June 7, 2020
I have spent a lot of time on the floor over the last few years with my young children. Even now that they have been walking for some time, we usually play with toys, games or activities on the floor. This has helped with my ability to perform most of the therapist positions quite comfortably. I usually squat with my feet flat on the floor though, not up on my toes. In practicing the squatting position up on my toes, I realized the amount of movement it lends to my body, I can shift my weight forward, right and left easily. I can see how this position will be helpful to master. I am definately going to have to practice it everyday for a while, my balance gets shakey pretty fast and I feel a pulling in my ankles after a minute.
My balance is pretty good standing on one leg when my up leg is stationary but if I begin to waggle my up leg, I lose balance pretty quickly. I practice yoga some and that really has helped me develop decent balance and an awareness of breath.
Hi Tracy, this looks like a certification thread, but I have not seen a certification registration from you, so I am not sure if you want a certificate and which one (we have two). If your are posting to get a certificate, please fill out and send in the certification registration form. You can find it by clicking on the 'Certification Information' tab in the sidebar of your membership portal. If you scroll down, you will find the form.
It seems that flexibility-wise you are in good shape for working on a floor mat. This definitely helps. Regarding keeping your balance when standing on one leg - that will come with practice. There is also a video about that in the course that has some good exercises for that.
June 7, 2020
Thank you, yes I somehow missed the certification registration form and have completed and submitted it now.
I would like to take a moment to tell you thank you for creating this course. It is allowing me to pursue this exciting modality and be home to care for my children. I appreciate the forum posts and the accountability that I have never seen before with learning massage techniques at home. The care about your craft and the people you train is evident in the amount of time you dedicate to following your students' learning. It is very refreshing! I was hesitant to try learning Thai massage remotely and after exploring your web page and free mini course videos I thought maybe this was too good to be true. But it is true, and I will spread word of your programs to everyone I know interested in learning Thai Massage. I will be proud to graduate the program and continue my journey through your other courses. Thank you so much!
June 7, 2020
My significant other (Chris) has agreed to allow me to practice techniques on him for the course duration. He is hesitant to give feedback and is three times my size so I know he's probably not the ideal person to work on as I learn. I am going to approach him as a skeptical client and I feel fairly confident he will love Thai Massage by the time the course is complete. Hopefully, in a few weeks time our physical distancing guidelines will lift and I will be able to also practice on more people. I have already had a few massage therapists I used to work with offer to let me practice on them to my heart's content!
My first attempt at the Chi Machine went ok. At first, I couldn't get movement past the hips and found that if I gave slight traction and lift to Chris's heals as I rocked I could get movement through his shoulders up to his neck. It was a big workout for my Triceps!
I watched the video again and realized I had been holding my hands too far to the sides of my thigh and I hadn't put a pillow under Chris's head. My next practice I adjusted these things, giving a pillow for comfort and moving my hands just a little toward the inside of my thighs. What a difference! The Chi Machine became effortless and I felt I could practice that move all day without any energy exertion. I was able to get easy movement through his entire body. Not sure if he felt any different afterwards. I later tried the Chi Machine on my 6 year old daughter and she lay for it about 20 seconds before she hopped up and took off like a rocket. I'll remember to skip that move before bedtime!
Really excited to review one more time and then dive into module 3!
3 times your size will definitely be challenging and you might have to skip a few techniques. However when you can work on him, you can work on anyone since it can only be easier. When things open up again, try to work on different size bodies as many techniques can feel quite different from one body to the other.
I am impressed that you figured out the Chi Machine that quickly - you must be doing it right since you said that it felt effortless.
June 7, 2020
These foot techniques are definitely taking some practice. On the circular foot bending and twisting technique I start the first foot great but then I keep twisting and then squeezing on the left foot. I have slowed it down and even said what I'm doing out loud but so far, my hand has not started cooperating. I am determined to get it, just need to keep at it.
I do have some questions. On the push pull technique for foot and leg, are you putting pressure to the sole of the foot with your thumb tip or with the entire thumb? Also on the same technique, would it be good to do the push pull rotating in the opposite direction? And with the techniques that use the 3 thumb positions, is it okay to work more than the 3 positions on a larger foot or am I best to stick with only 3?
Thank you so much! I am really enjoying the course and very excited to be learning Thai Massaage!
I don't use the thumb tip - that would be way too much work for the thumbs. I use primarily the heel of the thumb for pushing. The entire thumb is on the sole, but most of the pressure comes from the heel of the thumb.
You can do the push pull technique in the other direction. Try it and see how it feels for you. Personally I prefer the direction which I show in the video. It feels more natural to me.
You can definitely use more than 3 positions on larger feet. There are no hard and fast rules here, just suggestions. Ultimately you will modify and adjust many of the techniques to fit different weights and sizes of clients. You will hear a lot more about that in this course.
In general, all the sequences are meant to learn the techniques, but the sequences are not ends in themselves. That would kill the creativity of the process. Think of the sequences as tools, but not as gospel.
June 7, 2020
June 7, 2020
I think we were talking about the same technique. Try it in the other direction and let me know how it feels for you. Just because I do something a certain way doesn't mean that it is the only way to do it. We all have our styles and preferences. I always encourage experimentation and creativity rather than rigidly following a system. If my way works better than your way, then use my way. If you feel that the other direction works well for you, then by all means do it.
By the way, there are people whose ankle bones are really noisy and it feels like they are rolling around in there. For these people this technique can be painful and should not be done - at least not until you have done a good amount of foot therapy work on them. My wife is one of these types. I can't do this on her.
Only do this technique if the ankle feels solid and stable enough.
June 7, 2020
Thank you for the tip on being cautious when working some of the techniques on clients with sensitive or damaged ankles. It is good for me to remember as I am practicing that I won't be able to do every move on every person.
I have a tendency to want to do everything by the book. As you said, I have been trying to remember each technique in the order you show on the videos. I am trying to let that go and just practice in the order I remember them and I am feeling my own flow start to emerge. The idea of working conceptually has helped me out a great deal.
I am trying to practice each technique so that they become more natural and smooth even if they aren't in a specific order. Still the push-pull-rotate technique is a little slow and transitioning from under one leg to under the other is less than graceful so I've added a move to my daily exercise routine to try to help it become easier.
"I am trying to let that go and just practice in the order I remember them and I am feeling my own flow start to emerge." - Good observation. If you get too technical and rigid about it, then you will stifle your flow and it will feel mechanical. You don't have to worry about remembering everything. If you keep re-watching the videos and keep practicing everything from the beginning, sooner or later you will remember every single technique.
Granted, that will take several months to get to that point, but this is not a race. Try to focus some extra attention on feeling with your hands rather than just doing something with them. You can turn it into a fun game to try to feel what is going on in the body of your client. After a while you might surprise yourself at how much you can actually feel.
Focusing on feeling with your hands helps your flow and it counteracts the tendency to work in a mechanical way. What can you feel? How stiff, how flexible, how hot, how cold, how rigid, how soft, how hard, how much range of motion, how much resistance, are there knots, noises, cracks, etc. I call that 'listening with your hands'.
June 7, 2020
My leg warm up practice went well, these were more of the type massage techniques I am used to doing. Chris was too tight and ticklish on the thigh adductors to do the thumb roll-up technique. I tried a slower, gentler approach but it was still not a comfortable technique for him so I will skip it for a while. I was able to do the heel of hand work for the area and hopefully as I continue to loosen the area through repeated practice, I'll be able to try thumb roll up to the thigh again.
I forgot to mention in other posts, I am loving the Chi Machine as an opening move. It allows me a moment to really make sure I am present. Generally, I have very cold hands and during this move I can feel warmth flowing into them. By the time I finish the technique, my hands are hot. It is so nice not to worry about icy hands!
June 7, 2020
This module was great for the partner I'm working with, it made applying pressure very easy and gentle. I did have to modify the positioning for some of the techniques.
Inside Sen Line #2 was too awkward to have his foot against my leg and I modified by putting my leg over his foot and it seemed to work great!
Attempting Inside Sen Line #3, I couldn't comfortably reach with his foot against me so I ended up pinning the lower leg against my side with my arm and gliding it with me when I moved. I may tweak this one to what works for me as I go along and I think I could still do a modified version on larger clients.
On Outside Sen Line #2 my difficulty was also size difference. I felt like I was smashing my breasts onto the top of partner's leg. It wasn't very comfortable for either of us! I tried shifting my position under his leg and consciously trying to elongate my torso but couldn't seem to find the right place. Any suggestions on how to modify this or should I just choose a different technique with larger clients? Other than the slight awkwardness, I really liked how this technique felt to do.
I took LomiLomi a couple different times from different instructors and really enjoyed it, loved the forearm work!
June 7, 2020
My first practice of this video was very awkward. I had watched the video a few times before trying it and tried to do the sequence from my notes. I found that I wasn't remembering the whole thing so just did what I could remember. Second time, I just scrolled through the video as I went and it was very smooth.
I found with the Hip Lift Cross Pull Stretches I had to get up on my toes to get the right height to block partner's leg without hurting his foot. The stretches were great! Chris has a lot of low back and hip stiffness and these are great for helping to loosen up the areas and over time increase flexability. He really enjoyed these stretches more than anything I've done so far.
The modification for the Right Angle Foot-Hip Stretch was a huge help, thank you for including this!
I have been starting each module practice with some techniques from earlier modules and finding a nice rhythm for working with Chris. I am looking forward to being able to branch out soon and working with other people. I imagine it will open up an entirely different experience.
Regarding 'smashing your breasts against his leg' - I think that this is a case of overthinking it during practice sessions. In actual Thai Massage sessions the clients are relaxing with their eyes closed and will have no idea what body part of yours is touching them, and will not care.
There is a good amount of physical contact in Thai Massage between practitioner and client. This is necessary in order to get the leverage you need to work with least effort. In Thailand, which is a very touch-averse culture, contact in Thai Massage is totally disregarded as a non-issue.
It is a mind shift - if you think of your breasts as just another body part, then you won't feel uncomfortable about this. I understand that there might be an issue if your breasts get close to a man's face, but if they touch the thighs, you could just disregard this.
I just went to the dentist, and she was a short woman. While she was working on my teeth, her breasts were pressing against my shoulders. She didn't care and I didn't care. I have received chiropractic adjustments where there was also direct body contact between the female chiropractor's torso and my body. And there are some Thai Massage techniques where there is such contact as well.
Actually there are two videos in this course which deal with this matter. One comes with module 24 of this course, and then there is an entire module in one of the bonus courses that shows how to deal with this issue and what your options are.
If you try really hard to keep your body upright and straight while working on the thigh, you will stress yourself out over something that you could simply disregard as a non-issue. I had the opportunity of observing countless female Thai Massage therapists in Thailand over the last 20 years, and their solution is to disregard occasional contact between their breasts and a body part of their clients, especially in areas like the thighs or the back.
Of course you set your own boundaries and make your own rules, but I think that these upcoming videos will prove to be helpful.
June 7, 2020
Thank you so much! Yes, I will disregard it. I am finding that some of the techniques already go slightly different than what I have been taught previously. I was initially concerned with the Chi Machine where I am holding by the heels without supporting the knees. I was taught to never do this but in practice when I've asked, Chris maintains that it is perfectly comfortable and does not strain his knees whatsoever. Now, I am not concerned about it. I will take the same approach with body contact on your encouragement and try to let go of some of my American training. Truly, the use of full body is one of the things that drew me to Thai Massage and one of the things that makes it feel so wonderful!
The one time when you should not do the Chi Machine with unsupported knees is if someone's knees are 'hanging through' as in hyper mobility. Outside of this scenario there is generally no problem with the knees at all when doing the Chi Machine, unless of course someone has a serious knee problem.