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Susan McIntyre's Heavenly Head Massage course progress notes
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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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February 22, 2016 - 11:22 am
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Just signed up today and am looking forward to getting the first video in a couple of days.

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Shama
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February 22, 2016 - 12:17 pm
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Welcome again Susan. Your first video should arrive about 24 hours after you received the course manual. It seems that you had no trouble figuring out the forum! Smile

In the meantime please take a moment and familiarize yourself with our certification check list to make sure that we are on the same wave length:

Certification Check List

I am looking forward to following your progress once you get started with the training videos.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 3, 2016 - 2:03 am
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I have finished watching the videos and taking the test; however, I realize I need to make the posts on each module.  I will continue to practice the techniques I have learned and make posts.  I have my massage therapy license, but I do not actually have a practice as I have a full-time job in Finance and other responsibilities at this time.  I want to keep my license current and enjoy learning more techniques as I do want to practice massage in the future since I have been offered positions.  I think the techniques I have learned throughout this course will make me even more marketable and a better therapist.  

There is only one suggestion I would like to make and that would be to have a video showing the whole Heavenly Head Massage.  I would like to see how it looks when you put it all together. It could have talking or just music.   

Thanks so much for putting this course together and I will make my posts on each module soon.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 6:07 pm
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Module 1:  Intro

My practice has been mostly on my husband on a table.  I would practice on him and then get him to do the same on me so I would have an idea of how the movements feel.  Since I am a short person with short legs, working on a table is the best option and the most comfortable for me.  I agree that you need to be completed focused on the person and the massage and have all energies aligned for it to be the best massage.  And, yes, keep a blanket handy.  The shoulder movement felt nice and was a comfortable way to start the massage so the client feels “safe” and can relax. It was easy to find the fleshy part and to stay off of the bones and ribs.

I waited to write up each module because I wanted to have as much practice as possible so I might be able to give more insight, thinking that might help others taking the course.  However, I would encourage everyone to write them up as they go through each module and also to take the test as you complete each video

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 8:01 pm
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Module 2:  Sternum

My husband has a chest that is not exactly flat, rises slightly, so it was good to know how to work on different chests.  He thought the light pressure on the sternum with thumbs together and then thumbs apart felt “nice”.  He said it would probably be better for someone who is stressed, which he seldom is.  His favorite movement was the hand over hand circles.  He felt that was very relaxing.  He did not particularly care for the edge of the hand movement, so I will probably reserve that for women with large breasts.  Overall, he enjoyed the sternum work.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 8:07 pm
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Module 3: Chest

I practiced the movement with the thumbs across the ribs, 2 rows for him.  It took some practice to feel comfortable doing the push-pull pecs.  But with some guidance from my partner, I began to feel like I was doing them right. Then, he could tell the difference and felt it was beneficial to the pec muscles. 

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 8:59 pm
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Module 4:  Neck (1)

My partner has a very thick, short neck so these movements were a little more difficult than with someone who has a long, thin neck.  It was also difficult to feel any knots or tight muscles.  He felt the movements with the circle right then circle left as well as the pull right and pull left were more beneficial for him.  I think neck work is very important as this is where many people have problems and where they can really relax if this work is done properly.  I will need to practice more on people with different types of necks.  I think these movements can be beneficial to all people, but it will be harder for me to work on people with necks like my partner.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 9:41 pm
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Module 5:  Neck (2)

My partner has oily skin so I didn’t have to worry about the oil with him.  I usually use an olive oil massage oil, so it was great information about jojoba oil.  I need to get some to try for all my massages.  I found that I have a tendency to move the neck a little bit too quickly when I do the side-to-side maneuver which can causes some dizziness and/or being uncomfortable for my partner.  I need to do it even more slowly than I would expect.  When you show it at actual speed, that helps.  The squeeze on the neck is somewhat difficult with my current practice partner because he does have a short, very thick neck and I have small hands.  I will need to find another way to do this maneuver.  The circling movement is easier.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 11:20 pm
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Module 6:  Neck 3

Big neck roll and little neck roll.  At first, I was actually doing it wrong and realized it when I thought the head felt heavy then knew I wasn’t supposed to be lifting the head – that it was to still be on the table.  Then I felt the movement became more like a roll.  He liked the “hair out of the way with a little squeeze pressure” move better.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 21, 2016 - 11:27 pm
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Module 7:  Neck 4

You said this technique would be difficult, and it was.  He said it was uncomfortable for him because my shoulder was against his face which made me realize that my arms are too short to do this the way you do it.  He also seemed to be tensing up because he said he was “afraid I was going to break his neck”.  He does not like the bigger movements but liked the stretches when they were done very gently.  I don’t think all clients will be like him so I will need to try these moves on other people to determine if I am doing them wrong or if it is just him.

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Shama
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May 22, 2016 - 12:05 am
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Short, thick necks are by far the most difficult to work on. So it is important that you find some other practice partners, otherwise it will be very difficult for you to get a feel for these techniques. Actually on clients with short, thick necks I generally skip some of the techniques since they are just too difficult to do. If you work on someone with a longer, slimmer neck, you will find that the neck techniques are much easier to do and are also more appreciated by the client since their neck allows for better results.

On people with short, thick necks, I generally do less stretches and more stroking moves, and I will often use oil in such cases to prevent too much skin friction. And then I have a little secret which is manipulating the head with a folded towel. I already recorded a video on how to do this, and when I get around to editing it I will add it to the course.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 1:43 am
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Module 8:  Neck (5)

Surprisingly enough, my partner liked all the movements in this module.  He said the heel and fingers pushing in opposite directions felt good.  He even liked the figure 8 when I did it more gently – he didn’t want me to go very far forward or far to the sides. I also did the one where you lift the head up and go sideways for those who can’t do the figure 8. I also did the wiggling of the head up.  He said he felt these techniques helped loosen the neck up for anyone with a tight neck. 

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 2:01 am
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Module 9:  Ears

This was my partner’s favorite part of the heavenly head massage, so far. Immediately, as soon as I started on the ears, he said it was relaxing.  I did all the moves – thumb circles on the tops of the ears, index finger circles on the underside, pull earlobes and move up, inside ear with thumb, ear in hand gently circling one way and then the other, sliding down the ear, scissors technique and massaging the notch.  There wasn’t a single move he didn’t enjoy and wanted me to keep on going.  Part of his enjoyment might have been the fact that I felt most comfortable with this module as well.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 2:08 am
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Shama,

That is good to know about the short, thick necks.  It makes me feel better about what I am doing.  I will do more of the stroking techniques on him and others with similar necks.  

I went for a massage about a month ago and the therapist used a towel near the beginning of the massage to stretch my neck.  That was the first time I had seen or had that done and it felt really good.  I was disappointed when I went back and she didn’t do it the second time.  I don’t know if it is the same as your towel technique, but it was very effective.

Susan

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Shama
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May 22, 2016 - 3:11 am
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Who would expect that ear massage can feel so good – but actually this is a very typical reaction. It also helps that it is so easy to do without any effort. However hardly any therapists work on the ears. I guess mostly because they don’t know how.

I use the towel for traction, but also for several neck stretches and manipulations. You will find out soon! Smile

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 3:51 am
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Shama,

You’re right.  I hadn’t thought about it before, but most of the massages I have had either had no or very little ear massage.  When I was in my first massage therapy training to get my license, we were shown something like your scissors movement, but that was really about all for the ears.  I enjoy the ear massage too.

When  you say, I will find out – do you send us more info/videos after we complete the course or should I keep checking back on the forum to see if you add anything?

Also, I just looked back at the requirements and see that I was not supposed to wait to write up these modules.  I did it because I thought I would be able to give better feedback if I had more practice, then I really did not get to practice as much as I thought I would because I was working 2 jobs.  I think this course has been really helpful and will add so much to my massages, whether it is the Heavenly Head Massage alone or incorporated into my full body massage.  

Susan

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 6:06 am
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Module 10:  Head (1)

I have always enjoyed a head massage and find that most therapists I have seen do little work on the head.  It seems like they mostly want to work on the back.

My husband enjoyed the friction better than the rubbing technique.  Almost immediately, he said that it was great and very relaxing.  He liked most of the other techniques, especially the stronger ones like the shampoo and rapid fingertip rub.  He did not particularly care for the light jumping.

Shama,  What do you do when someone comes in with dirty hair?  We had a student in one of my classes who always had dirty hair and no one wanted to work on him.  It will be difficult to work on someone with horrible hygiene because as you said the “energy” is important.  If I am concentrating on how “grossed out” I am, it could transfer to the client.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 6:15 am
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Module 11:  Head (2)

Again, my husband enjoyed the stronger techniques for the head.  When I did the hair pulling with circles, he asked if I was trying to make him mad.  Needless to say, he did not like that at all.  I have discovered that some people are going to like some things that others won’t like at all.  I, personally, like the hair pulling.

I did vary the techniques from light to strong.  Since he did not care for the light ones, is it ever OK to just do the strong ones?

Shama, You said that the sequence is not important in how you do the head techniques, how about the whole HHM?  Since I am much more comfortable with the face, head and ears, would it be OK to start with those and then move to the neck, sternum and shoulder?  Of have you found that the order of the videos is the order the HHM should be done? 

Susan

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 9:16 am
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Module 12:  Face (1)

My husband enjoyed the face massage.  He liked the beginning with the slight hold on the 3rd eye.  I had to keep reminding myself during the massage to anchor my hands on the side of his face when that was needed.  I would realize when it became uncomfortable that I was not doing that.  He really enjoyed the forehead fan pattern and said he felt it would really help with headaches.  He also liked the double thumb stroke on the forehead.  The circle around the eyes was not his favorite and might have been in the way i was doing it – another something I need more practice on.

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Susan McIntyre
South Carolina, USA
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May 22, 2016 - 9:25 am
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Module 13:  Face (2)

 

For the temples movement, my partner liked the circle with the heel of the hands better than the circle with the fingers.  He did not like the sinus stroke – said it was uncomfortable.  He liked the other moves, mostly the chin and jawline outstroke, then below jawline and circles below jawline; however, it was uncomfortable for my fingers and hands because of his slight beard.  

Shama, any suggestions for clients like that?  Also, what about women and makeup?  Do you have them remove it or feel like you are smearing their makeup?  D you use jojoba oil on the face if the face is dry?

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