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Tanya Miller Complete Thai Massage Course notes
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Tanya Miller
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October 13, 2016 - 11:35 pm
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Module 1 

I’m excited to take this course – learning Thai massage has been on my wish list for a while now! I have been a practitioner of yoga for many years now (sporadically over the years at times) and was certified to teach a few years ago. One aspect of teaching yoga I was never completely confident in is touch and adjustments – I really feel that a course like this will lend itself becoming more confident in this aspect. 

My day job is a medical lab tech, so I have a heavy science background. I really love that the focus of Thai massage is on energy flow rather than the clinical aspect of the body. Your explanations of what made a good massage  were so clear and simple -how to be able to connect with another through the breath and feeling at ease (ergonomically) as you transfer good energy to your partner and the importance of being in a good frame of mind.  This brings to mind the difference between when my husband gives me a (half-hearted) one handed shoulder rub while watching a football game versus a massage being fully “there”  and presentLaugh.

Looking forward to Module 2!

Tanya 

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Shama
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October 14, 2016 - 1:40 am
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Hi Tanya, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course. I am always glad to see yoga teachers take this course since it is a perfect fit for them. Actually there are many yoga teachers in this forum, and the consensus is that they are becoming more skilled in touching and adjusting during their yoga classes – so you fit right in and you will be getting exactly this result from the course that you are looking for, and a lot more! 

Many of our yoga teacher students have reported that their students love the adjustment help. Also many yoga teachers add a few Thai Massage techniques to their yoga classes which is really appreciated by the students. Some even do a couple of relaxing neck, head or face massage moves during savasana, and their student love it. It’s like a whole new level of yoga teaching.

And quite a few of our yoga teacher students use their new skills to offer separate Thai Massage, or “Thai Yoga” sessions to their students. They have a ready-made clientele, and the yoga students enjoy this new element.

Also, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that we are on the same wave length:

Certification Check List

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Tanya Miller
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October 14, 2016 - 8:37 pm
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Module 2

I was worried about the chi machine technique after reading some of the other students posts about how tricky it was.  Also, my husband, who I will be practicing with is so much larger than me so I was a little worried about how it would work out…but I got it the first try! I can see the importance of ergonomics when doing this. I will definitely need to practice more to build up to the full 2 minutes. I would get the rhythm but then lose it after a few seconds. I would lose the rhythm  when I started thinking about what I was doing too much, but once I used the breath to relax into it, I could find and feel the flow.

   My husband really enjoyed the sensation it gave him, he commented that it was very relaxing and that it felt like a “build up’ of energy. I’ve had Thai massage but this was never included in the session so I was really curious to see what this was about.  I showed him quickly how to do it to me…it took a few minutes of practice but he got it and I agree that it was very relaxing and I felt a brief tingle up my spine!

I checked the certification check list and believe that I am all set – Let me know if you see any issues!  

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Shama
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October 14, 2016 - 10:48 pm
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The Chi Machine is never included in the traditional style of Thai Massage. It is something which I added within my style of Thai Massage. Actually here in Thailand nobody has ever heard of the Chi Machine. However I though it was a great fit, and I added it.

You are right, mental activity and the Chi Machine are a bad combination! Smile Actually this is true for Thai Massage in general, although it manifests itself easily in the Chi Machine. Thai Massage works best if you are centered and focused and meditative.

I am quite impressed that you got the Chi Machine right the first time around. That’s a good omen for the rest of the course! Smile But then again, the yogis always have an advantage when working with their bodies.

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Tanya Miller
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October 20, 2016 - 2:12 am
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Module 3

I have been working with my husband and 12 year old son – my husband is large and stiff where my son is very lean and flexible. It is nice to work with 2 such different body types to see the difference!

Some of the moves are a little awkward for me, especially the push pull, rotate technique on my husband. I think it comes down to the weight of his leg and I think I just need to work on where I am positioned. I am starting to get the hang of the counterclockwise circles move. 

Both give me very good reception and love that they get to be the guinea pigs for these classes…they can’t wait for the next module:)   

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Shama
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October 20, 2016 - 3:51 am
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That’s excellent that you have two willing guinea pigs!

Working on someone who is large and stiff is always more challenging and doesn’t feel so fluid (at least initially) compared to someone lighter and more flexible. Our objective as Thai Massage therapists is to change this gradually as much as possible. However there will always be clients who are just harder to work on, no way around that.

Luckily you have your son for comparison who will be much easier to work on. Kids tend to be ticklish quite often, as you may find out.

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Tanya Miller
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October 25, 2016 - 10:44 pm
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Module 4 

The explanation you you gave in this module conceptualizing the movements of the feet rather than learning a set sequence was sooooo helpful. I was over thinking everything, ‘first i do this, then I do that…” and was getting hung up on what came next and having trouble remembering the sequence. It was the perfect explanation to let it all go!

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Tanya Miller
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October 25, 2016 - 10:58 pm
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Module 5

I’m finding it easier and easier, with practice, to move using my whole body and with breath to preform the moves. Its like a moving meditation – very relaxing for me, which is a surprising aspect of this type of massage I didn’t expect!

A couple of questions about one of the moves. With the recipient’s knee bent, as I used my palm along the inner thigh – my husband has very tight groin muscles, even with several pillows supporting the knee, he felt that this was a little too much pressure, as well as feeling uncomfortable on the lower back. Is there a way to further modify this move? or substitute it with something else?  Or should I just just use very gentle pressure

Also, how hard ( or light) should we be kneading wth the thumbs along the calves and inner thighs? My hands were quite tired after – I wasn’t sure if I was being to vigorous (although there were no complaints!) or if my hands are just not used to the work:)  

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October 26, 2016 - 1:26 am
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Yes, there are several ways to modify or substitute this move. One is that you leave the leg straight and do “elephant walking” on the thigh from the outside by using the heel of your hand instead of your thumbs. Another option is to use leg rocking techniques, and another option is to do forearm work. Another option is to use your knee. All this will be covered in future modules of this training. Of course simply using less pressure is a good option as well.

First remember that you should not just work with your thumbs, but work with your entire body. The difference between doing a technique with muscle power versus working with your entire body and using body weight is amazing. Muscle power tires you out quickly whereas working with your whole body does not do that.

There are other factors. If you are not used to working with your hands and thumbs as shown in the video, you might need some time to get used to it and build up some strength in your hands.

Also, if you work on someone who is large and stiff, and you have small hands, then the best way would be to use a non-hand technique as you will learn very soon in this course.

In general the Thai Massage work, correctly done, should never tire you out. However I am assuming that in the beginning of this work you are probably working too much with muscle power. This will change very quickly since this is something which I address many times throughout the course.

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Tanya Miller
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November 1, 2016 - 8:28 pm
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Module 6
I found the warm ups using the forearms easier to perform than the the previous module, where we’re using our thumbs. It felt more natural and I was more as ease using the breath and body to press with the forearms. My husband also felt it was more gentle considering how tight he is in the inner thighs. In contrast, my sone likes the method of using the thumbs…perhaps because he is more limber?

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Tanya Miller
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November 1, 2016 - 8:39 pm
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Module 7
I forgot to mention in the last post how relaxing the leg rocking was. Both my son and husband liked it very much!
The information you gave at the beginning of the module about the feet postions and how they can tell you a story of what I’d happening further up in the hips was very useful and easy to follow. The stretches were easy to perform and I had good reception on my performance. I do need to practice some at getting into position, and moving the recipient’s legs a little more gracefully! I feel a bit clumsy moving them and getting into postions….I know that will improve over time and with more practice.

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Shama
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November 1, 2016 - 10:47 pm
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As you are finding out between your husband and your son, not every technique works equally well on everyone. That’s why the motto is that the techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

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Tanya Miller
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April 3, 2017 - 8:30 pm
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Module 8

I’m back! I graduated from university in December and needed to take a little time off to focus on taking a board exam. Now that its over, I reviewed the previous modules… back to the fun stuff:)

This module wwas key for me … you mention that not all techniques will work for all clients and practitioner combos. And not to get hung up on that. There are plenty of other techniques the client would enjoy and would be better suited for. I really needed to hear that. I tend to get caught up in the “formula” or order of things. So it was a good reminder! This also tied in nice with the conceptual idea of the hip pie. 

Practice parters like the calf work. This seems to be an under worked area and both gave very good feed back!

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Tanya Miller
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April 3, 2017 - 8:46 pm
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Module 9

Leg stretches are quite the workout! At least with my husband who is much larger than I. I am getting more comfortable moving gracefully around the client. I’m learning a lot about different body types and flexibity. The rocking/bouncing techniques really help the client let go of holding onto the leg muscles. 

It’s interesting learning to trust the breath and body weight….despite the fact that I have 2 very different size and weight practice partners,  using my own body weight and breathing into it works for both. Love that! Relates back to where you talk about power and softness. 

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Tanya Miller
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April 3, 2017 - 9:27 pm
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Module 10

Really enjoyed learning and trying out the spinal twist techniques, my husband has a sporadic lower lumbar issues and really liked it. Sometimes twists exasperate this for him, but not in this case. 

The blood stop was interesting, it took a couple tries to get just the right pressure to get the feel of the pulsating under my hands. Is there any reason not to do this on a client? Such as high blood pressure? 

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Tanya Miller
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April 3, 2017 - 9:38 pm
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Module 11

Great review of all of the previous material so far in one fluid  session!

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Shama
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April 5, 2017 - 10:20 am
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Yes, if someone has high blood pressure or large varicose veins it is better to skip this technique. Rather be safe than sorry!

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Tanya Miller
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April 8, 2017 - 7:51 pm
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Module 12

More great hip stretches. I appreciate the different options for the calf stretch. I am short so this comes in handy to know with clients of different sizes! 

I practiced this module with some fellow yoga students and goot rave reviews…feeling left out, I had them do a few on me and wow! I especially liked the sacrum massage. I often teach this in yoga classes having the students hold their own knees and press down- much more effective having someone else do it. I’ve never considered trying this as a hands on adjustment. I am now comfortable adding this to class. 

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Shama
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April 8, 2017 - 10:56 pm
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I am very interested in how course students use Thai Massage as part of their yoga teaching. I am looking forward to hearing more such examples. Smile

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Tanya Miller
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April 11, 2017 - 6:26 pm
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Module 13

my practice partner has very tight hip flexor and really liked the hip crease work from this podlike. We re able to stretch slightly further with more comfort after the treatment. 

I like the approach you use, rather than avoiding the area, giving the client the option of ” let’s work on this”, then giving them a starting point number of where the discomfort level is that way they can become aware of their own progress. 

I went back to rewatch the bloodstop technique in video 10 and realized I must have accidentally deleted it. Is there any way too have that resent to me?

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