
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RaechelMcBride
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October 21, 2019 - 5:51 am
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Module 23 Notes:

Not all the techniques feel natural to be sure!  I just keep working on them.  It felt very awkward when I began but now the front of the body feels like old hat! I feel very comfortable with those.  I'm enjoying delving into the back of the body now.  I am feeling good with the back of the legs, the one leg pull at the top of the quad feels awkward right now.  My partner and I today discussed the feelings of opposition from the other side and our lives in front of devices, constantly curled up, these were a welcome change today.

I've been doing less of the lower leg, beginning work.  I am doing the feet warm ups, the rubs up the leg, and the foot in the hamstring just to warm up, then double leg stretches to move up to the chest so my practice sessions don't take all day!  I also feel like these partners of mine may be jonesing for those poses and would eventually pay me for a full session! I've not been skimping on the prone work though, to get more comfortable with those.

This prone rock on the hips did not feel particularly fluid today.  

The sacrum work also felt like it wasn't hitting the good spots yet!  I think at first I feel hesitant so I don't go too intensely, and the client doesn't quite feel the goodness.  Maybe tomorrow's session will go deeper.

My runner friend liked my pressing on his buttocks with my knees, and I enjoy using other body parts!

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Shama Kern
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October 21, 2019 - 11:06 pm
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If it would all feel natural right from the beginning, there would be no need for this course! Everyone could just watch a few youtube videos and become an instant expert. But as it stands, it is not so easy and it does require some really in depth training to get good at it. It's all in the little details - a small adjustment in your body mechanics, a shift in your attention, a better use of your body instead of muscling it, etc.

And it does take time - months and years and lots of practice to get really good at it. You can of course use it right from the beginning, but the learning and improving never stops.

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RaechelMcBride
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October 29, 2019 - 5:10 pm
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Module 24 Notes:

The back has been a lot to accomplish!  There are so many little details.  I've been doing a lot less on the front, figuring out ways to just do a quick overview and then getting to the other side quickly to spend more of time exploring.

I have a very cushiony mat, almost a futon mattress to practice on, so I haven't had anyone needing extra pillows.

I've been exploring all the different movements on the far side, my last partner said she liked the pushing/pulling one where the hands are alternating, the best.

I need to practice making the movements quicker and smaller I think.

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RaechelMcBride
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October 29, 2019 - 5:14 pm
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Module 25 Notes:

When I used my knee, the person said it wasn't like anything she had ever felt before.  But she enjoyed it.

I find it's often hard to remember which movements go on the far side, and which on the near side.

So far I've only worked on one man two times, I wish I could find more men interested so I could practice the stronger movements.

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RaechelMcBride
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October 29, 2019 - 5:20 pm
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Module 26 Notes:

I've had some great compliments thus far.  One was that I always seem to hit the muscle, so I'm being very careful not to hit the bones.  This weekend my partner told me I always know how far to take it.  I feel like maybe that's from yoga work.

I did not feel like I was getting the right spot on the scapula, but I explored around a bit.  This last session I only did the back so I would have time and energy to explore the movements.

My partner laughed at the galloping motion.

Do you stay on the far side and then move to the near side?  Or say the elbow movement, there's one on each side, would you do far then near since your hands are in the same position?

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Shama Kern
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October 30, 2019 - 12:42 am
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Yes, it is best to do the elbow work on the near and the far side from one position, and when you did all you can do from one side, then you switch to the other side and repeat it all there. It is easier on you if you avoid switching sides all the time. Try to minimize that. The principle is to always  work with least effort.

Anyway, you will see this in action in the next summary module.

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RaechelMcBride
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November 14, 2019 - 6:13 pm
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Module 27 Notes:

The shoulder stretch with one arm up was pretty awkward.  

The cobra stretching was fantastic.  I had my practice partner do me afterward!  It helped me to realize, I should do the cobra stretching for longer intervals rather than just following my breath.  One breath wasn't enough to experience the full joy!

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RaechelMcBride
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November 14, 2019 - 6:42 pm
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Module 28 Notes:

The prone position has been an exciting side!  Everyone enjoys the counterposes to the previous side.  The hip work has been great.  Lots of big noises coming out of the hips.  I have been told I've found the sacrum and erector muscles well.  

The back is a big side!  There are so many intricate movements.  It's hard to remember all of them.  I feel like with such a blank canvas, it's hard to let the back guide me as I feel the other body parts have.  

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Shama Kern
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November 14, 2019 - 8:42 pm
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The back will guide you as well, it will just take a bit longer. Smile

Actually working on the back is fun - there is so much you can do while using all your creativity.

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RaechelMcBride
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November 15, 2019 - 8:42 pm
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Module 29 Notes:

I have a bolster perfect for this supportive pose.

My friend LOVED the sitting on the inside of the thigh.  She said I hit the spot very well.

The hip rolls were very well received.  She told me to go harder with my elbows and then said "The harder the better."

The hip stretching at the end was a little confusing.  Do her toes point down or out?

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RaechelMcBride
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November 16, 2019 - 12:55 am
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Module 30 Notes:

My partner really enjoyed the finger elephant walking.  She said I found the correct spot.

The pushing in and down on the erector muscle was very awkward.

She very much enjoyed the twist.

The spinal twist with rocking motion felt like I was kneeding dough.  

She loved the hip stretching, but this one I also wondered about the foot position, as it pertains to the knee.

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Shama Kern
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November 17, 2019 - 1:11 am
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You don't really have to pay attention to where the toes are pointing in this technique. If you do the technique correctly, the toes might point down, but while you move they can shift position and rotate a bit. But this is not something to be concerned about.

I am glad to hear that the sitting on the thigh technique went well. Some course students get really freaked out by that one. Smile

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RaechelMcBride
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December 1, 2019 - 6:41 pm
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Module 31 Notes:

I feel like I got an email about the Module Notes on this forum going to Module 34 and that's all the ones we are to do for our certification?  Is that right?

The last few modules have been such intricate work that I have been doing it with the video.  I'm still going back over it now before prepping for another practice partner who arrives in an hour.  

I have gotten great feedback about the shoulder work in the side position.  The girl today was so happy when I did the arm and shoulder work when lying supine, I know she will be happy today when I do the side lying!

When I didn't do it with the video and just from memory I even got my body arrangement next to my partner's, wrong.  It makes a world of difference just facing the torso vs facing the head with how easily you can work the shoulder.  

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RaechelMcBride
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December 1, 2019 - 7:08 pm
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Module 32 Notes:

The scapula in the side lying position was rather had to find, it took a while to grab ahold of.  

My partner enjoyed the arm over the head positions.  I think it also is great preparation for the traction that comes in the seated position later.  

She enjoyed the pulling back motion with the leg on the thigh.  I always enjoy using my legs since they have larger muscles, and it gives me a chance for a hip stretch.

We finished with the shoulder rubbings, which was a great reminder of the knee rubbings and the leaning back.  Great to use body weight to stretch the top of the shoulder.  I find so many people, including myself, love the top of the shoulder worked on!

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Shama Kern
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December 1, 2019 - 7:31 pm
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The final module for the certification is #35.

Certainly, the correct body mechanics can make or break any technique, and the ones in the side position can be a bit tricky. Smile

The amount of shoulder work in Thai Massage is amazing. I have not seen any other massage modality with so much good shoulder work. But to be accurate, in your typical Thai Massage course there isn't much shoulder work included. Our Complete Thai Massage course focuses much more on the upper body than most Thai courses which generally don't have so many shoulder techniques.

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RaechelMcBride
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December 1, 2019 - 7:50 pm
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Module 33 Notes:

The twisting position in this module felt awkward for me.  I need to practice it more.  My partner seemed fine with it, it wasn't hurting her.  But she also didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about it.  I feel like maybe her spine was bent forward too much and it was hard to control that.

She LOVED the grabbing of the neck with interlaced hands and also said she preferred it to just the fingers.  It seemed to really get into the meat of the muscle better with the hands.  

Everybody enjoys the pulling back of the arms to stretch the front.  There are so many ways to do it, in prone, side, and now seated!

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RaechelMcBride
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December 1, 2019 - 7:56 pm
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Module 34 Notes:

The traction in this module was amazing!  But difficult.  They were hard on my calves and toes.

I had my partner do the traction on me afterwards because my jealousy was so great!  She had a hard time with it.  It seems it was easier to do the second one, where the client has interlaced fingers around their own neck.

The slightly forward of 90 degrees had more of an effect.

I feel happy that while you show so many variations of the same move, you talk about which is the ideal.  So I feel like you are allowing me the benefit of your experience here, rather than me having to walk through years of figuring that out.

My partner loved the trapezius work with her head on my leg.  She did note that it's better when I bring her body forward more to rest rather than to the side.

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Shama Kern
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December 2, 2019 - 6:17 pm
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I try to present as many options and alternatives as I can think of, and experience will teach you which one to apply. You might even come up with your own modifications. Smile

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RaechelMcBride
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December 7, 2019 - 7:10 pm
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Module 35 Notes:

Client communication.  I have so far asked about the 1-10 scale.  Some have said they don't really know what to say because they aren't sure what 1 is and what 10 is, so we go through that.  My last practice session yesterday, she is VERY communicative with me because we have been working together this whole time.  She tells me all kinds of what's happening.  She is a dog trainer and said maybe she should get a buzzer so when I hit the spot I get a buzz!  

I've tried to balance the communication with also silence to let my practice partners relax.  

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Shama Kern
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December 9, 2019 - 9:47 pm
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The 1 to 10 scale is quite simple. 1 is like feeling nothing, 10 is excruciating pain, 5 is just in the middle, and 8 is about the highest a client should experience. You should work somewhere in the range from 5 to 8.

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