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Sabina Magnus ~ Complete Thai Massage Therapy Course Notes
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Sabina Magnus
Quadra Island, BC, Canada
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March 22, 2022 - 7:28 am
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Module 21 - Add on

I practiced this one on a client, who mentioned, that she did not feel comfortable in that position at all. She had pain in the quadriceps, when I was working on the first line of the hamstring, leaning with my forearm into her hamstrings. I could ease the discomfort a bit, by really getting my bend leg up (under her hip)  as high as possible. But still she did not find it comfortable. How would I modify that in he best way? Or did I something wrong in the first place with the proper positioning of the legs (hers or mine)? 

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Shama Kern
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March 23, 2022 - 4:40 am
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That's really hard to say without seeing and feeling it. There could be a number of reasons. Some people are really sensitive in a particular area. Some people could have a trauma or an old injury in a certain area, and they might not know or remember it. Some people are very pain sensitive in general. 

And then again, maybe something is not right with your technique. But the only way to find out if it's the client's issue or your issue is to practice the same techniques on a couple of other people and see if they have a similar reaction to it, or if they are fine with it.

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Sabina Magnus
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March 23, 2022 - 6:29 am
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Thanks for the helpful reply, Shama! 

Yes, I agree that is the best way to find out what's or who is causing the problem! 😉  Practice brings experience and makes the master! 

Having said that, although I don't have too much Thai Massage experience yet, my elderly client (72  male with all kinds of severe traumas (he was a logger for 30 years), old injuries and new one, including an unsuccessful surgery on the upper spine is improving wonderfully with the weekly Massage session he is getting!!!! To see how he is getting better week by week (although he is doing nothing else for the remaining 6 days of the week) is a Thai Massage Miracle for me! I love it! 

Today he was all smiling and telling me proudly, that today was the first day in a couple of years, that he woke up with no pain at all and did not even use his walker to get into the kitchen. For the last year he was only be able to move through the house with his walker.

He was SOOOO happy, that he could carefully set one step in front of the other (without any help) for a few minutes.  He muscles are still very weak,  but he has strong, positive attitude towards healing. He WANTS to get better! Just as you mentioned in one of your lessons: The client must have a reason to heal. What better reason, as being pain free and able to walk and start enjoying life again! 

Thanks, Shaman for making those Healing Techniques accessible to us, so we can help even "hopeless cases"......and "perform miracles"! 🙂 

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Sabina Magnus
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March 23, 2022 - 6:35 am
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Module 22

In the meanwhile we learned so many techniques, that I completely gave up to even try remembering them all. I guess after I am done with the course I can start right from the beginning. I hope that there are more of those videos comping up, where you perform a complete session (with no explanation, just for following along.
 I love the idea to pick and choose according to the needs and body structure of my client! I also created a document, where I note my favourite techniques, which are the most enjoyable for ME, to practice on my client. LOL

The PDF “Thai Massage and serious disease” is an absolute must-read for every therapist no matter what kind of healing art they are performing including traditional western medicine! Or better said a must-read ESPECIALLY for western trained medical heath providers! 

This video was “mouthwatering”. So beautiful to see all that healthy and colourful food. The greeting:  “Have you eaten already?” Brought a smile on my face (not as flashy at a genuine Thai smile though 😉 ) and made me wonder how truthful this question is generally be answered. 😉 

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Shama Kern
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March 23, 2022 - 6:58 am
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That story about your 72-year-old client is amazing - I love it. I can totally relate to it since I have several such stories in my history of therapy successes. These kinds of stories are what make it all so worth it. When such a thing happens, you know exactly why you are doing this massage work!

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Sabina Magnus
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March 23, 2022 - 7:34 am
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Module 23

I had a bit of trouble to let my thumbs slide up and down gracefully and in study speed while keep rocking the spine But it gets smoother with practice!

Take away of this lecture: Slowly letting the motion (rocking, percussion, karate chopping) FADE OUT! Yes! It makes a difference! Even for the therapist! 

Another super important take way: Always stay connected with your client (mentally, energetically (constant flow of Hara) and physically (always one hand on client’s body)…….and then just enjoy the dance!!! 🙂

It is also so super interesting to learn more about the culture. In this case especially the Wai Greeting.

AND… Certainly the article on those different tourist types will be perceived and interpreted differently by the individual reader. But read open minded and with a grain of salt it can be taken in as informative and entertaining with room to ponder and asking yourself, in what category you might fit in yourself! 🙂 

 

 

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Shama Kern
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March 23, 2022 - 7:44 am
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All those articles that I wrote about Thailand are pre-C0VlD. For the last two years, Thailand has been totally isolating itself, not letting anyone in, and destroying a good part of their economy which was highly dependent on tourism. It has been a nightmare to get into Thailand, and still is much more difficult than it was previously. 

The article was a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course, but still reflected the truth how I saw it. At least they are good memories.Smile

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Sabina Magnus
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March 24, 2022 - 7:02 am
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I hear you, Shama......almost everything changed in the last two years. Somethings to the better, somethings not to the better.

But I personally like to believe, that ALL change in the end results in an improvement and something great will come out of it! 

Please keep me posted when Thailand is becoming more open to Tourism again. We have been planning for 3 years now to go there! We are still hoping to be able to do so towards the end of this year! 

Let's keep our fingers crossed.......for everyone! 

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Sabina Magnus
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March 24, 2022 - 7:41 am
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Module 24

Traditional Thai vs. Shama’s modified and perfected version of Thai Massage. I recently said to my partner how appreciative I am that I found this particular course, because is not only focused on the client, but also on the Therapist’s well-being.  I LOVE how much self care is taught in this course. Thank you, Shama for your authentic way to teach and share your experiences! 

And I am so very much appreciating, that I can apply a massage technique which is saving my thumbs and wrists. Honestly the fear that parts of my body (which shows already signs of aging  ;-)) was almost hindering me sign up and being open to the idea to become a Thai Massage Therapist. I am so glad, that I gave myself the change to explore it anyways! 

I found the “Touchy Issue video” quite enlightening ……especially for us Westerners, who became so disconnected from so many absolutely natural things. 

I love to see myself as a Thai Massage Therapist which is listening with the ears, feeling with the hands, being connected through the Hara and having a neutral mind and clear intentions! As being a Therapist beyond the physical body, I can truly help clients to open up and release all kinds of blocked energies, emotions and physical disease. What better profession can one have! 

BTW…..Its always a delight to visit the ZOO. 🙂 Thanks for bringing us to the Chiang Mia’ Zoo, Shama! 

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Shama Kern
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March 24, 2022 - 8:38 am
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That's quite a testimonial, and clearly spoken from your heart - thank you! Smile

Regarding a Thailand trip - I still cannot recommend it. Thailand is the most difficult country in southeast Asia to enter with all kinds of silly rules. When they finally change this, I will post an update.

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Sabina Magnus
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March 25, 2022 - 7:01 am
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Yes, please keep us posted, when it would be a good time to visit Thailand again!  Hope you and yours are doing well! I understand you had to move quite a bit recently. Hope you are settled again and life is soon coming back "to normal".......hopefully a "improved normal". 😉 

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Sabina Magnus
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March 25, 2022 - 7:08 am
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Module 25

Little tips like opening the knees wider while working alongside the client’s back are indeed improving the Dance of Thai Massage.

I have a question in regards of using the knees on the back correctly. 

I understand, that we are working on the erector muscle, which is on the other side of the spine (further away from the therapist). I have the feeling that when I am using my knee,  I would be more comfortable working on the muscle (or better to say in the groove between the spine and the erector muscle) which is CLOSER to me. I always have the feeling that part of my knee or the shin is touching the spine.  To avoid that I have the feeling I would really have to put all my body weight into the knee and almost lift off  the rest of the bend knee a bit.
Not sure if I explained my dilemma clearly. I guess the only thing I have to know, if the knee technique  could also be used on the body side, which is closer to me or if I always have to work on the opposite side first and then switch sides. 

For me as a yoga teacher, the interview with Gabe was right up my ally. I enjoyed to listen to two so passionated Thai Massage Therapists. 

It is inspiring and honourable how established Thai Massage is in every household (and business of any sorts) and it is seen as free (or very reasonable) way to keep each other healthy and in good Spirits! 

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Shama Kern
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March 25, 2022 - 7:23 am
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You must have misunderstood this technique. When you use your elbows, you work on the FAR side of the spine. When you use your knee, you work on the NEAR side of the spine. If you use your knee on the far side of the spine, you would obviously get onto the spine which is a no-no.

There is a text on the video that says: "Knee technique #2 - rocking forward with the knee on the NEAR side of the spine." NEAR as in CLOSER to you.

The reason why you use your elbows on the far side is that you roll your forearms down. If you would do that on the near side, you would roll right onto the spine. But if you do it on the far side, your forearms are rolling away from the spine.

With the knee it is the opposite. You cannot cross the spine with the knee without pressing on the spine. That's why you have to lean down on the near side so that you never touch the spine with your knee.

All three knee techniques in this module are on the near side of the spine, i.e. you do not cross over the spine with your knee.

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Sabina Magnus
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March 25, 2022 - 6:43 pm
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Sorry......I didn't read the PDF prior to me asking that questions. Cry

Your explanation makes total sense and was exactly what I was hoping you would say! Now the move feels good to me and is easy to perform.  Makes total sense!!!!!  Thank you, Shaman for your prompt, detailed and helpful reply! 

Have a wonderful day! 

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Sabina Magnus
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April 5, 2022 - 4:35 am
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Module 26

Reading the article about "Thai Massage being a real massage", I have to admit, that I totally underestimated Thai Massage and its benefits on the ENTIRE  wellbeing of body, mind and spirit! For me it is THE ULTIMATE way to massage someone and assure right flow of energy to stay holistically healthy! 

I keep enjoying practicing those different prone massage techniques. 

I also had a bit of a “scary experience" the other day with my 72 year old client, who is super inflexible: I had him comfortable laying in prone position on a big cushion under his chest and worked especially on his trapezius and the shoulder blade. This area is super tide, since he has a hunched over neck area (caused by using a walker). But I can report, that he is getting better with every single session!!!

Anyways after I gently worked on the entire back (I do lots of rocking motions)  I finished off with an “Baby Elephant Walk” from the sacrum upwards to the upper part of the back (still beneath the shoulder blade)......and a big loud crack happened, when I gentle leaned into it. Honestly I was scared, that I did break my clients back, since it was SO loud.  😉 🙂 Od course I stayed super calm and assured (at this point it was just an assumption 😉 ) let him know, that this was a good crack and quite desirable. Although he trusts me and he loves what Thai Massage does for me, he was shocked himself and very concerned and frightened, that something bad happened.

Key take away on my end was to stay calm......but as said before I was shocked myself. But true enough AFTER the session, when he was back up sitting (which always takes a while, to get him off the ground and back onto his chair)  he mentioned that he could breath better and that he felt overall very good and in less pain than before the session. But he also pointed out, that the was very scared, when the crack happened.

So my questions is: Should I make sure that something like that does not happen again, since I could actually do some harm?!  I am also thinking about the risk of osteoporosis. 

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Sabina Magnus
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April 5, 2022 - 4:49 am
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Module 27

So great having all those techniques and their individual forms of intensity. My partner especially enjoyed those cobras. It was a special experience for her to receive a yoga posture instead of doing "the work" herself.  Thai Massage is a great way to deepen those asanas! 

I have to admit, that your wife is just the sweetest!!!! One can sense the loving touch she is putting into her her work.

Does she or you please have any recommendations, how to support elderly clients to get down on the floor and back up again. How do I best  support them? 

In regards of working with elderly clients: My oldest yoga student is 84 and she is doing now yoga with me for 4 years. She never did yoga before!!!! So, it’s never too late to start with something new! 😉 She says about herself, that she feels better in her body now,  then she did in her sixties and seventies…. before yoga entered her life! 

I always enjoy those videos you are posting: No matter if it is about food, foot massage or cruising around on the bikes! 🙂 Great capture of the Thai Spirit and what makes Life special and enjoyable! 

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Shama Kern
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April 5, 2022 - 8:40 am
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Regarding the back cracks - in general, they are harmless and actually beneficial. I have had clients who specifically requested that I crack their backs. I have a special technique for that which is not in my courses.

If you work normally and do not use excessive force, then spinal cracks are fine. They feel like a release. If someone has osteoporosis, then of course you have to be careful with any pressure on bones. Often you get spinal cracks when you do spinal twist moves, but sometimes also from direct pressure.

I know some therapists in Thailand who specialize in cracking the spine from top to bottom. That's not something I recommend unless you know exactly what you are doing, but it is done and many clients love it.

The bottom line is that you cannot avoid those spinal cracks. They occur naturally. Of course when clients are older and have conditions like osteoporosis you have to be extra careful with pressure on bones.

Regarding supporting clients when they get down on the floor - my wife has worked on a lot of quite elderly clients, and they were all able to get on the mat. Sometimes they need some help like grabbing them under the shoulder or lifting them a bit from behind - whatever it takes. Personally I have never had a client who was not able to get on the mat. I have had to help some with it, but it always worked out somehow.

If you just offer to help them with it, they generally appreciate and manage to do it.

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Sabina Magnus
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April 9, 2022 - 4:43 am
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Thank you Shama, for your reply in regards to those cracks.

Yes, my client is in such bad shape, that he needs help to get out of bed, into the shower and so on. He can't or I better should say couldn't walk at all without any support or with his walker for the last 12 months (as mentioned before he fired his physiotherapist, since he had more improvement from the very first session of Thai Massage (6 weeks ago) than with all the physiotherapy he got in the last 12 months! I find it just miraculously beautiful! 

Thanks to Thai Massage I can see how he gets more and more flexible and his energy, the spark in his eyes, the smile on his face and and the desire to walk, heal and live comes back session by session. Last time I had him standing on his feet without any support at all for a couple of minutes! He was sooooo proud with himself and super happy!!!!!! 

So, you might get a sense, that getting him down on the floor and up again is always a challenge. But we manage better and better every single time.Smile

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Sabina Magnus
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April 9, 2022 - 4:49 am
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I forgot to also share this with you:

Last time when I saw my elderly client he said: "Sabina, last time you scared the f....... sh... out of me, with that crack, that happened in my shoulder/chest area!!! It is still sensitive in that area, BUT I can sit way straighter (which was indeed noticeable), I can breath deeper AND like a miracle the constant pain I had in my lower back decreased drastically. At times I am completely pain free, which hasn't happened in almost a decade. 

With other words he was super stoked on the "The yoga" I am doing with him! Smile

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Shama Kern
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April 9, 2022 - 8:44 am
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Fantastic - I am so happy to hear that! I once had a similar client who was in terrible shape, could barely walk without help from his wife, his muscles shriveled and super tight. His various medical treatments hadn't done anything for him. When he got his first Thai Massage session from me, he and his wife decided that this was going to help. They drove once a week from another town to see me for a long session, and his wife got a session right after him.

This went on for months, and his life turned around dramatically. He could walk again, even work in the garden, and he got his life back, according to his words. They were both so happy, and so was I. I have had several such cases during my Thai Massage career, and they are what kept me going and what inspired me.

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