Massage London is proud to present our tip on neck massage.
Most people massage their friend’s neck while they sit in a chair. We suggest that they lay on the floor, face up. Position yourself by sitting on the floor, behind their head, facing their feet. It will be helpful to use a little bit of vegetable oil as a lubricant between your hands and their skin.
For optimum access to their neck, it will be helpful to have them remove their shirt and to place a towel or blanket over their chest for comfort and warmth.
Before we begin, it is important to note the areas that can be accidentally injured with too much pressure. The first is the front of the throat. DON’T ever (without professional training) massage the front of the neck and throat area. Also, note the white dots on the photo above. These dots indicate the approximate location of the bones in the neck. These bones, or “processes”, point directly out of the sides and out of the back of the neck. Don’t push on these bones with pressure thinking that they are just stubborn spasms.
Begin the massage with gentle pulling motions, alternating hands, squeezing the neck between your thumb and fingers. The pressure should be placed between the white dots shown above.
Use your fingertips alternately, making circles along both sides of the spine. As you approach the head, gently lift the neck and head with the fingertips, allowing gravity to slowly glide your fingers along the base of the skull. Use alternating hands to push on the shoulders, while using the other hand to support the head. Begin probing, gently, with your thumb between the white dots.
Use your fingers and thumbs to find tight muscles. These will feel like thick spots or bands of tension. Apply pressure, gently but firmly, to these tight areas and slowly work them out. Always stay in contact with your friend and see if your pressure is too much or too little. Carefully glide your fingers along the sides of the spine until you are at the base of the skull and balance the head on your finger tips. If your hands aren’t used to this kind of weight, don’t be surprised of this causes your fingers to lockup and cramp. After their head seems to melt under its own weight into your fingertips, gently make small circles in these muscles.
After you have sufficiently worked the neck areas, begin soft, circular strokes in the temple area. While most believe that the “temples” only consist of the area next to the ear (centre photo above), the temporalis muscle actually extends in a teardrop pattern beginning at this area and extending back at least four inches along the sides of the head.
Close the massage with gentle strokes with the thumbs across the forehead, eyebrows, cheeks and chin. Don’t forget to give the ears a little rub with a gentle pulling.
Option for side work…
You can also try working on your friend’s neck while they lay on their side. It is important that they have pillows to bolster their legs and head. Try pulling down on the shoulder, alternating hands and pulling down on the muscles along the neck’s sides. You can also do thumb work from this position and achieve excellent results because of the advantage of leverage.
I wish you well as you learn to massage. Using your hands to help others can bring incredible satisfaction. Good luck and practice often.