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Tristanne Zybala -- Complete Thai Massage notes
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Tristanne Zybala
Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica
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July 24, 2016 - 9:27 pm
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Having had some prior Thai massage training, it was interesting to see some different poses for the practitioner.  I think I may be combining these with what I've learned.  I'm sure it will come down to whatever feels right in the moment.

What excites me most about Thai massage, is that we are working with energy and have less focus on "ailments".  I was happy to see that you have the same core beliefs.

I'm interested in knowing if we will be learning how to calmly and effectively roll a person from a supine to a prone position.

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Shama
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July 25, 2016 - 12:47 am
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Hi Tristanne, welcome to the Complete Thai Massage course. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list. (Couple things I noticed - please use your full name as your display name and label the modules by number to make it all clear and organized.)

Certification Check List

Yes, you will be learning how to move people into different positions. But it will take you a while to get to that video. There is an entire module about this subject in the Art Of Thai Massage bonus course which shows how to elegantly move people into and out of the various positions (supine, prone, side and sitting). 

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Tristanne Zybala
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July 31, 2016 - 10:28 am
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Module 2

Thanks for sharing the Chi machine!  It's fabulous!  I feel this would be a very good way to begin the session, in that it gets the person's energy moving freely, clearing any blocks before you begin.  My partner is average in size and I am wondering if this would be more difficult to do with someone who is larger.  Would it me more difficult to get their hips moving?

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Shama
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July 31, 2016 - 9:07 pm
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If someone has quite heavy legs, then yes, it's a bit harder to get the body to move. The hips won't be the problem, but to extend the move all the way up into the head will take a little more doing. That's the case with several techniques, however I show alternative ways of doing it whenever possible.

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Tristanne Zybala
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August 1, 2016 - 2:04 am
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Module 3

I found this sequence, as the practitioner, to be very calming.  My partner really enjoyed it too.

The second move, where you are doing a counter-clockwise circle and pressing the feet out, I found that I couldn't get my rhythm moving as quickly as you did.  I felt more comfortable with more of a moderate circling movement.  My partner said she enjoyed it better, as the faster movement felt a bit awkward.  Perhaps, my fluidity will improve with practise.  Is it necessary to go as quickly as you did?

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Shama
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August 1, 2016 - 12:26 pm
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The faster movement only feels awkward if you didn't get into the rhythm. Once you 'get it', it feels very good. There are other similar, slower, foot kneading techniques. The idea is to have a variety of foot techniques with different feels - slow, fast, gentle, stronger. I think when you watch the next video it will make more sense. 

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Tristanne Zybala
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August 2, 2016 - 9:15 am
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MODULE 4

I really loved your description of the 8 ways to move a foot!  It was like a lightbulb turning on.  It makes so much sense...everything just flows so much better.  I don't become so focused on technique, but rather go with what makes sense and feels right.

I worked on my partner again, using all of the foot massage techniques you demonstrated, and it went beautifully.  I was able to do the circles with a faster rhythm and it felt very natural.  She completely enjoyed today's massage and had only good things to say.  She has had issues with her legs and feet for many years.  On our walk home, after the massage practise, she commented that her legs, feet, hips, and back felt better than they have for a very long time.  She was walking without any pain.  🙂

I began with the Chi Machine and, at her request, ended with it as well.  She said she was in heaven! One thing I discovered today, I felt a bit tired after doing that technique the first time, and again at the end when I did it a second time.  I'm not sure if that's because I've only just begun using it, or if perhaps I'm rocking more than I need to...  Any thoughts?

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Shama
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August 3, 2016 - 1:30 am
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You figured the circular foot technique out rather quickly! That's one of the more challenging ones.

That's quite impressive that you are getting such good results right from the very beginning. I see a good Thai Massage therapist in the making! Smile

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Tristanne Zybala
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August 3, 2016 - 9:33 am
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MODULE 5

Thank you for the compliment.  I truly feel that I am meant to do this work.  It seems that I just intuitively know what to do with my hands and where to put them.  It feels so natural to me.

This leg warm-up was very relaxing, not only for my partner, but for me as well.  I felt I was in a trance-like state, in a good way.  I was calm and relaxed.  It went very smoothly.

Rolling my thumbs on the inner thigh was a bit challenging at first, trying to avoid the tendon.  Instead of thinking about it, I just let my hands 'do their thing' and I found a natural 'path' up the thigh.  My partner is quite sensitive and, while she still enjoyed this, she found it a bit uncomfortable.  I asked if the pressure was okay, but looking back, I think I could have used a bit less pressure.

Are these energy lines the Sen lines?  Do you offer training on the Sen lines or Marma points? (I think that's what they're called)

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Shama
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August 3, 2016 - 12:08 pm
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That's the way to do it - you get into this wonderful trance-like state and intuitively find the right way of doing it. Now granted, in the beginning you have to learn the techniques, but once the techniques are part of you and you won't have to try to remember them, then you will get into the "flow" state which is a beautiful feeling and makes your work so much better.

If something feels uncomfortable, it is a good idea to just lessen the pressure and focus on softness in your hands, and in your mind.

You will now get into some of the more challenging stretch techniques in Thai Massage. Just remember that Thai Massage can contain many stretches, but that it can also be done with very few stretches in a very gentle way. You have both options.

Yes, the energy lines are called Sen lines in Thailand. The Marma points are used in the Ayurvedic system of India. They are not used in Thai Massage, or at least the word Marma is not used. You will learn more about the energy lines throughout this course.

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Tristanne Zybala
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November 2, 2016 - 9:02 am
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MODULE 6

After being away from the training modules for quite some time, I went over the first 5 again and practised on a friend.  It was wonderful to still feel comfortable with all of the movements and techniques.  This reinforces for me that I am on the right path with Thai massage.

I have been struggling with my situation for the past 2 months.  I moved to Costa Rica to teach at an international school, and at first, thought it was going to be the right decision.  However, after 4 months of teaching, I realized that I felt unfulfilled and out of place with my desires.  I had stopped teaching in Canada because it didn't feel right, but thought an international adventure would be exciting.  It's interesting that before getting this job, my plan was to move to Thailand for 6-12 months to learn Thai massage from different people and experience the culture.  I didn't make that move as I didn't have the money for the flight, nor for the training.  Instead, I accepted this job.  I do not regret my decision, as now, I have a good sense of what I want and do not want.  I am excited and happy to get back to focusing on this course.  I really enjoy your teaching methods and am so grateful that I happened upon your website.  Thank you.

As for this module, the leg warm up using forearms, I truly enjoyed it.  My practise partner said she would have been quite happy and satisfied if this had been the massage treatment.  🙂  She said it was very relaxing and soothing.  Although she expressed this during the treatment as well as at the end, I found myself struggling at times with wanting to do more....like this wasn't enough.  I understand the basis for warming up the legs and completely agree with it.  I also appreciate that perhaps these techniques may be perfect for someone without going any deeper.  The struggle, I believe, was with my ego.  And I am confident that this is something I will be able to work with and not feel like I have to do "more".  What's the saying..."sometimes less is more"  🙂

There were a couple of changes in position that I found a little awkward, but am sure it will evolve into more of a dance as I continue to practise and work on people.  At this present moment, I am still very much focused on the mechanics and getting it right.  Wanting to "memorize" or internalize the techniques.  For me, this is all part of the learning process.  

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Shama
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November 2, 2016 - 11:32 pm
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I know all about moving to another country - I have lived in 7 of them during my life, and they didn't all work out for me. So far I have been in Thailand the longest - 17 years.

It is true, sometimes less is more. I have a wonderful story about this which happened to me a long time ago. It is a bit too long for this post here, but I will make a video or blog post out of it and send it out. You will see it soon.

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Tristanne Zybala
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November 6, 2016 - 10:34 pm
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MODULE 7

This work on the legs was wonderful -- to give and to receive!  I really enjoyed these few moves.  I found them "easy" to perform and changing positions was less complicated this time.  lol

The only thing I found myself focusing on, was my grip on my partner's foot.  I felt like maybe I was holding too tightly or pulling her skin, but she said it was good, so that must have all been in my head.  For me, it seems like I'm focusing too much on things I should just be trusting.  Does that make sense?

I am having difficulties with a warm-up from the last module -- on the quadriceps, pushing with one hand and pulling up with the other.  I watched the video, listened to the audio thinking that maybe if I just did it while I listened to you, and read the transcript and tried to follow that, but still couldn't get this move.  Is there a way you can help me with this?

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November 6, 2016 - 11:05 pm
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Regarding holding on to the foot, there is a supplementary video right after this module which gives you an alternative way of doing this.

Regarding the technique you have trouble with - is there a way you could record a little 30 second video where you are trying to do this technique? Then you could upload it to dropbox (a free software) or similar service. It would be much easier for me to give you the correct advice if I could see what you are doing.

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Tristanne Zybala
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November 15, 2016 - 8:12 am
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MODULE 8

I am absolutely loving these leg stretches.  I have found a good flow with this and change positions effortlessly.  I am staying out of my head and everything is so much smoother.  My partner has been giving me wonderful comments and is kind enough to allow me to "push" the stretch a bit further so that I may get a feel for it.  She's a great partner to have for this practise.  I would, however, like to practise on someone who is a bit heavier and less flexible so that I may feel the difference.  I'll have to ask a couple of my other friends to see it they'd be willing to help me.

I will try to video a bit of that quad warm-up.  It may take me some time to figure out how to send it to you, as I'm not great with that.

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Shama
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November 15, 2016 - 9:25 pm
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Sounds like you are making good progress!

Regarding the video, just go to http://dropbox.com. You can upload the video there and send it to me easily.

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Tristanne Zybala
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November 16, 2016 - 9:17 am
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MODULE 9

I love your hip pie!!!  What a smart way to explain the various movements of the hip and leg!  If I get confused or lost, all I have to do is think of the pieces of the pie and it all makes sense.  Also, I appreciate your suggestions for people with tight muscles, hips, etc. and the opposite, ways to go deeper for more flexible people.  The rocking and shaking is nice to do and I've received good feedback about it too.  I am definitely going to take your Thai Rocking Massage course after I complete this one.

Thanks for all you do.   Smile

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Shama
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November 16, 2016 - 12:41 pm
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The Thai Rocking Massage course is a perfect addition. Over the years I have been incorporating more and more of these motion techniques like rocking, rolling, circling, wiggling etc. They will work on a much greater variety of people and conditions than the more linear traditional Thai Massage techniques.

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Tristanne Zybala
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November 20, 2016 - 9:12 am
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MODULE 10

Again, in this module, I really appreciate the tips for people with tight muscles, more flexibility, different sizes, etc.  And I continue to enjoy the hip pie!  The only thing I had difficulty with in this module was the blood stopping.  I could not bring myself to do it; just the thought made me queasy. Embarassed Maybe I'll try it some day....  Is it a necessary or beneficial part of Thai massage?

Looking forward to putting it all together in the next module.  Smile

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Shama
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November 20, 2016 - 9:21 pm
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Of course you can skip the "blood stop". You can skip any technique you want. The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences. However the bloodstop is a very common Thai Massage technique and it produces a very pleasant feeling which in my experience is appreciated by the clients. I like receiving it. Try it some time on someone you know well and see how it feels to that person.

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