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Sabrina Meyer - Complete thai massage - progress report
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Sabrina Meyer
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January 8, 2017 - 8:40 pm
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Module 1

Nice overview of what will be the training. No question so far, everything makes sense and I am quite use to it.  I am quite familiar with Thai massage as a patient. Did 3 months ago a workshop on Thai body therapy, I really enjoy the training, and I practiced regularly on some friends (and they enjoyed too)

I am sure it will complete my knowledge previously acquired,  and be more confident and comfortable.

Thanks in advance for your support and guidance!

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Shama
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January 8, 2017 - 10:32 pm
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Hi Sabrina, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. I am looking forward to observing your progress and assisting you with any questions you may have.

As a reference, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list:

Certification Check List

I changed your display name to your full name to make it easier to find you.

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 11, 2017 - 10:10 pm
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Module 2

First time experiencing this technique. Very interesting. I used to practice only leg/hips movement to release the lower back, but not the rocking part to the top of the head.

I faced some issues to find the proper therapist position. At the beginning I was not able to rock the body of the patient properly.  I was obliged to lift the legs, keeping an additional pressure on the feet. (and it was quite tiring, was not feeling very comfortable).

After few trials, I realized that keeping my elbow close to my side body, and keeping a light pull of the heel toward me, was helping me to get a better result, and my partner like it also. Not sure if it is ok? But for sure, my body movements are bigger than yours. Anyway, I will keep on practicing to have this movement smooth and natural.

 I try this technique on 4 different body types:

- Type 1: It was a bit tricky to get her head moving. At the end, my partner felt a warm, slow and gentle flow of energy from toe to head.

- Type 2: Stiff body, it is kind of difficult to have a proper movement to get the waves on the full body. It requires me more energy on the body weight. I was feeling better if I was sitting on a yoga block to feel more stability by providing  the chi machine. My chest needs to stay straigtht a bit backward. My partner felt good, felt the spine lengten and some energy flowing. But hard for me to do that for 2 min.

 - Body type 3+4: women much taller and bigger that body type 1+2 (~+10 kgs). It was the best chi machine. Their bodies were very light,  very smooth to give chi machine. A pleasure for them and for me. How come? I am wondering where it comes from? any clues?

Next time need to practice on a man.

Generally speaking, is there any contra-indication for chi machine or thai massage? A pregnant woman for instance  - we won’t ask her to be in prone position, or any posture with a compression on the belly.

Thanks

 

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January 12, 2017 - 12:46 pm
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Definitely the Chi Machine is easier to do on some types of bodies than on others. The only contraindication I can think of for the Chi Machine is hypermobility, i.e. knees which are "hanging through". For such clients this technique will not feel good.

To get the Chi Machine just right does take some practice. The secret is that the more you can minimize your own body's movement, the more you get your client's body to move. The more you move your own body, the clumsier it feels both to you and to your client. 

It all comes out of your hip. Imagine your hip being half filled with water and your are shaking your hips sideways to get the water sloshing up against the outside of your hip (from the inside of course).

As far as contraindications to Thai Massage in general are concerned, here are two articles which will give you the answers:

Thai Massage Contraindications Part 1

Thai Massage Contraindications Part 2

And here is an article about Thai Massage and pregnancy:

Thai Massage And Pregancy

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 14, 2017 - 12:10 pm
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Module 3

Hello Shama,

Starting building up the sequence!!  Chi machine is ongoing and getting better and better.

Foot massage practiced few times on 4 body types. 

As you said, the first impression is very important. So as to bring this gentle and warm touch, I like rubbing my hands and applying them on the feet first for few seconds,  then I start the sequence.

Foot Tech.1: Very important to keep a good contact with our "client" and check the level of pressure to give. 

Foot Tech.2: hahaha this technique is the one which takes me more time. Now getting much better, much comfortable with my hands position, and I would say now I am more "dancing"/flowing with the movement and get a good coordination with the breath. I was not using enough my body weight at the beginning. I am still far to be at target, but I start to have a good sense of it.

Foot tech. 3-6: My friends really enjoyed. They felt the foot therapy, but also on the whole legs to the hips. Especially on internal/external rotation. To focus a bit more on external/internal rotation, I gently pull back the leg with my body weight and rotate. I would say I have a better grip on the external rotation then the internal (more difficult for me to grab properly the point 1+2.

But I will practice, and the sequence will get better.

Got very good feedback on the last technique and the leg shaking. 

Overall, I am feeling quite good on this part and my friends are happy! 

Do you have kind of checklist of your patient -  to record if any specific pain, or level of pressure they prefer?

Thanks a lot,

Sabrina 

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Shama
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January 14, 2017 - 12:43 pm
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Yes, I have an entire methodology for that. Actually there is one full module all about that (module 35). And also throughout the course I demonstrate several methods how to gauge client comfort or discomfort and levels of intensity, like the one-to-ten method. I don't keep charts since I have an almost photographic memory when it comes to the condition of my clients. 

Also I have never had a mass practice with new clients walking in all the time. My massage practice has always been focused on fewer, but regular repeat clients who needed specific therapeutic work. As a result I always knew my clients very well, and I never needed notes to keep track of things.

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 15, 2017 - 11:25 am
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Dear Shama,

Thank you . Yes, I definitely think that you know the client very well. I just want in case to have a proper  methodology at the beginning. Will wait for module 35 🙂

 

Module 4

Thank you for the review.  Yes, I can understand what you say when using the body weight. The massage seems effortless for the therapist and everything is flowing so much better. Of course, few improvements step by step. So if I feel any effort done on my side, I will review my position and adjust.

I will focus on the transition to ensure it is nice and smooth.

I have few questions:

1. On the bended out move: I push the sole of the foot, but is there a specific reason I can't do any gentle flexion of the toes? I used to learn that before, and my friends like it.

2. Massage the malleole (inner/outer) - I really like it, my friends too!!!! It is not a common place for doing massage. And they feel very good. Is there something specific, effect on another part of the body by massaging this part? is there any specific minimum time to circle and massage there.

Thanks a lot,

Sabrina 

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Shama
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January 16, 2017 - 2:04 am
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Regarding your first question: I suspect you are referring to the bend down move, not the bend out move, is this correct? There is nothing wrong with gently flexing the toes in that technique. The issue is just that many therapists don't bend the foot forward at all, but just press down on the toes. And that doesn't do anything and doesn't feel good either.

However if you bend the foot forward and include some gentle toe flexion, that's perfectly fine.

Regarding your second question - my philosophy is that if it feels good, it is good. I never pay much attention to what other areas of the body might be effected by pressure on a particular spot. The reason is that this is in the realm of theory, as in reflexology. In regular Thai foot massage, you don't have to concern yourself about reflexology correlations. However there is a Thai foot reflexology system where this does come into play, but this is a bit outside of regular Thai Massage.

There is no specific minimum time to massage any area of the body. I am not a fan of setting rigid rules for how long you stay on a spot. If it feels great to a client, I would stay longer on it. For me massage is more of an intuitive, creative art rather than a system which is defined by rules and limits and measurements.

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 21, 2017 - 10:19 am
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Dear Shama,

Thanks for your comment and advices - yes, I was talking about bending the foot forward and including gentle toe flexion.

Module 5

I am trying  to review some of previous techniques to feel more comfortable and get a smoother touch, and a natural flow.

I like this module with the diversity of the different legs warm up.

- Regarding the butterfly, my partner got sore legs after running, so her thighs were very sensitive, and when I was leaning forward, I really need to adjust and don't put my full body weight.

Question: When people got sore legs on legs, you want to work on them properly, to increase the blood circulation, oxygen in the issue for a faster recovery, or you do a lighter massage?

- Regarding the 2+3 techniques - I was feeling much more comfortable with the thumbs than on the palms. Sometime my hands were slippering on the pants (whereas with the thumbs got a better grab of the leg) -  I need to  go on trying on different body type to get different feedback.  My partner and I were feeling much comfortable when I was locking her foot - allowing her to be more relax and get more benefits on the massage.

I love the push-pull, I am feeling very comfortable with this technique, and seems to be very relaxing for my partner. 

Regarding the outer side of the leg - as you indicated was feeling more comfortable by blocking the leg.I did the squeeze pull upon the whole leg. But her IT band was sensitive, especially around the knee. I took more time around this area, and provide thumbs circle massage close to the knee. She was feeling better. But would like to know if there is something better (I might see that in the next modules).

Thanks a lot,

Sabrina 

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Shama
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January 21, 2017 - 11:15 am
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Regarding "working properly" - you cannot force a muscle to recover by using more pressure. For some people the strong pressure might feel right, but others just need some gentle 'feel good' work to entice a muscle to relax and let go of built up tension.

What works best for me is to start out with some gentle motion techniques like circling and rocking (covered later in the course), and then gradually building up to stronger techniques. While I am doing that I observe the client's reaction or get verbal feedback from them via the one-to-ten questioning method (covered later in the course). 

In this way I can tailor my work to a particular client's need rather than using a standard approach. Different people react differently and need different approaches. For me it is all about listening to my client's body, observing reactions, and communicating effectively with a client. 

That's why I have included many different types of techniques in this course so that you can modify and adapt your work to suit different types of clients.

As you can tell, I avoid giving blanket advice about how to apply the techniques, and instead advocate creating an intuitive 'dance' with the client where we listen with our hands and work with a client and not just on the clientSmile

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 22, 2017 - 2:38 pm
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Thanks for your advice. I got some previous experiences of Thai massage where I got sore legs, and the therapist was very working hard on my muscles. I was feeling very tired at the end. Starting from gentle techniques and building up slowly is perfectly fine with me :).  

You give us the base, foundation but a close communication with our client, client's body and reactions is very important as well. I quite like your sentence working with a client and not on the client Wink

Module 6

I am happy today, the body's movement is more natural  - I start to have a good flow, and my partner felt it. She slept after the massage yesterday!Laugh

On this module, finding the proper therapist position was a bit tricky. As you said, I tried working with my forearm vs. bodyweight on my partner. Yes, she definitely senses the difference, and so do I. 

Once the proper position found, it was very comfortable leaning forward, she really likes the part on IT band (line 5 - if my memory is correct). But I was feeling less comfortable on the line 3, I think need to use more body movement...

Again, I am just experimenting the techniques you gave to us, to see which one I am feeling comfortable with good results on my partner. I will focus on few on them first to fine tune them so as to maximise the results and work on different ppl to get their feedback - bodies and feelings are totally different from one to another.

Thank you!

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January 22, 2017 - 10:39 pm
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Exactly, it is better to fine tune some techniques which you feel most comfortable with rather than trying to do everything in a mediocre way. You can always build on your skill level and add more fine tuned techniques to your repertoire. There are hundreds of techniques in Thai Massage, and you don't have to memorize or use them all - especially not in the beginning. I like to say that the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory rigid sequences.

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January 24, 2017 - 7:58 pm
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Module 7

The introduction of the module is great!!! Be able to check hips based on the feet position, I will definitely pay more attention in the future.

My friends really likes the foot walking technique, she can really feel her muscle getting loose. But as you said it is quite challenging to get a proper grab behind the leg. I try different position - I have a bit adjusted grab her feet, and my body was much more comfortable.

We practice also the squeeze and lifting her hips on the side. I used to learn this technique before just by moving backward, but moving back and inward, she can really felt the difference and felt a better stretch. She is fan of this one!

I was still practicing over techniques from the previous module...I manage to get her feedback only on 1 leg, as she felt asleep in the middle of the second leg…I guess it is a good sign Laugh

Thanks for those great techniques!! 

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Shama
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January 24, 2017 - 11:44 pm
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Did you try the hands-free technique which is shown in the supplemental video? That eliminates the foot grabbing issue.

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 28, 2017 - 1:37 pm
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Hi Shama,  not sure to understand what you mean by hands-free technique - which supplemental video?

I try to practice more holding behind the knee is getting better.

 

Module 8

I like to spend time on the calf muscles, especially the one when you pull on one side/another side. My partner said it was really relaxing and after few minutes working on it - she was feeling the benefits, and her legs was very relaxed. She felt light the following morning.

I don't have too much question on this part, I was feeling comfortable. I have practiced some of the techniques during my last workshop - But my friends are telling me, that it is getting better - I can see I am feeling more confident, better touch with my hands, and my body movement also.

For the massage around the knee, it was totally new for me - but it is a great way to release some tension. I like this one 🙂

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January 28, 2017 - 2:47 pm
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In the email for module 7 there are two download links, one for the main module, and one for the supplemental module. That's the one I was referring to, and that's the one which shows the hands free technique for this stretch.

Knee massage is a very unique skill which few massage therapists have. That's why I made an entire course just about knee therapy which goes even much further than the Complete Thai Massage course. Smile

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 29, 2017 - 11:14 am
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oops! yes I realized after Surprised Thank you! Yes, hooking the foot below my knee is quite good! I have a good support! Thank you Smile

Module 9

Moving on the “hip pie” practice. I used to learn only hips rotation, but thanks to your presentation, I have a better understanding on how to stretch by using the different angle of the hips - and it is a good way to remember how to stretch the hip - everything becomes logical. Doing the elephant walking was quite interesting. My friends really felt different spot on stiffness on the various orientation. 

I am mostly training with Yoga practitioners, I need to work on non-body yogi type to be able to experience and get my friend feedback and find what is best for them.

I have few questions:

- If I am not wrong, when you do hips rotation, you rotate only on 1 side (external rotation) – Is there any explanation to not rotate on the other side?

- When doing hips evaluation, feet of my friends open widely, but it was very stiff to bend inward.So the way I interpret, it is to be very gentle on all internal rotation. Should I do something else?

 - For the spinal twist, when bringing the hand on the lower back and pushing knee forward, I was not really comfortable. They felt better when they got the knee bent, and I grasp the knee to pull towards and in. Otherwise, I use to do the spinal twist with hand on shoulder, they like this a lot. (Always get a pillow around to support the knee if needed) Wink

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January 30, 2017 - 12:20 am
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The direction of the hip rotation feels better to me the way I do it. However there is no scientific explanation why it has to be done that way. I suggest you have someone do this to you and then you will feel what works best for you. If both directions feel good to you, then you can do that on your clients as well. For me this is more a personal preference than a real rule. I do many things intuitively, and that's why I do it in this particular direction.

If the feet don't move inward easily, then there is a restriction in the hip for the medial rotation. The best remedy for this is to do inward rocking movements with the entire leg and to do other hip stretches. Hip issues cannot be dealt with effectively when working on the feet.

Regarding your question about the spinal twist, I am not sure if I understand exactly what you mean when you say "grasp the knee to pull towards and in". You said "They felt better when they got the knee bent" - the knee IS bent anyway in this technique. Maybe you can elaborate to help me better understand your question.

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Sabrina Meyer
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January 30, 2017 - 2:09 am
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Thanks a lot Shama.

- Hips rotation: Yes, definitely I will try it.

- Feet inward: Yes, feet was only this assessment, will practice more inward rocking movement.

- Spinal twist: sorry, let me clarify - I was referring to the technique of Module 7 "squeeze and lifting her hips inward" where she felt a nice stretch, otherwise she would prefer the deep spinal twisting with my hands on her shoulder.

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Sabrina Meyer
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February 1, 2017 - 2:05 pm
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Module 10

On this module, I really focused on the 270 hamstring, and the blood stop:

- As you said - 270 stretch is a strong one –  I am lucky I can practice on my yoga friends, they like it and feel a good stretch, but for sure it won't be accessible for all patients. This practice needs to be slow and gentle  – but it is still good to practice this one.

- Blood stop!! Great effect!! We love it! I take it slow to find the right spot - It is very important to find the artery to perform it properly otherwise there is no benefit. I move my body weight for 30sec – 1 min and release very gently and progressively – and they felt a nice and warm flow moving back to the legs. I think the purpose it to provide fresh blood to the lower limbs.

Now I try to communicate more with my clients, especially on the sensitive techniques which can create discomfort to find the right level for them.

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