Neck and Shoulder Massage
and shoulder problems can afflict anyone. For example,
nowadays, with virtually everyone using a computer for long hours every
day, these problems can affect anyone and massage can help.
to be at one time that mailmen and athletes were the two major
professions that suffered neck and shoulder aches. Nowadays,
with virtually everyone using a computer for long hours every day, the
problem can affect anyone. Fortunately, a partial solution
can be provided with a few simple, easy to learn massage techniques.
To get the full benefit, it's desirable to seek out a professional massage
therapist. But in the meantime, or for those
smaller aches and pains, nearly anyone can adopt some of the methods
Have the recipient lie down on a mat or soft carpet. A
massage table is handy, but not usually among the standard items of
furniture in the average home. Have him or her take a few
deep breaths, exhaling well to try to relax the whole body.
It may help to place a rolled towel briefly under the body at the top
of the back, just below the base of the neck. This helps
stretch out muscles which are tensed, prior to working them.
Now, positioned above the person, cradle the head with one hand,
turning it slightly in one direction. Knead the chest muscles
first. These, paradoxically, are often one of the primary
culprits. If they're tight, they can cause the back muscles
to tense, pulling the neck muscles with them.
Then, work your way up, rubbing the trapezius muscle
at the top of the back, then onto the other muscles in the neck.
The trapezius is one large muscle group - the top portion for
part of the neck system, which fan out into large triangles on both
sides of the spine down to the shoulders.
Switch hands, turn the head slightly in the other direction, and repeat.
Making small circles using the tips of the fingers, work the other neck
muscles, then slide the fingers down the length of the muscle to the
middle of the back and up again.
Turn the recipient over and repeat the procedure in reverse, starting
with the base of the skull. Work down the trapezius pair,
then over to the chest muscles. Sometimes a pillow under the
chest will help create elevation that both stretches the neck and
provides room to work. Move the head side to side very gently
and stretch just ever so slightly.
Long, moderately firm, gliding strokes are ideal for this type of
massage. Be prepared to go slowly and cover a much wider area
than just the neck, since the source of the problem is often away from
the spine and base of the skull.
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