After a shower or a bath, massaging your body and pampering yourself with lotions and oils is relaxing, keeps your skin in good condition and boosts self-esteem.
- Effluerage – from the French word “effleurer” meaning “to skim over” - is an oiling stroke and is used to get to know and feel the body.
This is the first stroke of a massage and is used to spread the oil as well as to make contact and explore the body for tense areas.
Start with hands flat on the back, fingers pointed towards each other and relaxed. Slowly glide up the body, feeling for knots or tension.
Allow your fingers to spread as you sweep around the shoulder blades. Return gradually, trailing off with the finger-tips.
Keep the strokes light, soft and gentle.
Pressure should be increased with the strokes toward the heart and decreased with strokes pulling away from the heart.
This technique is also relaxing. It affects the nerves beneath the skin and helps return the blood flow to the heart.
- thumb kneading and squeezing - as if gently kneading dough.
Grasp the flesh, pushing your thumbs in and away from you and use your fingers to roll your flesh back towards you – like kneading dough.
Move your hands alternately with a squeezing, rolling, lifting action.
Each movement should be slow and careful.
Kneading relaxes hard muscles and improves circulation.
Good massage stroke to use on legs!
Use an essential oil massage blend for extra relaxation effect and a divine smell that lingers on after the massage!
- Thumb Rolling
– involves using the thumbs to apply specific pressure to an area.
Place your thumbs one above the other on the body. Using short strokes, bring the top thumb back behind the other, pressing into the flesh so that they follow each other in an upward movement.
Press down using the pad of the thumb, circling slowly on a spot for penetration.
When using the fingers and pads of the thumbs, you can work in tense areas close to the bone - for example, under the skull, along the spine, over the sacrum and around the elbows, ankles and knees.
– a quick light tapping or vibrating movement using the fingertips.
This movement is particularly good in areas where the flesh fits tightly over the bone, such as the scalp, forehead and upper chest.
Keep your wrists loose, elbows at right angles and tap your fingertips quickly and rhythmically over the area.
When working on the scalp, start at the front of the head and move over the back and then down the sides of the head to the neck.
This is good for loosening and relaxing specific muscles.
One could say that tapping wakes up the nerves under the skin, getting them alert and ready for something to happen.
– a light quick movement using alternative hands and loose wrists.
Make cups with your hands and drum lightly on the body.
Very good to clear congested lungs of excess mucous.
– a light, quick movement using the sides of the hands, fingers relaxed and wrists loose..
Hacking has great benefits general circulation.
– like beating with “cats paws” – using a very loose fist.
You can use either a full fist or the side of the fist or the back of the fingers for this massage stroke.
Use this technique to break down tension in the shoulders and arms, buttocks and thighs.
Make loose fists and, keeping your elbows and wrists relaxed, drum quickly over the flesh. Let your hand spring away as it touches the skin. Use one hand on the arms, shoulders and neck and both hands on the lower body.
- a great massage technique for boosting circulation on the thighs and calves.
Place your hands on the skin, fingers pointing away from you. Press with thumbs and fingers and scoop up the flesh, squeeze gently but firmly and slowly release.