Hi, I just signed-up yesterday. I cannot wait to get started. I have been a licensed clinical massage therapist since 2009, and a Thai bodywork practitioner since 2011. I am not the same massage therapist I was when I started. In the same way, I hope to improve my current skills in Thai Yoga Massage...it is a wonderful healing art!
Hi Sofi, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course and our forum! I am glad to have another Thai Massage therapist join us. I am sure you will pick up quite a few new skills in this course.
Are you planning to go for the certification? Your topic title sounds like you do. I have not seen a certification registration from you yet. The link is in your course manual in the certification section, so that I will know what your are after.
Thank you, Shama, for the warm welcome! I just registered for the CE certification. I have reviewed Modules 1 & 2. (I also signed-up to receive your mini video courses and have just also reviewed 1 & 2).
Module 1: Course Introduction
I have to say that I am just enthralled with your approach to the introduction of Thai Massage! Although my current massage techniques have enabled me to help people feel better and to secure employment, I have a long-way to go until I become much more than a "massage mechanic." Thank you for this opportunity to learn how to put it all together, so that I can create something beautiful with my work. Not surprisingly, I have been told that although my techniques are effective, they do not flow. I am beginning to see that I have been missing out on the beautiful, connected flow...the dance of Thai Massage!! In my practice of Thai, I have often found myself straining to do a movement, instead of using proper ergonomics. Many times, I have found myself huffing and puffing, out of breath, instead of synchronizing my breath with my movements. You don't realize what this means to me...you call this module, Course Introduction...I call it my Course Correction!!!Thank you, Shama, for this amazing opportunity.
Module 2: Chi Machine
I like the fact that you are not very rigidly traditional, and that you have developed your own styles of Thai Massage. I look forward to learning the Heavenly Head Massage, in particular. ( I believe that is included with this course?) Like I stated in my last post, I have been missing out on the beautiful flow that makes Thai Massage a healing art. I need to learn to work in a relaxed way and with good ergonomics. I do LOVE Thai Massage because it is so effective for my clients, but there is more to love...like the natural, comfortable, and enjoyable healing art that it should be. I no longer have to fear a very large client, thinking I will be stressed-out after a session. By applying your instruction, I know I can develop my own style and artistry. Thank you, Shama.
The Chi Machine is amazing! I am so happy that you chose to include it in our instruction. It is definitely a beautiful way to open a session. It is helping me to get into the right, relaxed mindset, and so far, none of my clients/patients have experienced anything like it before. It takes some practice, but it is so worth it.
It looks like you have the forum posting figured out correctly, but just to make sure that we are on the same wave length I am posting a link to our certification check list here which you can take a look at:
Certification Check List
I am happy to hear that you found a new way of working with the dance of Thai Massage. It seems that this course will be right up your alley!
As you noticed, I am not a fan of strictly following a traditional model as this can prevent you from being creative and innovative. There is value in tradition, but I certainly would not want to be limited by it. The Chi Machine is my addition to Thai Massage as are all the rocking moves which you will learn later on in the course.
The "huffing and puffing" routine is the best way to cut an excellent career short or take the joy out of it. The opposite would be an easy flow which doesn't take much effort at all, and that's what this course is all about.
Module 3: Foot Massage 1
Thank you for giving me several new moves to include in the opening foot massage. I also like to open with a nice gentle foot massage, as I have learned through my previous experience that (1) it helps me to introduce my touch to the client; (2) it helps the client to relax; and (3) it affects other parts of the body. Not only did I pick up several new moves from this module, but it is helping me to work on my flow in my practice. I am gradually learning to lean my body weight into the moves and to be mindful of any tension in my body, so that I can correct my ergonomics. I do confess that it is a challenge for me to do this automatically, because I have gotten so used to doing things a certain way. However, I am very teachable and motivated to be able to be better for my clients and kinder to my body! I will be turning 50 this December, and I would like to continue practicing Thai Massage for as long as my body will allow. From an article that you wrote, I see that several practitioners have enjoyed Thai Massage well into their 70's and up! That is both motivating and inspiring! With that being said...I do have a question: Is it normal to be sore from doing Thai Massage at first, until your body gets used to the moves?? I don't mean from the moves in this module alone, but let's say going from doing 1-3 hours of Thai Massage/week to 3-5 hours of Thai Massage per day? Any comments, suggestions for self-care would be welcome. Thank you
It is normal that the body has to get used to Thai Massage techniques in the beginning. Initially practitioners often cannot sit comfortably "Japanese style" or squat on their toes or kneel. After a while those issues almost always resolve themselves.
However you should not get sore from doing Thai Massage. This can be an indication that you are not using the best ergonomics, or you are using too much muscle pressure, or you are not relaxed enough. Again, these are skills that develop over time, not over night. It might take a little while to get so comfortable with the techniques that they just flow with no apparent effort.
Yoga is the perfect companion for Thai Massage. I always recommend doing some yoga. This will go a long way to maintain flexibility, grace of movement, improve breath integration, and build strength.
As you can see, I have been absent from the forum since August. August and September were two very hectic and busy months, as we moved our daughter down to Florida, where she will be studying at the University of Tampa for the next four years. In addition, we have been preparing to move, as we have put our house up for sale and are looking for a condominium to downsize, now that we are empty-nesters. We have managed to sell most of our furniture and our house is certainly very empty now, as the rest of our belongings are in storage. We are waiting to hopefully close on the sale/purchase of our homes by the end of the month, or sooner. In the meantime, I lost my job at the chiropractor's and was a little down about that. I still have my private clients and my second job at the spa, thankfully. I have been watching and re-watching the modules, just haven't had time to post. I hope to get caught up in the next several weeks. By the way, I did not receive Module 24. I received all of the modules 1 - 23, then 25 - 27, so far, but am missing #24; I looked in my spam folder, and it is not there, either. Would you be so kind as to send it to me? Thank you in advance.
Module 4: Foot Massage 2
I love the teaching based on conceptual thinking that you present in this module, illustrated by the 8 ways to move the foot. It was like a light-bulb went off in my head. Now when I do my sequences in Thai, I am thinking about the different ways the body can move, depending on the area of the body that I am working on. It has helped me to be more thorough and a lot more fluid in my sequences and transitions. I have also found that the huffing and puffing is now a thing of the past, as I have quickly learned to use my entire body weight and breathe into the movements! My clients are very happy with the new foot massage moves that I have learned here.
Module 5: Leg Warm-up
In the past, I usually like to start my Thai sessions at the feet and then a leg warm-up, standing, using hands-free techniques. In my practice sessions, however, I have been focusing on the techniques presented here. I begin with the Chi Machine, foot work, and now with the leg warm-up moves that I have learned here. The squeezing and rolling up of the muscles, especially calf muscles, as I lean in, back and forth with my body is my favorite new leg warm-up technique. I learned hands-free techniques thinking that it would "save" my upper body...but, truthfully, as long as I lean in with my entire body, squeeze and "roll" or use my palms and get a nice rhythm of movement, using my hands is actually very relaxing for both me and my clients. I find that it is actually a much more relaxing, fluid, and effective way to warm-up a client's leg, arm, etc. The rhythmic movement is becoming more natural and I have incorporated more rocking movements in my sessions, which clients absolutely love! Some of my clients have seen several other therapists over the years, but have never experienced these types of movements from any of them. I have even been adapting some of these techniques to the table and incorporating them in my Swedish massage sessions. It is very rewarding for me to be the one that introduces clients to this new dance of Thai massage!