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Sonya Schertel's, Complete Thai Massage certification posts
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Sonya schertel
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April 17, 2023 - 2:57 am
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Module 1

I thought I was in decent shape cause I play with kids but watching the different positions in this video then trying them out I can tell its going to be a gradual build up of endurance and flexibility...I am not a squatter and my balance sucksLaughCryLaugh I won't deny that I was a little bummed there won't be much in the way of technical anatomy terms (It's been awhile since anatomy 101 and I could use some refreshers) but I can understand why the "feel" is the emphasis especially when this course is geared to so many walks of life. Can't wait to really delve deeper! Thank you for making this course!

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Shama Kern
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April 17, 2023 - 5:27 am
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Hi Sonya, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:

Certification Checklist

We don't go heavy on the anatomy for the simple reason that Thai Massage is based on a totally different system. Western massage is based on anatomy, and Eastern massage is based on energy lines. They are both ways of 'mapping' the body, but the Western way is focused on individual areas and body parts, whereas the Thai system is more holistically oriented and looks at the body as a whole that is connected through a network of energy lines.

That being said, the two systems can coexist quite well. The only issue is when Western therapists try to superimpose their anatomical system onto Thai Massage while neglecting the energy line concept. This in effect squeezes the holistic element out of Thai Massage and is therefore a limiting factor. 

In other words, there is nothing wrong with being aware of the anatomy in Thai Massage, but the problem arises when Western therapists are using anatomy as the underlying principle of it. Anyway, you will hear more about this throughout the course. Smile

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Sonya schertel
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April 22, 2023 - 2:59 am
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Module 2

Never seen anything quite like the chi machine. Extremely relaxing and very warming to the whole body. I can get the rhythm going but its hard to keep it smoothly going for 1 to 2 minutes. Practice practice! Everyone I've tried it on really enjoys it and it sends the kids into giggles trying to relax WinkLaugh

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Shama Kern
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April 22, 2023 - 6:53 am
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You can keep it to one minute or even less initially. That should give you the intended result and doesn't feel quite as challenging to you. You can always extend it later if you feel like it. Yes, it is a unique technique, and all clients seem to enjoy it. Smile

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Sonya schertel
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April 26, 2023 - 2:57 am
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Module 3

Getting into the swing of things! My endurance for kneeling is getting longer. Quite enjoying how the overall feel flows except for a couple maneuvers where I am trying to make it feel good for the receiver and forget to use the whole body. Luckily I can tell pretty quickly when I've gone off course. My body will start to grumbleLaugh

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Sonya schertel
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April 26, 2023 - 3:14 am
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Module 4

Ooooohhhhh. I like this video! The way its explained why you push this way and pull that way to flex all the different directions that the foot can go. Wondering about using some form of oil for slide when doing the thumb circles down the top and side of the foot. I was trying to do this on someone with really dry feet and my thumbs got tired from the drag I think. Nobody I have done so far had ankles that rolled around like the model's in the videoCryLaugh. Flexible we are not.

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Shama Kern
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April 26, 2023 - 6:03 am
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You could theoretically use a little oil on the feet. However the problem is that your clients are dressed and wouldn't appreciate getting oil stains on their clothes once you move up from the feet to the legs. You also don't want to have slippery hands which would make it much harder for subsequent stretches.

Or you had to interrupt the session to wipe the oil off your hands which is not so great for the flow of things. If you want to try this on people with very dry skin, I suggest you try something like Jojoba oil which is not greasy and gets absorbed quickly. It is also great for the skin.

There is a style of Thai Foot Massage that is similar to Western reflexology but more pleasant and also more comprehensive. There you work 100 percent with oil on the feet. We have a separate course for that.

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Sonya schertel
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April 27, 2023 - 6:37 am
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I remember reading somewhere that taking a shower before stretching increases your flexibility by 5%. I don't know how accurate the percentage is but it made sense in the same way that this lesson made sense to warm up the muscles before stretching them. haha the first time I tried to lock the foot and leg in place was hilarious! good thing I did it on my hubby! Very cool maneuver though. 

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Shama Kern
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April 27, 2023 - 8:45 am
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I am glad that you have a sense of humor about yourself. Smile Taking yourself too seriously when learning Thai Massage can be depressing. Nothing beats a good laugh when something goes wrong - well, as long as it's not on a paying client.

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Sonya schertel
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May 5, 2023 - 10:01 am
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Module 6

Very relaxing way to work the back of knee. Very enjoyable to give and receive! Everyone I've tried the elephant walk on has had sensitive calves so I switched to the hand motion. So many good ways to work the legs 

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Shama Kern
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May 5, 2023 - 8:06 pm
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"So many good ways to work the legs."  -  Yes, Thai Massage is famous for having excellent leg work. Regarding the knee work, we even have an entire course just for the knee. Most massage modalities have very little knee work, but Thai Massage is really strong there.

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Sonya schertel
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May 13, 2023 - 5:43 am
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Module 7

Hips, so very very important and so very off kilter for a lot of people. What do you recommend for people whose hips shift in and out of where they are supposed to be? Sometimes a person's hip will pop and they get immediate relief from back pain during a session but they tell me it comes back the next day and when they lay down you can see that the hips are no longer the same again. 

Also how long do you usually wait to work on a knee replacement for Thai Massage?

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Shama Kern
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May 14, 2023 - 8:27 pm
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"What do you recommend for people whose hips shift in and out of where they are supposed to be?"  -  Years of bad lifestyle habits or lack of exercise or lack of good posture cannot be remedied quickly. What I sometimes do in such cases is give clients some 'homework' in the form of some yoga or other exercises. This can help build strength in the hip area which is the one thing Thai Massage cannot do. 

"Also how long do you usually wait to work on a knee replacement for Thai Massage?"  -  Once someone had a knee replacement, working directly on the knee doesn't work anymore as before. You have to focus more on leg work. It depends what kind of knee operation they had. I once had a client who had three knee operations, and it got more messed up with each one. So you have to interview the client as to the specifics.

There is no fixed time frame for waiting. In my experience it works best if you do some gentle knee moves and ask the client how it feels for them. If it doesn't feel right, avoid working on it.

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Sonya schertel
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May 17, 2023 - 10:02 am
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Module 8

Haha everyone loves "homework". Not. I do recommend some but I have found that if you give a person more than one stretch or exercise to do they will not do any of them, more than likely.

Really enjoying all the hip work in this section. Also the different techniques for working on larger people is extremely helpful. You give so many different options in your demonstrations to tackle problem muscles and joints. What do you do if someone is prone to muscles cramping?

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Shama Kern
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May 17, 2023 - 8:53 pm
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You are right, many people will not do the exercises unless you keep it down to only a couple of them. But my attitude is that I provide the information, and if they don't follow up on it, it is not my problem. I try to do my best, but their part is not my responsibility. Every now and then you have a client who is in such bad shape that they will do the exercises and will be grateful.

Muscle cramping - when that happens you need to avoid stretching and just work on the muscles. pressure, rocking, circling. You might have to experiment a bit to find out what does work for such a client.

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Sonya schertel
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May 20, 2023 - 8:22 am
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Module 9

You can literally feel and see peoples hips relaxing and loosening up very quickly with these hip "pie" stretches. Best results for me has been foot over and beside the knee and gently rocking the low back and knee back and forth. The hip joint just can't seem to resist.Smile

I lean towards power rather than softness but I've used the 1 to 10 method for a long time to keep me on track and out of trouble. Practice practice. There is always room for improvement!

P.S. I would just like to say I really enjoy the feedback you do after every post. Thank you!

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Shama Kern
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May 20, 2023 - 10:32 am
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"I would just like to say I really enjoy the feedback you do after every post. Thank you!"  -  Thank you, it means a lot to me that you appreciate my input.

You seem to be getting great results with the hip work. I think you will be able to get similar results in other areas of the body. Thai Massage is really good for therapeutic work because of all these moves like stretches and rocking. It is a movement therapy instead of just pressing or rubbing on muscles. This adds a whole new dimension to massage therapy.

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Sonya schertel
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September 9, 2023 - 6:02 am
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Module 10

 

Its interesting when you think about the forcing of a movement or muscle. Thats why so many massage therapists burn out quickly and quit or just don't do deep tissue and stick to the "fluff and buff". When your getting a massage and you can feel the tremble you know their in trouble.Frown   Much easier to perform and relax into if you can match your breathing with your movements and flow with the body's needs for both participants

Blood stop...I was taught if your on an artery get off it quick! lol. What a 180*degree turnSurprised. It's like a mini dam that's going to wash away anything when it "breaks". 

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Sonya schertel
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September 9, 2023 - 6:07 am
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Module 11

 

What a wonderful over view and wrap up! Jealous of that smooth flow you have knee to kneeWink. But considering how long you've been doing it...practice practice practice. Cool  Again loving all the maneuvers and multiple options available for use to make the massage work smoothly and well. It is a lot of content and its wonderful to be able to go back and watch the videos as much as one likes!

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Shama Kern
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September 9, 2023 - 8:06 am
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"It is a lot of content and it's wonderful to be able to go back and watch the videos as much as one likes!"  -  Not only is it useful to go back and re-watch the videos, but without re-watching them there would be no chance to remember it all. Smile

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