No one would be faster in agreeing that a massage given to you by someone else is a magical thing.
The power of touch is so soothing and healing. It is also the best way to work out knotted muscles and built-up tension.
There was one time, however, when my sweet husband gave me an appointment to have my hair done at an exclusive salon, as well indulge in a massage. When I opened the gift card, visions of a beautiful, relaxing and revitalizing experience filled my mind. That really wasn't what I got.
Rather, when the anticipated day came and I arrived at the magnificent salon, to my dismay I found that they had scheduled the hair appointment first!! This was a very high-end, expensive salon mind you. You really don't have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer to figure out what is going to happen.
And in spite of my protests, they insisted that it had been booked that way. So after I had a lovely hair-do, they took me in and laid me on a massage table and proceeded to stroke my head and face with massage oil. Really?! I seriously wasn't relaxed! And I ended up leaving there with oily, uncombed hair and very strong emotions.
It may be easier to find relaxation in a friendly, familiar environment, performed by a friend or spouse.
Sometimes, however, there is no one around to perform this service, but it is still possible to achieve relaxation and relieve stress by performing a self massage.
Being able to perform self massage is a fabulous thing to do. It can relax you, motivate you, stimulate you, relieve stress, pain and fatigue or get you ready to sleep by harmonizing your nervous system and making you feel just plain good.
You are probably already a self massager and may not even know it. People who rub their neck and shoulders or the temples of their foreheads, are actually employing the healing method of self massage.
If you are in good health, using this technique regularly can help prevent sickness. If you are sick, self massage can start or sustain the healing process.
As with every other natural healing technique, self massage can be combined with other healing techniques to enhance and improve their effectiveness.
If you perform it slowly and thoughtfully, it will relax and de-stress you, as well as improving your circulation and reducing edema (swelling). Adding music that relaxes you can also be very effective.
If you need to wake up or revitalize yourself, then perform it quickly with energetic music when possible. This will help reduce fatigue as well as increase your energy.
You can even add massage oil if you are somewhere that it is possible. While the aroma of massage oil can definitely relax or invigorate your mood, it is not necessary for making your massage effective.
Although, even just smelling an essential oil can help de-stress or revitalize.
Techniques to use with a self massage.
If you ever made bread or even played with play doh and squeezed and molded the dough, that is the same thing you want to do with your muscles. This works well on your shoulders and back, or your calf or arm muscles.
In this case, if you are at home and can use massage oil for a lubricant it works even better. More about massage oil on our page all about Homemade Massage Oil.
Rub your muscles in small circular motions with your hands or fingers to stimulate your circulation and to release tension. This works great on your fingers and hands, on your feet and toes, and on your face - and on your neck. Okay, so it works great everywhere. You can also use a little knobby massager for this motion on larger skin surfaces.
We could also call this slapping or knocking, drumming your fingers, or any rhythmic motion. This motion stimulates your blood circulation and draws away stress, relaxing your muscles. This works well on the inside of your wrists, your face, and it is great on your lymphatic areas. Stimulating your lymph by light slapping or brushing with a dry, natural bristle brush, stimulate lymph movement - promoting health.
Hacking gives somewhat the same results as patting. Hacking is performed with loosely spread fingers. After striking the skin the fingers cascade together but only the side of the little finger and the tips of the third and fourth fingers actually touch the skin.
The result is a light, invigorating touch - performed rapidly and in a rhythmic alternating fashion. Avoid a chopping action where the side of the hand rather than the fingers land heavily on the skin.
To end your massage always use slow, outward, relaxing strokes. It just finishes a self massage off right. Remember to stroke toward your heart, especially in your legs as it helps the veins push blood up the leg.
Release tension at work by using self massage on your shoulders.
Viola! You have finished the self-massage of your shoulders. That should help.
Insomnia Shiatsu-Self Massage
There are three parts to this exercise.
(Note: In Chinese Acupuncture, the width of all four of your fingers held tightly together, is called "three human inches" and is the exact distance needed regardless of your size - whether a baby or a large man. So if you are doing this on a baby measure up the leg the width of the four fingers of the baby.)
The point will often be tender or sore. Do this using your right hand to find it on your left leg. Press it for 15-30 seconds. Now do the same thing on your right leg. (Don't use this point if you are pregnant.
Good Job! Now place a drop of lavender essential oil which you have diluted in a carrier oil, on your pillow. Now lay down and breath deeply - place your hand on your abdomen, breath slowly through your nose, exhale, feel your abdomen go up and down. Zzzzzzzz
“For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid" -Hippocrates
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