Health Benefits of 5 Steps Back Neck And Shoulder Massage Technique
Back neck and shoulder massage are two of the most common services offered, and while techniques vary, these are always included. Before you avail of these massages it is better if you know how they work and the benefits they bring.
What is Back Neck And Shoulders Massage?
These massages take less time than a full body massage, with most taking no more than 40 minutes. The pressure may be light or heavy or start light and get heavier on certain spots. In some instances the neck, back and shoulders are replaced by the neck, scalp and back.
During the massage, a body brush is used to remove dead skin cells. This speeds up your body’s detoxification. The massage begins at your lower back and proceeds to the knotted muscles to loosen them up.
The massage goes on to your shoulder blades and then up to your head or scalp. Again the pressure will depend on what you ask for. The pressure level is also dependent on the type of strokes that are performed.
What are the Health Benefits of a Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage?
The advantages of this massage are plentiful. We can list a lot but the following are the most important:
- It makes you feel good. All the muscle loosening provide an exhilarating feeling.
- The massage enhances scar recovery, and it speeds up healing including those that are old and new.
- You can get a deeper massage and improve your body’s ability to heal itself.
- The shoulder, neck and back massage improves lymphatic drainage and flushes toxins out of your body.
- Blood circulation is enhanced in the body parts that are being massaged.
- The spinal nerves are stimulated and this is what makes you feel reinvigorated.
- Your muscles get relaxed and your skin’s elasticity loosens as well.
- The muscular tension in your neck and shoulders are reduced.
The bottom line is a massage is good for your body, in particular the muscles. When you get a back, neck and shoulder massage, those areas receive special attention. Most people who work in the office and stuck behind a desk end up with a stiff neck, and they’re the ones who are going to benefit the most from this massage.
These massages are also suitable for those who don’t have a lot of time to spare. These massage sessions can last for just a few minutes but still produce good results.
While the main focus of these massages is to relax your muscles, they’re also effective for improving blood circulation, the lymph and general body toning.
Before you go for a massage, make sure that the therapist is qualified. Keep in mind that this massage is only for your head, shoulders and neck. If your whole body is aching then a full body massage may be more appropriate.
Some Simple Rules
- Some like to get a shoulder rub before a massage, but others don’t. Ask the client first.
- Do not massage any bones. Massage only the muscles because bones are very sensitive.
- Massages may feel slightly uncomfortable or even a bit sore particularly if it’s your first time. But those aches and pains will disappear in a day or two. If there is severe pain tell the therapist to ease the pressure.
What Do I Wear During a Massage?
Remember these and everything should be all right.
- Go to the massage dressed in your normal everyday clothing.
- You can dress down to where you’re comfortable with. Only the part that will be massaged needs to be uncovered.
- In most cases the client dress down to their shorts or underwear and is draped under a sheet. Some are not happy being under a sheet, so just go with what you’re comfortable with.
- If you want to be nude that’s fine, but you’ll be draped under a sheet. The therapist will always leave the room so you can undress and get under the sheet in private.
- Private parts will always be covered. If you want to be massaged nude, a sheet will be draped over you. If you don’t want the sheet, you’ll have to wear shorts or underwear.
- Wearing bras is not ideal because it makes massaging more difficult.
- A hair clip or tie is recommended for clients with long hair.
- Take off jewelry, bracelets, earrings and other accessories that could get in the way.
- Do not take off your clothes until the therapist has left the room. Get under the sheet before the therapist returns.
- Have an extra pair of shorts if you’re going to get a full body massage that includes your hip area.
Don't Wreck Your Body
One of the most common mistakes is trying too hard. After giving your client a massage you realize that your arms, hands and fingertips are aching. That doesn’t need to be the case if you follow these tips.
- Utilize your thumbs only when it is necessary
- Massage in an even, consistent pace
- Unless the client specifically asks for it, you don’t need to go fast all the time
- Let your hands rest at the conclusion of each movement
- Your back needs to be straight
- Don’t bend over too much
- Make an effort to keep your shoulders in as relaxed a position as possible.
5 Steps of Massage Technique
Step - 1
The 1st method is a simple compression method that uses your forearm.
- This method requires you to stand behind the client.
- Place your forearms on their shoulders.
- Place your forearms as close to their neck as possible.
- Your palms have to be face down and the fleshy section is on their muscles.
- Allow your weight to settle on their shoulders.
- Raise your arms and set down the shoulders by an inch. Allow your weight to rest on your arms.
- Repeat this again. The repeat point is when you feel the shoulders’ bony part. When you feel that, go back to the starting position and continue.
Step - 2
Now, move to the side of your partner for the 2nd method
- Use your fingertips to locate their shoulder’s tips. Place your fingers along their neck, where the muscles are.
- Place your thumb on it and your other thumb over it.
- Press your thumbs down. Press slowly and hold that position for a couple of seconds. Let go of the pressure slowly.
- Move an inch further along towards neck and repeat the steps above.
- When you get to the neck, set your thumbs back to where you started.
- Repeat the thumb hold, compression and release again.
- Repeat the process above for the other shoulder.
Step - 3
For this 3rd technique, you’ll have to stand behind your partner
- Place a hand over each shoulder and make sure it’s as close to their neck as can be.
- Squeeze between the heel of your hand and your fingertips. Your thumb needs to be near the index.
- Squeeze for a second or two. Loosen your grip slowly.
- Proceed an inch along the shoulders and repeat the steps above. You’ll be able to do up to 4 squeezes. Just make certain you’re holding the muscle and not trying to pinch the shoulder.
- Don’t position your fingers too far across the neck as you’ll end up choking them.
Step - 4
In step 4, you will massage the neck extensors
- Stand to the side of your partner
- If you’re on the client’s right, use your left hand to make a C-shape.
- Put your hand on their neck.
- Press the side of their neck using your thumbs and fingers. Do this gently.
- While keeping the pressure, make a kneading motion. Do about 6 of these while going up and down your client’s neck.
- Use your fingers for moving the skin. Avoid the slide motion since it could lead to irritation.
Step - 5
Lastly, you’ll do a little kneading to the base of the skull
- Place your hands on the base of the head.
- Put your free hand on their forehead.
- Move your fingers in a circular manner and press the skull. Do 8 circles.
- Use your fingers when moving the hair and skin. Don’t pull their hair and avoid sliding their skin.
- Do the kneading several times. Perform several sets.
- Do the same steps for the other side of their skull.
- Gently stroke the back and head to finish the session.
The techniques given here should not take more than 5 minutes, but it can be stretched longer if the client wants.
There are many types of neck, back and shoulder massages, and that is a good thing as you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. Even if you’re not familiar with all the techniques, it is still better if you know the benefits and what it can do so you’ll know what to expect.