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The Thai Massage Course
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Aurelian
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March 25, 2012 - 1:19 am
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TMC14 hip rocking.

In this lesson I learned about Hip Rocking, the final hip stretches and how to move around the body. I have already been practicing the rocking techniques for the hip, and I found them easy to do. They work great for relaxing the hip and reducing lower back pain by increasing the muscle flexibility. It is a good technique for relaxing the lower body.

Your advice to use your entire body for the rocking technique is very useful for keeping the rocking light and fluid.                                                                                                                  

I was very happy to see the push-pull techniques for the hip. For me it was a confirmation for what I had already been doing. Some techniques which I am currently doing I didn't learn, but I kind of got them through intuition. Now when I see them explained by you it is a confirmation that what I am doing it right.

Also it was very useful to learn how to move my body from one side of the client to the other side without interrupting the massage session and without the client even noticing it.

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Shama Kern
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March 25, 2012 - 1:50 am
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Intuitive learning is often better than just following a mechanical routine. Ultimately we have to make any massage technique our own, adapt them to our body and develop our own style. So you are on the right track!

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Aurelian
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March 25, 2012 - 5:59 pm
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Module 15 abdomen and chest

Here are many alternative techniques for abdomen and chest to choose from.

Massaging the belly area, which houses many organs, through abdominal massaging techniques is another good topic. It is not just useful as a relaxing massage but as a therapeutic one for stimulating the organs and increasing their functioning. If we have some anatomical knowledge, we will have a better understanding of the importance of organ stimulation through massage.

Energetically connecting ourselves with our client's breath and synchronizing it with ours is another great way to expand our ability to sense the client's tensions in the body by creating resonance between us and the client. In this way the client will open up and relax, allowing their body to benefit more from the massage techniques.

I do think that it is very important to work gently on the abdomen and chest area in order not to produce any discomfort. This is a good point covered in the course.

Massaging the rib cage by pressing, pushing and pulling is quite effective. Doing circles around the ribs will also relax the chest area.

I like the elephant-walking chest technique for men and also the elephant walking on the client's shoulders, as well as the various sternum techniques in the course.

If we use correct body posture and breathing techniques, as you always remind us (which is great), our clients will definitely not feel any discomfort, especially if we work from our Hara.

One think is certain. You won't get bored watching all the Thai video lessons. They are covering all areas step by step. There are so many useful techniques to choose from that even if we don't use them all (that would be a very long massage session), we can do a full body session with just a few of the techniques in this course. For the next session we can then use different techniques, and in this way neither us nor the client will ever get bored:)

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Shama Kern
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March 25, 2012 - 10:05 pm
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Indeed, using all the techniques in the Complete Thai Massage course would be a very, very long session. The idea is to learn enough techniques that you can always choose the best ones for a particular client, and that you can use the ones that are easiest on your body as well.

For example a small therapist who is working on a big client will need to use different techniques than a big therapist working on a small client. That's the reason why I am always presenting several ways of doing a particular technique.

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Aurelian
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March 31, 2012 - 4:01 pm
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Module 16 shoulders

Continuing with the shoulder massage techniques it is good to see all the variations of pulling up, pushing and leaning down. There are enough variations to choose from to do a relaxing shoulder workout. Bending the shoulder backwards is a new one for me and an interesting massage technique - can't wait to use it. Rocking and circling the arm is a good relaxation technique after all the stretches.

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Aurelian
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March 31, 2012 - 6:22 pm
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Module 17 arms and hands

In this lesson several variations of arm and hands massage were presented. You can get a really good idea on how to massage the different areas of the hands with the palms in the up or down position. The squeezing, pushing and pulling techniques are great for generating a really relaxing sensation. Also the five lines of the hands are a very useful method to work on both sides of the palms.
Nice lesson. I like it.

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Shama Kern
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March 31, 2012 - 9:17 pm
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Hand massage is often neglected, but it is very important. First of all it feels great, and second it works in similar ways like foot reflexology, i.e. it affects many areas of the body. Well worth getting good at!

Good shoulder work is appreciated by lots of clients. Thai Massage has many excellent ways to manipulate the shoulders.

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Aurelian
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April 6, 2012 - 6:11 pm
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Module 18 shoulders - transitions

In this lesson I learned how to do shoulder work and how to transition from one side of the client's body to the other in such a way that the client does not even notice it. For me this should feel like a part of my flow and it should be part of the massage techniques. Very good advice - maintaining the highest state of mind in order to transmit it to the client. This ensures that we only pass on the highest vibration to our clients.

The transition movements from one side of the client to the other side were very clearly explained. Especially the techniques that involve pulling the body back via alternating arm lifting are very interesting.

I found the upper body twist techniques very useful. I think the following technique of pulling the back up with both hands will require some strength from the practitioner. I know this from experience since I have been doing a similar technique previously.

Seeing the Figure 8 shoulder move felt to me like 'wow...that's a good one to practice' although I think that this move might put some pressure on our spine. Very interesting move esthetically and  practically. This one will take some practice to get the alternate body rotations right.

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Shama Kern
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April 6, 2012 - 9:04 pm
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The technique where you pull the upper body into a twist by pulling the back up with both hands in an alternating fashion does require a good amount of strength in the hands. This move is only recommended when you do have enough strength in your hands and when you work on a person who is much heavier than you. If that is not the case, just skip this one. Not all technique works for everyone.

The figure 8 move requires excellent use of your body weight, but this is also a technique that would not work well if the therapist weights 100 pounds and the client weighs 200 pounds. The heavier the client in comparison to the therapist, the more you will need to ensure that you only use techniques that you can comfortably handle.

If you find yourself straining, you are either not using your body weight correctly, and/or you are using a technique that is not suitable for a particular therapist-client combination.

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Aurelian
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April 6, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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That's right. We have to use our mind to adapt the techniques to the appropriate types of clients, not just do it mechanically. There are so many techniques to chose from and to work with.

Thank you for your reply.

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Aurelian
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April 6, 2012 - 9:23 pm
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Module 19 - summary 2, upper body

It was great to see the second recap session, for the upper part of the body, to watch how it all goes together. Working with all the leg stretches, transition moves, and the many techniques for the abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms and hands, combined with the principles of correct body posture, working with our entire body, using our breath to channel energy, using body weight, focusing on our hara and working with softness.... Putting all these techniques together will make a great massage session which is both effective and relaxing. This was a good module.  

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Aurelian
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April 11, 2012 - 4:10 pm
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Module 20 prone legs1

This lesson covered an introduction to back massage starting with the legs. 

1-Using the elbow to massage the soft areas of the soles of the feet

2-Doing traction and contraction of ankle, knee and hip joint

3-Rocking the legs

4-Ankle and calf muscle stretch technique

After working on both legs individually, the next step is to work on them simultaneously.

1-Doing circle movement massage on the heels tendons.

2-"Elephant walking" up and down the back of the legs.

Learning and customising the massage techniques with our clients is good advice. Actually this is what I have been doing and it is good to know that we can be flexible.                                      Supporting our clients with pillows under chest and head eliminates neck stress in the prone position.

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Aurelian
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April 13, 2012 - 8:39 pm
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Module 21 prone legs 2

I learned in this lesson how to work on the feet in several ways, as well as how to work on the three lines on the back of the legs, the hamstrings area. The IT bands can be accessed by bending the leg. The correct massage technique involves sinking into the leg with the forearm and using the proper breathing technique.

You have mentioned that it is important to block the client’s feet during the technique, to be careful when we put the foot back on the ground, and to support the knee with our hand.

Interesting technique: bending the leg at a 45 degree angle and placing it on the other leg just above the knee, then leaning with our hand into one side of the buttocks to generate a stretch.

Another good lesson with new techniques that are clear and easy to understand. Looking forward to practice.      Thank you.

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Aurelian
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April 15, 2012 - 10:37 pm
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Module 22 prone-legs 3

In this lesson we have covered a series of the back stretches similar with the ones from the previous lesson, learning some others to substitute some and to apply to different size clients. Good and interesting variations for flexible and less flexible client’s .Keeping in mind to work with correct body posture and respiration and bearing in mind not to produce any discomfort to some clients if the flexibility will not allow doing any techniques. That`s why again it is good to have lot of variations  to choose from. Good lesson and accurate.Thanks.

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Aurelian
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April 18, 2012 - 8:44 pm
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Module 23 sacrum

This lesson has covered massage techniques on the sacrum and the glutes. The sacrum and the glutes is an area which can accumulate a lot of stress and tension and it is good to know some techniques to eliminate that. I am always working on the sacrum and glutes area, massaging and doing acupressure on the trigger points, and all the clients feel great after that. It is good to learn from a different point of view, using rocking technique on the glute area. The percussion massage techniques and the use of the edge of the hands are indeed good massage techniques. I am using them frequently and their effect is very relaxing for this area. Sideways rocking and knee rocking of the glutes are also good techniques to extend my massage technique repertoire of the sacrum area. 

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Aurelian
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April 22, 2012 - 7:56 pm
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Module 24 prone back 1

In this lesson we continued with the back massage, learning more variations like various circling/rocking/wiggling techniques. Also we learned how to combine our breath with the movements. There are many variations of the back techniques. What is interesting is that the flow and rhythm stays the same throughout all the different techniques. It is important to synchronize our attention and the feeling of touch with the client`s feelings when we practice. There are four excellent techniques which will produce an effective back massage which feels great as well.

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Shama Kern
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April 23, 2012 - 11:19 pm
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You are getting through the course very well, it seems. You obviously understand and absorb the material. Good job! I am sure your clients appreciate your work.

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Aurelian
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May 23, 2012 - 11:36 pm
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Module 25 prone back 2

This was all about massage techniques for the back. I learned how to work on the back with hands, elbows, and knees, plus more refined techniques like using my fingertips to explore and to find areas which need attention, discovering tense or numb areas. I've learned how to massage the neck and trapezius muscles, with lots of attention on correct posture. There are also several very interesting knee techniques which can be done quite gently actually. Another important point in this session was to adopt our massage sessions to the clients body structure, like tall bodies, bony bodies and muscular bodies.

Module 26 prone back 3

This module continues with the lessons from the previous one. I learned more forearm techniques, "elephant walking" techniques and applying different rhythms like the gallop rhythm. I found those very effective, and they can be done in a powerful way without causing any discomfort to the client. I like the forearm rocking against the erector muscles on the near side of the spine. The session ends with upper back work in the neck and trapezius area.

Module 27 prone upper back

More focus on the upper back in this lesson, specifically in the trapezius muscle area and between the shoulder blades with various kneading and rolling techniques. This session also includes an upper body twist technique, and a number of techniques for the shoulders and shoulder blades including pulling, rolling and rotation. Those are excellent variations. 

Next were several versions of the Cobra stretch, from very gentle to very strong. Especially the last one is only suited for very flexible persons. The session ends with some percussion techniques all along the back. Another useful tip was how to use pillows to create a comfortable way to lie in the prone position, basically simulating a massage table with a face cradle.

Module 28 prone summary

It was very useful to see another summary session which puts it all together, starting from the soles of the feet all the way up to the head in the prone position.  It gave me a good understanding of the techniques, the variations depending on the client's flexibility, and the diagnostic probing with the fingertips that allows you to find and work out knots and tight spots even in the small areas of the back.

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Aurelian
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May 27, 2012 - 1:47 am
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Module 29 side1

I learned the correct way to position the client in the side position, which is really great for shoulder work. By using support pillows you can provide good stability for the client. I was again reminded of my own body position and correct ergonomics in order to keep my balance. One unusual technique was sitting on the leg. There were several techniques for warming up the leg muscles and the hip via "Elephant walking", forearm rolling, palm circling, and percussion. Very nice and strong techniques, if used correctly, do not produce any discomfort and work very well for increasing the flexibility and relaxing the legs and the body. 

Module 30 side position2

The second lesson of the massage in the side position. Placing a small pillow between the legs will help to keep the legs from sliding out. Next move is the "Elephant walking" on the back above the spine, and then leaning on the erector muscle with the palms, followed by a spinal twist technique, and a rocking move. Next we learned hip, quadriceps and lower back stretches. There were techniques for the back, shoulders and legs including many variations that can be applied for different body types. Very nice session.

Module 31 side-3

Continuing with the shoulder massage techniques we learned shoulder circling, shoulder circling with built-in stretch, arm circling with shoulder stretches, and rotating the shoulder back while leaning on the trapezius. There are step by step explanations on how to execute shoulder massage movements correctly while working on the trapezius at the same time.

Module 32 side4  

Going forward with the side position we learned how to swing the arm back behind the head while pushing the shoulder forward, then loosening up the scapula, rolling the scapula over the thumb, followed by shoulder and arm stretches. The session ended with a detailed explanation on traction moves for the shoulder.                                          

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Aurelian
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May 27, 2012 - 10:01 pm
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TMC33 sitting position1

This lesson was about massaging in the sitting position. Shama explained the use of this position. It is only suitable for people who have enough flexibility in the legs so that they can sit comfortably cross legged, otherwise it can strain the client's back. Good suggestion, as always, was to make sure to support our client`s back in this massage position. We learned different variations of leaning techniques like kneading the trapezius area, trapezius rocking, and offset trapezius area rocking. There were techniques for squeezing the neck with your palms, back bend and shoulder stretches, foot rocking and gentle ways of twisting the back. I found all of these techniques very clear and explained very precisely. Used correctly they will be highly effective on the body.

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