Aromatherapy Guide (Home)

Types of Self Massage

The different ways of self massage

Before massaging anyone else, it is a good idea to practice some self-massage. You will then develop good sensitivity, learn how much pressure to apply and how to touch and massage a body with confidence and conviction.

Self-massage never feels quite as relaxing as receiving a massage from someone else. Nonetheless, it is good for releasing muscle tension and general stress, and for promoting a feeling of calm and wellbeing. Self-massage also has the benefit that you can do it without another person being present, so you can massage yourself whenever and wherever you require. For example, if you develop a headache while seated at your computer, get up and stretch, then massage your shoulders and neck.

The best self-massage is done at home using a blend of essential oils mixed into a base oil. Unfortunately you cannot massage your own back, but you can reach most other parts of your body. Do at least six effleurage strokes, up and down each part of your body, although you can continue for as long as you like. Afterwards do petrissage and friction strokes to release deep muscle tension.

Feet and Legs Self Massaging

Foot massage is relaxing, and reflexology is a foot massage that benefits the whole body. Tired legs can also benefit from massage.

  1. Sit comfortably on a mat or futon on the flour, covered with a towel. Have your dish of massage oil close by. Remove trousers and any other clothing on both legs and feet. Cover your legs and one foot with a towel.
  2. Put a little oil on your hands and do effleurage all over the first foot, gradually increasing the pressure. Move into petrissage, and do friction on the soles. Working firmly on the feet feels good. Finish with effleurage and repeat on the other foot.
  3. Uncover one leg and generously oil your hands. Do long effleurage strokes all up the leg (back and front) on as much of your leg as you can reach. Move into petrissage, but avoid the front of the lower leg. Do some friction strokes on the thigh if you have cellulite or congestion, and finish with effleurage. Repeat on the other leg.

Hands, Arms and Abdomen Self Massaging

Our hands work hard all day so they will welcome a relaxing massage. The abdomen also benefits from massage, which aids digestion.

  1. Sit comfortably on a a mat or futon on the floor, covered with a towel. Have your dish of massage oil close by. Remove all clothing from your arms.
  2. Put a little oil on your hands and effleurage over both hands, gradually increasing the pressure. Move into petrissage and do firm friction strokes on the palms. Finish with effleurage.
  3. Oil one hand and effleurage the other arm all over, from top to bottom, followed by one-handed petrissage all over the upper arm. Finish with effleurage. Repeat on the other arm.
  4. Uncover the abdomen and oil your hands. Make circular effleurage strokes all over the abdomen and diaphragm in a clockwise direction, following the direction of digestion. Petrissage the sides of the abdomen, and finish with effleurage.

Neck and Shoulders Self Massaging

The neck and shoulders easily become stressed and tense, and benefit more from massage than any other part of the body.

  1. Sit comfortably on a mat or futon on the floor, covered with a towel. Have your dish or massage oil close by. Remove all clothing from your upper body and wrap a towel over your breast and abdomen. Pin your hair up, if necessary, so that your whole neck is exposed.
  2. Put a little oil on your hands and effleurage all over your neck and shoulders, gradually increasing the pressure.
  3. Move into petrissage on one shoulder, and work the muscles firmly. Make small friction circles into the shoulder muscles wherever you feel deep-seated tension. Repeat on the ohter shoulder. Finish with effleurage.
  4. Place your fingertips behind your head, on either side of your neck, and make friction circles up and down the neck muscles. Avoid pressing on the vertebrae. Finish with effleurage.

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