Having been taught Swedish massage here in the UK it was interesting to learn the differences between Eastern & Western massage. I remember how important we were told our A&P exam was - there was no talk about working intuitively which was such a shame.
Anyhow, have just worked the shoulder stretches into a relaxation facial massage for my daughter - who incidentally has just arrived home after a 3 week holdiay in Thailand, having visited Chang Mai. I usually just press down on the in breath using the same movement but today I have included the two different ones. She suffers from asthma so can only take shallow breaths, but even so she soon relaxed and on her next visit home in a weeks time is expecting me to show her more!!!
Hi Jenny, welcome to our forum and the Heavenly Head Massage course! 🙂
There are four different sections in this course, and many unusual techniques which might take you a while to get used to. I can tell you that when you are done with the entire course, you will have an amazing new skill set and many happy clients!
Also please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure we are on the same wave length:
Module 2 - Chest 1
I just knew there had to be more to the chest than doing horizontal effluerage strokes!!! It's great to do the sternum presses with the breath and syncronised with the client. You are working at their natural pace and there's no better way. The circles and presses without stretching the skin are another lovely move - I think you mentioned the word comforting - there's a warmth with the laying on of your hand which is lacking when you just slide you over the area.
Can't wait to learn more!
I am glad that you like the chest work. This is usually one of the more challenging things to learn since it is so different from just doing effleurage strokes. It requires a lot of sensitivity, subtlety and body control on the part of the therapist. You have to work with a very light touch and be mindful of the breath connection. This kind of flies in the face of your typical Swedish massage!
However I can report from my own practice that I have put many clients into a "trance state" just with the chest work. And that's just the beginning of Heavenly Head Massage!
Module 3 - Chest
Have practised on my husband who has a very broad flat chest - but this afternoon have a very petite lady to practise on so am aware that I will have to vary my techniques.
Finding exact spaces between the ribs & on the shoulder blades bothered me at first, but I just made small circling movements with my fingers until I found the correct space and then did your movement. My husband thought the circling was just all part of the routine!!!
He liked the pushing down of the shoulders, one at a time, and I am getting used to working with the breath and using body weight which is new to me.
Due to my shoulder injury I cannot do the last movement - lifting and twisting - and repeated the work along the collarbone and towards C6, I guess I like doing this move because I know how lovely it is to have someone get into the back of your neck like that!
The little circling is a good way to find the right spot in a smooth way. I do the same thing if I cannot locate it easily.
If you cannot do a particular move, don't worry about it. There are plenty of moves in the course. You don't have to do every single one of them, and your clients will never know what you are "supposed to do" or what you skipped! No hard and fast rules here.
Am working on the table so incorporated the collarbone work from the last module into the work on the back of the neck. I always position the client so that their head is raised a few inches on a soft roll so that I create a slight gap between the occipital & the shoulders and I can get my hands in comfortably around the back of the neck. The transition from yesterday's move to today's was smooth and I incorporated it into my facial rejuvenation routine. My 'volunteer' had experienced my last aromatherapy facial massage but said this was much better - when she could speak - she didn't say a lot at first when the treatment was over because she claimed the treatment was so blissful - "my tongue is in a coma"!!! Told her if I could manage to put tongues in comas then I would have a lot of husbands booking treatments up with me for their wives...
Really like these neck movements. I have been placing the head on one side and just circling up, but my husband loved the other movements and they were lovely to do, I could just feel the tension melt away. I usually just pull up the back of the neck and work in the occipital line doing small circles but the extra work either side of the spine was good to do as well, and I guess you can do the movements with your thumbs if the client is lying face down and make it part of an upper back massage.
Well, this went brilliantly today on my friend Lynn, who at half the size of my husband, was a very different experience to work on. It was the first time that she had had any of the routine done on her which included sliding hands up the back of the neck from module 6. I did 20 mins of shoulder work & followed it up with 20 mins of my own face & scalp movements. Ta-da... she came to eventually (!) and said that she was all dreamy and hadn't been thinking of anything. Usually she worries about her son etc. but today - nothing - and it was a good place to be in.
Also practised the neck and shoulder on my daughter who has popped home for a weekend visit- she is my harshest critic - well, she just keeps offereing herself up for more.
Both Lucy and Lynn love all the circling on the chest, and knuckling out to the pecs - which surprised me - and anything to do with the occipital line - which doesn't surprise me!!!
I work on the couch - working off the floor is not a possiblity with my knees!!! - so did not do the first moves & instead was inspired by the last one & adapted it- yet again
My daughter has liked gentle lifting of the neck so far, but no further movements, and my husband doesn't want me to do them either. I think it is because in the UK we are accustomed to having these lifts/turns done by the osteopath and not the massage therapist!
OMG - these neck movements are my thing!!! Anything around the occipital and the ears - pressing underneath them is a great one- are definitely Heaven
As the next module moves on to the face - can't wait - I have now selected my moves which are suitable for the couch - and created a massage for the neck and shoulders which is my own. Have tried it out this afternoon on my friend Lynn who thought the last practise on her was wonderful. Have asked her if I can quote her on my website after today's success - "That massage deserves an Oscar!"
Then it's about time that people in the UK learn to appreciate the real skills of a good massage therapist!
We don't do adjustments and cracking the spine, but the moves in the HHM course are perfectly within the realm of massage therapy - well at least within the realm of good neck work which not many therapists know how to do.
Interesting!!! for my Natural Lift Rejuvenation massage I usually just massage the front of the lobes and up the back of the ears and slide down the front - and everybody loves that, so to learn more movements is great.
In fact am on holiday in the English Lake District with my family and asked my daughter to do the ear massage on me. Where possible I think it is important to experience some of the moves for yourself. Inside the ear felt very enjoyable and has given me more confidence when practising the move as I know how much I enjoyed it. Also the covering of the ears. When I did the move I felt as though I was holding the move for too long but my daughter did it to me for the same length of time and i just wanted her to go on for longer,longer & longer...
Tried the circles with same pressure, and then more pressure on the downward movement - and no surprises but varying the pressure won
My husband has very short hair and my daughter's is so long and thick - it's perfect practise for me. Lucy enjoys different moves to my husband - I guess they feel different for her. However, both loved the last one with the thumbs where you slide in and out down the middle of the scalp, and both prefer slower movements rather than fast. Invigorate? No, all they wanted was to remain in that 'Heavenly' state which I must admit, I get into myself when doing the massage!
That's the secret of HHM - if you yourself get into this meditative, peaceful, centered space while doing it, then you are getting into the flow and it feels heavenly. If you just apply the techniques mechanically, it doesn't feel heavenly at all! That's why you will never have a lot of competition with the HHM style. Not everyone is willing and able to get into this flow state. HHM is just not only a set of techniques - there is more to it, and obviously you are figuring this out!
I have done an Indian Head Massage Course in the UK, and they are pretty standard, seated treatments and are only as effective as the stability of the head you are working on! To do any work around the forehead with the heels of the hand is difficult unless the head is tipped back, and even if you ask the client to lean against you, and use a pillow, it can be uncomfortable for them on their necks and difficult to alter pressure - which you talk about.
Of course, non of that applies with the Heavenly Head Massage as the client is lying down and if you tip the head you can work on both sides and cover all of the areas.
Perhaps I need to include the word 'Recling' into the name of the treatment so that clients here know they can properly lie down & relax while receivng a more effective therapy, rather than just see the words 'head massage' and dismiss because they presume it's a seated treatment. Have asked around and this is the reason why people don't book a head massage because they don't want to sit upright! Therefore I booked your course because I knew there had to be another way of delivering a head massage treatment, & so far it is not disappointing
Anyhow, another module which has received great feedback!. The work around the forehead is very popular - in fact, a lot of the moves in which the head is cupped and held are liked - and the ending with rythmic thumb presses which leads to the next module...