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Randy Hill - Complete Thai Massage Course - Expanding Knowledge
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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 3, 2015 - 8:48 am
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I love Thai Massage. I have been taking Thai Massage classes since 2012 from Deon De Wet in Ojai California. I’m close to being an advanced practitioner in Deon’s method. After learning it I decided to go to school and become a licensed massage therapist in California so I could work on folks. I completed that process a few months ago and am seeking to expand my Thai Massage knowledge. I’m considering starting a mobile Thai massage service in my location.

Randy
M 760.559.8686

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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 3, 2015 - 10:36 am
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Mod 1 – fundamental review for me on the basic positions and tools. My favorite section was near the end on the connection of breath with movement as the giver. I have found when you move with your breath it establishes a nice rhythm that helps with the “trance” effect you sometimes invoke with Thai massage. Also as I’m sure is covered later the breath of the client becomes important in several techniques such as those that work the back for the comfort of the client and timing. Looking forward to it. My wife will be my model and I’m sure she won’t mind receiving it!

Randy
M 760.559.8686

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Shama
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May 3, 2015 - 10:51 pm
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Hi Randy, you guessed right, there will be a lot more on breathing and rhythm, and you picked out the exact section where a lot of that will happen, the back work. Both Deon and I have a background in yoga, and it shows in our work. 

I am sure your wife will appreciate her model “work”. I have found in my relationship with my Thai wife that working on each other has contributed a lot to our relationship. Luckily she is an excellent therapist, so we both benefit from each other.

Undoubtedly you will know some of the material in this course, but also there will be many nuggets that will build your skill through a slightly different perspective and approach. It will take you 5 months to receive and go through the entire course, although the certification section only takes 3.5 months to complete. 

Actually Deon and I have shared several students over the years. I greatly respect Deon for his work and I know whoever comes from him, has an excellent foundation of Thai Massage. So I am sure you won’t have any trouble following and benefiting from this course.

It looks like you have it all figured out, but just to make sure you have a reference, please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list here:

Certification Check List

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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 4, 2015 - 1:07 pm
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Yes it’s all about the nuggets for me. I find myself making up and inventing my own moves, and I love watching others work and think about how I might make it my own.

The remainder of my year is busy with my dedication to ongoing massage learning: 1 day Hot Stone training next weekend, spending 2 weeks backpacking with my kids in June, 5 day orthopedic massage with James Waslaski in August, 3 day Myofascial with John Barnes in August, 3 day Oncology Massage with Gayle MacDonald in September, 4 day Thai for the Table with Patrick Ingrassia in September, 2 day Passive Stretching with Kay Rynerson in October, 7 day Myofascial classes in November. Then February 2016 going to Thailand for a month taking an 11 day Thai course with Ralf Marzen, then a week of rock climbing and a week of scuba diving – probably will not make it to Chiang Mai though.

I need to finish 17 more hours of sessions for Deon and then do our massage exchange so he can consider me as being an advanced practitioner in his method.

I’m working at a local clinic twice a week, running a business, working on opening another business. I’m officially retired but you wouldn’t know it!

All that to say please do not be disappointed by my slow progress with the coursework – I love it and will get to it all but not every three days

Randy
M 760.559.8686

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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 4, 2015 - 1:52 pm
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Mod 2 Chi Machine

I applied the chi machine to Lori tonight – she enjoyed it but expressed her disappointment that it was the only move from the video so I had to give her a quick back sequence to satiate her! I thank you for focusing on ergonomics and taking the time to explain each part of a move in detail – that level of detail really helps when using video since you are not here to correct me. 

Randy
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Shama
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May 4, 2015 - 8:45 pm
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I start the course off slowly since few of my students have the background that you have. But trust me, after a while the pace will pick up considerably and there will be plenty of techniques per modules.

When you have a good foundation like you have, then finding nuggets is your main goal. I mean you will be less likely to find brand new and totally different material. I have taken many courses where I just got a few nuggets, and they made it all worth it. 

And I agree with your statement about making up and inventing new moves. I do this all the time. In fact, when I am really in flow with a session, I often come up with moves which I had never done or seen, and they fit perfectly for this client and this session. Often I cannot remember what I did after the session with this new move, but it doesn’t matter because the right move will come to me when I need it. I think all good and creative therapists, and especially Thai Massage therapists, come up with their own moves, and ultimately with their own style.

Anyway, you are some kind of massage superman! Smile I can’t believe the training schedule you have lined up! And the businesses you are running during your retirement! Laugh What did you retire from?

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Randy Hill
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May 5, 2015 - 7:46 am
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I have a degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Business. I retired from being General Manager of a water district and opened a massage clinic. From engineering to massage can you think of anything more opposite?

Randy
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Shama
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May 5, 2015 - 8:48 am
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That’s quite a shift, for sure. Actually I know of quite a few massage therapists who switched over from totally different careers. I guess many of us are looking for something meaningful that literally touches other people’s live in a positive way, and massage just does that.

I have often thought that when I come to the end of my life, I will never have to wonder if I contributed something to the well being of humanity, if I have done something worthwhile in this life. I know I did, and that’s a good feeling.

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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 17, 2015 - 11:58 am
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Mod 3 – Foot 1. Finally had some time to get back to the videos and watch them a second time and then perform them on Lori. That is helpful since she has had a lot of Thai massage from me and can tell me what she likes and if the move feels right. One disadvantage of the video format is not being able to receive the work which is always helpful and instructive. I found the coordination for the circle foot twist to be challenging and it looks so simple when Shama demonstrates it. Lori particularly liked the traction aspect of the foot press which is different than how I’ve done a similar move in the past, she felt it juiced it up. She also liked the press foot and shaking. I found it easy to pickup almost all the moves just need to practice them more.

Randy
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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 17, 2015 - 12:10 pm
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Mod 4 – foot 2. Was mostly a review of foot 1 adding in the rolling up with thumbs of the sole of the feet and circling the inner and outer heel. I need to work on smoother transitions sliding under the clients leg and then back out. I prefer doing the rotate foot work while already slid under the clients leg and bolstering the knee say at the same time I’m doing the leg traction work. I love that traction work which is useful for reducing adhesions in the joint such as in the work of James Waslaski.

Randy
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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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May 17, 2015 - 12:20 pm
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Mod 5 – leg warmup. I really like the butterfly press on the thighs. I was used to doing both thighs at the same time and doing one leg at a time is more powerful and useful given the size of the muscles there. I’m not such a fan of the press and roll up as it uses a lot of thumb, although I stack my thumbs together a little to reduce the stress in a technique Deon taught me. I really love the press and pull work on the thigh and found myself using it other places like on the calf. The side angle of the squeeze, pull, and roll up on the calf is nice and I think a little less effort then the lemon squeeze approach I use with clients bent leg because my interlaced hands in that approach always seem to hit against the knee joint just when getting to the thickest part of the muscle – so I like this new method better as it is easier. I did both methods on Lori back to back to see which one was better and she said she loved them both so that wasn’t very helpful :-). 

Randy
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Randy Hill
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May 17, 2015 - 12:51 pm
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Mod 6 – leg warmup with forearms. I find learning the work where I am between my clients leg and slid under a knee challenging. I watch the video to get oriented and have to stop it and stare a while – sometimes I find it better to just do it and see how it all works out. I found a little change in body position can make a big difference so I imagine that challenge will apply to different body shapes of clients. Sometimes I need to modify my leg positions compared to Shama because I have less back flexibility. I like the position because you end up reaching 5 lines on the upper leg. I prefer another elephant walk technique for the legs that combines the calf and thigh with a foot press that flattens it. Lori liked the gentle calf muscle rotations. I’m learning much more than I expected – so I am pleased with the investment to purchase your courses. I need to activate the download for the rocking technique that was a bonus because I love the rocking technique and use those techniques all the time even when doing Swedish work on the table.

Randy
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Shama
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May 18, 2015 - 12:59 am
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I am glad to hear that you are learning more than you expected. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say after you have gone through the remaining 44 modules! Laugh

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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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June 22, 2015 - 7:31 am
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Mod 7 – Went backpacking for two weeks on the Tahoe Rim Trail with my two grown children we covered 170 miles and I enjoyed it. Thought I might do Thai massage on my fellow hikers but after dinner it was straight to bed exhausted each night. The beginning of mod 7 had some excellent advice that will be so helpful in providing massage regarding evaluating the feet to determine what is happening in the hips – VERY useful. I evaluated myself and it was spot on, then I evaluated my wife and accurate again. Not really any new moves for me this mod though I do like using the rocking variations – I love rocking clients and often use rocking in transitions.

Randy
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Randy Hill
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June 22, 2015 - 7:36 am
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Mod 8 – leg stretch 2

I combined the leg stretch modules into one longer session on Lori that way I could pre-warm the legs for all the stretches. Some small differences in the calf work from what I knew and not sure which I like yet – client liked both the previous methods and the new methods equally. The rubbing methods on the knee were new moves for me and will be helpful as Lori has knee issues. I found combining the rocking motion to the 180 degree stretch difficult to execute for me it was like patting my head while rubbing my belly – I’ll need to work on that one. I like the power version using the shoulder to drive down the leg.

Randy
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Randy Hill
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June 22, 2015 - 7:40 am
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Mod 9 – gotta love adductor work! This is always a zingy area for clients so i always take it slow and ask them to “let me know when you feel the stretch” to let them pick the point to stop. I tried the power variation of the knee on the hamstrings and was quickly told – yep that’s too much! I liked the spinal twist rocking – Lori liked it when I worked the outside lines as part of a rhythmic pushing of the knee toward the floor. I also worked my hand at various points along the back and spine working up into the power pin-the-shoulder finale when I asked her to take a deep breath and timed both of our exhales to the deepest stretch. 

Randy
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Randy Hill
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June 22, 2015 - 7:45 am
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mod 10 – Happy Fathers Day to me! Not a fan of the blood stops but I can execute them well. I’m not sure of the therapeutic benefit though one convincing argument I heard in favor was that stopping the main flow forces blood to travel in less traveled passages expanding their blood carrying capacity. I worked on a very flexible girl a few times that with the 270 stretch I basically had her knee up by her head – that took modifying a few things but I figured it out. I also liked the traction moves with the stretches. 

Randy
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Shama
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June 22, 2015 - 2:31 pm
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Sounds like you are finding your nuggets. 

I know of several arguments regarding the benefits of the “blood stop”. However I try to avoid getting too scientific about it since it’s one of those controversial moves, at least in the western world. If clients ask about it, I just tell them that it’s good for their blood circulation and that it helps dissolve blockages in the hip. Mostly I have found that clients just like the sensation which is quite unusual.

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Randy Hill
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July 24, 2015 - 8:51 am
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mod 11 – Summary  Just came back from Deon’s 3 day side line course. I like the summary video and enjoyed stringing all the moves together in a sequenced flow. Worked both sides rewinding the video at the end. Most of the moves felt comfortable except the move where you move in circles bending the foot it just is awkward to me still. 

Randy
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Randy Hill
Apple Valley, CA
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July 24, 2015 - 9:01 am
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mod 12 – hip stretches

The first three achilles stretches were not new to me. Version 4 was interesting, at first she did not feel the stretch and I recognized I needed to lean more forward to get the stretch, I also noted that by putting my hands under the heels I could raise the feet a little more and being higher on my stomach it produced a greater stretch. The traction with calf work is a nice combination. Her hips were tight from a recent leg workout so I needed to go slow on the knee to chest stretches. I would like to feel the elephant walking on knees move I imagine it feels quite nice. The power hamstring hip and back stretch is nice and I add two more moves 1) like using ski poles I gently push down on the legs opening the hips 2) drive the bus – I push the legs forward until the sacrum comes off the mat and then using only my arms I swing them side to side. 

I’m in the midst of planning my trip to Thailand for February 2016. Doesn’t look like I will make it to Chiang Mai this time. Our current plan is Bangkok, Chewlan Lake in Khao Sok National Park for 11 days Thai massage with Ralf Marzen, then down to Tonsai and Ko Phi Phi to rock climb for a week and then a week in Ko Pha Ngan scuba diving.

Randy
M 760.559.8686

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