October 21, 2015
Module 1 - Shoulders
( btw: again having issues with forum and posts. this is the second time I am adding a topic for HHM module1)
This module had one wonderful move along with many many reminders and new tidbits on how to use the course.
I used the sinking into shoulders while on my knees and this made a big difference in the reaction I got from client. You see I have pushed down shoulders before but being over the person, 90 degrees, made all the difference.
The transition into pushing the body towards the feet at the shoulders was also wonderful and rewarding for me and sensing the enjoyment from my client. I did a few other techniques so not sure which one put my client to sleep!!
October 21, 2015
Module - 2 - Chest techniques #1
Initially, when I watched the lesson, I felt that I would be too concerned about my legs and crotch being too close the client's head.
The techniques in this module were performed on a female client and were easy to do since she had the ideal chest build for them.
I did the sternum compression with my thumb at 90 degrees and then also an inch away. While watching the video I was concerned about my thumb weakness, however , the fact that the pressure is not excessive and you are just sinking, made them a pleasure to do and receive.
I tried the ridge of the hand with a side to side and then an up down motion. I remembered to keep the distance small so as not to pull skin and that felt very natural to me anyway... intuitively it felt like i would not do that. My female client went to sleep and apologized at the end of the session. I put her at ease with some comments and she will be back. She's one my regulars.
I came to realize that chest work is a rarity to receive with bodywork and it is really loved and appreciated if done well and professionally.
Hi Pat, welcome to our forum and the Heavenly Head Massage certification program. If you have any trouble with the forum, here is a good resource:
If you still have trouble figuring something out, I am willing to get on the phone with you and talk you right through it. This is often easier and quicker than emailing back and forth.
Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that it is all done correctly:
Putting a client to sleep with Heavenly Head Massage is an excellent sign!
I liked your realization in your last sentence of your second post so much that I quoted it in today's live facebook talk about "touching sensitive areas".
October 21, 2015
Module 3 - Chest, shoulders and Spinal Twist
First, thanks for the positive comment and quoting me in Facebook. I'm happy that I am finding my posts and am continuing with the cert check list.
So, I learned a couple of key points with this module. I started by sinking into the space above the collar bone and realized that I only sinking before but the rolling does really allow for a softer, graceful flow and allows for the "spacing" aspect between the fascia that is a key unique element in Thai massage. It's like a mini-traction move... I know traction indicates a joint is involved but in traction the allowing for space which feels so good is also accomplished in the rolling move. This is not experienced from my perspective in a swedish type massage. Muscles , tendons are massages but an increase in space is not experienced. Again, the softness used isn't harsh on my thumb joints. I did this on a male and did 2 sets, one above and only 1 below since i performed other chest work already.
The pectorals technique was very well received with my large, bulky male client. I've done this move before but i added and recognized the benefit of using the amplified wrist rising movement and believe it was more enjoyable. The slow deliberate pec circles were also a notable pleasant feeling. The chest pec area pressing done was done with breath release since I have done it this way in the past and was enjoyed. This client really enjoys the last 15 minutes of a session on chest ,neck and head.
Since i was with a male client , I did the male client elephant walk which is simple but very enjoyed again. It is easy to recognize that This large male client enjoys chest work.
When I attempted the spinal twist it was very slight for this client since he is very large and i am a small, very much like a Female Thai yoga massage person in Thailand. I explained to him that I trying something new and he was compliant.
I have in the past tried pressing many points between the neck and acromion process since I have learned about the many Marma points in another class.
The last technique i did was the shoulder press as you taught in this module which was different then i have done since weight was on both at one point. I believe this was enjoyed by my client and I liked doing it more and felt more confident.
October 21, 2015
Module 4 - Neck Work
To practice this module I started on the 4 diagnostic warmups. The rollup (circle lift up) was relatively easy to perform on my large chest,neck, and head client. The circle technique and the offset circles were also easily done because there was no lifting or use of thumbs. I had a problem with execution on the pull up right and then left pull up because the head started to wobble as a released one side and engaged the other. I wasn't sure what I was doing incorrectly. To stop the head wobble i had to secure the head with my palm and would like some correction feedback on this. I reexamined the video and I believe i was lifting on the pull up rather than just simply moving the muscle up. I noticed your model's head was not moving at all.
Then I practiced the wave and you correctly stated that it does need practicing but I performed it pretty well. (I say that because , my client fell asleep again but I also did Module 1-3 techniques ). The one issue i had is because he is so large, I had to put one foot under each shoulder one at time by lifting the blanket i had under his head. Therefore, I did not use the method in the video by placing fingertips low on neck/high back trapezius area, although i did try but he was too heavy. After getting myself setup and executing I believe he enjoyed the move because he was VERY relaxed. I also found the getting into position was easy to follow and worked well even on the large male client.
Overall the module practice was well executed but If you could comment on the wobble, it would be appreciated.
There are two possible causes. The first one is that you make the move too big. It should be a localized move, just next to the spine. If you lift too much, then the entire head will move which is not what you want.
The second thing is that you can support the lateral stability of this move by placing the heels of your hands on the side of your client's head to prevent the wobble you are talking about. It is true that this technique can easily cause head wobble, but you can just as easily prevent it by 'locking' the head with the heels of your hands.
October 21, 2015
Module 5 - neck massage and stretch
The hair removal technique was performed on a man with no hair and it obviously felt heavenly. This easy flowing dual hand movement was easy to apply even with a large neck, large headed client. I concentrated on keeping the head very still and level with each change of hand position. I felt it would be a good start to a longer head massage especially on a new client because it doesn't have any stretching or turning moves which may be alarming to begin. This move is good go to move and can be done more than once.
From having the head already off the mat , I tried a second technique with the head on the side and did the squeezing and pulling up. I noticed that a lighter squeeze where the thumb lies on the neck needed my attention since it was close to the wind pipe . Some time ago , my client swallowed abruptly when I was too close or applied too much pressure for him around those muscles so I paid attention in this move. The squeeze and circling was a gentle move that flowed nicely after the squeeze and pull.
The neck stretch as described in this module was easier to do than what i've tried in the past. The directions were more precise and the rising up on the knees allowed for better leverage. I did this twice and held about 5 seconds each time which seemed to be enough.
Yes, proximity to the wind pipe is a no-no. It feels scary. The same applies to the suprasternal notch.
Easy moves like the "getting the hair out of the way" are definitely a good way to start and are good to repeat throughout the session. We should alternate more intense moves with gentle ones.
October 21, 2015
Module 6 - Neck massage and traction
I had to watch this module many times before understanding the many techniques, practicing it and writing about it. My first comment is that I realized the summary at the end did not include both the big and small rollup so at the end of the module I was confused and wondered which module those techniques were included.
So the following is what I practiced. The big and small rollup were both like a back neck massage and traction and my practice partner made the same comment. I am not sure these are unique moves therefore I have to see the remaining modules and review past modules to decide if I'd use them or remember to use them in my future sessions.
The technique where the fingers were stretched out and lifted bottom of neck ,and hand heels drop head reminded me of the wave. What I mean is that it appears to do very similar things to the client. The wave I like better because the feet action is lifting the back and hitting points that are effective. I prefer to use the wave instead of this technique in Module 6.
The 2 moves that are similar to the hair removal I would incorporate when doing the hair removal or just in between stronger moves. For example, the several passes with hair removal I would prefer to use the index finger on the spine and then change to a neck squeeze and move to finger over spine again.
The one technique I did use effectively and easily was the index fingers under ridge and drop head or fingertips moving along O.R and then drop head. These I would perform more often and were a beautiful flow from the hair removal techniques. I can see doing this at the end of every session that I have little time remaining but want to do some neck work. As a rule, I always end at the head even if I have run out of time and do a few chest, or neck or head or face work.
In summary, Module 6 didn't thrill me. It took too much time for me to digest the nuances and get what the benefits were compared to what has been learned already.
This is not meant to be a rigid sequence. Look at it as options to chose from. You don't have to use all the techniques on everyone. And don't expect to get all the nuances right away. I suggest you start out with what you feel comfortable with, and then gradually add additional moves over time. If you have questions about a particular technique, feel free to ask and I will guide you.
Regarding the purpose of the techniques - you could dissect them for their anatomical function, or you could look at them as a way to make a client feel good and to establish better energy flow in this part of the body. As far as I am concerned, I use HHM techniques to put my clients into a blissful trance-like state which makes them feel like they are in massage heaven. It works very well for this and is all that is needed to make clients very happy with the session.
October 21, 2015
Module 7 Full range neck stretching
This module offered 360 degree neck stretching which reminds me of a workout for my partner's neck.
I have used in the past forearm neck stretches but this module offered the back support and also had incorporated moving from side to side which i had not done in the past. The added full circle was practiced but I could not do it more than twice due to back weakness.
I ,and my client, liked the vertical head lift. It gave a good stretch while it also had very good ergonomics where I had no back problems .
The last technique , sideways stretch, was my favorite to give for a couple reasons. My client went into deep relaxation and the knee augmentation was a very special added benefit since it allowed for 2 free hands to really squeeze, massage and care for the entire neck. It is a simple and elegant move which has many benefits.
October 21, 2015
Module 8 - Final neck
The sideways neck undulation was easier to do than I thought it would be. This technique is different in that it stretches the side of the neck in a way that was never done in any module thus far. In fact my partner said it was an odd feeling but felt good.
The figure eight was practiced on a partner that could handle it. He is a big neck, large head person but I was still able to perform it easily enough. While i was doing this technique, I asked him where he was feeling the stretch so I knew I was doing properly. I was a little intimidated to begin it but it went well and I believe I could perform this stretch even more effectively and smoother on a small person.
I also did the head stretch towards the left and right shoulder even though the figure eight was successful.
The next technique, half circle , was done on my client and he said he didn't care for it much because he didn't feel much. I did this move using both hands at the same time and thought that on his large neck, i could not get the right angle so I tried doing one side at a time like in the video, then followed up with the squeeze and pull near occipital ridge O.R. This client really enjoys the O.R. region squeezed, pulled, circled and the traction in that area. What I learned is that with this client, I can't go wrong if I work under his skull.
It sounds like you are doing well with the neck techniques. This was by far the most involved and technically difficult part of this course. Not every technique will work great on everyone, so you will need to use discretion and client feedback to find what works well on whom. This is often determined by types of necks and degrees of stiffness. There are no fixed rules here - you can only learn this from experience.
And remember, you don't have to do all techniques on everyone. You can use only the easy techniques which don't involve big stretches to create a wonderful session. Then you reserve the more intense moves for clients who have specific ROM problems.
October 21, 2015
Module 9 - Ear massage
This module was a fun learning and execution module. All the techniques, for some reason, were easy to follow and remember.
When I practiced the module, i didn't have difficulty remembering the technique and is was relaxing to me because i realized that I couldn't hurt anyone. The only issue would be it that it was NOT HEAVENLY ! I also realize that with the neck, I am always concerned about damage. With the ears, not so much.
So, in the session, I performed at least 90% of the techniques. I probably will never use in a paying session the 'inside ridge' work. I would not like it done on me. It seems unnecessary and obtrusive and there are many other more comfortable things to do. It's that question of boundaries that you spoke about in your last YouTube. However, I promise to perform at least once on a friend and get feedback.
Some of the techniques i have done in the past but I felt super comfortable because I "Learned" them properly. The circling of lobes under and over with the index then the thumb and the gentle pull, around ear was first performed. For the first time, i used the scissor move up and down the ear. My favorite new technique was the cupping of ear and circling in both directions. This massages the side of the head and is very soothing. My client agreed. I asked client about the sensation with the slide down technique and he said it sounds like the ocean and that the whole ear massage was very meditative.
The last technique, which i have always used when ending head/neck work, is the cupping ears, omitting sound.
Overall, GREAT MODULE! thanks
October 21, 2015
Module 10 - Various touches for Head Massage.
Yes I sure do love learning with names to the moves and techniques.
I have given quick head massages because I learned thai head massaging that was performed in 5 minutes with very limited techniques. With all these techniques in Module 10, I would allow at least 10 to 15 minutes after a session and I think my client's would be blown away.
I've done some combination of rubbing and shampooing in the past but can definitely see and feel the difference on myself. I practiced all techniques on my myself and will report on my client/partner's comments in Module 11.
Friction, leaning pressure and light jumping( and even the shampoo) I put into a group that affects the skull and the connective tissue under the skin. These are a favorite, and some are new to me, because like the chest, it is a missed art. Touching the head/hair/skin level , is a wonderful feeling but a deeper moving of the skull helps relax the brain,ease stress and I believe would or can relieve headaches.
I work frequently, actually weekly, on a man who is bald and am wondering if the stroking down method can be adopted and or adapted. (I know hair pulling would not be an option)
I look forward to your comments. Thanks
October 21, 2015
Module 11 - full Head Massage
(thanks for the suggestion with a shaven head, i'll try soon).
Practicing this module went very well thanks to the review at the end. I was able to remember the techniques and put together an effective head massage. I remembered during the massage to do an invigorating technique then a softer one too.
I felt that going directly to the head did not flow so I worked a little on chest , then the neck, and ears.
With the head I start circling around the ear and did three techniques on the back of the head. With the head centered I used the rapid finger, the light finger prickly move , the shampoo, then back to the 5 finger circling all over the head and using the double thumb at the midline. I really liked , since it was brand new to me, the friction moves. They worked well on close shaven head and the client enjoyed it as well.