July 19, 2020
I believe I remember this being mentioned in the full Thai course but I am glad to get a refresher! My partner had a stiff left hip I believe, because the foot on the left side was sticking up straighter and didn't fall to a 45 degree angle like the opposite hip. Even pushing on his left foot I also found more resistance than his right foot when pushing down to point the feet outward. Looking further up at the hips themselves when I feel around I can somewhat feel the height difference on the right side showing me a rotation. After doing a few gentle movements of rocking, once I moved his leg around to check rotation the right leg was restricted in the quads as well as external rotation. However, after the rotation movement it did loosen enough to move more comfortably he said, but obviously still had restriction compared to the left side. Trying the second movement with the foot between the thigh and abdomen, his leg didn't fully drop and yes, he absolutely had some tight adductors preventing that movement. I look forward to the next module, we had fun comparing male and female hip sways for comparison (gave us a good laugh and comparison in hip movement), thanks for the information and fun learning modules!
A question: If you have a larger client and it is hard to feel or see a height difference in the hips, is there another way to verify a hip sitting higher or could we just rely on the foot rotation or lack of rotation in a foot to determine if a hip is higher?
Hi Taylor, welcome to the Thai Massage Hip Therapy certification program. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our certification checklist to make sure that it is all correctly organized:
Regarding your question - you can use both methods, whichever works best. Anyway, one confirms the other. If one hip is higher, it will most likely show up in the feet and vice versa. Sure, if you have a hard time doing the visual verification in the height of the hip, then just rely on what you see and feel in the feet.
July 19, 2020
The rocking is definitely helpful in relaxing and prepping of the leg. His leg rhythm was a little slower just because my partner has a higher mass but obviously, it still helped to rock his leg beforehand. The opposing side took me a moment to figure out the heel sit comfortably, but it is really just about getting used to the positioning. I appreciate the hand placement mentioned near the adverse muscles and quads as well since this helped me to stay consistent in my placement. I think knee rocking will be one I definitely need to practice to make sure I can properly balance. I do appreciate the flexibility of the moves and how to complete the same task on both legs with different methods depending on therapist placement as well. Also, the insight into the variable pressure is good information to keep in mind as we work. I will also work on fluidity, as I know this is something I am still working on when I create a sequence with Thai massage. Also, I really enjoy the beginning/ending rocking and we did use fingertips since my partner was a male, but they let me try the hands-on-hips afterward after they said they were comfortable and agreed the hip hand placement was more relaxing.
July 19, 2020
I use forearm techniques a lot in my practice and this gave me a different technique to use on legs in a more relaxing way. Another great module to help me practice my knee techniques and I do feel more comfortable holding my body in place as I use them. Luckily I was able to practice that move with a good bit of pressure so we could get deeper into his muscle since he had more mass. I had to use the lesser angle for my male practice model and turned his foot in to work his outer hip and worked on sinking in softly some more. I feel like because I am a little bonier, I have to be careful not to pinpoint too often when using my forearm. When you speak about the sen energy lines, it makes me wonder if what Thai massage does with energy through movement, has a similar outcome as one would get from having energy work done without touch, like reiki. Just one thought this module had me thinking about.
"When you speak about the sen energy lines, it makes me wonder if what Thai massage does with energy through movement, has a similar outcome as one would get from having energy work done without touch, like reiki. Just one thought this module had me thinking about."
There are many kinds of energy work - Thai Massage sen lines, Reiki, Quantum Touch, Qi Gong, and many others. They can all work under the right conditions and provided the practitioner is in tune with this kind of work. Personally, I have received all of these types of energy work. In some cases I felt absolutely nothing, and in some cases I felt that they were very effective. It depends on the practitioner and also on one's own mindset, i.e. one's receptivity or sensitivity when it comes to this kind of work.
The one advantage that Thai Massage has over these other energy modalities is that the energy work is combined with physical touch, pressure, and manipulations. This means that you get results from the energy work and from the physical work. They work in tandem. This is also one reason that I have often heard from Reiki practitioners who add Thai Massage to their skill set because they like this feature of combining energy work with physical techniques.
July 19, 2020
I appreciate the hip pie concept myself because I am a very visual person. This keeps me on track with our treatment or stretch for the day and makes sure I don't miss any of the eight pieces of pie. 45 degrees is also easy to remember and makes the process of working the entire hip seamless.
For my client, I like the idea of working the hip in all directions due to overall tightness. However, we worked on the restriction he had when letting the leg fall outward and so we focused on his outer pie to find his restrictions that we found from the initial check-in. The traction when used was very pleasant to my client. He said he felt almost lighter when he stood up and that it was almost a soothing movement to have his hips tractioned.
It was also comfortable for me and felt pretty effortless compared to other Western stretching techniques that I have tried. I enjoy the reminder to use body weight to help transfer pressure for these stretches. They feel more fluid and relaxing and if we still had a hard time getting through; the rocking was a nice break. It also helped us get farther once we got back to working the pie half that was stiff and we even got a better stretch without as much tension.
Going back through this on the opposite leg, we worked on a different portion of the pie which gave me a little extra practice and a better feel for the hip as a whole. It was pretty incredible to see the difference in just that small amount of work and how his areas of pain and flexibility changed quite a bit.
July 19, 2020
The rolling is still something I'm getting used to. It isn't difficult but it does take some rhythm and I have noticed that the rhythm changes for each client and how tight their muscles are and how big or small they are. The forearm on adductors is something I have been practicing since you mentioned this at the start of the program and I have gotten a better grasp of the swaying for this move to make sure it doesn't feel forced or painful. I think adding in the back and forth helps me find that rhythm faster and easier. I do appreciate how you emphasize the fluidity of these moves and how impactful that is to how it feels for the client. When I asked my practice partner, they said it felt more fluid and less painful and forced when I finally found that rhythm and my breath. My client did notice the warmth and tingling from the slow of the femoral artery blood and said it was a good sensation but it did take me a second to find placement with him obviously being a male. The pulsing is something I will need to get used to using as it was something I was instructed to avoid pressing directly but I can definitely see the benefit of this technique once I get used to it. Very interesting technique and good to know to avoid varicose veins.
Do any of your clients wear tennis shoes or any shoe while doing this? Some of my clients have and I wonder if this affects it at all. I know it makes placement slightly more difficult for me so I was curious if you work around it or if you just request that they take them off.
"Do any of your clients wear tennis shoes or any shoes while doing this?" - I have never done a Thai Massage on anyone with shoes on, and I would never do that. I just tell everyone to take their shoes off, and I have never had anyone who objected. After all, nobody would even dream of getting a Swedish massage with their shoes on either.