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Raj Cuppoor’s Complete Thai Massage Course notes
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Raj C
Ireland
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May 31, 2019 - 7:20 pm
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Module 1

Thank you very much to Shama for offering Thai Massage Course online. I like the way I can learn the techniques anytime and anywhere.

I have learned a lot mainly about the advantages and disadvantages of practicing Thai massage on both table and floor mat.

Working on floor provides plenty of space to apply proper techniques, ergonomics and breathing. 

But working on a table is good for both therapist and clients: Due to budget, the therapist may not have enough space for using both table and floor and most therapists like in Ireland don’t limit their services to just traditional Thai massage, but they also offer for example, Lomi Lomi, Swedish Massage and Thai hot oil massage. In such case, a table would definitely be more practical.

There are also clients who can’t get up easily from the floor due to stiffness, heavy weight or some other difficulties which might make them feel embarrassed.

I have also learned a lot about the right positioning of the therapist while performing a massage and I hope to improve my hand techniques as I progress. Squatting and half kneeling might take some more time though.

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Shama Kern
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May 31, 2019 - 8:49 pm
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Hi Raj, welcome to our forum community. It seems that you are posting to get a certificate, but I have not seen a certification registration form from you. If you are posting for certification, could you please send this form in. We need it for our records. You can find it in the certification section of your course manual.

Working on the floor or on the table, as you pointed out, depends on your circumstances. We have students in both camps - some love the mat work, and some prefer the table. Personally I am partial to floor work, but then again I have lived in Thailand for 20 years where Thai Massage is almost always done on floor mats. Let me know what your preferred version will be. Smile

Also, if you are posting for a certificate, please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist:

Certification Checklist

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Raj C
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June 6, 2019 - 1:21 am
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I think that working on the floor is what makes Thai massage really “Thai” and it helps the therapist apply the full techniques to benefit the client. I would like to work on the floor

Module 2

I find the Chi machine technique very interesting. I have never experienced it before, but I would like to learn it correctly as it is not as simple as it looks on the course video. I would like my client to enjoy it. During my practice session, my hands got tired quite quickly and I was concerned of causing discomfort by the vibrations to the client. With more practice and by following your instructions, eventually things should improve for me and I could promote the benefits of the chi machine techniques .

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Shama Kern
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June 6, 2019 - 7:39 pm
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I haven't quite heard it expressed that way, but I agree with you that working on the floor makes Thai Massage uniquely Thai, and yes, when working on the floor you have ALL options available whereas there are limitations on a table.

If your hands got tired during the Chi Machine, then you did not have them positioned correctly. They have to be balanced on your thighs so that there is practically no effort. If they are too much on the outside, then it is a struggle to keep the client's legs from sliding off your thighs. If they are too much on the inside, then the position collapses. In both cases you are struggling. You need to find the sweet spot where it takes minimal effort to keep your partner's feet and legs balanced without effort.

The hands are not supposed to do any work besides keeping the feet in place. The hands don't do the motion - your hips are doing that by rocking from side to side. That's the trick. 

I know, many techniques look easy in the videos, but when you try them, they are not that easy at all. However I can tell you that after a while, they really WILL feel as easy to you as they look on the video. Smile

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Raj C
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June 18, 2019 - 1:45 am
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Hi Shama, Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I have realized my mistakes ,but will definitely need lots of practice to get perfect.

Module 3

I found this module quite interesting as I can relate to most of the techniques described and know them. At the same time, I was able to see if I was applying the techniques correctly. You described everything so clearly and I like the way that you broke it into parts.

I found the second technique (circular movement) a bit difficult to get into a rhythm and to get a balance between my hand and body movements. I have been practicing and things are getting more in control as I am going along.

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Shama Kern
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June 19, 2019 - 11:05 pm
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I am glad that you find my way of teaching easy to follow. The second technique that you mentioned is one of the most involved techniques of the entire course, so don't feel bad about not getting this one right immediately. Smile

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Raj C
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June 23, 2019 - 5:01 pm
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Module 4

I really like this module and the conceptual method of learning. Knowing the mechanics of the foot and the way it could be turned and twisted definitely help  to remember the steps. I tried practicing the foot massage with my wife and she enjoyed it. It was also a way for me to learn to use my body and develop my sense of feeling. Before I used to focus more on my hands’ muscles and I used to get tired quickly. Using my body weight and balancing it while performing a massage is good for both therapist and client. 

The idea of using a pillow under the knees is helpful as it just makes the client more comfortable

The techniques were easy to learn and remember. I also like that you explained about the transition while moving from one foot to the other. Knowing such details no doubt helps a lot and also make things look more professional.

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Raj C
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June 23, 2019 - 6:17 pm
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Module 5

The introduction of this module cleared my doubts about the sequences in a session. For instance I thought that I had to do all the steps shown in the foot massage video in a session.It was good to know that massage need not be performed in a mechanical way but the focus depends on the client’s needs as well as the techniques the therapist is comfortable with.

I learned about the importance of warm up before any stretching. The several techniques like the butterfly and the kneading and rolling with the thumb were easy. I think I am having some difficulties to adjust my body weight while balancing to and fro. 

I tried the butterfly technique with my wife but she thought there was too much pressure on her thigh bone and she also didn’t like having the foot locked while I was doing it. She also said the thumb rolling in the inner thigh is not very nice. The use of the pillow is a great help to make the client feel more comfortable.

I definitely think I need a lot more practice to master few things that would make the session more enjoyable.

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Raj C
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June 23, 2019 - 6:23 pm
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Reply No.7 is about Module 4. I am unable to edit it.

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Shama Kern
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June 23, 2019 - 7:27 pm
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I edited the 'module 4' in for you. You can only edit your most recent post.

Regarding the butterfly on the leg - try to sink in softly and gently and slowly, only using bodyweight. And make sure that you are right in the center of the quadriceps muscles. If you push them aside, you end up on the bone, and that feels terrible. Practice this move until it starts to feel good. You have to fix the leg with your foot, otherwise you will not be able to lean right on the center of the quads, and you will end up in the wrong place which will feel bad.

The same goes for the thumb roll-up. Try to change the feeling of it to one of softness and gentleness, and try to flow with your whole body when you are doing it instead of just using your hands. Make it a whole-body movement, and practice it until it starts to feel good. Experiment with much less intensity.

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Raj C
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July 2, 2019 - 1:05 am
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Thank you for your comments, Shama. I realized I was applying too much pressure on the bone while doing the butterfly on the leg. I corrected my mistake by adjusting my body weight and I made sure I didn’t push the quadriceps muscle aside. It was tricky but would get there by practice.

Module 6 - Leg warm up with fore arms

I like the easy rocking push and pull movement. During my practice, I noticed that these techniques help to make my partner’s body feel relaxed and to be prepared for the massage.I used my forearms on the inner thigh and it works very well for me and I was able to control and balance my body weight.

I really like the transition you demonstrated from the inner thigh to the calf muscle applying the elephant walk technique. 

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Shama Kern
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July 2, 2019 - 2:38 am
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The fluid rocking motion movements are what makes my style of Thai Massage flowing and graceful. Plus they can be done on pretty much everyone (which cannot be said about some of the stretches), and they are easy on the therapist as well. An all-round winner! Smile

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Raj C
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July 3, 2019 - 12:50 am
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Module 7 - Hip evaluation 

I like the way you explained clearly about the hip, how to assess it and how to observe the angle of the feet. I tried the position on the floor and checked the angle of my own feet to see if they were correct.

It was interesting to practice stretching  with the feet on the right angle and working with the foot technique was not difficult. Working on the outside of the leg, you demonstrated a nice move by blocking the foot and applying the squeeze and pull technique with both hands together.

I still have to work a bit more on the circular hip lift cross pull stretch to make it enjoyable and more relaxing for both my partner and myself, because when thing does not work like it should, I feel stressed.

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Shama Kern
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July 4, 2019 - 1:00 am
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It would be a miracle if you would get all the techniques right immediately. If it would be so easy, there would be lots of Thai Massage experts around! Smile

Like any art, it takes time to fine-tune it. You are still early in the course. Typically students report that it all starts to flow more around the last third of the course. So don't stress over it. You are doing fine! Smile

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Raj C
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July 9, 2019 - 12:34 am
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Thank you very much Shama for the comments. I like to get things straight away although I know and am aware that everything takes time. As in my case, I would need loads of practice not only from my partner, but from different people.

Module 8 - Leg stretches 2

It is always nice to get a refresher training before progressing to next module. I learn the importance of looking at the client body, how to evaluate client’s body to know and decide which technique will suit best. Knowing the 8 positions of the hip movement is very helpful to work the hip in a conceptual way. You chose and demonstrate a pie divided into 8 and that made life much easier.

This module also clears all my doubts on working with different types and sizes of client. I practiced the hip stretches you demonstrated on the 180 angle, with my leg and it works very well and it is a type of stretch which anyone would like to receive if it is done the right way and also to make sure to loosen the client’s hip joint by rocking movement if necessary.

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Raj C
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July 10, 2019 - 12:42 am
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Module 9 - Leg Stretches 3

I like the way you started with a recap from the previous module and progress little by little with plenty of clear theory explanation and practice in different angle. It really helps to remember.

The stretches in this module are interesting, powerful and also very challenging. My partner’s is not that flexible to work on straight away. As you mentioned stiff muscles can reduce range of motion, cause pain and discomfort, I find it very important to play with the hip, get the client to be fully relaxed then proceed with the stretches moderately as tolerated. You showed many ways of leg stretching and after good analysis of the client’s body, it would not be difficult to pick the right one. 

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Shama Kern
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July 10, 2019 - 1:45 am
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Regarding recaps and refreshers, there are three 'summary' modules in this course where you can see it all put together and in flow. They tend to be most student's favorites. The first one of those is coming up very soon.

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Raj C
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July 11, 2019 - 12:52 am
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Thank you very much Shama and looking forward to see all the moves put together in a summary

Module 10 - Leg stretches 4

Difficult to say which module, I enjoyed most, because every new module I am learning are getting more and more interesting. For example, module 10 wouldn’t be interesting without module 9.

I started by practicing all the stretches from the previous module and then continued with the techniques learnt from this module on a new partner who is my colleague at work. She is very flexible and she is a Pilate instructor. After some leg warm up and light stretches, I proceeded to gradually apply deeper pressure. My colleague enjoyed all the stretches, especially the one where the leg stretches with the ankle moves. The blood stop technique was amazing as I can feel the pressure pushing in the artery and the flow when it is released.

Overall I think I am going in the right direction in my course progress.

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Shama Kern
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July 11, 2019 - 1:28 am
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Yes, it sure sounds like you are going in the right direction! Smile

That's great that you have a flexible practice partner for those stretches. Of course you will run into plenty of clients who are the opposite, so we need to be able to work on very flexible and very inflexible people. That's why it is very useful to practice on different people.

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Raj C
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July 16, 2019 - 1:07 am
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Module 11 - Summary session # 1

Thank you very much Shama for showing how to use all the techniques in a sequence. It’s interesting to see how they are all fit together smoothly. 

I watched the video several times before starting my practice. For me, the best way to learn, is to copy all exactly from the video, and start putting them into practice . The chi machine technique worked better this time. You demonstrated many ways of stretching the ham strings and of course I don’t have to use all but only the one which would fit the best. My partner really enjoyed it and told me that I made some improvements in moving softly as last time I was applying too much pressure. While lifting legs and switching positions, I was able to keep body contact at all the times.

I enjoyed watching this video.

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