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Barbara Baggett's Heavenly Head Massage progress notes
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Barbara Baggett
Utopia Texas
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December 6, 2019 - 11:59 pm
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Module 1

I'm back! I'm one of those procrastinators you talked about; I think I purchased this course a couple of years ago and am just now looking into it. I look forward to learning because - I love head massage! and many clients just need help to zone out.

I've been practicing some MFR, and believe that has improved my quality of touch, which will be paramount in me giving a good Heavenly Head Massage. Breath awareness has also been improved by practicing MFR and yoga. 

I first tried this initial technique on a friend after giving her a massage on the table. I found I could not get the proper angle for the downward compression due to the height of the table. Possibly I can incorporate other HHM techniques on the table, post massage. I can always lower the table to give an entire hour - Heavenly! - or practice on my Thai mat.

Onward!

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Shama Kern
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December 7, 2019 - 12:29 pm
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Welcome back, Barbara, better late than never! Laugh  Luckily with our online training all material will still be available years later. I can remember quite a few students who took a couple of years to get around to their courses, and then went in all the way.

It doesn't look like you need it (with the one exception that your forum profile bio section should be filled in), but I always include a reference to our certification checklist in the beginning of forum threads:

Certification Checklist

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Barbara Baggett
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December 15, 2019 - 8:35 pm
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Module 2

I practiced the sternum techniques both on a table, and on the floor. I noticed the shallow breathing of my husband, and had a hard time knowing where he was on his breath cycle! His favorite was me tapping above the thymus gland, although he said the entire work was pleasurable. On the table, while massaging a client, I found that I could get the correct 90 degree angle for working on her sternum. She reported that she was sore when I moved to between her ribs at the sternum border. She was a deeper breather!

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December 15, 2019 - 9:00 pm
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Just curious - was she sore from your work, or did she notice that these were sore spots when you were working on her? In other words, did you work gently, and even then did she notice her soreness, or did your work make her sore? That wasn't evident from the way you wrote it. Smile

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Barbara Baggett
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December 17, 2019 - 10:01 pm
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I believe that 'tender' is a more accurate term. I didn't make her sore Surprised

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December 17, 2019 - 10:42 pm
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It is quite interesting how many people are really sensitive around the sternum. If I wouldn't have worked on so many sternums, I would have never guessed that. Often we have to be super sensitive when working on the sternum and the rib space next to it. 

Sometimes, when people are very sensitive in this area, it is better to start off with some gentle sternum circling and wiggling to relax and warm it first.

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Barbara Baggett
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December 19, 2019 - 8:35 pm
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Module 3

An 'ah ha' moment. While working on the pecs, leaning in, pushing down, rolling and pulling - my husband said I was digging my fingertips into his arm pit. ouch! Good feedback to remind me to pay attention to what I am trying to accomplish - and keep my hands just around the pec muscles.

A fan of elephant walking, (it makes me happy to think of them) I was happy to walk on his trunk (no pun) and pushing shoulders down towards feet. Liked the left - both - right etc. rhythm of this.

A favorite was working on the upper traps towards the neck and next to cervical spine. I also included this with table work, last night during a clients massage.

The most favorite was the spinal twist. Having practiced the complete Thai course, I was familiar with shifting my weight to get to the other side of the body, so not too clumsy.

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December 19, 2019 - 11:48 pm
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The Heavenly Head Massage course is often more subtle than the Complete Thai Massage course. Sometimes you work in a very gentle way. The two courses compliment each other beautifully. Smile

The stretching techniques will come to you more easily after having gone through the Complete Thai Massage course. The big thing is that almost 100% of the HHM course can be easily done on a table, with the exception of the 'wave' technique.

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Barbara Baggett
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December 25, 2019 - 12:06 am
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Module 4

I had to watch this video more than usual, and will practice more to get it right. My first attempt I used my toes to lift , you said not to! And after watching again I understood better to hinge at the ankle and lean back. The feed back was it is yummy and I hope to teach someone to do it to me!

The work around the cervical spine was much more intuitive for me, and again the feed back was good, especially the alternating circles.

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December 25, 2019 - 12:52 pm
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The 'wave' is the most complex technique in the whole course. The good thing is that nothing will be more challenging than that! Smile It's a fun technique, but optional - you can do a great session without it. I's hard to do on very heavy and very stiff people, so you need to pick the right candidates for it.

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Barbara Baggett
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December 30, 2019 - 10:30 pm
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Module 5

The head is heavy Surprised Realized I was lifting the head as I was moving it side to side, then succeeded in moving head to the side, with help of my body also moving - leaving the head cradled in my hand , and on the mat.

Both sliding of my hand and static circling felt good, as did the lifting of the neck. The neck lift is so subtle; I initially raised the head and then understood the feeling of being subtle - just lifting up muscles surrounding the cervical spine. Nice!

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December 31, 2019 - 1:14 am
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I never knew how heads can be so different in terms of weight until I started to do Heavenly Head Massage! 

Some people's heads feel really light, and some people's heads feel like you are handling a rock.Laugh

That's why it is so important to be super mindful of your body mechanics.

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Barbara Baggett
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January 11, 2020 - 11:27 pm
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Module 6

Definitely loved the big and small neck rolls once I got the hang of making the up and back movements into rolls. 

Palms up with index finger on spine, and last technique of squeezing neck are intuitive as I have done similar work with lotion in Swedish. It's a non-threatening, gentle elongation of the neck.

The most challenging technique for me in this module is when I released fingers from base of occiput and moved the heel of hand down the neck to begin again.  I had to concentrate and figure out a rhythm in order to keep supporting head at 45 degrees, without letting the head move up and down. Head bobble. 🙂 

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Shama Kern
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January 12, 2020 - 1:13 am
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True, keeping the head steady and at the correct angle while manipulating it in mid-air is a bit challenging, but that's where the uniqueness and the art come in. Smile

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Barbara Baggett
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January 13, 2020 - 7:56 pm
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Module 7

My husband, recipient of most of my preliminary practice, is ‘barrel chested’ thick torso. The first technique my forearm and hand (under his neck, on shoulder) was barely long enough to span. And I was in his face! Same with the 360 circling of his head.

The second technique, raising his upper body, did not. Only his head raised, and I was worried I was compressing his neck into his torso. He said he felt a traction…

Those two techniques look so good on the video; I look forward to practicing on a smaller person.

The 90 degree lateral stretches were successful; I only found the need to correct the neck position on the first so it aligned with the spine, and keep the chin off the shoulder.

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January 13, 2020 - 10:28 pm
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The most difficult people to do neck work on are barrel-chested men with short, thick necks and very heavy heads. However there is a module coming up in a later section of the course which shows you a way how you can work effectively on these types of bodies. I call it the 'towel technique'. Your husband might be the ideal candidate to practice this on.

It is much easier to do the neck work on smaller and lighter persons. You should definitely do this because otherwise you might think that Heavenly Head Massage is a strain to do - which it is not. Working on smaller persons is a wonderful experience, and you need that to balance the experience at the other end of the spectrum with your husband.

Ultimately we need to know how to work on all types of persons - light, heavy, bony, well-muscled, etc. That comes only with working on such people and figuring out what works for you and for them, and what doesn't.

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Barbara Baggett
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January 15, 2020 - 8:38 pm
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Thanks Shama, I appreciate the insights into the heavy head and no neck! 

Module 8

All techniques of module 8 were well received. I practiced neck undulation on my husband and also slighter built woman and the remaining on my husband. He felt the figure 8 was awkward 'lifting his heavy head around' (his words 🙂 but did not feel seasick. I have moved my own neck while sitting and it is more thorough than typical rolling of the head.

Kudos to thumb work from collar bone to the mat, middle fingers up to occiput & pull and index finger slide from C7 to below ear lobe.

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Shama Kern
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January 15, 2020 - 10:29 pm
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There is no doubt that the neck work is the most challenging part of the course because it involves some serious manipulations. And there is tons of neck work in this course. However in most cases you will not do every single technique in every single session as that would take way too long.

After a while you will figure out what fits into a one hour Heavenly Head Massage session. I have it down to such a degree that all 4 phases (chest/shoulders, neck, head, and face) take me about 15 minutes. 

I have done neck-only sessions. For those you can pull out all the stops and use all techniques in the course. But be aware that a full hour of neck therapy can tire you because it is all hand work with lots of lifting and squeezing. But there are clients who need this kind of work, and chances are that they will have a hard time finding anyone who can do serious and effective neck therapy work for an entire session.

The Heavenly Head Massage session with all four parts is not meant to be so intense, but rather more relaxing, more heavenly, and easier on your hands. 

Especially when you just use parts of Heavenly Head Massage as an ending to a regular massage session, you would just select a few gentle, trance inducing techniques.

I am just explaining this to make it clear that you won't use the figure 8, for example, in every session. You can be very selective. There is a lot more in this course than you ever use in one single session. All those techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

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Barbara Baggett
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January 19, 2020 - 10:23 pm
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Thank you!

Module 9

All of the ear techniques felt very good. The ear pull opened my partners Eustachian tubes, which he liked. (also the previous technique of gliding from collar bone to back of ear lobe.)

Finished with cupping the ear; to which Steve replied ‘what are you doing’? LOL . He is so used to me practicing on him he expected me to ‘be doing something’. I AM doing something! He’s in for a treat when I treat him seamlessly and not in fits and starts of getting a technique right.

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Shama Kern
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January 20, 2020 - 6:34 pm
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Actual clients will be so tranced out that they won't analyze what your are doing. They will be more likely sleeping! Smile

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