November 23, 2011
Need some help here Shama. Up until a week or so ago I had done Thai on quite a few dancers. Some are with our Longview Ballet, some travel with companies, but many are with the Kilgore Rangerettes. They are known world wide and at least in Texas, it is a big deal to be a Rangerette. I worked on several girls this last year attempting to make the team and also the Viewettes, a high school version of them. Suddenly there are many. July is the next tryout for the Rangerettes. Several coaches are sending their girls to me for stretching. I love it but want to give them all they need. Thai is very relaxing and opens their joints nicely. We know it is great for overall stretching and certain therapeutic issues. These ladies need to be able to kick very high and need open hips. Some have specific issues of course. I need to insure that I am maximizing their stretching and doing so in a safe way. The Hamstring module is one of the few I haven’t watched so I guess I need to buy that one this weekend. Have you ever worked with this type of clientele? What do you feel are the most effective methods for stretching hamstrings? I will combine a bit of yoga with the Thai but looking for whatever help is available. Advice? Caveats?
November 23, 2011
I have done a lot of hamstring work and I still have a client who wants hamstring work in every single session. In my experience it is important to first do intense work on the hamstring muscles before you do any stretching. I apply pressure with my feet and my knees and my forearms, and I do a lot of rocking and circling with all of those body parts. The stretching will go a lot better if the hamstrings are warmed up really well.
With the stretching it is important go slowly into the stretch, not hold it, but rather repeat it more often. Overstretching the hamstrings is a dangerous thing since the muscle fibers can tear with some of those big stretches. Lots of warming muscle work will mostly prevent this.
Another thing is to include foreward bend stretches which work on the back as well. Hamstring stretches and back are both involved as anyone who is doing foreward bends like Paschimottasana can easily tell. There are some techniques for the back which I have not introduced in my courses so far which will be part of the back massage course which I am working on now.
The Hamstring course, as you mentioned, will be helpful as well, although there will be some duplication between it and the Complete Thai Massage course. I have expanded the Hamstring course recently and I am planning to expand it even further when I find the time.
Regarding 5 year olds I have to admit that I have never worked on young kids myself. I am also a bit concerned about it since I know that young children who are pushed into extreme athletic performances can develop problems later in life resulting from this. So I would not take stretching on kids to any extreme since they are not able, unlike adults, to set proper limits and communicate them to you.
November 23, 2011
Thanks for the advice. As for the kids, knowing what I already know regarding strength training with children, weight training too young and growth plates not completely formed, is not a good idea. I think I will decline the mother’s request. We do have ”pretzel kids” or yoga for kids. I know this child has done that and I am going to suggest that children’s yoga and her dance are all the stretching a child’s body needs. I agree they do not need to be pushed. They need play time!
Thank you for your input on that one.
Hi Mark. I am an ex dancer. Yes , 5 yr olds stretch not as intense as adults but it is important to create muscle memory.
They gain flexibility much faster at that age usually depending on genetics of course. The sessions do not need to be very long at all, your just introducing muscle memory usually not therapy. Her teacher should be teaching her how to stretch as well. (I am sure she is.)
Stretches for dancers would include hip openers back bends side bends and gentle twist also stretch the feet.
Here is a general warm up, stretch and movement for dancers that are fun for children
Warm up would be: tondu’ at barre ,battema’s (leg lifts) and a stagnant second position plie’ with some releve’s also known as horse pose and elevating.
Stretches: Cobblers pose also known as Badda Kanassana in Yoga
Combre’ ( means to side bend) in cobblers pose and ( back bend in cobblers) to open chest
Forward bend (head to shins / my teacher use to sit on my feet when I got older (Ouch!)
Shamas reflexology would be great! It is good for dancers to learn as early as possible to take care of there feet and to make them strong. At 12 yrs old she will be introduced to point shoes. She will need to be ready for that
Splits in all directions / (modified as needed)
Touch toes to head in a back bend prone position/ Obviously she does not necessarily have to touch her head. She will probably know this movement as “seal” Wheel or full backbend with your assistance possibly. I will see if I can make you a video I know some of this jargon would only be understood by dancers. Take caution her bones are still developing.
Rolling like a ball/ Rolling backwards teaching her no to roll on her neck
Summer saults are fun and the children love them.
Shama shows all these stretches / look at hip openers and back bends. Ballet Dancers generally deform there body’s for an art form. I am working with a 23 yr old who already has knee problems from a teacher making her force her turnout. She is already retired from dance. She danced with Joffery ballet, at that level you ignore pain and just dance. Dancers are often worse then professional athletes on ignoring pain and just working. You know ” the show must go on”
It is very important to teach her to turn out from her hips not her knees or her feet. Dance instructors sometimes neglect this and do not care how you get the turn out as long as it look pretty on stage. I hope this helped. Hope I did not intrude. Shama has all the movements need for a dancer in his lessons for sure.
November 23, 2011
DK. As an RYT I am aware of many stretches to help but yes dance is a different language and foreign to me. I have worked with a great deal of them and see some nasty injuries from vetebral and foot fractures, permantly damaged hips, ACL’s and many others. I have been amazed at what they train through and boy do they train. I appreciate the knowledge and posting. I believe that all of us being able to discuss these issues is part of Shama’s vision. I have a passion to learn as much about Thai massage as possible. Like Shama, I think we can inprove the traditional. I wish to build on it and Thai massage, just as yoga therapy, shiatsu, reflexology, and other physical modalities are tools for whatever needs are present. This can be for healing or for improving performance. I welcome experience which is why I posted.
This is great – there are some real experts communicating in the forum with the two of you. Yes, this is my vision, that I am not the only one replying to posts, with more interaction from others, since obviously I don’t know everything about everything. I know a lot about Thai Massage, but I am sure both of you know more about yoga and dancing than I do. That’s a great thread.
November 23, 2011
Some people are just on the shy side to reply to other people’s posts, I think. That’s a pity, since this is about the best sharing thread involving several users which I have ever seen on the forum. I will encourage the sharing by adding some new suggestions to all my course manuals, and maybe I can even make a little video about it.
November 23, 2011
Just thinking out of the box a bit Shama, have you ever thougt about a live forum. I have done several with yoga. One of the Yoga therapist in Canada plans an online session well ahead of time. We log or dial in at a given time. Susie Hartley has done this successfully. She gives an hour live presentation on a topic with the opportunity for questions and discussion along the way. At the end we are able to ask questions and to discuss. I think we each paid $30 or so to do it. The conference is also recorded so those unable to do it can listen later if they wish. I assume most of your modules are in English. I have never thougt about whether you do these in other languages such as German.
I would love to get all my courses translated and subtitled into German and Spanish. However this is a major undertaking and I don’t see myself getting around to this anytime soon.
The live video sessions are a very interesting concept. I actually have thought about it. It is a fairly involved process since I need a model, a camera operator, a stable internet connection, and the software to handle it all.
I have been thinking about doing live webinars (without the live massage setup). This would enable people to ask questions and we could discuss many topics. I actually have the software to handle this. It’s one of the many projects which I am trying to get going.
Right now I have an intense schedule of daily video recording sessions to produce my latest creation, the Thai Back Massage course. When this is done, it will take me a few weeks to edit it all together, upload it, write the website pages for it, and get all the individual pieces to work together.
I have more plans than I will ever be able to implement by myself. Maybe one day I will find someone who will get involved and help take Thai Healing Massage Academy to the next level.
November 23, 2011
Ever thought about someone stateside that could do seminars and teach your techniques live? You can only do so much by yourself but another teacher or two can expand your earning potential and your message (Thai Massage). That is basically what Beth Shaw has done with YogaFit.
November 23, 2011
I’m just talking and thinking out loud. I have talked to Kimberly about picking up her Thai School stuff sense it is already in place and approved for CEU’s etc. The problem is the style is very traditional so needs to be changed in my opinion. Your’s is much more functional and practical. I may not quite be at the instructor level to teach your style yet but would sure be interested if that opportunity or interest ever arose.
This is actually a concept that should have potential. I know that my courses are quite unique compared to traditional Thai Massage in general, and I am sure that there would be a receptive market. I get asked all the time about teaching live courses, but what I am doing now with Thai Healing Massage Academy is keeping me very busy already.
I also know that I will never have the time to offer lots of live training all by myself, especially when it means flying halfway around the world repeatedly. So I am quite open to exploring this idea further.
There are many students who have taken all my courses, but not many stayed really involved, unlike you (and Don). I always thought that it would be a good idea to train one or a few people with the right background and skills who could get involved with the training on the live side. It would be a great combination – good live training and all the video training. There is definitely a potential here.
I would be honored to help in any way. Also Shama, I would love to share your post on my blogs if you ever like. I only use it for my website visibility and internet content. If this is something that you would like I would be happy to repost your content on my blog. I think it may be a win-win. I am always looking for creative writers as I am not so creative at writing. I’m better at informative and facts mostly . I can become OCD and boring.
BTW. My father has a printing company and should you ever need manuals for live courses I can assist.
Blessings Shama, Mark and CoCo
Don, you are welcome to publish any of my posts on your blog, as long as you leave the links intact which point back to my site. I love writing and I never run out of ideas for new topics. So please take advantage of my articles for your blog. And thanks for the printing suggestion!
Also I am wondering, why don’t you advertise your business on the forum here:
The price is right – it’s free exposure.
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