Swedish Neck and Face Massage- Relax and Prevent BurnoutSean Russell
After we have completed the back of the body from our previous post:
Swedish Back Massage
We will turn our partner over to deal with the head, neck, chest, arms and legs. Lets move on to the head and neck:
The most natural order in which to massage the different parts of the head is first to do the face, starting at the top of the forehead and working systematically down to the chin; then to the ears; the neck; and finally the scalp.
1. Before anything else hold my palms lightly against the person’s forehead for a few moments. Cover the forehead with the heels of your hands, letting the fingers extend down the temples. Apply no pressure. Pause as long as seems right and comfortable to you: a few seconds, half a minute, whatever. Centre yourself. Let the person grow accustomed to your touch.
2. Now begin massaging the person’s forehead with the balls of your thumbs. First mentally divide the forehead into horizontal strips about a half an inch wide. Then, starting with your thumbs at the centre of the forehead just below the hairline, glide both thumbs at once in either direction outwards along the topmost strip. Press moderately: use about the pressure it takes to stick a stamp on an envelope. Continue all the way to the temples, a surprisingly sensitive place, and end there by moving your thumbs in a single circle about half an inch wide. Immediately pick up your thumbs, return them to the centre of the forehead, and begin the next strip down, again moving your thumbs from the centre outwards. Then, working progressively downwards, do each of the others in turn, ending with a strip running just above the person’s eyebrows. Remember to conclude each strip with another small circle on the temples – a nourish not strictly necessary, but the person will feel it’s very ‘right’.
3. The next stroke is for the rim of the eye sockets. With the tips of both forefingers press first against the boney rims of the two eye sockets right where they connect with the nose. Press quite hard for about one full second. Then lift your forefingers, move them about a third of an inch along the upper half of each rim, and press again. Pressing in this fashion is good for the sinuses, and in this particular spot it also feels better to most people than a rubbing movement. Continue in this fashion, moving about a third of an inch each time you press, until you have reached the outermost point of each eye socket (i.e., the point farthest from the nose). Then return to the point nearest the nose and begin again, this time working the length of the lower half of the rim.
4. Now the eyes themselves. Did you remember to make sure before starting that the person was not wearing contact lenses? If not, ask about them now. Lightly run the balls of your thumbs straight across the person’s closed eyelids. Start right beside the nose and move outwards. Go very slowly and use a minimum of pressure, just enough that you can feel the eyeball move ever so slightly as your thumb passes over it. Do this three times, moving your thumbs in the same direction and lifting to return them to the starting point each time.
5. Now place the tips of the forefinger and middle finger on each hand just to either side of the nose, and just below the point on the rim of the eye socket where you started the last stroke. Pressing firmly, draw the tips of these fingers in a path around the lower edges of the cheekbones, across the cheeks in the direction of the ears and then back up to the temples for a final circle. The lower edges of the cheekbones, in case you aren’t sure of your geography at this point, lie roughly on a line with the bottom of the nose. If you press firmly and pay attention to the feel of the stroke, however, your fingers will have no difficulty in finding the right place to go. Do this stroke at least twice. The second time you might want to linger a while on the edges of the cheekbones immediately below and to the sides of the nose, working the muscles beneath by making tiny circles with your fingertips. Let each fingertip move in a circle a quarter of an inch wide or smaller, pressing hard without lifting. Dig in. Don’t hurry. This minute area is a focal point for tension in the face, and a little extra work here goes a long way.
6. Finish the lower half of the face with a series of horizontal strokes like those you did on the forehead. First use the forefinger and the middle fingers of both hands. Place the tips of these fingers at the centre of the face between the nose and the mouth. Stroke outwards on to the cheeks and then up to the temples, ending with the usual circle. Next do a series of three strokes in the same way between the mouth and the tip of the chin. Start each time at the centre and end on the temples. Then lightly grasp the tip of the chin between the tips of the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Follow the edges of the jaw until you have almost reached the ears, and then glide the forefingers (and the middle fingers, too, if you wish) into a last small circle on the temples.If the person has a beard, simply go firmly right over it using the same strokes. This completes the face. Now slide your fingers gently to the ears.
7. Ears seem to me one of the most intriguing parts of the body. Here are a lot of ways to work on them. Use all or any part of this according to your own judgment. For your first trial it is suggested that you do just one ear at a time. Soon, however, you will find yourself able to do both at once without difficulty. First run the tips of your fingers several times up and down the back of the ear where it connects with the rest of the head. Move gently and smoothly. Follow this by gently running the length of your forefinger several times back and forth in the ‘V’ formed by the topmost part of the ear and the skull directly adjacent. Then lightly pinch the outer edge of the ear and the ear lobe between the thumb and forefinger. Start at the lobe right next to the skull and work around, moving your thumb and forefinger about a third of an inch between pinches. Next, with the tip of the forefinger lightly trace the natural hollows of the inside of the ear. Work from the circumference towards the center. Stop just short of actually closing off the ear channel. If so far you have been doing just one ear, now do the same steps on the other. Finally, for the coup de grace, tell the person to listen to the sound inside his head. And then, moving with extreme slowness and gentleness, close both his ear channels with the tips of your forefingers. (Be sure to close both sides at once: nothing will happen if one ear is closed alone.) Keep them closed for about fifteen to thirty seconds. Although some people don’t care for this many enjoy a brief but pleasant journey.
8. This next stroke will feel both odd and awkward as you do it. It is perfectly safe, however, and to the person will feel extremely good.Lightly cover the person’s face with both palms, heels of the hands on the forehead and fingertips near the chin. Let your hands rest in place a moment; then slide them gently down, going over and past the ears, until the little fingers of both hands are against the table. Next begin pressing with both hands as if you were trying to push them together. Make sure your hands are below and in no way pressing on the ears. Crouch slightly and hold your elbows straight out to the side in order to get as much leverage as possible. Start with a gentle pressure and gradually increase it until (unless you are a person of unusual strength) you reach a point at which you are pressing as hard as you can. Then decrease the pressure just as gradually. After you have released the pressure, hold your hands in place a few seconds more before going on to the next stroke. Time now to move to the neck.
9. Bring both hands palms up under the person’s neck. Then, curving your fingers a little, rapidly drum with the fingertips against the neck. Keep the backs of your hands on the table. Press fairly hard, as if playing a piano. Work up and down the neck, and as far onto the back itself (it won’t be very far) in the immediate area of the spine as you can comfortably reach.
10. Next put your hands under the back of the person’s head and gently lift it a little. Then turn it slowly to the left until it rests easily in your left hand. If you sense that the person is resisting you, or that he is trying to ‘help’, ask him to relax his head as if he were letting it drop to the table. If after this he still has trouble letting go his head, you may be able to help by gently raising and lowering the head a few more times. Now slowly rotate the heel of your right hand against the top of the person’s shoulder while bringing your fingers down the side of the shoulder, under the shoulder, and on to the back. Keep your fingers moving across the top of the back towards the spine; and then, just before reaching the spine, on to the back of the neck. Continue up the back of the neck until your fingertips near the person’s hairline. Then turn your hand about ninety degrees so that your fingers are pointing more upwards (i.e., so that they are perpendicular to the neck itself) and, pressing more lightly, come back down the side of the neck. Then, moving from the base of the neck, cross the topmost part of the chest straight to the shoulder. From there you can go right into the same stroke again without stopping. Repeat three or four times. The next two strokes are also done with the head tilted to the side. It is prefer to do all three on one side before turning the head and repeating them on the other.
11. With the head still tilted to the left, move the fingers of the right hand in slow circles about an inch wide against the back of the neck. Press firmly. Work up the back of the neck to the hairline. Then, pressing more gently, do circles down the side of the neck, working all the way from just below the ear to the collar-bone. Repeat.
12. Holding the person’s head still turned to the left, find the boney horizontal ridge where the neck meets the back of the skull with the fingertips of your right hand.Now move your fingertips in tiny circles just below this ridge. Press firmly. You will feel a sort of furrow stretching horizontally across the neck; follow this furrow with your fingertips.Check in with the person if you have trouble locating the right place. This is a nice stroke, and he will know at once when you have found the spot.
13. End your work on the neck by lifting the person’s head as far forward as it will go. Use both hands. Move very slowly. You will feel resistance either soon before or soon after his chin has touched his chest. Stop for a moment when you have reached this point. Then gently nudge his head about an inch farther forwards. Bring the head back to the same point, and then push forwards once or twice again. If a gentle push isn’t enough, then don’t push at all. Again move slowly as you bring the head back down.
14. All that’s left now is the scalp. Again lift the head and turn it to the left. Making your right hand into the shape of a claw, work the scalp on the right side of the head with your fingertips. Press hard, moving your hand in tiny circles. Try to press hard enough that you are moving the skin itself over the bone rather than simply sliding your fingertips back and forth across the surface of the skin. Work systematically (for example, in several wide rows up and down the head) so that you cover the entire right side of the scalp. Repeat on the other side.
Stay with us as we will continue of to the arms, legs, chest ect.
Don’t forget to read up FIRST on the Back Massage portion of this!