Muscles Stress

How To Massage To Release Muscle Tension And Ease Aches.

Ideally, try to have a massage at-least once a week- you can either perform it yourself or get a friend, partner or a professional masseur to do it for you. The only equipment you need is a couple of towels for cushioning and to cover any areas of the body not being massaged and some massage oil. The best time for a massage is 2-3 hours after a meal. Make sure the room is nice and warm, then put on some soft music and you are ready to begin.


Massage strokes

Before making contact with the skin, remove your watch or any jewelery that might get in the way. Make sure your fingernails won’t snag too. Always pour a little massage oil into your palms first and warm it up by rubbing your hands together. Two main types of massage contact are: friction and contact.

Friction- Rub the palms of your hands across the surface of the skin- either in straight lines or circular movements- to invigorate the muscles and promote blood flow.

Pressure- Use your thumbs or fingertips to work the deep into the tissue and feel for any knotted or sore spots.

Self- massage

This can be a great way to relieve aches and pains as and when they occur. The neck massage in particular is very effective for improving blood flow to the brain. The best time to massage yourself is an hour before a bath, perhaps at the weekend when you’re probably relaxed. Set aside about 15 minute for the massage. Alternatively, you can do it while you’re actually in the bath, using massage oil or even shower gel as a lubricant and focus just on your neck and shoulders.

Put a towel on the floor and sit on it. The best oils to use are grape-seed oil, 30 drops lavender, 30 drops geranium and compressed sesame oil. Rub a teaspoon or so in your palms and proceed. You’ll need about 4 tablespoons of oil altogether. At the end of the massage, your skin should have acquired a soft texture without being greasy. Have a bath or shower an hour or two later.

1. Start by massaging the muscles in your neck, shoulders and as much as you can reach of your upper back. You’ll find several areas of tenderness in the neck. Massage these deeply using your thumbs and fingers.

2. Squeeze the fingers for 2-3 seconds and then release. If there are any knots or sore spots, try to disperse them by massaging deeply.

3. Then concentrate on your jaws for 2-3 minutes.

4. Move on to your shoulder joints and then rub your biceps and down to your wrists.

5. Use your thumbs to massage your palms and then entwine your fingers together and massage the areas between your fingers.

6. Then reach behind and massage what you can of your lower back, particularly your buttocks and move down to your thighs, calves and feet. Concentrate on your calves as a lot of tension in the form of lactic acid accumulate there. Squeeze your calves and massage down to your Achilles tendons and ankles.

7. Finally, use your thumbs to massage the soles of your feet and toes.

Partner Massages

Certain parts of the body, such as the back and neck are more easily reached by someone else, so team up with a friend or partner and take turns to treat each other to a massage. The best time to give or have a partner massage is just before bedtime as it induces sleep by reducing muscle fatigue and improving blood flow the brain. Have your partner lie on his or her front with a pillow or cushion under the chest so that the head and neck are suspended over it.

1. Massage the neck and shoulders area thoroughly. Using your thumbs on one side of the neck and your fingers on the other side, massage all the muscles up and down. Then squeeze the muscles and draw your thumbs and fingers close to the center.

2. Work the entire length of the muscles from the skull to the shoulder region. There will be a few areas of tenderness particularly on one side. Massage these areas deeply, even if it hurts a little, releasing the tension.

3. Move on to the shoulders, pressing the trapezius muscles on top of and between the shoulder blades to relieve all the spasms. Concentrate on this area fr about 5 minutes.

4. Now work on the jaws and temples where a lot of tension is retained. Massage the back of the base of the skull where the tendons of the neck are attached. These are often quite tender..

5. Use one or both thumbs to massage the long muscles in the back, which are located about 3-4 cm away from the spine. Start at the bottom of the spine and push right up to the top, repeating for 2-3 minutes.

6. With the help of your thumbs or fingers, massage along the sides of your back, working from the center of the spine outwards. From there, move on to the gluteal or buttock region and press deeply for a couple of minutes in a circular motion.

7. Still using the balls of your hands, massage the hamstrings at the back of the thighs. Start at the seat area then slide your hands down towards the ankles, increasing the pressure with each stroke. You’ll feel the tense muscles relaxing.

8. Work the calves and all the way to the ankles. Squeeze the muscles in the calves until they feel thoroughly relaxed. Finish by massaging the soles of your feet with your thumbs.

9. Ask the person receiving the massage to turn over. Then, using your thumb or fingers, work into the fleshy area on top of the pelvic bone for a couple of minutes.

10. To finish, press on the top of the thighs with the balls of your hand and slide down to the knee, increasing the pressure with each stroke. Any tension in the thigh muscles will start to dissipate.

Note that it is important to be gentle when dealing with sensitive tissues particularly in the neck so as to avoid causing any injury.

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