Soothe stress with self massage september october 2008

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  • 1. fingertips for the client By Laurie ChanCe Smith Note to massage therapists: each issue of Massage & Bodywork coNtaiNs the columN fiNgertips for the clieNt, which is targeted to clieNts. this columN is available oNliNe at www.massageaNdbodywork.com as a priNtable file. priNt the faciNg page, attach your busiNess card, aNd seNd it home with clieNts, courtesy of associated bodywork & massage professioNals. 36 massage & bodywork september/october 2008
  • 2. Soothe StreSS with Self-MaSSage “One of the best things you can do for yourself when you are under If stress manifests itself in headache, a neck-and-shoulder massage “can “Not only does stress is to take a break and get a often relieve tension headache more massage,” says Kristine Kaoverii effectively than painkillers, advises self-massage Weber in Healing Self-Massage. Here Jenny Sutcliffe in The Complete Book of are a few self-massage techniques to relieve stress when you are between Relaxation Techniques. Atkinson adds that gentle strokes with the fingertips relieve appointments for professional massage. Even a few minutes of self-massage across the forehead can help you relax. And in Healing Massage, Susan localized aches sprinkled throughout the day can Mumford suggests long-stroking the reduce stress and worry, increase focus, foot from heel to toe for stress-relief. and pain, it encourage stillness, and provide a time According to Weber, a three-step to just breathe. Not only does self- massage relieve localized aches and ayurvedic Indian head massage helps reduce stress. This method is easily encourages a pain, it encourages a general state of peace that alleviates “the cumulative accomplished sitting in a chair or lying down. First rub your temples with your general state effects of stress,” writes Mary Atkinson fingertips in a gentle, circular pattern in A Practical Guide to Self-Massage. for about one minute. For the second of peace.” “A simple five-minute hand-and-foot step, “shampoo” the scalp. With gentle massage can lower blood pressure and fingertips, massage the entire scalp Mary Atkinson, A Practical heart rate and reduce feelings of panic.” in small circles. Begin at the temples Guide to Self-Massage. Weber suggests learning three and move toward the back of the head. simple self-massage techniques to use Continue for one minute. Finish the on any area of the body. Effleurage, Indian head massage by combing the or long-stroking, is “a simple gliding scalp. Begin with fingertips above the action over the skin,” Weber says. forehead, at the hairline, and comb Petrissage “is a kneading stroke used to over the top of the head and toward the lift up the muscle and wring or squeeze neck and shoulders. Weber suggests it.” Kneading can aid the body in repeating this stroke 10 times. ridding itself of waste; use a brisk stroke Practicing self-massage daily helps on a small area of the body to create increase awareness of life stressors in friction to target deep muscular tissues. between your professional massages. Nicola McGill, a holistic Remember: whether you seek a complementary therapist who professional massage or a self-massage blends aromatherapy with massage, respite, savor those moments when says when dealing with stress, we you can focus solely on yourself. must ask ourselves, “Where is the stress coming from? And how is Laurie Chance smith savors any it affecting the body?” If stressors opportunity for healing massage. you may are causing a digestive problem, for contact her at jamesorlaurie@sbcglobal.net. example, the focus of massage may center on the abdominal region. For more information, visit massagetherapy.com 37