The reason I have decided to take this course along with the Complete Thai course is because I would say a great number of my clients are always complaining of headaches and neck pain, from working at a desk for long hours. I wanted to add this to have more ways to help them.
Module 1: The upper chest area. This is something similar to what I sometimes do during a Swedish massage when people are having shoulder problems. It does seem like it actually works better on a floor mat for both the client and myself because of the way you are positioned and able to use your body weight more instead of muscle. It just really seemed more comfortable for both of us. Also, I like that you explained how to follow the breath with it and sinc up your breath with the client if you can. It really makes it a more complete and relaxing experience.
Module 2: The sternum work. I'll be honest with you. When I first saw this I thought I really doubt if I will use this. Really in Swedish massage and in the U.S. in general, we don't general touch the sternum area. I decided to give it a try on a couple of people and.....they actually loved it. They said that it felt really good and that it felt like it was loosening up the chest musculature. I guess it just goes to show that you never know until you try. I think there will still be some people who don't want to be touched so close to the breast area, but for muscular people for sure this will be great.
Welcome to another course! I think that the Complete Thai Massage course and the HHM course are an ideal combination, since the Thai Massage course does not contain much neck, head and face work. I intentionally created a separate course for this, since traditionally Thai Massage does not have so much to offer for this area.
What this means is that the HHM course goes way beyond what is typically taught in Thai Massage schools. You will be amazed at how many neck techniques you will learn, and the therapeutic applications are really impressive. I have done lots of one hour long neck-only sessions in my career, and the clients told me that they could never get anything like this elsewhere.
I have also put countless clients into a trance with the head and face work. The chest work can be a bit subtle, and it might take a while to get it just right. But this is another thing which people typically can't experience elsewhere. I have had the same experience as you - that clients like it. Especially female clients have told me that they never got work on the chest area and that it feels great!
Module 3: Upper chest work and spinal twist. The person I did the upper chest work on was a muscular person who works out a lot and it was a really great technique to relieve tightness for someone like that. I see what you are saying about that it might not feel great if someone was smaller or bonier. I know for me personally when someone more than lightly touches me in that area it is a little bit painful. The spinal twist was GREAT and I can see that is something I will use on most people. My client said he felt like it was a little bit of a "chiropractic" adjustment.
Module 4: Neck. So the first move, the wave. It took me some practice to really get this to feel natural to both myself and my partner, but once I got it, it felt very good for my partner. The rest of the neck work was awesome. It was kind of similar to a lot of things I do in Swedish but really added some nice detail work. I've actually been using some of these techniques on the table with my Swedish massage clients the past few days and they really like them. There are some of the moves that don't work great on the table and would be much better on the floor I think. I am excited to be able to do some of this neck work on the mat for people.
The one move which doesn't work on the table at all is the 'wave', for obvious reasons. I have managed to do all other moves on the table quite easily, sitting on a chair behind the head of the client. The main trick is to have the table lower so that you can support yourself on your forearms for some of the techniques. Then there are some moves where you need to stand up to do them, like the upper body twist, for example. It all works very well on the floor, as long as you can sit cross-legged or on your feet (Japanese style) comfortably.
Module 5: Neck. I like the technique of lifting up the neck lightly and sliding up. My partner said it felt very good and I found myself feeling jealous that it wasn't being done to me! I practiced a lot turning the head from side to side so that it felt very smooth and not at all jerky or abrupt. I'm trying to make sure I keep things moving very smoothly and slowly to create a relaxing environment and make the person feel safe. I will have to get some Jojoba oil to try. I have not tried that one before. I have tried various lotions and oils in my Swedish massages, but some of them always leave the neck feeling a little too oily for my liking. Maybe the jojoba would solve the greasiness problem.
Module 6: Neck rolls. Loved the big neck roll and the small neck roll. This is something I have tried to do on the table and I think, after seeing how you explain it, I finally found out what my problem has been. Here a lot of times in Swedish massage we use a short stool to sit on while the massage table is higher, leaving the arms lower than the table and the neck and then having to lift up. I see now that the neck work actually goes quite a bit easier if the person is lower than your arms instead of higher. I had never thought of that before because that was just the way I learned it.
Module 7: This first technique of putting the arm under the neck area took a little bit to figure out how to do correctly so that it didn't feel weird. This one will take some practice. The techniques where you turn the head and do the circles and pull up is great! I do have a lot of clients that have some range of motion problems with the neck because of so much computer work and this will be very helpful. I do a similar technique on the table, but again because of positioning and ergonomics, this seems so much easier on the mat. I am thinking when I first start offering Thai massage I might offer this head and neck portion as kind of a mini session to get people used to mat work and see that it really is a great way to do massage and maybe include the foot work. Might be a good way to break people in and get them loving mat based work.
Module 8: The first part of the video with lifting and moving head took a little bit of practice before it really felt right, and my partner actually did feel dizzy on the one where you said might make some people feel dizzy. The second part of sliding the finger above the clavicle and then going up the occipital ridge and then kind of doing the little squeeze out on the side was so nice and soothing. I even tried it on myself, which of course isn't ever as good when you do it to yourself, but it still actually felt really nice even like that. I also enjoyed the transition move from working on the neck then moving more to the head. Makes things feel so much smoother.
module 9: Ears. I love getting my ears massaged and find it very relaxing. A lot of these moves I will be able to use on most people. Here a lot of people have multiple piercings all over their ears, so there are some of these that I would have to skip on people who have those. Again, I did these on myself and actually relaxed myself so much. My partner also loved most of these except he would not allow me to put my finger on the inside part of his ear and said it grossed him out, hehe. That one I probably would not do on most people, but the rest of them for sure I will be adding in.
Module 10: Head. I was surprised to learn there are actually 8 movements that can be done on the head. I always do a couple of minutes of scalp massage at the end of my sessions, but I pretty much only do a circular rubbing technique. I never really thought about there being so many different movements that could be done on the head. I actually tried each movement on my own scalp as you were demonstrating them and even just doing them on myself they all felt really nice. One movement I have never tried is the rapid rubbing and I was surprised how good and invigorating it felt.
Module 11: Head. I did this entire video on myself as well as on someone else because I wanted to see for myself the differences in how the different techniques felt. I really like that you explained that you want to alternate doing strong movements and light quick movements. It definitely does feel better like that. When you do all strong techniques it can be relaxing, but it does feel like it is missing something like that. It felt so much better to incorporate some light moves. Also it does make a difference to do heavier downward pressure and lighter upward pressure. The subtle difference can really make a difference in how it feels. Technique is really just one part of the picture, the little things with pressure and feeling makes it all feel more complete. The whole body energy feels so much better than just mechanically doing something with your hands.
Module 12: Face massage. Honestly, face massage is some of my favorite, most relaxing massage to receive and to give. I learned lots of new very relaxing techniques in this video. I have never really done any techniques on the actual nose, so it was really great to learn some techniques for that. It was nice to be able to make it move smoothly from one technique into the next and make it feel like it flows together nicely. I can't wait to try this out on more of my clients!
Module 13: More face massage. I never thought really about massage on the cheeks and chin, or at least that there could be some many techniques on them. I see how it is important to work in a smooth fashion to make it feel relaxing, working from top to bottom basically so that it feels flowly and natural and not like you are jumping around from place to place and not working on the head and face back and forth. I have actually made that mistake in some of my massages where I have done head, and then face and then have come back to the head. I can see now where that would not feel as good as completing one area completely and then moving onto the next one.
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