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Kandace Gaudettes Heavenly Head Notes
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Kandace Gaudette
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February 26, 2018 - 7:27 am
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Mod 1

Hi Shama! It's so nice to be back doing another course with you again! I finished the complete Thai massage course a few months ago, and now I'm excited to dive into Heavenly Head. I wanted to do this course because I felt like I didn't have enough material to finish a Thai Massage with a client. I felt like session were stopping abrubtly and learning the material in this course will give me what I am looking for, which is more ideas to help relax the client and end the sessions with more grace. 

From my understanding there was really just one technique offered in mod 1 but I felt it was something I will use a lot. I appreciated the tips on shifting the body weight from tucking the toes to untuckin the toes. I also found it helpful to know about the two different hand placements. And your tip about tucking in the shirt was good too because I have already been there and done that with my shirt too long and I'm sure it's distracting for the client. I tried this on one of my clients and so far so good ūüôā

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Shama
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February 26, 2018 - 9:39 pm
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Welcome back, Kandace!

I feel the same way. Heavenly Head Massage is the icing on the cake for a good Thai Massage session. And you will be amazed how many new techniques you will learn in this course! Laugh

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Kandace Gaudette
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February 27, 2018 - 3:36 am
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Mod 2

Hi Shama. I appreciated your tip about the angle of the sternum. I'm really glad you brought that up. It it is subtle thing, but I have seem people where their sternum rests on that angle, and if you hadn't mentioned it I probably wouldn't have thought of that.

So far I have only been comfortable enough doing the palm circles on the chest. I remember  a similar technique in the Complete Thai Massage Course. I am excited to practice the tapping though on clients because I have done this to myself before and I think it feels very good. 

I plan to practice the thumb work on my mom or boyfriend until I get used to it before I practice on my real clients. 

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Shama
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February 27, 2018 - 12:20 pm
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Practicing on non-clients first is definitely a good idea. There is a lot of subtlety in the chest and sternum work. Without that it won't feel good at all. So take your time before you work on actual clients.

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 1, 2018 - 4:21 am
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Mod 3

Hi Shama. From my experience the Thumbs lean and roll starting from the collar bone and going down was a very similar technique to the thumb press between the ribs but it was just more of a roll then a straight down press. Would you agree?

 

I did the push/pull in the armpit on my mom, but she was ticklish so it wasn't going to work. My boyfriend is having trouble with his shoulder, so I will practice on him tonight and see if I can get more practice of this technique.

 

My mom has fairly large breasts, so she really enjoyed the double hand circle on the breasts, and I found it to be a pretty easy technique. I love when the techniques come naturally! Those are my favorite!

Also, the elephant walk on chest where you curl the fingers up also felt very natural to accomplish, so this is one of my favorites to do. 

Lastly, I like the upper body twist. I felt it was a similar technique from the Complete Thai Massage course, but it's just approached from the angle above the head instead of below.

Thanks!

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 1, 2018 - 4:24 am
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Mod 4

Hi Shama. The wave was rather interesting but I think i did a good job for my first try. My mom gave me good feedback and said it felt really good, so I'll take the compliment.

All of the neck warm ups are pretty easy to comprehend. I appreciated the alternative camera view. I hadn't see you do that before so that was nice and very helpful to see the work up closer.

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Shama
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March 1, 2018 - 9:57 am
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"From my experience the Thumbs lean and roll starting from the collar bone and going down was a very similar technique to the thumb press between the ribs but it was just more of a roll then a straight down press. Would you agree?"
Yes, exactly! 

I am glad that you are not scared by the chest work which people really like in general!

There is a lot of super close up work in this course. I felt that it was really needed here. It was quite difficult to film actually. Smile

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 6, 2018 - 8:07 am
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Mod 5

Hi Shama. I found the hair out of way technique to be very easy. My mom said that even though it was just meant to get the hair out of the way, it still felt very nice and she wouldn't have known that that was the purpose.

I really like the neck lift where you raise up the the knees and lift the neck. It's one of those moves that is easy to execute and I think clients will enjoy. 

You recommend jojoba oil in this video. I ordered some and excited to try it! Do you typically ask client permission to use the oil or do you just do? I would worry that if I didn't ask them and are allergic that would not be good. What you do you recommend?

Also, one more quick question...I'm noticing that in the head course so far the body of the giver (my body) isn't as involved. There is a lot of just sitting on the heals position. I find I'm using my wrists for a lot of the movement but not as much of my whole body to create the movement. Do you find this to be true as well or should I try to get more of my whole body into it?

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 6, 2018 - 8:13 am
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Mod 6

Hi Shama,

I'm finding it's a little harder to differentiate between some of the neck techniques. For instance you have taught traction before in another video (i cant remember which one) where you have the hands behind the neck and you Lift, Squeeze and Pull creating traction. In mod 6 you teach a big neck roll and a small neck roll where you pull up and back. In my opinion the neck rolls that you do in the beginning of this module are basically traction techniques correct? Please clarify.

Also, I'm getting the feeling that most of Heavenly Head is done in the same position of sitting on the feel....I can do this position, but after a little while it gets tiring and hard on the knees. I think even with practice it would still be hard. I am very fit and flexible, so I don't know if practice with neccassarly help. I find I just adjust my sitting position as needed. Sometimes I'll just sit on the floor and straddle my legs out to the sides and that seems to be pretty comfortable. I don't we are suppose to practice good body mechanics while working, but I feel like I'm not always comfortable in the recommended position. Would you be okay with that?

 

Thanks!

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Shama
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March 6, 2018 - 1:05 pm
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The Jojoba oil is very benign and I have never heard of anyone having an allergic reaction to it. It is also very good for the skin. I don't ask for permission to use it, but I generally mention it, like saying "I will use a drop of oil on your neck so that it is easier on your skin. The oil which I am using gets absorbed quickly and doesn't leave any stains."

Later on in the course there is a module with neck work which has to be done with oil. I explain that to the client up front, if it's the kind of session where I would do extended neck work.

It is true that the client remains in pretty much the same position throughout the entire HHM session with a couple of exceptions. For the therapist this means that you cannot get your whole body involved like in Thai Massage. It also means that you spend a lot more time in one position compared to Thai Massage where you are constantly on the move. 

That's why it is important to observe good body mechanics as I try to point out throughout the course as much as possible. Arm support on your thighs is very important. In some techniques you can get more of your body involved, like in the "getting the hair out of the way" technique, where you can pull by leaning back.

Personally I could always handle a one hour HHM session while kneeling or sitting cross-legged. If I do several sessions a day, then it is better to work on a table where you don't have the knee issue. Later in the course I show a way how you can move your legs around so that you are not always stuck in one position. But you seem to have already figured some of this out on your own. There will be quite an elegant solution later.

The neck rolls combine a neck stretch (by lifting the neck up) with a traction move (by pulling back). So yes, traction is a significant element of the neck rolls. However the fluidity of the roll makes it much more pleasant to receive compared to just pulling straight back. 

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 15, 2018 - 5:40 am
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Mod 7

The first technique in this module is very interesting where you place the whole arm under their head and rock side to side. I've tried it a couple of times now. At first I was getting it mixed up with another technique, but once I got my brain wrapped around the difference in some of the techniques I found it to be much easier to execute. Now I enjoy doing this very much. It's one of those moves that really flows nicely.

The third technique you showed with the neck stretch with verticle head lift....I have one question...you say to wrap both hands around the neck, and when you start to lift their head off the ground, will it initially tilt backwards and then to the chest or do you try to keep the orientation of the chin towards their chest right away???

I am so happy to have learned the 90 degree neck stretches because I think so many people will benefit from this. I have one more thing to check about this technique but with a little more practice I know I will confidently use this one a lot!

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 15, 2018 - 5:46 am
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Mod 8

I did the sway and the figure 8 to my boyfriend and he commented that it didn't feel very good. But you did mention that some people may not like it especially if they get motion sickness. I haven't had anybody do this to me, but I think I would like this sort of movement done to me, so I do think it's just a preference and I'll just have to be sure to check in with my clients as I'm doing it to make sure they are okay.

In the half moon neck stroke I found it very hard to make the transition from thumb to middle finger. I'm thinking it may have to do with how broad my boyfriends shoulders are relative to his neck. I will definitely try this again as you explained it on someone else, but I think that  I could also just get by with a different finger choice as along as I follow the half moon shape.

Working on the occiptal ridge is one of my favorite things to do for clients because I've experience how good that feels. I believe that area is the source of a lot of tension for many people so I really like to focus a lot of my attention to this area. I plan to use a lot of that when I do head work. 

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 15, 2018 - 5:53 am
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Mod 9

Sorry I am grouping a few of these positing together. I was just really busy this week so I practice a few mods at a time. 

I have only practiced the ear work once so far, but it seemed to go pretty good. There were a few techniques I might choose to leave out just because I am not comfortable doing them. For instance, I am not super comfortable with massaging inside of the ridge of the ear. I feel like ear work is already very intimate, and going into the ear makes me a little uncomfortable. But i know that I can just choose not to do that one. Other than that and maybe the one behind the ear, I felt good about the ear work. I think it's pretty simple and doesn't take a lot of technique. I think its a pretty rare thing to receive a lot of ear work in a regular massage setting, so I can see how this would be a very "heavenly" experience and make Thai Massage stand out.

I did this on my boyfriend, and even though he seemed to enjoy it, he said it was weird. I'm wondering if maybe women tend to be more comfortable with ear massage?

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Shama
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March 15, 2018 - 9:59 am
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"The third technique you showed with the neck stretch with verticle head lift….I have one question…you say to wrap both hands around the neck, and when you start to lift their head off the ground, will it initially tilt backwards and then to the chest or do you try to keep the orientation of the chin towards their chest right away?"
I keep the orientation of the chin towards the chest right away. The tilt-back counter move comes after that one.

Regarding the figure 8 move - yes, it might be a personal preference. Also you can try to do this move in a less extreme way and slow it down a bit. That might help. Definitely try it on a couple of other persons and see what feedback you get from them.

Regarding the ear massage - many times I have observed that women are much more receptive and willing to be nurtured than men. Men are often more in their heads and can't let go and just enjoy the sensation. But anyway, in a real full session, by the time you get to the ears, normally clients will be so relaxed and tranced out that they will not try to analyze what you are doing as long as it feels good. This is much more likely to happen in a practice session where the partner is not really relaxed, but thinking about what you are doing and analyzing it.

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 20, 2018 - 12:29 am
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Mod 10

hi Shama. I really enjoy working on the head! This is why I signed up for this course is to learn the head work. I was really pleased to learn the wide array of techniques on just the head alone. I thought it would be harder to understand the difference between the different techniques because they are all very similar but with some practice I didn't find it to be that confusing. However I haven't practiced without my notes by my side yet so it might get more difficult to remember all of them when I eventually put my notes away. But for now I'm just glad to know the many different ways. 

I liked your advice of mixing up the dynamics of techniques. Like if I do one slow I should do the next one harder. Or one slow and the next fast. 

When working on my mom she said she doesn't like the sound of her hair rubbing against her head. I just found that interesting, so I could more friction moves with her to reduce that sound.

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 20, 2018 - 12:35 am
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Mod 11

hi shama. I didn't really have any questions on mod 11. I know I will use the hair rotation and pull a lot because I personally think that feels so good. I like to use the techniques that I have gotten to experience in my body because I am most confident that the client is having a good experience. 

 

Also havent been paying as close attention to the transitions from one move to another but there where a few times you gave suggestions on how to change positions. For that reason I think it may be important to study the order of the techniques. I know you've mentioned that it doesn't really matter the order you do things but I think in some instances it does matter when your going to go to another area? Would you agree thoat we should memorize the order somewhat or is it okay to do whatever order as long as the transition is smooth?

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Shama
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March 20, 2018 - 12:50 am
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There are some instances where transitions are very important. Actually good transitions are always important. But we are talking about two things here - transitions and sequences. For some of the HHM course it is best to follow the sequences as shown in the course because there is a logical progression to them. This applies especially to the chest and face work. 

For the neck techniques it is not as important to follow the sequence since there are so many of them that chances are that you won't do them all in every session anyway.

For the head techniques there really is no fixed sequence except for the initial ones after transitioning from neck to ears to head. Once you get to the main part of the head you can mix and match techniques easily. However you will see that this doesn't work for the face techniques which are in a logical order which needs to be followed in order to keep a natural flow going.

I agree that is is very important to learn the transitions, and it is also useful to know the sequence of techniques as I present them. Once you get so good at them that you won't have to think about what technique to do next, you can start improvising and selecting and modifying your sessions a bit more.

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 28, 2018 - 4:44 am
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Mod 12

I really enjoy many of these techniques on the face. Some of my favorites are the eye circles and forehead fan. As you know by now Shama, I love when things come easy for me, and these techniques all felt great! I practiced them on my grandma over the weekend and she fell asleep! I took that as a compliment??  I'm so happy to be learning face techniques because it's boosting my confidence for working on future clients.

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 28, 2018 - 4:52 am
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Mod 13

i really appreciate the option to use the fingers thumbs and palms on the face. I think it offers a really nice variety even to just switch from thumbs to palms on the temples would feel like a nice transition and variety for clients. 

Same with the cheeks, I think I will often use the technique of first using the thumbs for circling and then switch rigth into palms. That seems like a really natural transition to me. 

It it took me a few moments to separate eye circles from the previous mod and the sinus line stroke, but now I understand the difference in direction and pressure! 

also, I just realized that the outstroke between chin/mouth, chin/jawline and chin/below chin are all very similar expect three different zones. And below the chin you bend the thumbs to get underneath. I have got all the straightened out in my mind now?

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Kandace Gaudette
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March 28, 2018 - 4:56 am
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Mod 14

i am also a Reiki master so this section on the holds was very familiar to me. I have done a lot of work with just holding the hands and sending positive, healing energy. However, I have not specifically worked on the face pattern, so Ireally liked your sequence of 6 different positions. I feel like they all transition together nicely. I am excited to get more practice with these. What a great way to end a massage! Plus, I think this is a great way to insert some of my reiki knowledge! I originally started learning Thai massage because I was looking for a way to integrate reiki with something else, so it's nice to see them being so seemlessly blended together.

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