Massage To Beat Stress
Self Massage And Tension Release:
It isn't always necessary to visit a therapist or rely on someone else for a stress-busting massage. There are many massage techniques that can be appleid to oneself that are both effecting and relaxing. A good place to massage yourself is in the bath, when your body is warm and the muscles more pliant and receptive.
Feet: Heading from the toes towards the ankles, keep your thumb on the top side of your foot, and have your fingers underneath. Gently draw your fingers up and down the underside of the foot rhythmically (your thumb should be doing the same on the front of the foot), and finish by paying individual attention to each of the toes. Try this sitting with your legs crossed for easy access.
Hands: Fingers are full of nerve endings, so they are particularly sensitive to massage. You may find it helpful to soak them in warm water first before applying oils and beginning to massage. Using stroking movements with your thumb on the palm of your hand at your wrist you can use your other fingers over the top to stroke from your wrist all the way upto the ends of each individual finger. Squeeze each finger and use circular motions over the joints. Do this several times, and swap hands.
Head: This head massage is a great way to relieve stress and tension.
1. Using both hands, one on either side of your face, drag the tips of your middle three fingers down your jawline from the temples. Brace with thumbs under the jaw.
2. Using thumb and forefinger, squeeze your eyebrows, starting at your nose, moving out towards the temples.
3. Place the fingertips and thumb of each hand on either side of your head behind your ears. Aim to move the skin in small circles across the bone of your scalp, massage the entire scalp.
4. Grasp handfuls of hair near the roots, and tighten your grasp, pulling gently on the roots. Move the handfuls until the whole scalp has been pulled.
Shoulders And Neck: This is a good way to release tension and also help to reduce a headache. Begin in a sitting position with your head held straight. Take your hands upto your neck and from the base to the hairline use firm stroking or gliding movements one after the other. Create circular pressure movements with the tips of your fingers on either side of your spine up your neck and around your hairline. You can adjust the firmness accordingly.
Lower Arms: Either as part of a hand massage or separately, use upward strokes from wrist to elbow, adjusting firmness as necessary. Hold your arm between your fingers to apply pressure to aches.
Legs: A leg massage can soothe aches and pains caused by standing too long or act as a pain reliever for over-exercised muscles. Sit on your bed or floor with one knee up and use both hands to cup your leg. Stroke the whole leg from ankle to thigh by moving your cupped hands up and along. Using the pummel movement, pummel the tops and outsides of your thighs to help to bring blood to the surface and release stiffness. Use the kneading movement to ease tension from the calves, and finish by using stroking movements fron ankle to knee, one after the other.
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