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The Thai Massage Course
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Aurelian
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February 26, 2012 - 6:15 pm
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Recently I started the Thai Massage course.

This is not the first time I took an online course.This is actually the fifth online course which I took. First was an online computer course, then an Anatomy and Physiology course, then an Acupressure course. After that I took a Reiki course.

I have been doing yoga for around 18 years and I had been learning so many things. Comparing those online courses with this one is making a big difference.

The Thai Massage course is interactive and complex. Teacher Shama is explaining the course in such a manner that even someone having no knowledge of any massage techniques will learn it if he or she will follow it (and of course practice it).

Even if the techniques that are shown are complex, they are presented in a clear manner in no hurry. It is like being in a live class, participating day by day.

A couple of times I had the pleasure of talking live on skype with teacher Shama.

I was impressed by his open attitude, that he listened to my questions and his clear answers.

I appreciate his suggestions and comments and I know he will be there for me when i will need anything. Certainly he is there for any of us.

I am glad to be one of his students and I am sure that what I said here it is not something new to other students but a confirmation that this is right.

I will certainly warmly recommend him to anyone open to follow his teachings.

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Shama
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February 28, 2012 - 6:24 pm
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Thank you for this wonderful review. I am happy to be able to help others improve their skills. It gives my life meaning and purpose, and I really enjoy doing it.

By the way, I moved all your posts under this topic to make it more organized and easier to follow. All the text is still there, but the only thing is that all the posts that I moved show the same date now, March 19th. Your next new post under this topic will show the correct date again.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 9:17 pm
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Re: Chi Machine

Right mind-set, right body posture, right attitude, right breathing – those are really key words for a massage session.

During my massage experience I found that by following those key words you will complete a massage session in an enjoyable manner, and after you end the session, you are able to start another one without being exhausted and in pain.

I like that these keywords are mentioned in the beginning of the Thai massage course along with the techniques which will be developed later on.

As teacher Shama said if you cannot control your mind as well as your body, it will be difficult not just to get through the massage session, but you might end up exhausted and in physical pain, and have to wait a while to recharge yourself for another "painful" massage session.

Another nice surprise was the Chi Machine technique for activating and stimulating Qi energy in the body. I was not difficult to do, once you discover how to achieve synchronicity in the movement of your body, so that you can produce movement in the entire body of the client.

It does take some time to learn it, and I am close to doing it well. But there is no rush. I want it to come naturally, not forcing myself. In conclusion, I am moving forward with the next lesson, open to discover more exciting techniques which I can then put into practice.

I don't know who is more exited to learn new things, me or my clients who will receive the benefit of it all.

Thanks, teacher Shama.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 9:19 pm
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It is great to hear your enthusiasm and your accurate comprehension. I hope you will have many grateful clients who will benefit from your new skills.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 9:21 pm
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Re: Foot Massage

I watched the foot massage lesson and I found it very interesting.
Some words caught my attention:
"Don't focus so much on the mechanics, but pay attention to how your body and your partner`s body feel."
"The feeling is more important than the mechanical aspect."

It is indeed. If you get relaxed and in harmony with yourself, everything will come naturally and the practitioner and the patient will become one. The client will open up allowing his body to receive the benefit of massage and the practitioner will feel the body tension melting away.

It makes sense to be aware of the difference of these two ways of learning, the mechanical way and the conceptual way. Also the movements that you teach are very accurate and effective.

Thank you for another good lesson.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 9:23 pm
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It looks like you already found the most important points. You noticed the essence of the lesson, not just the techniques. You are definitely on the right track here!

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 9:25 pm
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Re: Foot Massage Lesson

The rotation of the body combined with the hand massage movements makes a complete and precise technique. Doing what is taught won't tire your body tired and conserves your energy. Squeezing and bending the foot generates a pleasant sensation of calm and relaxation for my clients.

Bending the leg in and out is increasing the hip flexibility slowly, not forcing anything and not causing any pain either. Also pressing the leg forward and backward is a good move too.

In part two of the foot massage lesson there was a good suggestion not to focus so much on the mechanics, but to pay attention to how my body and the partner’s body feels. It takes experience to get used to that, to work in a natural flowing way and not to focus so much on the mechanics. I’m sure that will come, hopefully not far from now.

The concept of the eight ways to work with the feet is a very helpful way to remember all the steps during the massage session. Bending and twisting the feet by rotating our body is efficient if you unlock the elbows like you presented.

There is a variety of techniques to choose from and definitely there is no time to use them all in one session. There are so many techniques we can choose from, and it can be surprising to our clients how many ways there are to twisting, bending, pressing, pulling and pushing their body during the massage.

I like the synchronicity between the body movements in combination with the breath. I was enjoying myself watching a new lesson and learning many useful techniques. I will apply as many as I can and for sure they will be very effective.
Thank you teacher Shama. I am looking forward to the next session.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 9:26 pm
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Wow, that was an in depth review. You are clearly studying the material and taking it very seriously. I am sure you will be doing very well with it!

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 9:29 pm
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Re: Leg Warm-up

I like the Butterfly Move - it is useful and effective. Keeping the arms straight and leaning in and out really does the trick.
I wouldn't have thought of that move where you block the client`s feet with your knee to prevent sliding of the leg. You can work quite comfortably in this position.

The various techniques of squeezing, pulling, and pressing between thumbs and fingertips are very pleasant. Since I learned them I am using them in every massage I do.

The leg position in the 45 degree angle yields a larger surface for the massage. However, if people have very limited flexibility in their legs, I can't do it on some clients, even with a pillow under the leg. But there are plenty of other moves that can be used instead.
Nice one.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 9:38 pm
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Not all moves work for everyone. Thai Massage has hundreds of techniques, and the art is to learn them and apply the ones that are appropriate to a particular client. Also many times we can modify a technique to accommodate the physical limitations of a client. The longer you practice, the more creative you will become in coming up with modifications and work-arounds. Thai Massage is as much art as it is technique

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 9:57 pm
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Re: Leg Stretches

In the first module I have learned some ways to check on the condition of the client’s hips by observing the position of the feet (if they are angled in or out) and to observe which hip is lower than the other. That's a good tool to discover any imbalance of the hips.

The Elephant Walking move is easy and very useful for increasing the flexibility of the hips without causing any discomfort.
Shifting the weight from the top of the knee (carefully) is the next step to gain hip flexibility.
I love the techniques of stretching my legs and pressing the client’s leg (my hands holding the clients foots) both with one leg and with both of my legs.

Pulling the knee towards my shoulder and the little circles with the knee is working well for elasticity of the hip even in a less flexible hip.

In the second module of the leg stretches, if you understand the concept of the hip pie, that's a good way to remember what to work on next, like a guide from where to start and where to go. It is like a map. The eight slices of the pie is our invisible map for the progress of our work. The 1-2-3-2-1 method is also a good guide for knowing which area to work on in the massage.

The moving of the muscle to the left and to the right is a very gentle method, and working up and down the leg results in a pleasant sensation of warming. The technique of moving the knee with both my hands placed on top of the knee is simple but effective.

Placing the leg in our hip and squeezing the client’s leg works great for loosening up the hip joint.
Today I practiced the technique of holding the client's foot and making circles with his knee. He has big problems with his hip and this technique worked great for him without causing any pain.

Everything is like a puzzle. If you pay attention to the moves, your posture, the breathing, how to slide in and out of the moves, holding the knee and the leg…it all makes perfect sense and it is improving the flexibility and relaxation of the body.
I do like it .
Thank you teacher Shama.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 10:34 pm
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Not a bad analogy: "It is like a puzzle." But you are right, if you get all the pieces together, the result is one of a harmonious flow. Personally I like to compare it with a dance. I even had clients comment to me that they felt that I was flowing around their body. To me it really does feel like a dance when I am doing a massage session. Thai Massage is a very graceful art, and it is much more than a sequence of techniques. It involves harmony of body, mind and spirit. Then it will flow beautifully.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 10:38 pm
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Re: Leg-stretches 3

The more I go with the lessons the more I like the moves. Some of them I have already used for a long time and they are very effective. They can be quite strong and you have to be cautious with stiff legs and hips. The Pie slice analogy is very important to keep in mind for the execution of the moves. The elephant-walking moves, the 1-2-3-2-1 sequence, body posture, breathing and leaning in and out are like episodes in a movie which are running continuously and effectively.
Like it.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 10:51 pm
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Re: Leg Stretches 4

You said that you are repeating some of the moves, which is really good because it helps us to memorize them naturally and to get used to practicing them. I liked the analogy of the massage with Thai chi movements to allow the energy to flow freely. It was good to do a recap of the exercises.

To put one's attention on the Hara during the execution of massage is an important principle used in all Oriental traditions. I believe that will keep us more self-focused, prevent us from losing energy and it will regenerate our energy.

The new stretch exercises of leaning forward with our body and leaning on one side of our body pulling the client`s leg seems very easy and I just wait to practice them. Only watching it I have the idea how powerful they are and how delicate you must act not to produce pain to the client - never overdo it.

In my experience most of the clients have little or limited flexibility and if you don`t rush and practice patiently any stretch it is so effective if you use it, like you said, not reaching the maximum point which the client can handle.

The exercise of moving the client’s leg by lifting our ankle and advancing our toes ahead reminded me of the analogy of water droplets falling with precision on a rock that in the end will grind it. In the same way with precision and patience we can increase the client's mobility without causing pain and without the risk of overstretching someone.

I had been using the 'blood stop' technique for acupressure massage. Now I understand more how the process actually works correctly.

Looking forward to the next lesson. Thank you.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 11:09 pm
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You made it through the first section of the course. Good job! The next lesson will put it all in perspective. Sometimes people ask me if you can learn massage from a video course. When I read your posts, it is quite obvious that you understand the material and are able to apply it. I love reading these posts. It shows me that my work helps people learn a wonderful set of skills.

It took me over a year to produce this Thai Massage course, film it, edit it, upload it, build a website for it (yes I made this website myself), connect it all in the right places etc. I have said many times that if I would have known how much work it would be to put this huge course together, I probably would have never started it.

Luckily I did not know how much work it would take, and I kept at it. This was the first course I ever produced. It is still by far the biggest and most comprehensive. As of today, I have produced 16 massage video training courses, but the Thai Massage course is how it all started, and many people have learned the art of Thai Massage from it.

I am glad that you joined the ranks of my many students all over the world who are developing this truly wonderful healing arts system.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 11:17 pm
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Re: module 11, Summary1:

The review of techniques shown in the previous lessons was a great way to review and to see them all in continuous massage action. It really helped me to verify myself and in the same time to have a point of reference.

For the last couple of weeks I have been practicing most of the techniques that I learned and I found them easy to work with and really effective. My clients had observed a change in my techniques and they do like it.

One of the ``adverse`` effects on myself I found to be a muscle soreness on the upper legs from doing the stretches. I was quite surprised because I am doing body stretches since a long time and never had this problem. I understand that now I am using lots of leveraged movements and my body needs to adapt to some of the new techniques I practice. I am delighted and will continue practicing them as much as my time will allow me.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 11:31 pm
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Try to take one of those positions and readjust your body in such a way that it feels easier for you. They should not cause any strain on you. If someone is not used to move around on the floor during Thai massage sessions, it will definitely take a little while to get used to it, but the principle of good ergonomics is that the movements should be done with the least amount of effort by using body weight instead of muscle power and by adjusting your position so that you have the best leverage possible.

Keep that in mind and experiment with the Thai Massage techniques that you find the hardest and try adjusting them. If there are any moves that you could use some input with, please let me know and I will help you.

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Aurelian
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March 19, 2012 - 11:39 pm
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Module 12 - Hip Stretches

I found the the hip stretches to be precise and efficient. The calf muscle stretch when you lean back and pull the leg, pulling up the leg with my shoulder, pressing the legs with my belly and leaning forward with my body weight using the contraction and traction methods are interesting and I am looking forward to practice them.

I like the fact that you show the techniques with adaptations for shorter persons working on tall clients. And you always remind us to have good posture and to breathe properly.

The stretches of the leg by blocking the client’s leg with mine and all the forward stretches onto the client’s body with all the variations shown are making this lesson one of the best which I enjoyed. It is a pleasure to watch as you explain and it is so easy to learn by following what are you doing.

Thank you master Shama.

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Shama
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March 19, 2012 - 11:43 pm
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Thanks, I am glad that you find it easy to follow the training. That was my intention when I recorded it. Many of my students have told me that they find the Thai Massage videos easy to comprehend and that the instructions are so detailed that they can follow them and implement them without problem.

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Aurelian
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March 21, 2012 - 4:38 pm
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Module 13 hip final

Good advice to think of and apply: To communicate with the client and to find out if the client feels any pain and to work out and eliminate the cause of it by massaging the painful area.
Using the one-to-ten method, the finger circling massage and other variations like fingertip wiggling, clearly will release the local tension and is a good tool to gauge your progress.

There are many tools in the course on how to deal with different kinds of clients and how to apply the one which is suited for a particular client.

It's good to again see a recap of the Sliced Pie movements and to learn the final set in the pie slice movements.
I like  the analogy of becoming an artist when you practice Thai massage.

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