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Tabitha Sprigler's Hip Therapy Course
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Tabitha Sprigler
Indiana (US)
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February 27, 2023 - 3:42 am
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Module 1

Hello,

It's been years since I've completed a course here, but I use the techniques that I've learned previously in my professional and personal life so I'm excited to be back. I actually went through the hip course a couple months ago, but I've decided to go through it again now to increase my familiarity and for CEUs. 

After the fallout from Covid, I've returned to being a social worker full-time and closed my massage therapy office. Now, I'm venturing back to my bodywork very part-time. I've missed it greatly and can tell a difference within my own body from the reduced physical activity from not providing massage daily. I can definitely feel it in my own hips and down into my ankle. So, this course is having positive impacts on me professionally and personally. 

This module also reminded me of the rocking course and I plan to take that soon. As mentioned, anatomy is important, but clients have always come to be because of the intuitive nature of the work we do together.

I'm looking forward to the next module. 

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Shama Kern
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February 27, 2023 - 6:54 am
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Hi Tabitha, welcome back. I remember you from way back when. Smile

I agree with you, ultimately your clients will appreciate your work a lot more because of your intuitive skills than because of your anatomical knowledge. It is certainly good to have this knowledge, but it is not as essential as being an intuitive and creative therapist.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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February 28, 2023 - 1:01 am
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Thanks for the welcome. It's great to be back. 

Module 2:

I'm loving this course and I'm very happy to get back to rocking movements especially with my forearms and feet. It's been awhile since I've used my feet (or practiced yoga) so this has been a wonderful "retraining" and re coordinating of my body. I knew that I missed bodywork, but not how much until I began again. It feels like coming back to a part of myself that I've neglected. 

As always, I love the intuitive approach of these courses and how, while there is that foundation in anatomy and technique, so much is about what is felt while working within the body's rhythm. I believe that this is so much more relaxing for the receiver, but it's relaxing to me too. I'm not sure how I forgot how very much bodywork feels like a moving meditation that does wonders for me as well. 

I also appreciated the clear communication regarding genitalia and comfort for male clients. It reminded me of an unfortunate incident way back in massage school when I wasn't yet comfortable being that direct with clients.  No one was injured, but my lack of clarity caused embarrassment for both of us. Luckily he was compassionate and otherwise enjoyed the work we did together. He ended up being a long-term client, but that's a lesson I'll never forget. 

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Shama Kern
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February 28, 2023 - 5:07 am
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I loved reading your post. It's great for me to hear how the essence of this Thai Massage work sinks in with someone and is being used in the way it is intended, and not just as a bunch of mechanical techniques.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 7, 2023 - 9:49 pm
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Module 3

Apologies for my delayed return. I've been caring for a child with a virus.

This was a nice return to the course with the reminder of the power of gentleness. I feel that I've spent an incredible amount of time over the years with both massage therapists and clients regarding "deep tissue massage." There is this frequent misconception of "no pain no gain" and I disagree. I often question why body workers choose to fight the body rather than listen to and coax it. I often ask people to give me the chance to work with them in such a way that they will remain relaxed, ultimately allowing for that "deep" result that they want without causing them undue pain pushing through tension.

Like you, I believe that we are moving energy and our mindset and intentions while we work have a significant impact on what we accomplish together.

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Shama Kern
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March 8, 2023 - 1:48 am
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"There is this frequent misconception of "no pain no gain" and I disagree. I often question why body workers choose to fight the body rather than listen to and coax it."  -  Well said, we are totally on the same wave length.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 9, 2023 - 6:24 pm
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Module 4

Thanks, Shama. I'm grateful to learn from you.

I find this concept of the hip pie is very useful as a holistic, natural, flowing process. By not scrambling around jumping from muscle to muscle, it feels more thorough but also relaxing. I've also found that the most flexible of yogis can be a bit more difficult to reach the depth of stretch they crave without traction. But, as you've shared, they love the traction because it's something they cannot achieve on their own. 

On the topic of blood stops, I feel comfortable providing them. However, I still find myself struggling to receive them when I receive Thai massage. I think it's a matter of trust and anxiety. 

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Shama Kern
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March 10, 2023 - 12:32 am
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The blood stop is an interesting technique. I have received countless bloodstops in Thai Massage sessions, but most felt rushed, mindless, and ineffective. I have learned how to do it slowly, mindfully, in a sensitive way, and for enough time to get the desired outcome. If you do it that way, it feels good, you are confident about doing it, and it will be effective.

However it is disappointing when you get it yourself, and it is not done right. You are correct, if you don't know the therapist and there is not a trust relationship, it can feel a bit strange. That's why I tried as much as possible to always go to the same therapist in Thailand for my sessions. Even in Thailand, there are plenty of not-so-good Thai Massage therapists. And there were some where I was nervous what they were going to do next. Frown

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 11, 2023 - 2:37 am
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It's helpful to know that I'm not the only therapist that has experienced anxiety as a receiver. I think I haven't found a therapist that I full trust to provide this experience for me, but I'll remain open to the journey. 🙂

Module 5: I'm enjoying going back through this course and having the time to focus on the sensitivity of touch and breathe, much like in yoga, to channel energy and improve the practice. I also appreciated the way you described how powerful thumbs can be for diagnosis, but not as work tools. I know many therapists that have "chronic use injuries" in their thumb joints. I don't want to end up in that situation. 

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Shama Kern
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March 11, 2023 - 3:32 am
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"I know many therapists that have "chronic use injuries" in their thumb joints."  -  I used to be one of those about one year into learning Thai Massage. I followed the typical Thai routine of doing lots of thumbing all over the body. That didn't work out that well for me (22 years ago), and that's the reason why I made sure in my courses to avoid unnecessary thumbing techniques. 

Most Thai therapists figure that out on their own, and use different body parts, when possible. They still teach way too much thumbing in the Thai Massage schools which is fine if you are the teacher, but not so fine if you do it all day long on your clients.

Therefore I developed my own style which uses way less thumbing, and that's why I have yet to hear from one of my students that they developed thumb problems. Smile My intention is that they never will.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 13, 2023 - 6:50 am
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Module 6

I appreciate how much work you've done to design courses that care for both givers and receivers. I experienced a thumb injury during yoga many years ago. I was distracted in conversation as I lifted myself up from lotus into a split. And, that neglect caused some instability in my thumb joint. I thought it healed, but began to notice pain after a few years of table massage. I type all that to say that it's wonderful to have so many options that don't overwork that joint. 

I can see how the rocking motions are relaxing for receivers, but I find they also create an ease of motion for me. It also seems to result in more impactful work without strain on either side. 

It's also helpful that you explore the considerations and alterations needed for male or female clients. I have participated in Thai massage classes elsewhere where these concerns were not noted. You always give multiple options for various bodies and it's very helpful to explore variations. 

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Shama Kern
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March 13, 2023 - 7:55 am
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Thanks, I do try to make this accessible to everyone, and this means different approaches, modifications, and techniques.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 14, 2023 - 2:22 am
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Module 7

This was a great module to try with my yoga teacher. He really enjoyed it, but it was very clear that how powerful the stretches are and that some (many) clients will benefit from the more gentle approach. I'll definitely be spending time working on the forearm techniques later in the video. They were really impactful even with my currently less than smooth delivery. 😅

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March 14, 2023 - 7:03 am
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That's the secret - what technique works on which client, and how intense or how gentle it needs to be. This can only be learned through lots of practice and experience. Good communication is also very important, like the one-to-ten questioning method.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 17, 2023 - 4:47 pm
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Module 8

The receiver loved this position and techniques. They were seriously amazed by the relief achieved and kept talking to other people about it. I told them they could suggest this course to their partner for at home care. 🙂

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Shama Kern
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March 18, 2023 - 5:25 am
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Thanks for the recommendation.

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 24, 2023 - 6:42 am
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Module 9: I had a fun time working with all these tools even though there was some clumsiness with the knee. Myself and my partner kept a lightheadedness to it. It was soothing and impactful even when everything wasn't smooth. 

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Tabitha Sprigler
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March 26, 2023 - 9:55 pm
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Module 10

I appreciate how you as shared about the need for receivers to do work on their own (whether it be yoga or something else) to support the bodywork. I also completely agree with you about simply being comfortable with the physical intimacy in the process of Thai massage. I always explain to people that ask me about comfort when I'm working with clients that physical intimacy is different than sexual intimacy. It is my role to create the healthy boundaries and sense of safety. Typically the fact that I feel calm and comfortable is transmitted to the person I am working with. If I'm at ease, they tend to be at ease. 

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Shama Kern
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March 26, 2023 - 11:05 pm
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"I always explain to people that ask me about comfort when I'm working with clients that physical intimacy is different than sexual intimacy. It is my role to create healthy boundaries and a sense of safety. Typically the fact that I feel calm and comfortable is transmitted to the person I am working with. If I'm at ease, they tend to be at ease."  -  Exactly. It is not about how many inches you are away from 'sensitive' areas. It is about having the right mindset, having clear and clean energy, and communicating well. Issues arise when the therapist is afraid of getting too close to xyz area and is subconsciously transmitting this fear to the client.

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Tabitha Sprigler
Indiana (US)
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March 31, 2023 - 3:32 am
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Module 11:

This was a wonderful way to wrap up this course. The techniques were effective, but also relaxing for myself and the receiver. I also appreciated seeing how you combined techniques into a flow. 

I've had such a fun time with this course. I've taken massage courses from a few different schools/teachers and I feel the most ease with your courses. That is not to say that the techniques do not take consideration and careful practice, but that I feel aligned with the process/mindset/etc. I greatly appreciate how you combine technique and anatomy, but that you bring it all together with energy and intention. Everyone I've ever used any of your lessons with has been relaxed and happy with the results. When other massage therapists ask me where I receive my massage training, I send them your way. You were not my first teacher, but you are the one I will return to again and again. Thanks for all that you do. 

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