by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Things you should have:
*Nice Aromatherapy oil …preferably one of the calming massage blends.
*Massage oil blends , can be warmed on a massage oil warmer or 30 seconds in the microwave with the top off the bottle. This will not only diffuse the oil beautifully, but will feel incredible when rubbed into your subject’s body
* Two nice fluffy towels. One for the bed or floor or massage table and one to give your subject if they would like to be semi-covered during the massage.
* Choose some wonderfully soothing music to help your subject relax during the massage.
*You are now ready to give your relaxing, therapeutic massage…
AT THE START:
Begin by having your subject lie on their stomach on the floor or bed (if they are on a bed, have their head at the END of the bed), or massage table.
Drop about a quarter’s worth of oil into the palm of your hands. Rub your palms together. Starting at the top of the trapezius (the base of the neck, or top of shoulders) place your palms on them and just keep them their for several moments….feel how the subject’s body will adjust to your touch.
As you wait with your palms on the trapezius, feel how their body begins to relax in your hands with each breathe.
Slowly slide your palms down either side of their spine, slowly spreading the healing oil into their skin. Disperse the oil over their back and up the sides right up into the lats (the muscle under the armpits). Circle back to the top of the trapezius, pressing firmly down over them, and slide back down along either side of the spine down along the lower back and back up.
Long, slow, sweeping circles.
Always keep your hands in touch with your subject’s body. Try to not take your hands off of them except for when they turn over! Apply more oil, if needed. Always into your palm first, then onto your subject’s body. Be creative! Make small circles along the back as you move down the back, always keeping your palms/fingers on either side of the spine.
Underneath the right shoulder blade, run your thumbs in and along the inside of the shoulder blade, working over all the knots you will feel in your subject’s body. Repeat for a good 30 to 40 strokes then circle over and underneath the left shoulder blade. Then take your thumbs and pushing down into the trapezius from the top downward about 30 to 40 strokes.
Go slow, take your time, feel their tension releasing.
Oil into the palm of your hands, glide the oil from the top of the shoulder all the way down into the palm of their hand and fingers. Slide back up and do 30-40 strokes by pressing down just on the triceps (upper arm above the elbow). Then, glide over the elbow, not applying pressure, and then 30-40 strokes along the inside of the forearm. Your subject’s fingers should move each time you apply the downward strokes, this is natural. (Great stroke for those who work on computers or work with their hands for a living!) Then do small circles in the palm of their hands and slowly take each of their fingers and pull them a way from you. Glide back to the palm, up the arm and cross slowly over to repeat on the left arm and hand.
Back at the top of the trapezius, slowly glide back down, palms on either side of the spine and deep into the lower back. At this point, change your body position, from standing over them at the top of their head to either by their side or straddling them, without your body touching them except for your hands. Try to keep your body weight centered and over your subject as much as possible, to keep your pressure firm and keep your body in alignment.
Small circles with the palms into the lower back, circling and pushing upwards into the mid-back, then circling and coming back down into the lower back. Keep replenishing that oil if need be. Slowly move your hands to the right buttock. With thumb and forefinger of both hands, glide your hands down into the dimple of the buttocks. Start with a light stroke and go a little deeper each time. We hold a great deal of tension here so go slowly and make sure your subject is breathing normally as you work. Then, glide both hands to the left buttocks and repeat.
Since you are on the left buttocks, simple continue the stroke down the left leg. [TIP] Just turn the palm of your hand over and pour the oil into it while leaving your knuckles still in contact with the subject’s body. Then bring your other palm together and rub them, still keeping your knuckles on the subject. Then, flip both palms over and glide both palms down the back of the left leg all the way down to the feet and back up. Now, with both hands work the oil into the upper hamstring (back of the upper leg, above the knee). 30-40 strokes, circular up and down motions, slowly.
Glide lightly over the back of the knee and then deep again into the calf muscle. Downward strokes with thumb and forefingers of both hands works great, alternating with your palm for lighter pressure. You may work down into the bottom of the left foot, if you like. (There are 100’s of nerve ending here which relate to all points of the body, which we call REFLEXOLOGY. These techniques are too lengthy to go into here, but rubbing the warm oil into the bottom of the foot and over and around each toe feels great, so I suggest you explore the feet and discover what your subject is feeling.) Back up the leg, across the lower back and buttocks, reapply your oil and down the right leg you go.
AT THE END:
When you are finished with the right leg, place both hands on the ankles and slowly move your hands simultaneously up both legs to the lower back, up either side of the spine to the top of the trapezius and slowly back down to the feet. Repeat twice more and slowly end at the bottom of the feet, by SLOWLY lifting your hands off the subject’s feet. This is the first time your hands leave their body!
Then say “OK, YOU MAY TURN OVER, SLOWLY!” (Watch how their body reacts when you say the word “SLOWLY”). It is quit a study in Body Language!
AS THEY TURN:
If they wish to be semi-covered with the towel, you can lift the towel, standing on the opposite side of the way they are turning, for discretion purposes, and redrape them.
You may start back at the same leg (right) that you left off with, for continuity. Again, oil in the palms, rub both hands, and starting at the top of the quadriceps (top of the leg) spread the warm oil over the entire leg down to the top of the foot and toes. Slide back up and do your 30-40 strokes in slow, large circles over the top of the leg and along the sides above the knee. Work deep into the muscle for it is very thick and carries a lot of tension.
Glide ever so lightly over the knee and again, with thumb and forefingers of both hands, slide up and down either side of the shinbone down into the dimples of the ankles and over the top of the feet. A good 30-40 strokes from below the knee down.
Moving back up the leg and crossing over the lower abdomen above the pubic bone, flipping the palm to add more oil and slowly move down the left leg, repeat your same strokes.
As you finish the left leg, move your palm to the lower abs, flip the palm, keeping your knuckles on the body, add your oil, rub your palms then turn both palms back over to the stomach. In large circular motions, with both palms, move your hands clockwise over the entire abdomen area from below the top of the ribcage at the solar plexus, down along the obliques (the muscles on the sides of the stomach) across the lower abs above the pubic bone and back up the other side of the obliques. 30-40 slow, circular motions.
Move your fingers up the center of the breast bone and work the fingers to the outside of the pectoral muscle (outer chest) small, downward strokes on the outside working in, to under the breast bone. Glide across the top of the chest to the outside of the other pectoral muscle. Short, downward strokes. When massaging women, work on the upper pectoral muscles, under the collar bone and to the outer portion of the underarms where much tension can accumulate.
You may ask your subject to turn their head, or you may move it slowly, so that their ear is lying to the side. Standing at the top of their head, use small downward strokes gently down the outside of their neck back into the trapezius. Slowly allow them to move their head to the other side or you may move it for them and repeat your strokes on the other side. Massage on the face is not an easy task, but gets better with practice. Going lightly with pressure on the face and upward strokes are the key here. Use the dorsal (top) part of your hands and fingers and stroke upward and outward under the chin. Gentle pinching along the jaw bone. Upward strokes on the sides of the face and gentle circles outward on the forehead. Stimulate the scalp by gently massaging the top of the head and end by massaging and stimmulating the outsides of the earlobes.
YOU MAY END:
You can finish up the massage by having them close their eyes…Rub your palms together very hard and fast in order to create heat between your palms. Gently place both palms over their eyes, lightly touching their skin. EVER SO SLOWLY, lift your palms away from their eyes. Observe their expression of total bliss and the calm and centered subject you have created from the HEALING TOUCH OF YOUR HANDS!!