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Mariah Komp's Heavenly Head Massage Notes
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Mariah Komp
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March 15, 2018 - 4:57 am
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Module 1

Distance of the knees!  This was great information.  I am working on smaller framed people right now and want to find someone larger so I can get a feel for difference in body positions and pressure.

I was using a technique similar to this on the table. I often had to work pretty hard to get the pressure I wanted, not anymore!  Though I imagine there will still be the clients who require a little more muscle.  My wrists have been bothering me lately, so I am happy to only be working on my smaller framed practice partners right now.

This is such a nice gentle, relaxing start to a massage.  After each practice I was thinking I should also find someone to practice on me 🙂

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Shama
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March 15, 2018 - 9:43 am
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I have often wished I had someone who could do the HHM on me. But this is not happening since I created this style, and nobody in Thailand knows how to do this. Pretty much all my HHM students are in the western world.

You will see that there is a lot of subtlety in this course. If you choose your techniques (you don’t always have to do every single one) you can easily work without stressing your hands. The neck techniques, as you will see, require a bit more hand strength, but even there you can work without strain on your wrist. I know a lot about that since my wrists are not 100% either, and I have to be careful how I use them.

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Mariah Komp
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March 18, 2018 - 2:17 am
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Module 2

At first, I was hesitant to try this.  I thought, “how could this feel good?”  I was sure it would be uncomfortable for my practice partners.  One of them has a somewhat hunched upper back and has been struggling with correcting this. She said that while I was leaning into the sternum and then in between the ribs along the sides of the sternum, it felt like it was somehow addressing the exaggerated curvature, when I asked for more detail she said, “it feels like it’s rearranging my ribs, in a good way”.

I’m finding I am focused on the external physical results and need to remind myself I am also working with energy.  I am familiar with energy work and concepts so I thought the focus on that would come naturally.  I believe after so many years of practicing traditional western massage I need to retrain my brain to focus on the energetic aspect. Do you have any book recommendations?

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Shama
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March 18, 2018 - 6:48 pm
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You don’t have to go far to find this information. There are plenty of articles which deal with this subject in our blog, and specifically in this category:

The Spirit Of Massage

Also there is an entire course about this – it’s one of the bonus courses in the Complete Thai Massage course – Magic Touch Secrets. This will address this in great detail.

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Mariah Komp
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March 20, 2018 - 6:17 am
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Module 3

I really liked using the stretch taught in this video.  It was really gentle but I noticed a decrease in the shoulder tension and my “clients” loved it.  The pectoralis major is one of my favorite muscles to work with.

I like the walking motion that is included in most the moves. The rolling motion is taking a bit of practice, I end up rolling towards the tops of my thumbs instead of rolling toward the side.

It is becoming easier to notice when I am not in alignment and/or using my body. An unexpected benefit to me is that I find myself moving around doing my daily activities with better posture, using more squatting motions than bending, and getting up off the floor with ease.  I have also noticed and increase in my own energy level.  

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Shama
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March 20, 2018 - 9:55 am
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I am happy to hear that the course material has a positive impact on yourself as well. This has happened to many course students, and it is one of the benefits of learning Thai Massage.Smile

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Mariah Komp
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March 26, 2018 - 10:25 am
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Module 4

I had quarter grades to get finished this week so I had to move a little slower with this module.  

Many of these are similar to techniques I have used for neck work on the table.  I have always enjoyed providing deeper neck work.  The wave motion was new in that I used my feet.  I liked the fluid motion this gave but it did hurt my toes as it pushed them down when I pushed my foot up (from the ankle). Maybe this is because my toes aren’t used to it?

I felt some good release as the base of one of my partners head, just a little more mobility after the session. 

Ergonomics continues to be a challenge, some days more than others.  When I support with my thighs I definitely notice the pain in my back decrease, though other muscles that have not worked in that way make themselves known.  Overall, I think it is a really good way for my body to be worked 🙂

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Shama
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March 26, 2018 - 7:55 pm
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You are not lifting with your toes, are you? You are supposed to lift with the area just before the toes, at the end of the metatarsal bones, so there should be no stress on the toes.

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Mariah Komp
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March 28, 2018 - 2:50 am
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I have been lifting from the ankle, no toe lifting. 

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Shama
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March 28, 2018 - 11:08 am
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Then your toes shouldn’t hurt – maybe it is just what you mentioned, that it is a way of using your feet which is something new and different. Try it a few more times, and maybe it will resolve itself. You can also play with the move and see if you can change the muscles which you are engaging in your feet and ankles. Sometimes there is a tendency to use too much effort for a new move.

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Mariah Komp
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March 29, 2018 - 6:22 am
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Module 5

The stretch is so lovely!  My partners love it. My partner who experiences a lot of pain and immobilization in the neck area enjoyed some gentle mobilization. I am practicing going very slow with the head, almost in a meditative way. I have found this helps me increase my sensitivity in all areas, quieting the mind and letting the bodies do the talking. 

I also tried some of these techniques on a baby. He was smiling so I took that as a good sign 🙂

I will keep working with the toes. I think, like you said, I may be just using too much effort. 

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Shama
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March 29, 2018 - 10:39 am
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Interesting – you tried it on a baby. True, babies don’t lie. If they don’t like it, they won’t hide it. The same goes for working on animals. If they like it, you know it, and if they don’t, they walk away from you.

Working meditatively is the way to go!

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Mariah Komp
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April 9, 2018 - 7:16 am
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Module 6

I enjoyed a week with little internet and got to practice all the techniques we have covered up through this module. 

It was easier to not shift the head around than I thought it would be, so long as I stayed present.  With the occiput rotation does my index finger sit with the middle joint in the middle of the neck or am I doing a left side, then right side technique?

I have been working with the feet under the shoulder and have gotten my placement down so that my toes are no longer hurting.  I found that even when I thought I wasn’t lifting with them, I was.

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Shama
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April 9, 2018 - 9:44 am
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Talking about no internet, I am in a hotel now where the weather knocked out the electricity along with the internet for 4 hours last night. In the morning we were woken up by a huge downpour that instantly knocked out the electricity and internet again. Frown Luckily I have my mobile hot spot which is still working on battery.

Your index finger stays in the middle of the neck with the middle joint in the center.

I had thought that you had to use your toes if it was painful – glad you figured it out and resolved it! Smile

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Mariah Komp
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May 2, 2018 - 10:06 pm
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Module 7

I’ve been enjoying seeing your travels!  Sounds like it must be rainy season from the last reply, or does it just rain like that throughout the year?

I am finally nearing the end of the state and district student testing season at work so I can focus on other things more!  

I really enjoyed providing this mini session to partners.  I am finding that these stretches are gentle enough for people who have a hard time with traditional stretching.  My body is not yet accustomed to the larger motions but I can tell it gets easier with each practice.  The neck stretch with traction was one of my favorites. It doesn’t just isolate the neck, it goes a little into the upper back.  I have been practicing sitting on my knees or cross legged throughout my day and find that it is helping in my overall comfort during the sessions.

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Shama
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May 2, 2018 - 10:46 pm
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Yes, it is finally starting to rain in the north of Thailand, meaning the burning and the associated air pollution will stop so that we can go home! We have been waiting for the rain for months now.

Sounds like you are making progress with the therapist positions!

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Mariah Komp
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May 5, 2018 - 8:42 am
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Module 8

The figure 8 is a little more challenging of a move, I haven’t pin-pointed what it is that feels more challenging.  Maybe just all that is happening at once. The half moon technique is great!  I worry that I am pulling too much on the hair with the middle finger pull at the end of the move.  Possibly need to use oil?  

Glad the rains will allow you to return home!

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Shama
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May 5, 2018 - 6:17 pm
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The figure 8 is a complex multi-directional move. This type of technique tends to be more challenging and takes more time to ‘get it’.

I would not recommend to use oil just to smooth out one particular move. Hair pulling is often a concern during HHM. After a while you will get used to it and know how to avoid hair pulling. Oil is best used when you do a dedicated neck session, i.e. when you spend a lot of time on the neck, but is not necessary during a normal HHM session in most cases.

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Mariah Komp
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May 5, 2018 - 10:59 pm
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That makes sense (the oil and the figure 8), definitely more practice with the figure 8.  The timing of when to turn the neck is what I am working on now.  I have more time to devote to practicing over the next couple weeks.  If I am practicing for at least 1.5 hours a day may I watch a module, practice on my three practice partners (maybe 4), then post in the evening and the do the same for the next module the following day?  I want to make sure I abide by the guidelines 🙂

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Shama
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May 5, 2018 - 11:14 pm
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Sure you can do that. The only guidelines that need to be followed are the ones in the certification checklist which I posted in the beginning of your Complete Thai Massage course thread. Otherwise we are neither rule sticklers nor drill sergeants around here! Laugh

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