This relaxing massage routine works on a head-to-toe
basis and should take about 15-20 minutes to complete.
1. Head and neck
a. Stand behind partner and, using thumb or fingers, deep stroke forehead, face, nose and sides of neck. (The neck is best massaged by firm strokes down from the angle of the jaw to the root of the neck.)
b. Then superficial stroke the same areas for about a tenth of the time you spent in deep stroking. Should there be tension in the jaw a friction over the joint of the jaw (in front of the ear) could be useful (see right).
How do you know if your massage is succeeding? First the frown lines or set-smile tension marks disappear from the face, and second there is a tendency for the mouth to open slightly.
2. Upper limbs
The giver masseur stands or kneels by the taker’s right side as he or she lies on back on a couch or on the floor.
a. With the left hand the giver holds partner’s right wrist away from the body and gives 10 deep strokes with the right hand from wrist to shoulder (up the inner side of the arm). Repeat on other arm.
b. Next the partner’s hand is gripped in the masseur’s left armpit and a minute or two is spent kneading all the muscle groups in the arm. Where skin is loose, around elbow and back of hands, a little skin rolling is beneficial. Frictions can be applied at elbow joint where you feel the tendons, and over the wrist.
c. Finally, take your partner’s outstretched palm and start superficial stroking from tips of fingers up into the hand, then into the forearm and up to the armpit. One hand should follow the other up the arm. Repeat for outside surface of arm starting with the back of the fingers and hand.
Again start with partner lying on his or her back with giver kneeling or standing at feet.
Use both hands to grip the foot, then deep stroke the whole of the limb from foot upwards. Repeat slowly four or five times.
b. Moving yourself slightly to one side, knead the large floppy deep muscles on the front of thighs.
c. Follow this with friction at ankle and at sides of knees.
d. Repeat whole procedure on other leg. Then give five superficial strokes to each leg in turn.
e. Then get your partner to lie on his or her tummy and repeat the whole procedure on the backs of the legs.
f. Finally, extend the superficial stroking to the whole of the back right up to the shoulders.
a. Next, using one hand to reinforce the action of the other, deep stroke muscles of buttocks. These need to be moved passively by short deep stroking movements which have to take effect through the layer of buttock fat. Repeat five times. (This layer of fat is much thicker in women than in men.)
Less penetrating deep stroking of the lumbar muscles that run up from the buttocks to the waist follows. Both of these major areas need deep stroking. Again four or five good actions are necessary on each side.
Next move your attention to the shoulder blades which should be rocked by deep stroking five times on each side, each stroke attempting to get a little more movement of the shoulder blade than the previous one.
d. Finally, deep stroke the big shoulder-lifting muscles (deltoids) up towards the nape of the neck, gliding into the large bunches of neck muscles as you leave the shoulder muscles.
e. Then commence the lightest superficial stroking of the whole of the back area before asking your partner to turn over and lie on his or her back. If the taker wishes it, continue the superficial stroking technique to the abdomen, breast and chest area before starting the next part of the programme.