February 4, 2014
I just received my last installment of Shama's Heavenly Head Massage Course. The thought that kept running through my head as I reviewed each of the modules was "Wow . . . I'd love to be on the receiving end of one of these massages!"
There are fourteen modules in this course; several modules each are dedicated to very distinct portions of a heavenly head massage -- sternum, shoulders, upper back, neck, head, face, ears and energy holds. There are multiple, multiple, techniques shown, and as Shama indicated in one of the videos, his examples are really just a launching pad for moves you will develop on your own. And this will definitely happen.
I work strictly on a massage table with an older clientele where issues of osteoporosis, arthritis, medications and injuries are the norm rather than the exception. There are moves in the instruction I would not even attempt on some of my people, so modifications and adaptions are necessary. I love that Shama included variations for those with less flexible spines and necks, showing that even simplified versions can still be effective and soothing and therapeutic.
I'd like to mention specifically one of the moves I found that seems to transition everyone into a peaceful mode very quickly. It is such a simple, yet profound, way of connecting therapist to client. Gently position one hand just below the sternal notch on the sternum, fingers pointing downward (between the breasts on women -- I've been able to do this with all my female clients with no issues).
Hold very softly for a breath or two, then cover that hand silently with your other hand. As you feel your client exhale, use the slightest of compressions with your hands and follow the breath down towards the solar plexus, then release the pressure, not your hands, upon the inhale. I sometimes do with every other breath, depending upon how quickly the inhales and exhales are moving. Use ounces of pressure, not pounds, for this one.
Nearly 100% of the time, a deep sigh is elicited at some point, and you can feel the body releasing as tension drops. Thank you, Shama. And thank you for the many variations of this you demonstrated using fingers & thumb, side of the hand, even loose open fists.
As Shama mentioned, and I concur, ear massage so far has been universally welcomed, though by the time I get to the ears most of my people are deep in slumberland. It's fun to watch the face transform as the strokes move to that area, especially when doing the nose, eyebrows, forehead, third eye and up to the crown chakra.
Surprisingly, probably my favorite part of the Heavenly Head Massage is contained in the last module, the energy holds. It is absolutely appropriate and feels so right to end a HHM with, again, simple yet profound holds.
One tip I would like to pass along: after reviewing the modules several times, I noted where all the review sections of the techniques began if the module contained one. I then went back and renamed the file titles to include the time stamp where the reviews started. For example, one of my file titles is "HHM #9 Ears Review 16 35".
That tells me that Module #9 contains the segment on ears, and the review starts at 16 minutes 35 seconds into the video. Just makes it much easier to locate the condensed version of what I am looking for while in my directory or library.
Another thing I liked about Shama's teaching methods, is that while he explains what to do, he also makes a point of what NOT to do, and what in his experience he has found not to feel so good. This was very helpful in guiding me to the most pleasant experiences for my clients in the quickest manner possible.
And just one more thing: Every time I review a module, I pick up another idea or variation to try that somehow escaped my awareness before . . . that's the kind of reference material I really enjoy.
It's a thumbs up for me on the Heavenly Head Massage -- they are a delight to execute -- I just can't wait to experience one of them!