May 15, 2018
I like the fact that Thai massage is not an anatomical massage but rather a massage that promotes the flow of energy. To me this is very enjoyable and establishes synchrony and an energetic connection between both giver and receiver.
I practiced the different positions used when giving a massage. Some positions were not comfortable initially especially the squat. But I am sure with regular practice it will become easier. The cushions do help a lot with prolonged kneeling.
Focussing on the flow of the massage and the synchronised breathing is both pleasurable and energising.
I do look foward to learning the massage as a life enriching experience .
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May 15, 2018
It's wonderful that Thai Massage allows the therapist to engage with the massage process in a holistic and artistic way. To me personally this is such a soulful expression and is rewarding and enjoyable to both giver and receiver. And this would serve to create an energetic bond between the two. This , in my opinion, holds more value than approaching the massage as a sequential arrangement of techniques.
The chi machine technique is a valuable addition to the traditional thai massage. It's rhyhmic ripple like motion indeed brought great relaxation to my partner. Initially I was a bit awkward but after a few minutes..and thanks for those words of encouragement Shama... I established a good rhythm and tempo and we were both enjoying this.
I found that while moving the legs if I imagined a circle rather than a linear left to right swing the movement became more fluid. I then managed to increase the tempo of the motion till it reached the shoulders.
After this burst of chi we both relaxed . Then my partner gave me feedback . He said that it was a very nurturing movement and he just succumbed to it.
I promised him that I will start my next module practice and the ones to follow with this chi machine movement.
It sounds like this course and you are an excellent match! It also seems that you and I are on the same wavelength regarding the approach to holistic massage therapy.
If your imagination of a circle makes it easier for you, then, by all means, use this - as long as you are getting the results.
May 15, 2018
MODULE 3 .Foot Massage
The foot is a very important anatomical part of the body since it bears the weight of the entire body. The whole body is also mapped out on the feet and there are reflex points which when stimulated has an effect on the corresponding body part or organ.
I watched the video several times over in order to get a good understanding of the techniques ,hand positions and body positions. When I felt confident enough I practiced on my partner.
The first move ..alternating out- bending of feet was great and I established a good rhythm. I was able to relax into the move.
The second technique circular foot bending and twisting was a bit challenging. I supported myself with cushions and struggled initially to get a good fluid and coordinated movement with my body circling and my hands moving. It progressively improved with each 're- try. Still not hundred percent though. I will persevere till I get over feeling awkward.
The third and fourth moves went well, I think ,since it felt right. By this time my partner dozed off so I could not get feedback.
The fifth technique ..I struggled a bit with my leg positions. I got past this by adjusting my leg until it felt right ..the rest of the move was very enjoyable. Just a note to female colleagues though..when leaning foward to push and rotate foot..ensure that your breasts do not clash with the foot..as this could easily happen.
Twisting the foot technique felt right to me. And the final move looked so easy and effortless when Sharma demonstrated but it took me a several 're tries to finally get a good flow and rhythm. Then I really enjoyed myself and executed this move several times out of sheer enjoyment.
May 15, 2018
MODULE 4 FOOT MASSAGE PART 2
I love the freedom that Shama gives us in the course to work intuitively and work the body until it feels right to the therapist rather than focusing too much on learning techniques. This resonates wonderfully with me and I like to interpret giving a massage in this soulful way rather that seeing massage as a sequence of techniques. Techniques are an important framework for massage but spending too much time memorizing techniques distracts one from the whole essence of massage.
I practiced massage on my partner ensuring that I engaged my whole body. There was a good energetic flow. This felt very comforting to both of us and I felt a greater connection.
The conceptual way of learning is important as one can understand why we do things in a certain way. It is also easier to remember as compared to the mechanical way of learning how to do certain things in a sequential way.
The 8 different concepts of working on the foot became very easily etched into my mind without having to learn it off. And I will always remember it. Now I can figure which moves are associated with each way.
I practiced a recap of the whole part 1 of foot massage. I am feeling more confident and the circular move feels more comfortable now.
The kneading underside of the foot was enjoyable to both partner and me. As you press and roll up you stimulate many reflex points on the foot. I used a cushion to support partner's bent leg.
Circling and pulling motions on inner part of the heel felt particularly good to my partner...so I did extra time on this.
I worked myself into a good rhythm on working on both inside and outside of heel on both feet simultaneously.
I then moved to upper side of foot. Was easy to locate the hollow depression.
The transition between right and left foot needs more practice.
May 15, 2018
MODULE 5 Leg warm up
I learnt the importance of warming up muscles before doing any stretch movements. This reminded me of working on dough or clay. You need to work it with your hands until it becomes warm and more pliable. Then only can one shape, mould , stretch and manipulate with ease.
Thigh warm up went well . I was able lock my partners leg with mine. I was also very mindful of maintaining good posture and balance. The butterfly move felt very comfortable as I leaned in with my body weight using straight arms.I was very aware of my hand position especially on the upper thigh area. This is a nice easy rocking movement. I also manage to synchronize my breath with the leaning in and out move.
The thumb rolling technique and the palm heel rolling technique on calf and thigh was enjoyable to my partner who had sore leg muscles from over exertion.
The push-pull thigh technique took more practice time . After several times of practice it felt fluid and correct.
Squeeze pull and roll technique on calf muscle was absolute bliss for my partner so I treated him by spending a little more time on this move.
The concluding thumb roll technique was easy ..same movement as on inner foot and inner thigh.
"I learnt the importance of warming up muscles before doing any stretch movements. This reminded me of working on dough or clay. You need to work it with your hands until it becomes warm and more pliable. Then only can one shape, mold, stretch and manipulate with ease."
That's a really good analogy. I like that!!
May 15, 2018
MODULE 6- Leg warm up using forearms.
My partner is big and strong compared to me with a sciatica problem. So forearm technique to warm up was ideal.
The push - pull technique was very relaxing and after the first few tries I settled into a nice rhythmic swinging motion. My partner enjoyed and gave positive feedback.
Leaning in with body weight went well. I did it repeatedly until it felt easy and totally relaxing.
Leaning into the muscle groove ..inner thigh went well after I managed to locate the groove between the 2 muscles.
I worked hard to establish a good rhythm in the lean and roll technique on inner thigh below the tendon. This was a bit of an akward move. Took a lot of practice.
The leaning in technique on top part of thigh muscle was great.
Work in on the last ..5 th line on outer thigh felt a bit awkward. Eventually I relaxed my body until it felt more natural.
The 45 degree body angle while working on the calf muscle is a great technique but needed a lot of practice until it felt fluid and natural.
The elephant walking was great and very relaxing and co ordinating the moves on the foot and calf was really awesome. My partner fell into a deep slumber.
What really helped me understand how much pressure to apply was the idea of thinking soft and leaning in.
May 15, 2018
I loved the preamble , Sharma, on the body assessment before we attempt stretching.
The explanation on how the angle of the feet gives an indication of how the hip is physiologically rotated is very helpful when doing stretches. This indicates that stretching techniques should be very individualized and differs from person to person .
After doing warm ups I did the body assessments on my partner . I then did the elephant walking . I did not use any support cushion as my partner was flexible. As I got into the rhythm of this move both my partner and I felt very relaxed..
The butterfly position also went well. I learned in with my body weight and synchronized my breath with each move. Out breath while leaning in and in breath while releasing was an enjoyable technique . My partner enjoyed this relaxation.
I then practiced gentle hip rocking. This is a good move to loosen stiff hips.
The next stretch using my foot and leg took me a little longer to master. But once I got the hang of it it was very enjoyable.
The hip walking stretch went very well.
The hip lift -cross pull stretch took some time until it felt right. Once mastered it proves to be a very effective stretch. And finally the circular hip lift -cross pull stretch was quite a lot of fun.
Body assessments are very useful. Without them it can turn into a one-size-fits-all session, where one client hardly feels anything with one technique, and another client feels brutalized with the same move. So, yes, it does need to be individualized, if necessary.
There are of courses cases where we work on clients who are in decent shape, and have nothing obvious wrong with them, and we can do a fairly standard session. But we need the capability of determining when we need to adjust and modify.
May 15, 2018
The visual image of a pie divided into 8 pieces when working on the hip makes it very effective. The different angles to position the legs when opening up the hips becomes easy to remember.
I warmed up the calf ,upper leg and knee muscles and ensured that I engaged my whole body when executing these techniques. My partner felt relaxed and the moves felt right to me.
The hip pie stretch felt a bit awkward and clumsy initially especially since my partners leg was stiff and quite heavy. I practiced this technique very slowly and did a bit of rocking until it felt good and easy to both give and receive.
I got positive feedback from my partner.
May 15, 2018
My partner suffers from sciatica so his left leg is very tight and felt heavy . I therefore started off warming up the muscles and then did gentle rocking. When the leg felt a little looser and lighter I started bouncing the the leg until the resistance lessened.
Its significant to note that the rocking and bouncing motions do on fact relax the muscles noticeably.
The different angles of the hip pie went well although I had to adjust my body position several times to execute these moves. In the end it proved to be a workout /stretch session for me too.
During my practice I needed to be acutely focused on my partners facial expressions and involuntary resistance to any of the stretches which would give me an indication to ease up on the intensity of the stretch.
My partner indicated that his range of motion had improved after the session.
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018
I embrace the fact that Thai Massage is more than the sequential arrangement of techniques. The energetic connection with the Self and the Client /partner in order to promote well being supercedes all rigid techniques.
Focussing on the Hara and breath synchrony helped me to stay focused , in tune and I was able to draw energy from this reservoir that we all possess..
Just playing with the techniques also makes it more enjoyable and fluid in contrast to trying to remember sequential arrangements.
The Blood stop..to backwash the arteries....I struggled to find that pulse in the Femoral..I will attempt to do this again.
My partner felt very relaxed with all the rocking motions and enjoyed the session.
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