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Louis Roman's Heavenly Head Massage course notes
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Louis Roman
Maryland
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December 16, 2022 - 3:19 pm
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Hey Shama, I’m back for more. The complete Thai massage course has been extremely helpful for my clients and I wanted to take my next step forward. I ended up getting a Thai Matt and I have become much more comfortable working on the floor!

I was able to grasp the first technique for the shoulder fairly quickly. When I was working on my wife I also incorporated an elephant walk to the area upon leaning in. It felt natural to do so and as long as I maintained proper ergonomics and softness with touch, it was soothing for her and easy for me physically.
Leaning back / out took me a while to make a fluid transition with the hand placement. I like the comparison you made to that of a wave. I found that to be a powerful visualization and you want to channel that relaxing movement into your client.

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Shama Kern
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December 16, 2022 - 10:27 pm
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Welcome back, Louis. I am happy to hear that the Complete Thai Massage course has proven useful for your practice, and I have no doubt that the Heavenly Head Massage course will do the same.

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Louis Roman
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December 20, 2022 - 6:56 pm
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Module 2

I found the techniques for the sternum to be particularly challenging. My biggest challenge was adjusting / figuring out how much pressure to apply. When working on my wife I needed her feedback to help gauge pressure. 

The thumb technique was easier than some of the others. In my 1st couple of attempts I wasn’t completely at 90° which caused some stretching on the skin. Once I fixed my placement I didn’t have that issue, so I’m thankful that you covered that. The hardest part for me was the breath synchronization. When working on my wife, a couple of times we were in sync, but maintaining that rhythm was tough whilst paying attention to pressure. Definitely gives me something to improve upon. 

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Shama Kern
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December 21, 2022 - 1:26 am
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The chest work is tricky because it is quite subtle. Err on the side of lighter pressure. The breathing isn't always easy. With some people it is quite obvious, and with some people it is hard to detect how they breathe. So don't expect instant perfection. Smile

On the other hand most people never get their chest worked on, so this is a good addition.

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Louis Roman
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December 22, 2022 - 8:39 pm
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Module 3

I really enjoyed this module, some of this made easier by continuing to work the synchronized breathing between myself and my partner. That really helped the flow and has improved my confidence when working on the chest.

I didn’t encounter too many issues with the thumb technique. As long as I leaned in with bodyweight and rolled up correctly, I didn’t feel stress on my thumbs. The rolling up also  improved the flow to the recipient and felt less invasive. The second technique, pushing down with the thumb and lifting from fingers was more challenging for me. I noticed I that was easier for me with my right hand than my left. I want to make sure that I’m able to do it equally well and I’ll have practice more with my left hand. 

The double handed circles was the easiest technique for me in the module. I used this on one my coworkers and we saw significant improvement to shoulder external rotation. Occasionally he asked for more pressure so I tried to lean over to get more bodyweight. 

The spinal twist took me a long time to get the rhythm. One of the hardest parts was creating the fluid transitions between the left and right side. At first it felt rather clunky and I had revisit the video several times. With practice the transition became fluid, I still need to be more comfortable/ confident using my left hand. It was easier to hook my right hand under the shoulder blade and the twist felt smoother as a result.

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Shama Kern
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December 23, 2022 - 12:29 am
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"I want to make sure that I’m able to do it equally well and I’ll have to practice more with my left hand."  -  That's a fairly common issue that there is a difference in how you apply techniques between your two hands. This is quite important because for the client it feels really weird if the action between the two hands feels different. For Thai Massage in general you really have to become ambidextrous, i.e. both hands have to be able to do the same and feel the same to the client.

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Louis Roman
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December 26, 2022 - 5:14 pm
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Module 4

The techniques in the most module came easier for me than others, with the exception of the wave. For the wave, I need to work on some flexibility and the rhythm of the motion. I will continue to work on this technique over time.

The techniques for the fingertips worked extremely well. In my first attempt I didn’t support myself well enough and I started to feel stress along the lower back. I adjusted my legs to be slightly wider and fully using my thighs to support my arms that issue resolved itself.  The techniques don’t require a lot of pressure to be effective and there is certain elegance to it. With the complete Thai Massage, several modules you indicated that you will be listening with your hands. That listening directly carried over to this module and it made much easier. Thanks 😁

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Shama Kern
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December 26, 2022 - 8:26 pm
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"With the complete Thai Massage, several modules you indicated that you will be listening with your hands. That listening directly carried over to this module and it made it much easier."  -  I am glad you remembered this! Smile

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Louis Roman
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December 27, 2022 - 5:16 am
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Module 5

The first technique took me a while to figure out.  Practiced mostly on my wife, I was able to build a continuous rhythm between my left and right hands. The move felt smooth/streamlined, she provided a lot of positive feedback. 

The neck lifting was totally new for me, even with the massages I have received this was a first. With the neck lift I had to figure out how high to lift whilst making sure the head remained planted. The ergonomics of the movement was easy and I got a feel for how much pressure is needed during the ascent. Overall, the move went extremely well!

The manipulation for turning the head also went well for me. I did have some issues with the squeeze and pull back. Most of the difficulties I encountered came from my non-dominant side. With my right hand, the movements were more fluid and consistent. Will continue to work more with my left hand to build muscle memory.  

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Shama Kern
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December 27, 2022 - 10:23 am
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Considering that the neck techniques are not super easy, you seem to be doing well for the first time doing it. Smile

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Louis Roman
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January 8, 2023 - 8:02 pm
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Module 6

Overall the techniques in this module went well, I did have trouble with ones the ones at the end of the video.
The small and big neck rolls were fine. When working on my wife I would occasionally graze her ears with my hand, so I had to be cognizant of unintentional secondary contact.

The techniques so far have been on either side of the spine. The move with the index finger sliding on the spine, I focused on feeling softness in the hands and keeping light pressure. Although the move felt fine for me and seemed to flow, she wasn’t a fan and preferred the others that were on off the bone. Is there certain benefit to sliding up along the vertebrae? Also is there certain instance in which you opt for this technique or is more of a personal preference?

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Shama Kern
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January 8, 2023 - 9:17 pm
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Think of it more as your index finger across the vertebrae while being supported by the rest of the hand. It's not that you should be pressing with the finger on the spine intentionally. It should feel more like a balanced whole-hand move on the neck with the index finger across the spine. I suspect that in your case you put too much emphasis on the index finger pressure and less emphasis on the whole-hand support. Try to play with that.

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Louis Roman
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May 5, 2023 - 2:59 pm
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Module 7

Hey Shama, it’s has been a while since my last post. Had a terrible QL strain along my left side, took a considerable amount of time to heal. As a result of the strain, I have a deeper appreciation for proper ergonomics/proprioceptive awareness when going through the techniques.

The lift and side stretch was one of the easier techniques for me to grasp. I started with my left arm under my wife’s head (right arm supporting). I was a little worried about potential stress in my back, but I felt none even when I switched arms/sides! In the video emphasized the support required from your the arm and I’m thankful for that.

The head roll took me a while to figure out. In my first several attempts I didn’t bring my wife’s head far enough within the range motion to get stretch. With her feedback and a couple of adjustments, the technique came along. The only caveat I encountered was the lower back engagement/involvement. I’ll be revisiting this move in the future. 

The second version of the 90° neck stretch was the hardest for me. I originally placed myself directly in-front of my wife. When I went to reach down and pull up with my right hand, that motion felt stiff / rigid. I found it harder to incorporate full body motion. Once I shifted more to the side, that problem eliminated itself and made all the difference. Developing the rhythm alternating between both left and right also improved with that positional adjustment.

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Shama Kern
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May 5, 2023 - 8:09 pm
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You seem to figure out the necessary adjustments to make it work. Excellent! Smile

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