Thai Healing Massage Academy | Thai Massage Online Courses

thai massage back stretch

Learn Thai Massage

ONLINE

Convenient - Effective

Professional Training since 2001

Thai Healing Massage Academy logo
Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_TopicIcon
Merri Lou Dobler- Heavenly Head Massage
Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
December 22, 2021 - 6:20 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 1. When I worked as a massage therapist I loved doing head massage at the end of a Swedish Massage. There were moments when someone sighs and they let go of the last bit of stress. I learned East Indian Head Massage  as a CE while in Arizona, since I enjoyed this aspect of massage. I am happy to be here for Heavenly Head Massage. 

I have always had poor posture, in part due to two car accidents in the same year, and I so appreciate the reminders for getting  the best ergonomics for HHM.The HHM User Manual reinforced how valuable body awareness and good body mechanics. My work space is within me! I notice every time Shama recommends posture adjustments.

I like working on the floor and it is very grounding to work while on the floor. I have lots of Mexican blankets for my yoga classes that I can use. I recently got some pillows that might be too puffy for HHM but works for the Complete Thai Massage Course. I tend to use a cream rather than an oil for massage but can adjust to this recommendation.

The shoulder technique is really nice. My daughter let me practice with her. The first time we did it, she said it was too hard. So I adjusted the next time to be as close in as I could and to also not slouch to lighten the touch, nor to bend the elbows. It takes control and practice. My wrists will adjust with practice. It felt easier than sitting on a stool behind someone on a massage table!   More work coming. Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
December 22, 2021 - 8:13 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Welcome back to another course, Merri Lou! Smile

By the way, I also learned Indian head massage. I think you will find that Heavenly Head Massage offers a lot more, especially when you get to the neck section, and to the therapy section at the end of the course. You can do so much more when the client is lying down than when someone is sitting on a chair which is typically how it is done in Indian head massage.

Indian head massage was my first inspiration, and then I decided to expand it greatly into the Heavenly Head Massage system which has evolved into an entirely new style. Smile

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
December 24, 2021 - 8:21 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 2. Surprising to me, my daughter liked the sternum work. My touch was as careful and gentle as I could be: good posture, straight arms, up on toes, 90 degrees thumb work, careful for the upper notch and solar plexus. And breathing. The breathing was actually first, and my daughter is a mouth breather so it was easier to connect. That is probably what she liked, that I linked in with the breath and came in slow. It was more of a connecting touch than pressure to accommodate her needs.  I was able to find the space between the ribs pretty well, and only one time did she make a little face as I let my focus go for a second, not immediately finding the space between lower ribs. It brought me out of connected breathing, a big clue,  so I took a good breath before connecting again. I think my fingers needed to be a little more spread apart to find the space more easily instead of having them together for the straight sternum work.

The "lean in" with rocking the sternum can have a measurably different feel, and it was when I tried the palm rocking in the middle of the sternum that I realized that minute body movements on my part create the best response. It's a tiny bit of pressure, just a few inches of moving,  as the rocking goes forward, and then eases off when moving back. This was new to me, and my daughter laughed at that moment. Okay, mom! Enough!

I'm curious about the hara center and am reading an Aikido book to get more information.

When I used to do Swedish massage I might use compression on the space underneath the clavicle and just above breast tissue but not do any work on the sternum. I know I have painful spots there, so what to do!  Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
December 24, 2021 - 9:15 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I am glad to hear that you were able to do the chest/rib work well. This tends to be not so easy for many students since it requires a lot of subtlety. As you figured out, it is not about pressing, but more about connecting and breathing with a very light touch.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
December 27, 2021 - 3:00 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 3. It really is learning to relax into the rhythm and find my center first. The real secret is how wonderful rocking is, even when it may look so subtle, it is a big thing. I connect more with the Earth energies too, as I discover how rocking helps me. It takes me back to having to rock some of my younger siblings to sleep when I was young, finding the rhythm then, because I couldn't go read a book or play outside! I had to stand there and rock someone to sleep. And it worked.

My daughter has a big heart, and I think the module for the chest was good because she felt comfortable. That made me feel comfortable. The collarbone thumb roll was slight pressure, moving out, rolling in just a bit. Rolling the thumbs took some practice, is it out or in, I asked myself. Just a little motion seemed okay, breathing with my daughter. She started to get ticklish on the pecs, so I practiced above her, loosening my wrists first. I could put my hands down higher on the chest wall, with palms down,  fingers up, to avoid any contact under her arms. That first big smile on her face as I started to settle my hands down with it triggering a tickle, still has me smiling. I could have almost done a very soft fist, but I didn't want to experiment but keep going.

She was okay with the reverse v-shape on the chest and I realized I needed to slow down to keep my fingers in line. Elephant walk is good with consideration to the pecs area. I like the second collarbone technique and I realize how tight and how sensitive mine are too. 

My daughter wanted me stop after a few left-and-right  shoulders, and I loved how it felt to hold both sides before releasing one.  I thought it was a great technique to be applied elsewhere. I also appreciate how you give extra attention to this, to show how good it can feel to someone.  We didn't get to the upper body twist and I am planning to start with that next time, after a warm up. Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
December 27, 2021 - 11:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I am honestly impressed with how well you pick up on the subtleties of the chest work. I guess it also helps to have a good practice partner.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
December 28, 2021 - 9:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 4.  It was a good day for practicing HHM, as well as the Complete Thai Massage. Temperatures dropping here in the Pacific Northwest with single digit numbers tonight. My daughter is getting more used to working with me. We have a nice blanket for her to rest on. She declines a pillow.  I was able to slide my feet under her shoulders, and then the lift/lift/ pull back. I used the PDF pictures to get the feet in the correct position, which was easier than trying to go from words. I was careful with her head. I had just practiced the wave with the video again, before practicing it with my daughter, but still it took a minute to get the motion/rhythm. Plus my daughter kept trying to help me by lifting her head, which pulled me out of coordinated breathing, but it made me smile.   Relax, I'd say to her and it wasn't until I moved to her neck that she said "Ah" and settled in.  The four neck motions were soothing to her and my key written cues  of "vertical lift circle/horizontal no lift circle/ offset RL/Grab and pull" were good reminders. 

I then went back to Module 1 for the shoulder technique, getting a few passes with this. On to the 90 degree thumb technique for the sternum, very gentle, breathing, for between the first two ribs. My daughter liked the rocking motion again on the sternum, Module 2, and I tried the tapping with the fingertips too.  I then did the elephant walk from Module 3 on the shoulders and a gentle motion on the collarbone.  I set up for the upper body twist from this module and was able to do both sides. My daughter laughed the whole time but allowed me to do the work, saying it was okay. I was so surprised! She was then done and her face was so relaxed I knew it had gone well.

I guess I was doing the techniques I remembered and liked as I moved through different modules, but it all worked for m daughter and was very satisfying to me to help her relax. Thank you.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
December 29, 2021 - 8:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Modules 1-4, Review. Practice today was to get a more cohesive feel of the HHM Thai Massage for each of the four modules. I reviewed the PDFs and went back to the video for Module 4 to catch some of the points that make this work better.  I liked the focus on going slow, maintaining touch with sliding down the arm, getting in touch with my breath to her breath to the techniques. My daughter was again compliant and allowed me to go through each of the modules, with two complaints. She didn't like much pressure on the shoulders with compression and let me know. She also did not like the 4th neck warming technique of grabbing the muscles next to the spine and pulling them out, right and left, press with the fingertips. She has a short neck with lots of tissue and I think I was taking too much tissue in my hands. I apologized and thanked her for the lesson today.

Finding the collarbone was easier, the sternum was identified and she didn't mind the thumb pressure or rocking. The second rib on the left side was a bit tender and my daughter shook her head as I moved out on it; maybe my thumb wasn't in the right position or it just is going to be sore for her. She laughed at the upper body twist and slight rock, so that move became easier. Slowing down for the second side was better too.  Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
December 29, 2021 - 10:04 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

Sounds to me like a successful completion of the first section of HHM...on to the neck work. It is a good idea to repeat the first section briefly before each neck work practice session so that it turns into one cohesive session in the end with all four sections combined.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
December 31, 2021 - 8:37 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 5. My daughter was very relaxed tonight and wanted to start with the Chi Machine. Her body was rocking and moving well, and I could see she liked the motion. Gentle on the shoulders and down the arms, then careful on the upper sternum, first rib only, flat hand on sternum. All of this was modified to her response to asking if she'd like a few more times with a technique. Rocking on the sternum was good, pressure on the collarbone was a light touch with the flat thumbs. She didn't want the ribs again, the pecs were ticklish, she asked for the upper body twist/hold. She didn't want the twist, just a hold in the pose. Yes to all of it. Then I moved to the new techniques on her neck. She smiled at the feeling of the hair coming off her neck and she liked the stretches. She opened her eyes as I moved very slowly supporting her head, 100%, breathing at how much can be done in slowing of the movements and the connection with her. Her eyes closed as I slowly lowered her head and released it. And then she wanted Chi Machine again. I was yawning now too. The recommendations on how to do this module were so valuable and appreciated. Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
December 31, 2021 - 8:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I don't remember if you told me somewhere already - how old is your daughter?

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
January 2, 2022 - 12:09 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 6.  Shama, my daughter turns 30 years old in two weeks. I'm getting old! She is my greatest teacher and I appreciate what she brings to my life every day.  She was willing to do this module because 1) I reminded her how much she enjoyed the last module on the neck, and 2) we made cookies first.

This module was great to do and I see how each little part contributes to a relaxing Thai massage. I need more practice. I had this funny trick of not resting my forearms on my thighs for full support, but would half-rise up a bit, and then my lower back would respond.  This tells me how much more practice I need to understand the steps, apply them over and over to where I settle into them and cement them into me, and also to breathe. Breathing happens in subsequent reviews of the video more easily, as you probably know.

Some of the techniques I was familiar with, but again it is the refinements that make the difference. My daughter watched me for barely two cycles of the first one and then she closed her eyes and breathed. I could synchronize with her more easily.

The reviews for the sections is very helpful. The pictures in the PDF offer a lot too.

I didn't quite get the optional twist yet to offer it to my daughter, but I like how it looks and works in the video. Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
January 2, 2022 - 4:40 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

If you are 'getting old', what shall I say? My daughter is 37 and I have two adult grandchildren. Smile

My wife made tons of cookies today as well and distributed them all over our neighborhood. And now I am getting a neck and head massage from her. Smile

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
January 7, 2022 - 12:17 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 7.These are amazing techniques, Shama! I'm super careful with my right shoulder but it feels very protected under my daughter's neck and on her shoulder. It was actually my left shoulder that I had to adjust.  I can roll her head without issues but only did one circle stretch since she did not like it, and going halfway was not getting the stretch, so on we go, just like you indicated as a good way if it is not working for personal back/shoulder problems. I think my daughter felt secure with my hands wrapped around her neck, a pause in there to tell her what I was going to do and a nice lift, but only once. I was happy with that one time, just to get a feel for it.

She's never had the neck vertebral problem that some people with Down syndrome have, and her neck is nice and thick, so turning just the head felt right. I was focused on what my hands were telling me and about any tension.  Chin up for the neck stretch, but we did not go the full 90 degrees. I adjusted my daughter's head several times during this sequence so she was straight and to give me a chance to get back into breathing. I seemed to forget to breathe and probably would have done better if we could have done a second round. I'm the one with neck problems and I realized I could breathe through any awareness of my feelings.

The knee against her forehead supported her and the alternating hands on her neck was A-Okay. She breathed and relaxed. I watched the angle and enjoyed the calmness.

It really was an amazing session, baby steps to learning what I could, grateful for these absolutely wonderful techniques, videos and material. Thank you.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
January 7, 2022 - 12:33 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 8. I got right to this one with my daughter saying okay to it; neck and head work is special. I focused on placement of hands for the neck and skull and waiting a few seconds. I moved slowly and was able to do the right hand/left hand flow, back and forth. It didn't look hard on the video and I found that my notes helped for the figure eight. I modified it and did it three times, aware that it could be intense, and was able to move her a little more each time, to her limit, but not to 90 degrees. She didn't like the alternate move, but let me move her up and sideways on one side. Next time I will do the rocking motion instead, and if that feels okay, then go back to the figure eight. If I had thought it through first, I might have seen how she liked the rocking first.

I have to be very gentle with her around her occipital ridge, so the squeeze on the neck was okay but touch on the occipital ridge was very light, barely any pressure. She was okay with that. My daughter is probably adjusting to the pressure and feel of the work on her neck and in time will find it is okay.  Wonderful techniques, thank you.

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
January 7, 2022 - 3:48 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 9.  My daughter was like putty in my hands with the ear work. She let me go through the sequence twice.  I supported my legs with blankets rolled up under my knees since cross-legged is not comfortable otherwise. I also sat on a blanket and tucked a rolled up blanket against my lower back.Yes, I love my props! I recognize a few of these techniques from both Swedish Massage and also from a few Chinese Acupressure techniques for my yoga class; they will really like some additional ear work.

I took time to move my daughters hair out. The wisps liked to keep moving back so I took time to go back and forth, one side to the other or to press my wrist/forearm in to hold the hairs steady. It was nice to not just squeeze the earlobes with the thumbs, and in the second part with the fingers,  but to make circles. It was a reminder to breathe. Pressure together on the earlobes and pulling out was very good, very gentle.  Are the ridges the same size? One felt easier to take hold of for the downward pressure. It took a minute to do the circles with fingers below the earlobe and the hand heel above the earlobe. Sliding down, groove work and scissors technique went well and I had the PDF pictures to help me get right to the ear placement. The notch was nice to work with and finishing up with the quiet hold over the ears was a relaxing way to end. So nice! Thank you.

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
January 7, 2022 - 7:19 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

That was a marathon posting! Smile I am glad that you find many of these techniques amazing. Once you get good at this, your entire HHM session will be amazing!

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
January 9, 2022 - 6:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 10.  Very enjoyable on the head and able to get smooth motions going as we went through the different head techniques. My daughter got out her blanket, said she was ready, and it became a relaxing time for her. The difference between rubbing and friction is not complicated, holding is a nice pause at the end and I liked practicing it with the other techniques. Lift jumping is sweet and light. The leaning pressure feels good. Shampoo motion made my daughter laugh (almost her bath time), rapid fingertip rubbing was quick, and stroking is always wonderful.  Variable pressure with circling activates those nerves that need stimulation and becomes part of the body circling, and it is nice in the middle to change to lifting her head to pull out hair on one side and then the other. I liked the alternating pressures, like with the claw hand versus finger circling, and the pressure of shampooing versus smooth circling with finger and thumb over the head. Thumb crossing is a nice activation for the midline.

Very wonderful sequence, sighs from my daughter, then she asked for the belly massage, which we did, then we did the sternum palm down and rocking, then we moved to the Prone Legs, Module 20 in the Complete Thai Massage Course.  Many thanks!

Avatar
Shama Kern
Thailand
Admin
Forum Posts: 8709
Member Since:
June 28, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19
January 9, 2022 - 8:17 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

That sounds great! Apparently a successful session with all the bells and whistles. Smile

Avatar
Merri Lou Dobler
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
November 14, 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20
January 11, 2022 - 8:04 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Module 11.  I think I use the word "Heavenly" for HHM every time I do it. It feels really good to me.  I am thankful for the directions for each of the head techniques in the PDF because some of them can look exactly alike until you follow the directions.   The description is right after the highlighted name of the technique and it is not difficult to get it pretty quickly. It's like this little surprise, "Oh, this is what you do!" The difference in each one is amazing and it was fun to do them with my daughter, who lay there on the floor with her eyes closed the whole time.  I also loved the review at the end, following it along on my own head, except that my fingers substitute for the thumb techniques.

What helped to make this a really good experience is the great variety: of contrast of strong then light, palm of hand versus fingers, hair grasp and then hair pull, direction of stroke, use of fingernails, midline thumbs....and all of the techniques. Some of them I stayed with, practicing longer than others, just going with the flow and the breath. Some techniques I knew, but I can say that I learned a lot with just this module because people love this aspect of a massage and there is nothing more relaxing than head massage.  Many thanks!

Forum Timezone: Asia/Tbilisi
Most Users Ever Online: 254
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 13
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
mwisdom: 186
DKThai: 174
Karin Secrest: 148
Trevor Harris: 88
Wendy Choponis: 87
Cindy Gogan: 86
Newest Members:
mannescorts
Sabina Magnus
Carin Carli
Brittany Dunnavant
sweetness2022
George Griswold
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 6
Topics: 1361
Posts: 21140

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 6
Members: 1035
Moderators: 0
Admins: 1
Administrators: Shama Kern