The Internal Side Seen from the Outside, through Thai Massage

Print PDF

Physical, emotional, environmental? Is it one or the other?

The body: the external; the emotional: the internal; the environment we live in: the container. What causes what? What influences what?

Do we feel, or do we suppress? Does stuff sneak out? Does something filter in?

Legitimate questions that could link answers from psychotherapists, massage therapists, osteopaths, sociologists, natural therapists and so on.

This is my answer, from my personal experience, as a Thai Massage therapist and teacher.

For who is familiar with and open to the idea of mirrors and the reflections they give us, Thai massage is a perfect mirror to show the receiver how much tension he or she is holding and where in the physical body.

Being the body a concrete physical manifestation of thoughts, emotions, emotional patterns, unresolved past experiences; being that Thai massage works though a sequence of motions, which constantly require complete surrender to the flow of the stretches; it becomes easy for the receiver to gain awareness on where she/he is storing stuff and how much he/she is holding and controlling the body.

As a Thai Massage practitioner, who moves people around, lifts and stretches their limbs, rotates ankles and wrists, I immediately noticed how much unconscious tension there is, for example, in people who have a stressful life, who may have a stressful job, who are always busy and therefore out of touch with themselves.

Without any judgement on the reasons why that is, it’s very interesting to notice how much we human beings can be out of touch with our internal reality.  We manage to ignore our feelings, our emotions, to shut down to a body that is trying to tell us things we obviously don’t want to hear, or don’t have the time to hear.

Consequently, to successfully ignore our body screaming for help, we build tension and hold ‘control’ on the body. I have so often massaged clients who are not able to let go of their limbs, whom I ask to drop and let me hold, but they are not aware they are holding.

To have total control, we all know, feels safe, but we also know it’s not so good for our physical body. The first step then, for those who are ready to move through their own resistance, is to simply notice, to become aware of what we are doing and just observe it.

From there the path opens to the one of the Buddhist teaching that Thai massage derives from: the loving kindness and compassion, which is not meant only towards others, but also towards ourselves!

 

Looking for the Ultimate Profession

Print PDF

25 February, 2015

|

Aren’t we all looking for the ultimate profession that allows us to earn a living, while doing something fun, healthy and that we love?

I think that ought to be the most common 21st century’s desire and I was lucky enough to find it at the crossing with the previous century.

Yoga is probably the number 1 hit that fits that profile, but for me it never was the choice, I’m not entirely sure of why I never even considered it… instead, Thai Massage happened upon me and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Everything evolved from there.

From the beginning, Thai Massage has been for me something physical I loved doing, that, with time, grew into a real passion. It gave me an identity. A way to connect with people intimately, deeply and a way to help them feeling good in their bodies.

But it hasn’t been all about other people’s bodies, it’s been mostly about my body!
Thai Yoga Massage put me on my personal health path, got me in touch with my body, obliged me to gain an incredible amount of awareness, keep fit, flexible, strong and healthy, so I could walk the path that I preached, and also teach it.

As a secondary effect, at the same time, it gave me something extremely important to me: freedom! A profession I could be independent with, that I could manage the way I wanted, in my own space and time.

I am aware that is something hard to achieve for many people, the business management side of things is probably where most people fall short, falling back onto the safe, old, dependent and disliked job that pays the bills and is reliable.

Ultimately it is a choice, a matter of luck, motivation and resourcefulness.

I do wish you to have what it takes. On my side, I give you everything I have learned since when I started and with honesty do my best.

The Other Side of Thai Massage

Print PDF

18 February, 2015

|

Traditional Thai massage is quite passive for the receiver, but very active for the giver, who by giving treatments, in time, will develop strength and flexibility.

I believe it to be a real discipline of health, meaning, it requires good self-discipline to be sustainably performed.

Practitioners need to use their body weight correctly, in the most functional way and with the least effort (effective). This requires constant awareness of their own body, posture and movements.

My biggest struggle in my teaching is to convey  the importance of  ‘moving from the core’.
Not in a theoretical way, obviously, but the practical use of it. Leading the movement with the body structure,  rocking in and out of the central position, instead of the intentional force applied locally are the bases to a good Thai Massage, in my opinion.

Practitioners need:
To keep flexible:  stretch, practice yoga, receive treatments.
Even more, they need strength and stability: weight training, Pilates, martial art, dance, all disciplines that strengthen the stabilizer muscles.
They need to learn to breathe deeply, rhythmically, exhaling entirely.
Calm the mind and focus the attention on what they are doing, on the present moment, the now.
Keep a good, positive intention, outcome, so that the energy can flow between the practitioner and the receiver and healing can occur.
Eat healthy, don’t smoke, or drink as you are on the path of health.

Those are all my personal opinions and if you resonate with them and are interested in adventuring down this path, then get to work and have fun with it!

Do you ever walk out of oil style massages feeling heavy, sluggish and just want to go to sleep?

Print PDF

11 February, 2015

|

Well, I can give you my personal point of view about it.

I believe that, the fundamental way, most other styles of massage go about it, is not quite complete.

Yes we may have an injury, a sore muscle, a specific alignment in an area that needs absolute work and release. That is what remedial and sport massages are best for, but ultimately while working on muscles, we still need to be aware of the energy in the body.

The energy through our bodies moves through channels that are called meridians, Sens, energy lines, etc in different traditions.

I believe a good full body Thai Massage moves the energy within the joints (through stretches), along the channels and out of the body (through meridian work).

You can think of it as a physical thing or a metaphysical thing, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that by stretching + working the energy lines and the pressure points we draw the energy out, towards the extremities of the body and leave the client often energised, rather than sluggish and tired.

Thai Massage Training Formats

Print PDF

8 February, 2014

|

INTRO DAY

The biggest news i have at the moment is that I’m considering offering an INTRO DAY and I would love to know from you what you think about that and if it is something you would be interested in. Please email me with your feedback about this.

The idea is for people to be able to get a practical experience of how the course is set up and what it requires on a physical (strength, flexibility and awareness), emotional (stability) and mental (focus and attention) level.

The Sunday Intro will be the initial part of the entire course. We will be going through the history, the theory, the explanation of how Thai Massage works and the first bit of the Level I sequence: the Feet massage and a few legs stretches.
The practical part will be quite small compared to the rest of the 3-weeks, but enough to get a sense of how the course works.

Intro classes will run every 1st day of each 3-week intensive course, which will be starting on a Sunday afternoon, rather than Monday morning and run for around 4 hours.

From the Monday morning the class will continue as normal, starting with Yoga and continuing with Thai Massage from where we had left off the previous day, but only with the small group staying for the course.

Places will be limited and  priority will be given to students participating to the 3-week course.

The investment for the Intro Day is of $100 AUD, which gets deducted from the course fee if continuing on the same course (availability permitting) or registering for the upcoming one after that.

Expression of interest are taken via email, and availability of places will be confirmed only 1 to 2 weeks prior to the Intro day. In your email/ expression of interest please mention if  you would be coming just for the half a day or if you have the possibility to stay on and continue on with the course, or if you are interested in checking it out for a future course date.

3-WEEK-INTENSIVE

We usually try running 3  courses per year, all 3-week intensive Practitioner Training, which include a Yoga class every morning and the Thai Massage tuition for the rest of the day.

ONE WEEK AT A TIME

General recommendation is to participate to the whole 3 weeks in one go, but for those who can’t leave work for more than one week at a time, it’s most definitely possible to join for each week separately. That might mean that it could take you a whole year or longer to complete the course, but you can also get a lot of practice in the meant time.

A private one on one revision with Valentina might be necessary in between Level I, II and III to make sure you are up to date to enter the next Level.

Unfortunately, for space, practical and financial reasons we do need to give priority to those who commit to the whole 3 weeks. And here is the catch, being that we can only fit 6 to 8 students at one time, we can only let you know if there will be space available around 1 or 2 weeks prior to course commencement.
But it’s always worth booking for the ‘one week at a time’ option, if you know you have limited time available when a course is on and you never know you might get in!

TWO-ON-ONE TRAINING

This is a completely new format designed for 2 people interested in learning Thai Massage, but with restricted time available through the year, or are unable to take holidays at the time of the courses. In these cases, It is possible to schedule private Thai Yoga Massage tuition with Valentina.

The two of you will be able to split the 15-day course throughout a chosen length of time, as more convenient for you and depending on Valentina’s availability.

For example: you could organise 2 days a week, once a month; or 1 day a week, for 15 weeks, etc.

Valentina is never available on weekends and is only available on half of the time in the school holidays. Times will have to be agreed by everyone and committed to, depending on the dates chosen.

Days would be between 6 and 7 hours long with 1 hour lunch break. A Yoga class is not included in this format.

Students will receive a B/W course manual and a DVD of the sequence.

Price: $200 per person, per day. Required number: 2 people.