CST I class (successfully completed!)

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Gaspen
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CST I class (successfully completed!)

Post by Gaspen » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:44 pm

From Thursday to Sunday ( June 5 - 8 ), I took the CS I class in Chicago. How was it? Was there a lot of information? Was I able to 'feel' what I was supposed to feel? Hmmmm. Good questions.

How was it?
On a number of different levels, I think the class was excellent. For example, I've learned what it takes to actually have a 'light' touch.

Was there a lot of information?
Oh, yeah! But the way the information was presented, it didn't feel like overload (until around 2:00p on Saturday during a 10-step video, but I walked around a bit, came back, and it was all good - don't worry, it was during lunch). It all seemed to be very coherent. Plus, the study book and the various handouts came in very handy.

Was I able to 'feel' what I was supposed to feel?
At first, the only pulses I could feel were the ones at the heels and feet. Some of the stances and hand positions are not all that biomechanic-friendly. You really have to be silent and accepting and not try to dictate what's going on in the client's body. It was all very fascinating. Fortunately, but the end of the class with the final exchange of the 10-step, I was able to feel all the pulses (not necessarily strong in all), apply the protocols. The only thing I kept haviing problems with was the cranial pump.

Would I recommend taking the course?
Definitely. The work is very relaxing to receive. Although you need to do as many 10-steps as you can, once you get comfortable feeling the pulse, you have techniques that can serve independently. Additionally, you also learn the importance of having a very light touch and learn to direct intent, plus you have to focus on your client and what's going on with him/her.

Anyway, it was a great class. I was all nervous about my seemingly huge degree of non-feeling on that first day that I was already thinking of how to pay for the CS I class refresher in December. Now, I'm planning on attending the CS II class next June.

Sorry this was such a long post (and I left A LOT out).
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Post by AngEngland » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:14 pm

That's awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the class and learned a lot. Thanks so much for sharing your impressions while they were fresh on your mind.

Angela <><

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Post by healingtime » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:35 pm

Hi Gaspen,

Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds awesome.
I've been interested in CranioSacral work for years, even though I'm a new student to massage therapy. Just today I was looking at the website and saw there is a significant discount for CS I if you're a student, and there's an upcoming class in my city. The next one won't be offered here for another year (when I will be out of school and probably even busier (hopefully) working.)

Do you think as a new MT student I'd be well enough equipped to jump into this training? I'm currently taking A & P again in school after having taken it 5 years ago in college. Also, I'm comfortable with the physical aspect of bodywork. Do you have any thoughts, since you've just been through it?

Strangely enough, just earlier tonight I ran to the library to pick up "Your Inner Physician" and I'm on page 50, haha. I just took a break from reading to come here! So a nice surprise to find your post!!

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Post by cstbrian » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:48 am

Gaspen,
Congratulations on completing the class. It sounds like you did great and got a lot out of it which you can put right into practice. I'm so excited you decided to sign up for CSTII. It's still an info packed class, but is nothing like the amount of info in CSTI. And being next June, you'll have plenty of time to practice and refine your palpation skills. Do you have a study group in the area? Or perhaps a more advanced therapist that might be willing to mentor? That's what helped me the most in the beginning.

Remember that if you have any questions as you begin to practice, I'm here!

Again, Congratulations and welcome to the world of CranioSacral Therapy!
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by Gaspen » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:49 am

healingtime,
If you're comfortable in school (ie, workload, homework, hands-on, etc.), if you're comfortable with the bony landmarks (they'll also send you a number of emails, one of which will contain the terms and words used in the class - go over them all and do a little studying - but everything is explained in class).

The only reason I would not take it while in MT school is the overload factor. You're learning A LOT of stuff already. I would hate for you to bite off too much.

Hope that helps.

***

Brian,

Thanks. It was totally awesome. I find myself going through the 10-steps in quiet moments (I've even dreamt of performing a session). As for a mentor, I know of two therapists: one who has been doing it for a number of years and one who has just finished CST II (this weekend) - they're both co-workers but at a different location from mine. And of course, I've got you :D .

Thanks, Brian.
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Post by cstbrian » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:53 am

healingtime wrote:Just today I was looking at the website and saw there is a significant discount for CS I if you're a student, and there's an upcoming class in my city. The next one won't be offered here for another year (when I will be out of school and probably even busier (hopefully) working.)
Just want to let you know that if your school is part of 'Team Upledger' you can lock in the special student price by placing a deposit on the class anytime within six months of graduation. Then, you can take the class anytime you want: one year, two years, even five years later at the discounted price.
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:06 pm

Congratulations, Gaspen!
Sharon

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Post by healingtime » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:18 pm

Haha, wow are my tendencies coming out here already? Bite off too much......what? Except for I'm like a learning cookie monster, and sometimes I do tend to get a cookie a bit big for my size. I gobble it all up, haha, but I share, promise! That's part of what is so exciting about massage. The endless learning along with being able to share it with others so directly and in a way that could benefit them. Woohoo. It's like living in a cookie jar or something (but with oxygen.)

We had our first exam today, and was very pleased with the results (it was graded already.) So that gives me a little bit of a guide for choosing about taking on more too. I don't really have a lot of dough-I'm eating it all up right now, just with school (no pun intended, of course) though so I'm really weighing the pros/cons of taking this class from a financial standpoint right now. I could go on and on about my pro/con list, but I think I've hijacked your thread enough already!! Sorry!

So, Brian, I will check to see if my school is part of Team Upledger. I haven't heard that term used anywhere yet when we discussed CEU's, but maybe there's a chance it's not advertised. It would be awesome if we were on the team. Thanks for sharing the info!

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Post by Pandoras_Gift » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:01 pm

I will be taking a class in Feb 2009, they want you to read the 2 books before class as a pre-requisite. Is is really necessary?

I took a 6 hour intro class at the AMTA conference... and definitely got interested in continuing...
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Post by NC_kneader » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:44 pm

Congratulations, Gaspen!

healingtime, my suggestion would to be lock in the student rate and wait. I don't know if you are in a massage school or community college program, but either way, you have a ton of information to learn before you take your boards.

CST was part of the second year of our program, and it was the only modality that frustrated me so much it brought me to tears -- and I don't cry easily.

Our teacher was very good, a CST practitioner, and so sensitive that she could feel her own rhythms at any time. I really wanted to know this modality, but I just couldn't get the feel of it. At the end of the module we were going around talking about our experience and everyone was saying, "Yeah this is so cool" and when it came to me, my voice cracked as I said, "I can't feel anything --but I really want to."

Trust me, you have plenty for the info-cookie monster in you to gobble up; let this juicy morsel be your reward for earning your license.

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Post by Gaspen » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:25 pm

Pandoras_Gift, while I'm not a total contral freak (not that that's a necessarily bad thing - hehe), I do want to get as much information as I can on anything I do. Definitely read through Inner Physician and You. I'd also go ahead and read the textbook. That way, you're at least partially armed with a load full of information. The first three chapters were a breeze. The other three, although not as tedious as I lead to believe, is very doable (especially if you go through them a couple of times).

On the flipside, the instructor I had was excellent. Although there's a lot 'stuff', he presented it in such a way that even I could grasp it.

NC_kneader, how long was the class you took? The only thing I felt on the first day were the pulses at the ankle, dorsal of the feet, the shoulder. And a whole lot frustration. I've wanted to take the CST class for more than a year and I really want to perform this modality. But by the end of the day, I thought "Oh, nooooo. I won't able to do this!"

PG, have a great class and let us know you've done. (BTW - Brian is a great resource - but keep that secret, I'm sure he has a life other than answering questions re: CST.) 8)
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Post by cstbrian » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:55 am

healingtime wrote:So, Brian, I will check to see if my school is part of Team Upledger. I haven't heard that term used anywhere yet when we discussed CEU's, but maybe there's a chance it's not advertised. It would be awesome if we were on the team. Thanks for sharing the info!

I posted the Team Upledger link in my previous post. You can check there to see if your school is a member. If not, you should pass on the info. There are great benefits to both students and the school. It's a win-win!
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by cstbrian » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:02 am

Pandoras_Gift wrote:I will be taking a class in Feb 2009, they want you to read the 2 books before class as a pre-requisite. Is is really necessary?

I took a 6 hour intro class at the AMTA conference... and definitely got interested in continuing...
Is it really necessary? No.
Will it help you to understand the material much better? Yes.

There are some references made to the books during class that aren't covered in detail. But there is a lot of the book material that is covered thoroughly. The way I look at it is: You are spending quite a bit of money to take this class and you want to get as much out of it as possible. By reading the books prior to class you will have a much deeper understanding of the material when presented in class because it will not be 100% new to you.

As Gaspen said earlier, there is a lot of info presented in CSTI and it can move pretty fast. Any info you can learn before the class will help you to more easily digest the material in class.

If you really want to get the most out of this class, I highly suggest the reading.
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by cstbrian » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:09 am

NC_kneader wrote: CST was part of the second year of our program, and it was the only modality that frustrated me so much it brought me to tears -- and I don't cry easily.

Our teacher was very good, a CST practitioner, and so sensitive that she could feel her own rhythms at any time. I really wanted to know this modality, but I just couldn't get the feel of it. At the end of the module we were going around talking about our experience and everyone was saying, "Yeah this is so cool" and when it came to me, my voice cracked as I said, "I can't feel anything --but I really want to."

I'm curious how much time you spent on this in class. I would love to teach a module at the massage school I graduated from, but they are not too keen on taking 32 hours of time to do that. What evaluations/techniques were taught?

Also, don't worry about not feeling anything. Many people go through CSTI and don't feel the craniosacral rhythm (CSR). There are many reasons for this (which I won't go into now unless people want me to). Have you tried any CST since that experience?

I can also feel my own CSR any time I want to by shifting my attention. It's not so much a matter of being sensitive as it is knowing what the CSR feels like and having a CSR that is fairly unrestricted. The more experienced the practitioner and the more work he/she receives, the easier it is to feel the CSR on self and others. It's just like feeling for the respiratory or cardiac rhythms anywhere on the body. It just takes practice.
Brian

"Life isn't about finding yourself ... life is about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by Blisss » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:42 am

cstbrian wrote:I'm curious how much time you spent on this in class. I would love to teach a module at the massage school I graduated from, but they are not too keen on taking 32 hours of time to do that.
Brian, you might want to consider teaching a short overview class, just 8 hours. Upledger does this occasionally themselves. The intention isn't to teach students thoroughly enough to practice CST. Rather, it would simply introduce them to the technique, and those interested could pursue further training independently. This was the approach my school took. At the end of our training program, we has a series of one-day introductory classes to a variety of specialties: CST, LDT, Orthobionomy, AIS, Shiatsu, etc. We loved getting exposed to the wide array of bodywork styles that exist.

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Post by healingtime » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:01 am

NC_kneader, I am at an actual massage school. My program is 10-11 months in length (depending on when you complete all of your required clinics.) and 750 hours. My teacher for Swedish said she's going to have someone who does CranioSacral come in to talk to us sometime soon, but we aren't covering it as part of our curriculum. Did you go to school in the US? I guess if my program was 2 years they might cover more like CST. I will keep your advice in mind! Thank you!

Brian, thanks for including that link! I realized it was a link after I posted, and our school is part of the program. I'm wondering why no one has mentioned it at school at all! We've even discussed CEU's and options available to us. I'll have to let my classmates know about Team Upledger and also ask administration or my teachers about it.

I am on the last pages of "Your Inner Physician". I can't imagine not reading the books before the class, but I am a little hyper about learning, lol, so maybe that's not the route everyone is as excited to take? I ordered the other prereq. book for class. If I don't take the class now, I'll still read the book, which of course will drive me crazy if I'm not able to get some hands on instruction for another year! Also, I really want to get some practice in before getting out of school. It would give me a lot more practice client opportunities to work on if I did it while in school. But now I'm veering into my pro/con list and I swore I wouldn't divulge it all publicly!


So, Brian....yes, I would love to hear anything you'd like to share about the reasons why many people who go through CST I don't feel the CSR, whenever you have a chance or are up to it. I bet it would be great to take a CST class from you. I hope something can work out for you along those lines!

Thanks everyone for sharing!

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Post by Gaspen » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:54 pm

healingtime, if you like to read (hehe), have I got a book for you! It's called: Working Wonders - Changing Lives with CranioSacral Therapy. I've read it through twice already (kinda to make the year-long wait for CSTI class) and am thinking of going through it again, now that I've taken the class. It's a book filled with case studies from practioners. Have fun!

Working Wonders - Changing Lives with CranioSacral Therapy
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Post by cstbrian » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:39 am

Gaspen wrote:healingtime, if you like to read (hehe), have I got a book for you! It's called: Working Wonders - Changing Lives with CranioSacral Therapy. I've read it through twice already (kinda to make the year-long wait for CSTI class) and am thinking of going through it again, now that I've taken the class. It's a book filled with case studies from practioners. Have fun!

Working Wonders - Changing Lives with CranioSacral Therapy
$22.95
1-55643-605-X
Great Book! I recommend it to anyone (therapist or client) with any interest in CST. The case studies are great. One of my mentors and co-study group leaders is Sally Morgan. She has developed the CST small animal class. She has a few animal stories in the book.
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by healingtime » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:50 am

Gaspen and Brian, thanks for the great book recommendation and endorsement! I looked it up, and I think it will drive me totally mad to read it without being able to touch the hands-on training, haha. I really don't know if I'm going to be able to wait an entire year before I get my hands going on some CST training, lol. I'm trying to not register for it, but some kind of energy keeps pulling me toward it right now. I hope that doesn't sound too weird. Since I was a child I've received craniopathy/sacro-occipital technique work periodically throughout the years, and even though I know CST isn't exactly the same, it's in the realm. Like...I've always been aware of this mysterious CSF and wanted to know how it works and be able to effect it. Having received the work has had such remarkable effects for me, and I've always been drawn to it.

If I don't do it, I kinda feel like I'll be kicking myself for not going ahead and doing it while I'm in school and could get more practice. I know once I get out of school I'll be working a lot, whether I'm able to do massage full time our not, I'll have to be working full time between massage and whatever other job I might have to supplement it, at first.

Decisions decisions! Ack!

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Post by cstbrian » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:12 am

healingtime wrote:So, Brian....yes, I would love to hear anything you'd like to share about the reasons why many people who go through CST I don't feel the CSR, whenever you have a chance or are up to it.
These are observations based on my experiences as a teaching assistant for many CSTI classes. These are not the absolute 'end all, be all' reasons for not feeling the craniosacral rhythm (CSR).

* Tension/injury in the therapist's hands/forearms/arms. At first when starting to feel the CSR it feels very subtle (which it is, but over time with practice your hands perceive it as quite large). If there is any tension in the hands, forearms and arms or if there is any injury to these parts, the person's proprioceptive skills may not be very sharp. To feel the rhythm, one must be able to really relax the upper extremities and 'ride' the CSR like a leaf on water. Tension prevents this.

If the tension is from injury getting one's upper extremities worked on greatly help to remove restrictions and allow better proprioception.

This is just one of the reasons students work on each other so much in class. It not only helps one to give and receive the material to learn it, but it also helps clear restrictions in the student's body to be able to feel and practice CST with more ease.

* The student is trying way too hard. It's great that the student really wants to feel the CSR, but sometimes focusing too hard on feeling it prevents one from feeling it easily. One needs to be nice and relaxed and allow the CSR to come into one's perception.

* The student doubts feeling anything. He/she has felt the rhythm but thinks that it was him/herself moving his/her hands rather than it being the client's CSR. Or sometimes the student just isn't aware that it is the CSR he/she is feeling. He/she thinks it's some 'other' body rhythm.

* The client is extremely restricted and his/her CSR is very difficult for a new student to feel.

* The client's rhythm is off. In CSTI students learn about stillpoints and in CSTII students learn about the significance detector. Both are times when the CSR is off. They mean very different things. But a client may be in stillpoint when the therapist puts his/her hands on for evaluation. OR it is possible for the significance detector to come on as soon as the therapist puts his/her hands on the client. Again, in both cases the rhythm would be off and unable to evaluate.
In CSTII one learns to know the difference between stillpoint and significance detector and what to do with this information.


These are a few reasons why a CSTI student may not feel the CSR. I am sure there are others but these tend to be the main reasons. This is why we stress how important it is for students to actually use the TAs in the class and have them come over to the table and confirm what the student is feeling. We love being asked questions and help clarify information. It's a great opportunity for some one-on-one time with an experienced therapist. Once leaving class, this is hard to come by ... so use the TAs and ask lots of questions!!
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by pipgarden » Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:22 am

I'm a Massage Therapy student who is entering my last month of school in January. We had a brief workshop on CST and I was very interested. I was able to feel the movement on only one student, but it was unmistakable!

Since then I've had a session with a therapist, but was so relaxed I feel like part of me "shut off", so I didn't really remember exactly what all the therapist did. So another session is in order. :D

I have registered for the CST I class being held in the Tampa area June 25-29, 2009! I should be licensed by then so will be able to count the CEU hours, too!

I've gotten the recommended books and will check out the "Working Wonders" book, as well (thank you).

Any other tips for me? And thank you for the encouragement I find in this forum!!!!

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Post by cstbrian » Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:09 pm

pipgarden wrote: I've gotten the recommended books and will check out the "Working Wonders" book, as well (thank you).
Great book! The Inner Physician book is also good to read before CSTI. The brown book is sort of hard to read so just do your best to get the generl idea of each chapter. It makes MUCH more sense after the class.
pipgarden wrote: Any other tips for me? And thank you for the encouragement I find in this forum!!!!
What are some of the things you learned in the brief workshop you had?
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by Gaspen » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:09 pm

Congratulations with school. I second Brian's thoughts about the reading material. The "Wonders" book is great! I've read it couple times - both before I took the class in June (kinda inspirational). Good luck with CSTI, you'll have a great time.
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Post by spipkins » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:59 pm

cstbrian wrote:
pipgarden wrote: I've gotten the recommended books and will check out the "Working Wonders" book, as well (thank you).
Great book! The Inner Physician book is also good to read before CSTI. The brown book is sort of hard to read so just do your best to get the generl idea of each chapter. It makes MUCH more sense after the class.
pipgarden wrote: Any other tips for me? And thank you for the encouragement I find in this forum!!!!
What are some of the things you learned in the brief workshop you had?
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you on this before now. :oops: My instructor who did the Anatomy lectures had taken CST1 and had another class paid for but hadn't taken it yet. She loved it and used it in practice and told us some of the remarkable differences it had made in her clients - especially one boy with Cerebral Palsy! So she held a brief "workshop" (free and just open to anyone interested from class). She gave us background on how John Unledger "found" the CranioSacral system and a little bit on his studies. She gave us each a brief session and then we just tried hands on. I was able to feel the rythym on one woman (very compact and figure 8'ish), but then I guess I got excited and couldn't feel it anymore. :undecided: Then we had a little feedback session where we described what we had felt. She also recommended the 2 basic CST books.

I really am looking forward to my class in June. I am trying to focus right now on school (one more month!) and the licensing test. But then I want to "prepare" for my class. :D

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Post by cstbrian » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:00 am

spipkins wrote:I really am looking forward to my class in June. I am trying to focus right now on school (one more month!) and the licensing test. But then I want to "prepare" for my class. :D
Sounds like a good plan. Focus on finishing school right now. You will not need much time to prepare for CSTI. It's good if you can read a few of the books before you get there. But not absolutely necessary.

My biggest suggestion for people getting ready to take CSTI is to study the list of terms they send you so you are as comfortable as possible with the terms, anatomy and language that will be used in class. As I said in a previous post, there's a lot of info in CSTI and it can come at you fast. The more you are comfortable with the language and the anatomy the easier I find it is for students to really get it the first time around.

Hope that helps a little. I'm open for questions if you have any specific you would like to discuss.

Good luck with the rest of school!!! :D
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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