July 27, 2017
I realize that working on a mat has many advantages. However, sitting-cross-legged would have been impossible for me some months ago. Due to an injury of the right hip I was not able to bend my right leg at all initially, but gradually, extremely slowly, I managed to regain total flexibility. Now, it feels really wonderful to be able to work in this seated position.
I agree with you, Shama, wholeheartedly regarding the use of intention. I used not to think about it at all. So, one day, some time ago, a regular, good, but complicated client of mine told me face to face that she feels that I do not use intention at all. She was right. I lost her soon after.
Since then, I am very careful to concentrate not only on intention, but also on the intuition and the breath – together with the client. Here, working on my first practice applying your directions of the first module, I tried very hard to combine all these very essential elements; it worked quite well.
As I work usually on a table when giving a massage, when I started working on a mat to perform the movements on the chest, it created a new challenge for me, because we need to use our body differently. But I am getting there.
Many of the chest movements are already known to me, but your advice of not even going down to the bottom of the sternum is a good idea. I used to apply some very light pressure on the solar plexus, but I felt that some clients did not like it.
It is interesting that you also use the wave movement. I learned this from Thomas Hendrickson who calls this method: WAVE MOBILIZATION. My client really liked it. I suppose it feels like a rhythmic oscillation and can easily introduce a trance.
I still sometimes find it a challenge to synchronize breath, movement, and awareness.
Welcome to the Heavenly Head Massage certification program, Rosline. I appreciate your in depth post. I always find it interesting reading about other people’s experiences and backgrounds.
The synchronization between breath, movement and awareness does take a while to get used to, if you have not worked like this before. However once you do get used to it, it will be like second nature and it feels wonderfully connected and in flow. This is the essence of Heavenly Head Massage. Without those more subtle elements, just as a series of techniques, it would never feel heavenly.
As a reference I always post a link to our certification check list at the beginning of each thread, to make sure everything is correctly organized:
July 27, 2017
I appreciate your comment, Shama. Thank you. I am so used to digging into deep tissues to get rid of adhesions and trying to correct imbalances and restrictive movements that learning something so different and relaxing can be perhaps even better in some cases. In the last few years, I have already done some improvements when it comes to exercising: slow movements with intention work so much more powerfully than fast and vigorous rituals and pushing here and there relentlessly.
Thank you. I really enjoy this course because practically all the many courses taken over the years never included such wonderful direction and help.
Sometimes the digging deep works, and sometimes a different approach works. And sometimes the combination of the two works great. I always thought we need a wide range of tools in our repertoire. Sometimes we can get amazing results with very subtle work, and sometimes there are clients who just prefer a gentle approach. So it’s good to have them both at our disposal, the deep digg and the trance dance.
With Thai Massage you can do very strong work. I have always ended my sessions with some Heavenly Head Massage work in order to create a better balance. Also it has opened me up to a whole new level of perception.
I am happy to hear that you appreciate the teaching and the support.
July 27, 2017
This module has been a wake-up call for me. Who cares about the sternum? As you mentioned in your video, many therapists who work on the body, attach little importance to the sternum. Well, surprisingly, I discovered very important information in one of my cherished book: REFLEXOTHERAPY OF THE FEET by Hanne Marquardt. This lady has been very instrumental in reflexology, especially feet, for years and is highly respected as an expert world-wide. Hanne Marquardt has also been running her own international school of Reflexology of the Feet in Koenigsfeld-Burgberg, Germany.
Here are her findings: She considers the sternum ‘one of the most central areas within the field of RTF (reflexotherapy of the feet).’ Here there are multitudinous relations present that can be helped therapeutically: the pelvic region; the thymus; the heart; the thoracic spine and the entire thorax can be affected by blockages of the sternocostal joints; any unphysiological position of the sternum can influence the movements of the spine and all joints and muscle chains responsible for correct posture; the sternum, being a flat bone, is being involved in the formation of blood in case of deficiencies; people who tend to be very introverted, pull their shoulders inwards and create a restriction in their thorax and should not be corrected without considering their emotional condition (as you pointed it out yourself); in our cultural environment the sternum is closely connected to our own self; some religious people apparently confess their guilt to the creator by beating the sternal area. This symbolic act does actually animate the function of the thymus gland. Some physician would call the sternum even one of the most ‘sacred’ bones.
I hope you’ll find this information useful. During my regular massage sessions, I would always use similar techniques as yours just by remembering Hanne’s theories. In my practice during this second module, I was quite happy the way I progressed because I find your directions so well organized. Many thanks for all this effort you are putting into your course.
July 27, 2017
I love working on this prescribed area of the chest and clavicle, because so often people experience compression and a narrowing of space underneath. A broken collarbone or other injuries can easily lead to fibrosis in the fascia that attaches to the clavicle. Also rounded shoulders and a forward head posture closes down this space, as you mentioned. Often such a condition can lead to the thoracic outlet syndrome with tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain down the arm. There was a time when I suffered very much from this problem until I learnt how to avoid it.
The rolling of the thumbs is such a good idea because if one just pokes in, it can really put off many clients. Working between the ribs is also such a good technique because often the tissue between leaves hardly any space, which creates more restrictive movements.
Some previous training also taught me that it is imperative to work on the pectoralis minor, which is deep below the pectoralis major and inserts into the coracoid process, as it is one of the multifaceted causes of the thoracic outlet syndrome. I find that many men and women have an extremely tight pectoralis minor.
What a wonderful idea to mimic the elephant’s walk. It can certainly be very effective in loosening up that tightness of the pecs.
The cervical vertebrae, especially the C6 and C7 area require so often lots of attention. Again, the rolling method is so much better than what I was taught else where.
The upper body twist indeed needs quite some concentration, especially when transferring to the other side. Keeping your back straight is so important.
July 27, 2017
July 27, 2017
I agree that the neck causes so many stress and pain issues to so many people. No wonder, because it is such a delicate part of the cervical spine without much support and of course to keep a good posture while one is working on a computer for so many hours every day is just impossible.
All your techniques can help so much to alleviate pain, whether the source is from tight muscles, ligaments, nerve roots, facet joints, or discs. However, injuries create pain mostly in the soft tissues.
So, the rolling motion up and down, both types of the circling, and the alternating pulling away from the spine have really meant something for the people I was practicing on. They loved it.
I also quite like the “wave” movement which I find is a wonderful idea to get to all the restrictions and “knots”.
July 27, 2017
July 27, 2017
I have a question:
When I access the Forum of the video courses, where there is a list of all the students, they have 2 coloured symbols preceding their name, but neither my name nor that of Leisa Timms have those two representations.
The first one is a little green circle in a white square with a descending arrow.
The second is a red box with the word “new” across.
I am wondering whether I forgot something to add or do when I was registering.
I would appreciate if you could let me know why that is happening.
Rosline, no, you did not forget anything and you are set up just right. The “New” symbol pops up next to a name if someone posted something new in their thread. That disappears as soon as there is a reply.
I am not even sure what that green circle is all about. This is a fairly recent addition by the creators of the forum software. I saw it when a new thread was created in the “Introduction” forum today. After I replied, the green circle disappeared. But I am really not sure what it means exactly. They keep updating the software and changing things.
You can just disregard it. They are some kind of notification about something, but nothing important.
July 27, 2017
Many thanks for your explanation regarding the coloured symbols.
You are saying about the software changing all the time. So right you are. I am spending so much precious time, almost every day, to learn more of this technical “stuff”. And it seems that this is going to be a normal pattern.
At least I don’t have to worry with the HHM to change after the 18th module.
July 27, 2017
Module FIVE: Neck 2
Oh dear! Some women are so fussy about their hair that you just don’t won’t to work on their head.
Yes, the hair can pull, but when you use oil, they go banana. So, your solution is really a very practical one and I love it. Naturally, the client is so happy too thinking that this is part of the HHM.
As a massage therapist, I have worked numerous times on the neck, face, and head over the years using different techniques. But one move always remains a puzzle. What is the difference between lifting and turning the head to each side several times as a stretch from not lifting the head and turning to each side several times, also as a stretch?
You do mention safety when lifting the head. Yes, indeed, the client may feel anxious. Actually, I just worked on a young male (36 ys.) with a low image issue who never experienced such a move. He became quite agitated without showing it too much. After a while, he became calmer, because it probably really felt good. Actually, he just loved it.
It is quite interesting to witness such different reactions when working in this area. Men often don;t want to be touched on the face, as do women because of their make-up. I still cannot figure out why men decline quite often. Of course, sometimes they come up with the remark that their back or other part of their body needed more work. Perhaps, it may introduce some element of sexual arousal. Would you agree?
Yes, working very slowly on these areas is always advisable and it really helps to calm down the client.
Clients love the lifting of the neck when the whole body is used.
Keeping the thumbs on the throat can certainly alarm the client, because if the therapist engages in any talk, one forgets of what one is doing.
I am glad that you stress this very important aspect of working slowly, gracefully, and perfectly controlled to make it heavenly.
July 27, 2017
Module SIX – Neck 3
The big neck roll looks quite a vigorous neck exercise. I am wondering what actually happens if we looked inside the neck. What are the benefits?
So many clients come with headaches which I find can fairly easily be helped with some of these more gentle movements. However, what about migraine pain issues?
I have been working with a doctor client for many years who suffers intensively and sporadically with moments of complete blindness, which disappears after a while. It seems he has tried just about anything possible to eradicate it, but it comes back again and again. Worse, he never knows when or what can trigger it off. I have done lots of research myself, but it’s difficult to find a solution. Do you think that some of your movements could do the trick?
When I was attempting to do the second of the three techniques in this module, I tried to find a very smooth way of transitioning from the upward move to the occiput to the releasing of the heels of my hands from the head by moving the heels forward or downwards the neck. What I noticed also in your video and during my practice is that it’s almost impossible to transition without interrupting the smooth rhythm. Am I imagining this or do I have a valid point?
Finally, I managed very well to rotate the head around my fingertips; it’s quite a work-out.
Oops, your nails!!! Even when I shorten my nails, sometimes I still have to listen to these agonizing screams. It really sounds so humiliating.
You are so right – I have been doing this for many years, and I am still struggling with the tech stuff all the time. What can we do…that’s part of life nowadays.
Regarding men not wanting their face touched – I don’t think that it has anything to do with sexual arousal. But they are probably used to only have their face touched by a lover, mother or spouse. So they might feel that this a bit too intimate for them.
In general I have found that men often look at massage in a more utilitarian way, whereas women are more able to let themselves get pampered just to feel good. A man will let you work on his face if he has a problem or pain in there. A woman will let you work on her face to just enjoy the experience – that is if you can get around the makeup issue.
I always told clients before they ever showed up for a HHM session to not put on any makeup in order to facilitate the face massage without messing things up. They understand that.
However here is the REAL solution to this. Once you get really good at HHM, then your clients will be in a trance-like state long before you even get to their face. In many of my sessions the clients were not even aware that I even touched their face because they were so zoned out by the time I was working on their head. This zoned out trance-like effect makes this whole face problem a non-issue, because clients will be so deeply relaxed that they won’t analyze what you are doing, or they might not even know what you are doing.
Regarding the neck stretches – there are several types. One sideways turn is only meant to place the neck in a good position to work on it. Another sideways stretch is done to increase the range of motion when turning the head, but the cervical spine stays straight. That’s done while the head stays on the mat.
Another sideways stretch is done to increase range of motion, but the cervical spine does not stay straight, but is bent. That’s done with the head up in the air.
The big neck roll is great for counteracting the typical tendency of today’s computer workers to tilt their head forward. There are several ways to stretch the neck: sideways tilting, turning it sideways, and back and forth. The big neck roll is a backward stretch for the neck. You will hear more about this in the final module of this course when I demonstrate several self help exercises which incorporate all these stretches.
Regarding the migraine, as you found out that this is tricky business. I have worked on clients with migraines, and after the session all pain was gone and did not return when I checked with them several days later. I have also worked on other migraine clients, and nothing happened. I honestly don’t know why. But then again, nobody else has a definitive answer for this either.
Regarding the second of the three techniques – you are imagining this! I am perfectly able to do this transition in a smooth way. However I have to admit that this is one of the more difficult moves to get right and takes more practice than other to get “into the groove”.
July 27, 2017
July 27, 2017
Question regarding the International Certification for the HHM, Thai foot Massage, and Complete Thai Yoga Massage which I study with you now.
But first, I would like to thank you for offering the Complete Thai Yoga Massage at a reduced rate; I was hesitating for quite some time and suddenly I was receiving this most appealing offer.which I couldn’t refuse.
Reading through the certification explanations, I noticed that the smaller/shorter courses must be completed within six months from the date of registering. Also, for the Complete Thai Yoga Massage you mention one year.
However, in your most recent email regarding the Complete Thai Yoga Massage, you state that there is no time limit.
Would you kindly clarify this, please.
N.B. Apparently I started the HHM on the 1. August, 2017 but the date of its certification is not mentioned anywhere. If there are 6 months allowed, the deadline would have to be in January, 2018.
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