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Sara Giusy Castelli's Thai Back Massage notes
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Sara Giusy Castelli
Spain
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December 5, 2020 - 7:13 pm
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Module 1

I used to know that I have a slight scoliosis and kyphosis but I find a bit shocking to see this back problems displayed so clearly and to see that they are so easy to notice.

The intense course of massage I've taken in Thailand was in a quite serious school (hopefully), for example I've passed through 4 exames to get my certificate, but they never mentioned specific back problems, how to recognize them and how to treat them.

So, now I've in my hand kind of 8 hours of different techniques but I don't master them, I just put them in some routins but I don't know exactely which is for which specific problem.

So, I'm really looking forward to gain the skills that I miss and to learn the most that I can from this course.

This part was explained very clearly and easily and I've appreciated the simple tips to analyse visually the spine.

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Shama Kern
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December 6, 2020 - 12:21 am
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Hi Sara, welcome to our forum. Your post looks like you are going for a certificate. However we have not received a certification registration from you. We need that in order to know which certificate you want and to have your correct data.

You will find this form by clicking on the 'Certification Information' tab in the sidebar of your membership portal. This will take you to the certification tutorial. If you scroll down, you will find the certification registration section with the link to the registration form. Please fill it out and send it in.

It is fairly typical that in Thailand you learn lots of techniques, but when you need the specific application for certain conditions, you are not taught this information. This is why we have created a large variety of training material for lots of specific therapy applications like shoulders, back, knees, feet, neck, sacrum, sciatica, etc.

Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

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Sara Giusy Castelli
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December 8, 2020 - 12:31 am
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Module 2

I've studied at high school the bone structure of the spine and at the age of 35 was for sure good to briefly have a look on it again.

The overview about the main back disorders, why they may occour and where in the spine is a basic knowledge that I think should make part of my baggage as a therapist.

Is also helpfull to have clear specifications on when Thai massage can be usefull, contraindications, tips on how to deal with the clients.

I'm very interested also about the energy level and the possibility to transform the memory of the cells through Thai massage.

I was attracted to Thai massage mainly because it looked to me the most holistic one and it felt on me so good.

However in this year of practice I've notice that western people are a bit surprised about the techniques and I have the feeling that they expect from a massage to fly away, melting with the floor, thing that not always can happen in Thai massage...

Of course to improve the quality of my massage is what I can do about the feedback, that anyways was good, and here I am.

I think that now I've successfully completed my certification registration.

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Shama Kern
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December 8, 2020 - 1:26 am
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Yes, we got your registration, thanks.

Actually there is a way to let clients experience this 'fly away, melting with the floor' experience. I have done this for two decades and it works beautifully on every client.

What I do is this: I end every Thai Massage session with some elements from my Heavenly Head Massage system - some neck, head and face techniques. This puts clients into massage heaven and they often end up in a trance-like state. 

Now you have the best of two worlds. They get the effective therapeutic work, but instead of ending on that note, they get to experience the 'fly away, melting with the floor' thing as well. 

Clients love this and they remember it. This is a perfect combination and has served me and my clients very well.

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Sara Giusy Castelli
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December 8, 2020 - 8:28 pm
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Module 3

After having get my certification in Thai,  I've decided to practice every day for some months, giving at least a massage a day for free to friends and known people.

After a while, doing my routins, I've already developed some pain and stiffness in thumbs and wrists....I've even had the impression that my right thumb was turning out and changing shape....

So, I've found a very good tip to use another part of the body whenever that is possible.

The suggestions about the props are also very usefull: I have to admit that I've done several massages to a guy with hip issues and his feet and ankles were as you have described lying on the belly...so now I know that that guy have maybe suffered in a very unconfortable position in every of our sessions...

I guess that lying on the belly is a position to avoid with overweight people with big belly, is it so?

Now in my mind is kind of being born a idea of the structure of the work in postural disorders, although is a bit frustrating both side that we can't do much about weak antogonist muscles: my impression is that some clients don't want to take any responsability about their wellness and they expect that you just fix them.

Thank you for the tip in your message, I will need to learn also face and head techniques then 😉

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Shama Kern
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December 8, 2020 - 10:35 pm
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When I started out with Thai Massage in 1999, I had a similar or even worse experience than you. After one year of using my thumbs for everything, as is typically taught in most Thai Massage schools and courses, I developed a nasty thumb joint inflammation that almost killed my career before it had even started.

I was confronted with two options - either quit Thai Massage altogether or find a better way of doing it. I wasn't ready to throw in the towel, and since that time I have focused on using and teaching as many therapist-friendly techniques as possible, i.e. using other body parts besides the hands.

That's the reason why I even created an entire course to help with this issue which many massage therapists are facing: Hands Free Thai Massage.

And I know and teach how to use the hands in such a way that thumbs and joints do not get overworked and stressed. This has always been my mission since my close call with a thumb injury in the early days of my career.

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Sara Giusy Castelli
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December 17, 2020 - 6:58 pm
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Module 4

I've had the opportunity to practice the techniques on one of my friends and I've experimented for a while changing position, direction of pressure and rythm.

I've found ok to stay on my knees and to lift my body up on this medium size, 24 years old guy, apparently with no specific back issue but for sure with closed hips ( I've noticed again the position of the ankles and this time I've put a support under!).

In my notes I've wrote to maintain the arms relaxed while doing the movements. This confuses me a bit because, staying on my knees and wanting to put a good amount of pressure, I've of course used my body weight and I use to straight my arms in order to do so...

It looked to me that the 70 degrees pressure was more welcomed than the 90 degrees pressure.

Anyways my receiver was very satisfied and much more relaxed after the short sessions!

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Shama Kern
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December 18, 2020 - 9:44 pm
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Applying your body weight and being relaxed are not opposing concepts. You can apply lots of pressure or weight while being relaxed. Being relaxed, feeling softness, and working with your whole body instead of just your arms are principles that are applied in all techniques of Thai Massage. This has nothing to do with the intensity or the amount of pressure in a technique. It is just a better mode of working compared to tensing your body, working with muscle effort, and straining.

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Sara Giusy Castelli
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December 23, 2020 - 7:06 pm
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Module 5

Athough my 180 hours of thai massage course done in Thailand, this is the first time for me approaching the sacrum.

At the beginning I've found some difficulties in understand exactely the borders of it.

I've practiced on a girlfriend of mine, with some back problems. She was quite sensitive with the thumb wiggle and the knuckle work, so that I tried to adjust my pressure and to feel the problem with my hands. 

I've struggled a little bit in understanding and feeling where is the groove.

I've practiced also to another girlfriend of mine that is quite overweight and it was paradoxically easier, although the difficulties in finding the right lines and areas. She was enjoying a lot, delighted.

I appreciate a lot this part, first of all because I'm convinced it is important and that the nerves coming out of the sacrum may influence farer areas, and of course also because I was missing it completely without this course.

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Shama Kern
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December 25, 2020 - 2:04 am
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You will find that there are quite a few techniques in this course and in our other courses that are not taught in Thai Massage schools in Thailand. 

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Sara Giusy Castelli
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July 3, 2021 - 12:49 am
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Module 6

 

After quite a long while, here I am again, trying to improve my skills as a Thai masseur.

I thought it was appropiate to watch again also Module 5, in order to get a complete picture of the Sacrum thai massage and because I didn't practice it during this months.

I found module 6 very full of usefull information and techniques, I had to stop and listen to it again in some points.

I tried the techniques on 2 friends and it feels like I need to develope some more familiarity to this part of the body that before I used almost to just skip.

Anyways I had good response from my friends although both sensitive in this area.

I will try to include this techniques in my thai massage routine, since I'm offering thai massage as an extra job in the place in which I live.

I appreciate the tip about how to change side without stopping the touch and the movement, I think I need to practice it a little bit more but I get it. Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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July 3, 2021 - 5:59 am
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Welcome back, Sara. Good that you are picking up on the course again. Smile

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Sara Giusy Castelli
Spain
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July 15, 2021 - 7:14 pm
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Module 7

Quite a rich module this one, full of new techniques! I had hard times in finding people to train this new learnings but I did it.

The palm sacrum rocking was quite easy and the receivers appreciated.

To change side while going on with this technique requires coordination and practice, especially I found a bit difficult to keep my own balance without adding extra pressure on the receiver.

Also the rolling off on the sacrum with forearm is an easy movement, although requires attention and coordination about which part of the forearm is touching which part of the buttock.

The rolling forearm down on glutes are my favorite techniques of this module, both because I've felt straight away more confident doing them and because my receivers appreciated them most.

I like the fluidity that is possible to apply to the combination of circles on bottocks and rocking the lower back, after have gained a bit of familiarity with this two.

The work on the side of the hip was a bit unconfortable for my male receiver, I guess that there should be a hip problem there, it was more welcomed the technique with the forearm than the one with the thumbs. 

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Shama Kern
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July 16, 2021 - 1:26 am
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I am glad to hear that you learned plenty of new things in this module. Smile

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