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Dwayne Ratliff's Heavenly Head Massage course notes
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Dwayne
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June 22, 2014 - 12:41 am
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Module 1

I like that there is focus on head neck solders. I also like that I will be able to focus only on those areas and that I will be able to focus strictly on the neck. I am glad that there is an incorporation of energy. I do energy work that is very similar and it brings me great joy that there are others who work in the same way. I have experienced amazing things with my work by using energy and intention.

Synchronizing my breath with my movement will take some work.

I really need to use my body weight more during the massage. I seem to be using more energy from my hands and forearms than I should.

I did my first session focusing totally on incorporation of breathing, energy, intention, and using my body weight during the massage. It was hard to incorporate and concentrate at first, but after several minutes I got use to it and in the right state of mind and it became easy. The session went by really quick it seemed. I was really enjoying it as much as he was. My client was much larger than I, but after the session I feel that I have even more energy than before and I am not tired at all. I normally would feel tired and sore in my hands but I didn't have that at all. My client was very pleased with the session. When I did the shoulder work he said “WOW, I didn't even know that I was holding my shoulders forward”

I didn't realize how it must be uncomfortable lying flat for certain clients. My client does have a forward sway in their upper back so using the mat like pillow rather than a sleeping pillow is a great idea. It is helpful to me also because I don't have to work around a big fluffy pillow.

Over all it was an amazing experience for my client and for myself.  I could really feel that there was great change during the session.

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Shama
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June 22, 2014 - 1:34 am
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That was an amazing feedback for the first session! I am so glad that we are on the same wave length with the energy and intention. Heavenly Head Massage does not work without that. If it is done just as a sequence of techniques, without awareness, breath, excellent use of body weight instead of pressure, and without a hightened sense of perception, it will not feel heavenly at all. In fact it won't even feel good. Heavenly Head Massage is a wonderful expression of a true healing art, if done right. And if done right, everybody totally loves it. This might take some time to develop and perfect, but there is a real rainbow at the end of it! Smile

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Dwayne
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June 22, 2014 - 5:21 am
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Module 2 Sternum

I appreciate the caution with the sternum and solar plexus and the wind pipe. I didn't know much about this before because I have never worked on the sternum nor had any training for such. Most people in my area have shallow breathing and these techniques will defiantly help a lot of people.  I it will also be interesting to see how activating the thymus glad helps with immune.  I am going to need to work more on concentrating on thoughts of healing and feel good. I can for the most part do this, but sometimes do drift. I will be working toward this more.  

When doing the sternum work as part of my session I could feel that there was much tension in my client and with breathing even tho my client didn't have very shallow breath. I am glad that I learned about the sternum because I feel that I released a lot of tension when working on it. I could really feel in between the ribs. These little spaces that I didn't even knew existed. I was really able to slow down and breathe through my movements and this was extremely powerful. I did the intention and energy work as before and after the session my client of years said that I was really doing some different great things and he loved it.

I also did the work on another client who was having a catch in his upper back. I felt that I would be more successful if I worked on the sternum as well. When I did so, he told me that when his back hurt that it also hurt in the front where I was working. Learning the techniques definitely was helpful. When I did the energy work that was suggested the weirdest thing happened. After the session my client told me that he was seeing something like purple light beaming at him in the room with some green and yellow. My client was new and knew nothing about the energy work I was doing because I was just doing that aspect within myself for practice. My hopes are that what was happening was good and healthy. He left very thankful and we ended up talking for 45 minutes after the session about other healthy practices. I'm glad I had the extra time today to do so and feel that there will be a huge change in his life because of this.

Over all I think incorporating the sternum work within my session will greatly improve my clients over all health and well being by releasing the tension and easing their breathing.

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Shama
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June 23, 2014 - 1:46 am
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Sounds to me like it was good and healthy and then some! Some people are very visual and they easily perceive things in colors and images,  whereas an auditory type would mostly likely not have such a reaction.

Sternum work is often neglected in Thai Massage, however if done right, it feels great because it activates and synchronizes with breath and it can release stuck emotions from the heart chakra area.

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Dwayne
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June 23, 2014 - 7:45 am
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Module 3 Chest

First of all, thank you for teaching about massage for the chest. I only know a few techniques for the chest and they are very limited. I also appreciate the training for male and female because I have been very limited with my work with women and this will be so helpful for them.

The Elephant walk will be very helpful for me because I normally would have to use muscle power in order to work on the pecs and shoulders, but with this technique I will be able to use body weight. This training couldn't have came at a better time because I was wondering not too long ago how I could go on without hurting myself and was actually thinking of other professions that I may have to pursue in the future in order to keep doing what I love.

One question I would have would be what the possible technique for stretching the client if on a table? I will have to modify the stretch a bit in order to accomplish it where I work.

When working with my client it was hard to follow their breathing with the techniques for some reason. This is something I will have to get use to. I eventually got more use to it. She was a deep breathing client and so the movements were very slow. She said that it was painful when doing in between the ribs and the clavicle and said that is a normal issue when those areas are worked. She said that the stretching was really good and felt it in her back and her hips and it really helped. She said the techniques didn't feel uncomfortable and she didn't feel that they made her feel violated even tho I was working on her chest as was a concern initially. When I was doing the Elephant walk I was pressing toward the floor too much and wasn't rolling as much as I should have when doing the shoulder work. Next time I will press the shoulders toward the clients feet and roll more during the shoulder work and I think it will be more effective.

These techniques will be very helpful to my clients. It seems so many people hold their shoulders up all the time and are unable to relax. My hopes are that this can help. It will also help me to work in a more effective and efficient way without hurting myself.

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Shama
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June 23, 2014 - 11:32 pm
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Regarding the upper body twist stretching technique, this can easily be done on a table as long as it is low enough. I have done many Heavenly Head Massage sessions on a table. I just sit on a chair behind the head of the client with the table about the height of my knees or a tiny bit higher. For some techniques you have to stand up to get the ergonomics right and to get better leverage.

Following the breath is easy with some people and almost impossible with others (the very shallow breathers).

If the thumb work between the ribs is painful, you can just work more gently. Some people have a super sensitive sternum area. On them you might want to do mostly gentle circling or rocking on the sternum with your palms or the edge of your hand (for women). The techniques are options to choose from, not mandatory sequences.

You can do all of the HHM techniques on a table except the one where you have your feet under the upper back. But you can easily skip that one if you work on a table.

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Dwayne
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June 24, 2014 - 8:04 am
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Module 4 Neck 1

Many of my clients have neck issues and it will be great having more neck moves to choose from when working. In fact I myself have neck tension. I can definitely find with myself many areas I need to work on posture. The recommendations on having the head balanced without using any muscles to hold it up will help my clients and myself tremendously. I will be doing more diagnosis of the neck with my warm up from now on. It only makes sense. I have gotten away from that a bit in the recent past. I like how the movements in the techniques are similar but feel different. It will be interesting to see how the client will feel when using these techniques.

When working with my client I could feel some imbalances in the neck. The techniques made it easier to notice them especially when I was doing the alternating movements. My client felt good during and after the session. I did find that I didn't have much room to work because of neck length so I had to use less fingers. My client did seem to resist the alternating movements at first.

I feel this will be great techniques for warming up and diagnostics.

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Dwayne
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June 24, 2014 - 8:53 am
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Module 5 Neck 2

I do have a lot of people with long hair. It's interesting too that some of their hair goes way down the neck. The technique will be very helpful to get the hair out of the way. I am wondering at times if I am pulling hair and this technique will insure that I will be able to keep the hair out of the way and it seems like an intentional move for massage and not to move the hair out of the way. I like the stretching technique and the way it looks like it will release the neck muscles. The transition movements will be very helpful in getting my clients head and neck in the right positions. Thank you for the advice about avoiding the front of the neck.

When working with my client I had to move the hair out of the way several times. The technique worked great for this. I initially didn't get all of the hair out of the way and pulled it while doing the stretching. I also was pressing with my thumbs in front I did notice. My hands are rather large and so I had to adjust accordingly. After changing that everything went great. The transitions worked great and the techniques in general are starting to feel more normal to me. My client enjoyed the extra time spent on the neck.

So far all of the techniques are very helpful to my hands and I am very grateful!

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Shama
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June 24, 2014 - 3:58 pm
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I am so glad you like it. Actually the neck section is the most extensive part of the course. I have done exclusive neck sessions many times, and there are lots of people (myself included) who really need and appreciate good neck work!

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Dwayne
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June 25, 2014 - 7:43 pm
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Module 6 Neck 3

The neck rolls seem like they will work out great. The techniques seem contentious which will make it very smooth for the client. All of the techniques I think will really help my clients that have poor range of motion of the neck. I like how the occipital techniques will fit in while the head is still in position for the other neck moves.

When I used these techniques my clients neck seemed to loosen as it never has before. The client was extremely hunched over so I when I did the sternum, chest, shoulders, neck it helped greatly. The neck rolls really worked well with her and I am impressed on how much better the techniques work than some of the ones I do normally. My client felt really good at the end and kept moving her neck sighing with relief. She said “I don't know what you were doing with my neck but it felt really good”

I think this will greatly benefit all of my clients and my hands are continually feeling like they are being used less.

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Dwayne
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June 25, 2014 - 10:28 pm
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Module 7 Neck 4

The neck range of motion and stretching will work out great with my clients who have limited ROM. I would have normally had to use muscle strength in order to do any stretching and ROM on the neck so I am glad this allows such without having to use great muscle strength. I'm excited to do the stretches. The side neck stretch looks like it will really help when someone has a hard time turning their head in one direction.

When working with my client I found that the stretching really helped. When we started, her neck seemed very straight and there was extreme tightness in the posterior aspect of her spine. When I was done with the entire sequence the neck had what appeared to be a healthy curvature. She was very appreciative of the extra neck work and I can tell that I will really help her.

The techniques in this module will definitely help my clients with neck issues. Sometimes I tend to do techniques over and over and over until it works. I think that incorporating these in my normal neck routine will enhance what I do and I will be able to do an incredible amount of good for my clients in one session.

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Shama
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June 26, 2014 - 12:35 am
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You must be doing something right to get such excellent results within just a few days of starting this course. Seems like you and Heavenly Head Massage found each other! Smile

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Dwayne
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June 26, 2014 - 9:33 pm
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I believe this to be so, yes Smile

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Dwayne
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June 27, 2014 - 10:09 pm
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Module 8 neck final

The neck movement and stretch will feel really nice and can't wait to try it. I do really appreciate the detail in this course. It is very time consuming but well worth it. The technique to help the neck let go will be very helpful because I have certain clients that have a hard time letting go. When I move in one direction they seem to be fighting my movement. The occipital traction move seems like one that I relate to. I really need this one myself.

When working with my last neck client she said that her neck feels better than anything else and that it really helped and that it feels great. She came in with more stress in her neck than anywhere else today so it was good timing.

I think the last stretches end the neck section perfectly. It kind of puts things in place.

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Dwayne
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June 28, 2014 - 9:52 am
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Module 9 ears

I love the ear work. Most people seem to avoid the ears but I feel it is so important. I think that working on the inside of the ridge of the ear, doing the circles with the whole ear, and the stretching will help out with drainage because it kind of moves the ears inside, maybe loosening anything inside that may be obstructing. I do normally do ears for a minute or so and adding this in will definitely be a plus in my usual sessions and will be perfect in my Heavenly Head Massage.

When watching the video I found that the techniques seemed simple, but while working with my client I found that the techniques were very complex and seemed to feel so with the client. The extra time spent on the ears is interesting and apparently feels very nice and soothing. 

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Dwayne
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June 28, 2014 - 10:32 am
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Module 10 head 1

The distinct techniques are awesome. I didn't realize there were so many flavors and sensations and variations of pressures with different techniques. I think I will have to be extra conscious about hair, especially on long hair. I tend to pull it anyway so will have to really work on the techniques to avoid such.

When working with my client I found it easy to not pull the hair. I thought it would be hard, but the movement's direction made it simple to not do so. The different pressures and intentions were at first hard to get used to but soon it seemed natural. My client really enjoyed the extra time spent on the head.

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Dwayne
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June 28, 2014 - 8:21 pm
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Module 11 head 2

I definitely think clients will like the movements when they are varied, strong and then playful, deeper then lighter. The hair pulling and friction are very interesting movements and will go well, I'm sure. The many varieties of movements are intriguing because in the past head work that I have learned there has not been such intricacies. I think it will give my clients a great smorgasbord of feelings while receiving the head massage.

My client really loved the work and said it felt really good. These techniques were a bit harder to get use to when it came to not pulling hair because she had a lot of hair, but my client didn't seem to notice. As suggested, I stopped and came back out when I started to feel like I was getting caught and it seemed to work well. My hands got really hot during this part of the massage.

I'm sure the head massage will be good for my clients. I'm sure it will be helpful for circulation and definitely for headaches.

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Shama
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June 28, 2014 - 8:47 pm
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Heavenly Head Massage seems deceptively simple, but as you say, it is actually quite complex and not so easy to learn and do. That's why it will always be something unique and you will never have lots of competition with this.

Ear massage can feel amazingly good. It is one of those areas which are generally neglected in massage therapy, along with other "step children" like the sacrum and the abdomen.

There are very few therapists who know much about all the intricacies and many variations of head massage. So you are way ahead of the game. Smile

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Dwayne
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June 29, 2014 - 8:17 pm
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Module 12 Face 1

The face techniques are very unique and also intricate. I'm impressed with all that can be done with the face and this is only the first section. I like the circles and rays. They are really neat. I'm sure the techniques will be great for lymphatic drainage and sinus issues. I love the way it all flows. It seems natural. I enjoyed working with the face and the moves made it interesting opposite to the normal mundane.

When working with my client I did have some issues getting use to not moving my fingers but I got use to it. My client said it felt great but would prefer a little more oil. I felt as if I was doing quite a bit with just a few techniques.

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Dwayne
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June 29, 2014 - 9:18 pm
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Module 13 face 2

The last face techniques are a great ending to the face massage. I'm sure the sinus work will help with sinus pressure. The jaw work will be great for TMJ. Again, just as before, the techniques are so very intricate and will feel that way with clients. The rolling of the skin is very interesting. I wonder if the techniques help with wrinkles. I have a lot of clients that ask about this. Being careful not to move the mouth much is very good advice. I can imagine that wouldn't be very comfortable.

The techniques seem to work great. Getting the right amount of oil will be a bit tricky. Keeping the natural flow seems to be pretty easy and makes sense, and all the varieties of techniques seem to keep the client interested but in a tranquil state which is great.

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