Module ~ 1
Practiced on my daughter and my hubby. They both enjoyed it especially once I found my grove. My hands seemed a little crowded on her tiny frame but I made it work
Module ~ 2
Work on my 16 year old daughter again, she is a bit bony and did not much care for me using my leaning into her sternum and intercostals, she did like the sternum rock. I liked practicing these moves. I also practiced these on my hubby. I went light and easy due to the mesh in his chest (8 years ago quadruple bypass) he liked the move but again prefers other moves that involve rocking or more active stretching.
Both my husband and daughter did not massaging under the collar bone. I reminded them that it may just be me needing to hone my skills a bit more. The pec move was not a favorite of my daughter, most likely because she is skinny and does not have a developed pectorals at all. My husband liked elephant walk. I really do not like leaning my pelvis over a man to do chest walk- except my husband.
My wrist could not hold the weight of the head (tear in ligament at base of thumb) and the ergonomics of the overall technique were not comfortable for me.
We all really enjoyed the 4 loosening/warming exercise. They were very calming and once I adjusted my stance, very comfortable for me too! I like what you said about not breathing on someone- really bothers me when someone does that to me. The close up shots were very helpful as well.
I really like the fact that you keep reiterating to work slowly with no abrupt movements and also to keep the fingers of off the throat. The use of oil is something that most trainings will not mention, but is totally necessary, as you mentioned, when their skin is dry.
I had to be really careful when trying to get the hair out of the way to make sure her head did not wobble or drop, due to the issue in my wrist. Client liked the way it felt as well as the neck lift. Her head did not release all the way back down in between lifts, is that typical?
side-to-side warm ups, I had to really support my arms to keep the fluidity.
Client like the side neck rub, but I had to lighten the pressure in my thumbs.
Heavenly Head Massage is a real art and it does take quite some time and practice to hone it to the point where it really feels heavenly. It is not just a technique, but a feeling in your hands which needs to be developed over time. So if something does not feel right in the beginning, this is normal and to be expected.
As you found out, not every technique works well on everyone. This is the case with HHM and with Thai Massage also. Part of the art of it is to learn to know what works on whom.
Leaning into the sternum only works well if you can combine it with your and the client's breath, because then it enhances breathing and follows a natural rhythm of the body. If you cannot detect this rhythm due to very shallow breathing, then it might not feel so good.
Also the secret is to sink in slowly and softly with your thumbs, using only your body weight and no muscle pressure at all. I often gently slide and roll my thumbs a tiny bit to make the movement more fluid. If it is done too directly and if it feels even a tiny bit like muscle pressure, it won't feel good.
There are quite a few techniques in HHM which look really easy, but when you do them, they are actually not so easy at all since they only work with a lot of sensitivity, just the right pressure, just the right speed, and just the right energy behind it. This only develops over time.
When I teach one week long Heavenly Head Massage live courses, it always takes the students several days to develop the right feeling. This is definitely not a system which you practice a couple times, and then you "got it".
It is perfectly okay to skip certain moves. As you mentioned, some techniques don't feel so good for bony skinny people. Real bony people are always harder to work on in massage in general.
By the way, there is no technique which goes under the collar bone which would certainly not feel good. The technique is to gently lean on the collar bone and push it down slightly without ever going under it.
A pressure technique like on the pecs can be modified or replaced on skinny people with little muscle mass with gentle circling, elephant walking or rocking.
If someone's head does not release all the way down after a lift, then either there is tension in the neck muscles, or the move has not been executed in a really smooth way, in which case the client does not relax or is a bit apprehensive.
The "getting the hair out of the way" technique is one of those which looks a lot easier than it is since the trick is to keep the head 100 percent steady.
Big neck roll, client really liked and was already starting to doze off. Technique 2, I felt clumsy and awkward at this technique. I think since I am dealing with such a major wrist injury that some of these are just to much for me to execute, especially when you are trying to hold the head in a gentle, calm way. Getting the hair out of the way variation was great, real relaxing.
#1 I had to really support myself on this one, she did not like and it hurt me.
#2 She felt tense while I was performing this one. Once again, I am sure it was due to lack of practice and fluidity on my end.
#3 was awesome (traction) The way it was taught made it easy to do and it felt great.
My husband has a heavy head, so this was hard on me as well. I tried to support myself really well and it helped- he enjoyed it.
Move 2 - I did the modification and it was much easier for me.
No problem with move 3 and 4- he liked 3 the most. Move 5 was a good one for him as well.
The big neck roll would definitely be a problem for you if you have a wrist injury. No problem, just skip it and when your wrist gets better you can always come back to it.
You already figured out how important good support is, and that you might have to use modifications of techniques. The main principle is to flow with what works, adjust what is challenging and skip what you cannot handle for whatever reason.
This whole module was great for me because it did not hurt my wrist at all. The client really liked the ear rub. I had been doing the coin rub for the last year where i used both fingers at the same time, so I had to retrain one finger to stay still while the other rubbed- I'm getting the hang of it
The client did not care to much for the ear pull and I was being gentle.
Most of these moves were new to me, but I felt relatively at ease doing them. The client liked most of the exercises except for the slow slide down over the ear.
You gave wonderful instruction.
All of these methods were wonderful: rubbing, friction, holding, jumping, leaning pressure, shampoo, rapid fingertip, stroking, circles and top of head technique. The client liked them all, some more than others. He was almost asleep after the first few and it was only 1pm. I was extremely comfortable and it I was able to get into the flow easily. I was working on a man and he had short, silky hair- free of all hair products. I can see how really dry, tangled or hair full of products could interfere with the massage. I really want someone to do these to me- coming to Kansas anytime soon??????
Sounds like you are doing very well with the course. The ear pull is super gentle, by the way. It shouldn't really feel like much of a pull at all. It's more like a circular motion which involves a tiny pull.
You will probably put lots of people to sleep with this massage. When I teach live HHM classes, and I demonstrate it on a student, they often cannot even stay awake during the demonstration.
At least 90% of my HHM clients go into a sleep or trance-like state and it often takes them quite a few minutes to come to normal waking consciousness again when the massage is over.
Believe it or not, I am the originator of HHM, and I have never received a real full and qualified HHM session myself. I have had students work on me in classes, but they just tried to figure it out. It did not feel like the real thing yet. I always try to find people who can give me a decent neck, head and face massage, but I have yet to find someone who even comes close to what the HHM can do for you.
This module was one of my faves! My client was a bit tender headed on top, so I adjusted my touch. I did have to watch so I did not get tangled up in her hair. She really like the inverted hands, circles with the heel of hand, and palms on the side of head moving up and down. The one where you slide down hair line with heel of hand she did not care for and I felt like it was not as fluid and relaxing as the others. I like that you reminded us to work with the whole body.
All of these are amazing as well. The client was asleep almost immediately. The only thing I really have to comment on at all is in doing movements where the hands are on the sides of the face and the fingers are doing a movement, I sometimes feel as though my hands are to small. I had to experiment with a few hand placements. Overall I felt as though everything flowed well.
More great stuff! Once again the client fell asleep within a few minutes
Everything went really well, except the rolling/circling of the skin on the jaw exercise. The client did not care for it and it just felt awkward for me. I guess I just need practice. He did not like his ears covered as well.
I liked doing the cheeks with the heel of hand and so did the client.
The big face circles were lovely, but i did not feel fluid. I need to practice the transition from down to up.
I need some more clarification about the first technique. How much do you lift the head? Are you lengthening the neck at all?
Client did not much care for #2, I am going to try this on my daughter and see if she likes it.
I really appreciate all of the explanation on the hara, breath work, intention and energy flow. I have always tried to stay focused and keep my intention on light and love. Some days are better than others and I am always working on mastery of these elements.
It sounds like you are getting pretty good at putting people to sleep. That's a very good sign!
The skin rolling technique on the jaw has to be pretty refined to feel good. Practice it a bit more and try to make feel better. If you still can't get it to feel right, just skip it. There might be certain techniques that don't come as easily to you as others. Since there are plenty of techniques available, there is no problem if you want to leave one out. Nobody will ever know or complain.
The sliding down the hairline with the heel of the hand should definitely feel good. Try doing it a bit slower, gentler, and roll out the heel of your hand a little while you are doing it to make it less mechanical. In other words while you are sliding down with the heel of the hand right below your thumb, you turn the edge of the hand up along with the stroke. It looks like the entire hand is slowly turning.
Regarding the first technique in module 14, you don't really lift the neck. You just put a little upward pressure on it from below, no lengthening at all. It is not meant to be a stretch. The client should just feel a nice warm supportive upward pressure. Even pressure is too strong of a word. It is a very subtle movement. The client should normally be in a trance at that time anyway. So don't do anything to get the client out of the trance/sleep state.
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