April 27, 2017
I watched module 1 today and can not lie about my disappointment. There was no hands on instruction in this first installment. However disappointed, I know it was my own anxiousness getting the better of me. Shama, you are an amazing instructor. I didn't think you would be able to tap into my mental capacities but you truly hit the nail on the head. In the first module you clearly explained the basics of Thai Massage. Thus including, the differences between thai massage and Western Massage, the concept, objective and focus of that massage. You also included the an overview of techniques and tools as well as, they're differences. In this module we also learn the importance of practice in general and preparing for body mechanisms we, are not yet familiar with. We also discover body mechanics for the client as well. Last and not least we went over the the steps of the ladder...aka...The Anatomy of movement. In truth, im not disappointed, the information learned was necessary. I myself must continue to practice patience....the greatest of things always take a little time.
Hi Reginique, welcome to our forum community and to the Complete Thai Massage course.
I had to chuckle when I read your post. The last thing I want to do is create "massage mechanics" who only know how do do some techniques, but have no understanding of the subtleties and the more refined elements of Thai Massage. I have seen lots and lots of such Thai Massage practitioners. They are the ones who can't keep clients around, or who have a hard time convincing people to even try Thai Massage, or who never develop a passion and a real sense of accomplishment.
As you will see in the course, there are tons of techniques, but there is also the framework to turn those techniques into a true art. Techniques alone will never turn anyone into a good Thai Massage therapist. There is lots more to it.
I already know that you totally agree with this, because you stated it beautifully in your bio.
Also, in the beginning of every new certification thread, I always post a link to our certification check list to make sure that everything is properly organize and that we are on the same wave length. Please take a minute to read it:
April 27, 2017
Today i was very anxious to start the second training Module. Although first, i was only able to watch the video because my obsessive compulsive disorder would not allow me to just physically begin the training. I had to first mentally prepare by taking notes, as i wish to retain as much of the information learned here as possible. Once my mind was satisfied with some level of understanding, I proceeded to practice the “chi machine”. It was not as complicated as i expected it to be. I expected to be completely off in the movements. An awkward, uncoordinated mess. I even mentioned as much to my partner. However, the movements came as natural as breathing for me! I am already very happy with my progress. Thank you Shama for instructing in such an understandable way. My partner thouroughly enjoyed the “chi machine”. He was definitely amazed with being able to literally feel the flow of his energy wash over him in “waves”, as he described it. We tried to switch positions, as i wanted to experience the feeling for myself…However….He had a little more trouble performing the technique, at first. Eventually he was able to figure out the most practical body position for himself and successfully execute the chi machine. It was an amazing feeling. I was able to REALLY feel the blockages within my energies release and flow throughout the entirety of my being. You were so right Shama, it is quite a wonderful feeling. Cant wait for module 3!
You have a way with words. I think you would make a good writer as well!
I am happy to hear that you did not make an 'uncoordinated, awkward mess' which is actually quite easy to do with the Chi Machine, at least in the beginning. Let's take the fact that it came to you "as easy as breathing" as an omen for your future progress in Thai Massage!
Another good sign is that you felt the energy moving. Normally it takes some time for new students to notice such thing, but you are 'ahead of the game', it seems. Thai Massage is all about moving energy, not just moving anatomical parts around. That's one reason why I put the Chi Machine at the beginning, to set the pace for moving energy.
April 27, 2017
Today was quite a struggle for me. My mind was completely unable to become still enough, to focus on my practices and my course. However, I was finally able to force my brain into submission long enough, to watch module 3 around 6pm in my time zone. Though my mind Seemed to insist it had other things to think about, i was able to complete my "note taking" walk through. Still in a whirlwind of thought i was not especially excited about the necessary hands-on walk-thru, but i managed to set up my floor mat and pillows, pulled out my laptop and assumed the Japanese sitting position, between the feet of my partner. As Shama began instructing the first move, i began to follow....within moments my mind became clear, and my soul focus was on my partner, the act of the massage, my breathing, my body positioning and the voice leading me through my movements. I was able to drift off in to my meditative state (massage is very comforting to my spirit. I get so lost in it). That is...until the shifting and repositioning of the legs to do the " twist push pull", technique.
Do you remember that "awkward clumsy uncoordinated mess", i mentioned? Yeah, it was very much like that. But...I managed to figure it out rather quickly....and once again was able to return to my peaceful state and continue on to the other foot with no hang ups. Even better, i came out of it feeling a lot more at peace within myself. I would say today was Great and much needed lesson. Thank you Shama.
Yes, Thai Massage IS comforting to the spirit. I have had this experience many times. I might have felt a little discombobulated before a session, but once I got started, I slipped into this centered, focused peaceful state. I know for a fact that Thai Massage is not only beneficial for the client, but for the therapist as well.
April 27, 2017
I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed todays lesson. I appreciated the extra detail on the thai foot massage. I especially LOVED the extra techniques you through in the mix Shama. I'm still a tiny bit of a train wreck during transition but, i think it will get better. For now i just need to be sure I don't hurt myself or my partner. It truly looks like a wrestling move when i do it. I'm no where near as fluid as Shama...yet. But i do believe it will come with time and practice. I can, however say that Im pretty sure Ive got the Quality aspect down! My partner LOVES the thai foot massage and has fallen on the plateau just between wakefulness and R.E.M. sleep, every time. Now, I don't know if its because it truly feels great, or if he is just so happy to be worked on, that he's just feeding my ego. Although i truly believe he is sincere and genuine and his feedback, Ive decided to go ahead and reach out to a few other friends and family members to recruit more opinions and receive more feedback....you know...just in case he's just giving me the big head.;)
Thank you Shama for such a great class today. I seem to be falling deeper and deeper in love with thai massage the more you teach me.
This trance state is always a good sign. Not everyone will easily fall into that - some people's minds are just racing all the time. And also, since you are only at module 4, you can't expect to be as smooth as someone who has done it for many years, so don't be hard on yourself!
Practicing on different people is essential for learning because you will get different reactions from different people. What works great on one person, might not work so well on someone else. But that's the way how you will learn to adapt, modify and really tune into different individuals.
You have the main qualification down pat - you have fallen in love with Thai Massage. That's what happened to me when I first came in contact with Thai Massage, and look where it got me!
April 27, 2017
Today's lesson made me realize somethings about myself.
1. My coordination seems to be improving by a tiny fraction.
2. The Japanese sitting position still burns my thighs
3. I definitely need to get in better shape!
My legs where ON FIRE and shakey with some of the moves and positions for the leg warm ups. One position in particular was the butterfly move where you used your foot to stabilize your clients foot. That was.....a rough one. Although i am wondering if maybe I'm going wrong somewhere along the line. Is it possible for a much taller client to effect your body positioning? It's probably just me. Im in need of much more practice. I am so much of a perfectionist when it comes to massage, that it just drives me insane to not be able to grasp something. It is driving me even more insane that everyone that claimed to show support by volunteering their bodies to me during this learning process has completely abandoned me or doesn't have time...except for my partner....he's always ready to receive a practice run...which is great!...at least i have someone. The thing with it is, If he continues to fall asleep befor i even finish his feet, Ill never be able to to get the opinions on the new material, because he wont remember.
Today was another great lesson. Thank you Shama.
Did you ever watch the first supplemental video which shows several exercises for getting used to the Thai Massage working positions?
There are some specific exercises for the Japanese sitting position in there.
Certainly the size of a client can effect your positions. Actually this is where the art comes in. In the very beginning this is not happening yet, but the more you learn, the more you will find out that Thai Massage is not a one-size-fits-all system where you use the same technique in the same way and apply it to all clients.
The art is in adjusting, modifying, and being creative. There are many suggestions and alternatives presented in this course to help you adapt to different body sizes and weights.
If you experience shaky legs that feel like they are on fire, then you are not working correctly. You are using effort with muscle power and that makes you strain. The idea is to use least effort by only working with body weight and minimizing muscle power.
I suggest you play with ONE technique and try to adjust your position in the technique until you feel that it all comes from your use of body weight and not muscle effort. It should all feel rather effortless if done right. Burning shaky legs are a sure fire indicator of muscle effort and strain.
Work with one technique and consciously try to eliminate muscle effort as much as possible. Shift your body as shown in the video and work primarily with your body weight. Try to make it feel graceful, like a dance, or like a Tai Chi movement. Try to sink in without any pressing.
Let me know how that goes for you.
April 27, 2017
Ive been lookin forward to catching up on modules 6 & 7 ALL day. The last several days have been filled with chaotic distractions that have successfully kept me from my classes. I found myself becoming more and more agitated with lacking the availability for my studies. However, I got them in today! And Shama....
...my Transitions have improved by at least a solid 85%! Today just went so much smoother than any other. I may not have gotten each transition the very first time, but I did get them on the second go. My partner noticed the difference as well and appreciated the non-violent approach. Lol.
I am so proud of myself! I loathe not being able to reach my own expectations and can be quite hard on myself. Today was an achievement as well as a milestone.
Ive also begrudgingly enlisted in a yoga class to help with my flexibility and balance and guess what...I LOVED it and strongly believe it is helping! I have been under a lot of pressure the last couple of weeks and since starting my yoga classes, I just feel...more grounded. Also the ankle-toe-knee stretches were a God send. I have been doing them regularly and will say, they were just what the massage therapist ordered. I will also say, you definitely know your shit Shama! I am very pleased with my decision to invest in your program.
I am proud of you too! 🙂 Just go easy on yourself. The early stage in this program is naturally more challenging, and especially all the leg stretches are not always easy to learn. But it will all come together sooner or later, especially when you get to the first summary module which shows you the whole flow.
To do yoga was certainly an excellent decision and will help you with Thai Massage positioning.
I always appreciate your refreshing openness and straightforwardness!
April 27, 2017
I viewed module 7 yesterday along with module 6, but I was completely aware of the expectations regarding forum posting, and...I was worn out by the time I completed posting for Module 6.
I was very excited about learning the new leg stretches. One of which, I have been dying to learn properly for quite sometime. I'm not sure if it was due to familiarity with the move or the fact that i was just ion a roll yesterday, but, I definitely nailed it. It was one of the moves/transitions that i succeeded in performing on the first try. Go Me!
I did notice something during practice yesterday that i failed to mention. I believe i need to pay more attention to my pace. I think sometimes i get a little carried away and move a little too quickly. I also need to watch my breathing, as i noticed I tend to hold my breath at times as well. Which I believe the two are connected. Other than that, I feel as though I am finally merging onto the right track.
I give thanks to you Shama for being such a great, supportive, instructor. You have already began changing my life with your course. I look forward to this endeavor.
You noticed this correctly. It is a common mistake for course students to rush techniques. This doesn't feel good to the client, or at least it feels a lot better if you work more slowly, meditatively. This will also feel better to you, especially when you get into the habit of combining techniques with your breath, or at least being aware of your breath.
Thank you for your kind words of appreciation!
April 27, 2017
i am pleased that after trying to pay more attention to my breathing and taking yoga classes, Thai yoga massage is starting to feel like the oh so very familiar flow and meditation that i am accustomed to. Which in turn, is helping boost my confidence when performing the transitions, opposed to the self doubt I was constantly inflicting upon myself. I wont say that i have become as amazing as I wish to be, Though I will say, I have reached a place that feels more in tune with that particular goal.
I am still having trouble finding bodies to practice on...I hate that I lack the support that I relied on when I began the course. My partner is still very much willing and able, but he is not available until very late at night or on his off days, which can be slightly rough, given im usually fairly sleepy around the time he comes home from work. Be this as it may, I have not given up all hope. Perhaps once we've learned the full body, I can practice as done in Thailand and just take my mat and set up at a near by park with a sign in tow, that reads "bodies needed for free thai yoga practice massages"... who doesn't like free stuff? I feel confident it will generate temporary and potentially long term practice buddies. Maybe even future clients. We shall see. I will be sure to let you know how this goes.
April 27, 2017
I practiced Module 9 along with module 8 a few days ago. My time for my studies has become hard to be consistent with. I am hoping this will all change or get a little bit easier now that school is letting out for vacation season, and my 2 graduates needs have lessened. Although, I am still dealing with work situations where people are calling in constantly and Myself having to randomly pick up their slack. I don't really mind it, I'm just not very fond of not being able to settle into a comfortable routine. I don't like I am feeling left behind and like im constantly playing catch up over the last couple of weeks. The OCD perfectionist inside of me is jittery with the anxiety of not being sufficient enough in this endeavor. However, I am fairly good with repositioning myself as well as my outlook and even though, right now the world around me is so chaotic, I will find time and peace for my studies. Maybe not today, or tomorrow or even next week, but It will come. The universe will send it simply because I asked. I would also like to apologize to you Shama. I am sorry if it seems this class is not important to me, because it truly is. I will be better.
You know, when I started out with Thai Massage, I really did things like free sessions in the park and in all kinds of other places, like on the carpet at home gatherings, in the bedroom at birthday parties (my massage birthday present) etc.
There is no way you will be 'amazing' in the beginning - that would be a real miracle. However that doesn't mean that you won't be amazing after some time of learning and practicing and having plenty of experience. I certainly wasn't amazing when I started out with Thai Massage. But a couple of years later I was pretty darn good at it. And now, 18 years later, I can't even imagine how I ever could not be good at it. The same thing will happen to you. You just need some time, no way around that.
I have a good amount of perfectionist in me as well. Sometimes we just have to let go of that because it gets in our way. You own this course for life, and you just have to go through it as much as your life circumstances allow. So stop putting pressure on yourself and try to appreciate whatever progress you DO make, even though it is slower than you might want.
April 27, 2017
I did okay with this module. During the lower back twist, I was experiencing discomfort in my lower to mid back. I tried repositioning but kept feeling the same discomfort. I believe i need more practice here. The rest of the stretches in this module were okay as well. Although i know that my body's positioning here must have been off...i felt niggling pangs of discomfort almost through the end of the module once we began the low back twist. I am not feeling displeased with myself after today's module....even though it wasn't perfect. I feel the exact opposite actually. Pretty darn pleased with myself. My coordination seems to no longer be an issue, just my positioning. In time i know it will get better.
April 27, 2017
The loooong awaited summary!!!! I absolutely LOOOOOOVED finally being able to put it all together! This lesson absolutely thrilled the shit out of me. For the most part I did very well...until we got to the final hip stretches....we discussed all of that in my previous post, so i wont make a big fuss about it, now. I am so excited to have a full segment of thai massage to perform. It'll make my visits to the park go a little bit better. I look forward to the next module. Thank you Shama.
The summary modules are a big hit with pretty much all course students.
Regarding the body positioning - rewatch the video and try to adjust your body until it feels more comfortable. There is a lot more information about this throughout the course, so sooner or later this will become second nature for you.