October 22, 2020

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Massage Basics: How to give a shoulder/neck rub

Hi everyone. I’m Ian Harvey, massage therapist. This is my friend Brittanie. Today, we’re going to be doing some massage for people who aren’t massage therapists. If you want to know how to give a decent shoulder neck rub to someone who is sitting in a chair in front of you, then this is how you do it.

Let’s get started. When I give people massage, they always wonder how I can do massage for so long without my fingers hurting, without hurting my thumbs. “How do your hands not get tired?” Well, the number one way to prevent hand fatigue if you’re giving someone a shoulder rub is to not squeeze but instead make these shapes with your hand, and then apply those shapes. You can move your hand a little bit as you do that, but mostly we’re going to be moving your arms.

Look how much forearm movement there is here. Basically, I’m plunging my thumbs forward as my fingers pull back just a bit, maintaining the c-shape. Now I can still do a nice circular movement with my thumbs here but it’s not this.

This is what tires your thumbs out. Second, instead of just relying on this pinchining movement the entire time, we’re going to be using a duck grip (quack quack). So, straight fingers, straight thumb, and then you’re going to draw the tissue upward.

So we’re going to draw these muscles up toward the palm. This is much easier for your thumbs and fingers than trying to make that pincer grip. When you’re giving a shoulder rub, you might be tempted to just work with this big squeezy muscle on top here.https://www.onlineseniordatingsites.com/

This is the trapezius. But there’s plenty more good stuff to work with. You can go down into the shoulders here. You can go between the shoulder blades.

Feel for that inner edge of bone, that’s the inner edge of the scapula, and work along the spine. And again I’m mostly pressing in with my thumb. I’m adding a little bit a movement once I’ve done that, but I’m not just using only my thumb muscles. So, go up and down the spine, pressing in with that thumb by changing the angle of your wrist.

Come out onto the shoulder blades themselves, so you’ll feel these flat blades of bone right here, and everything on this surface here is full of feel good rotator cuff muscle! Another good way working is to come from working on both sides at the same time to working on only one side. So here I’m using my fingers to reinforce this thumb.

I’m keeping all these finger joints straight, and keeping my knuckles straight as well, and my wrist. So this is taking very little effort, and yet I’m able to increase my pressure on this side. If you’ve got someone who wants a lot of pressure up here in these shoulders, you can bring both hands over to one side, and use both thumbs together.

That will allow you to double your pressure without using too much more effort. So, a quick routine you can do is to start with both sides. Your thumbs are going to plunge in near the spine, and then come out The whole time you’re going to be sandwiching this trapezius between your thumb and your fingers. So start in the middle, come out to the sides. Start in the middle, come out to the sides.

Do some nice broad squeezes where you really draw that tissue up, and then work your way out to the sides. So we’re going to be working on that scapula otherwise known as the shoulder blade. Feel for that broad blade of bone, and explore it with your thumbs. Do circular movements, and let these come from your wrists and your forearms. rather than just from your thumb joints.

And make sure to come out. Come out toword these shoulders here. You can switch to a thumbless duck grip. So, thumb goes away, and still a duck (quack quack). So, thumbless duck grip.

You can give the shoulders a nice squeeze. Come down a bit, go up a bit. And then you can do that thumbless duck grip up on the trapezius.

And then let’s travel down the spine a bit. And Britney go ahead and put your head in your arms down here on the table. Perfect. And now that they’re supported by the table, or their desk, or the back of a chair like this, you can use your body weight a bit.

So, as I’m pressing my thumbs in I’m leaning in just a little bit. Try to keep your thumb straight, and your wrist straight, and your elbow straight, and that lets your body weight translate directly into pressure. And I’m still doing little circular movements with my thumbs as I press in. Stay right next to the spine, don’t work on those knobby, bony parts of the spine themselves, but do work right next to them. There will be those two big strips of muscle.

And from here, you can start working on the sides of the rib cage, and again up into this scapula. Do some nice squeezing here, make this another kind of duck grip. Conform your hands to the surface of your friend’s body, and again, think circular.

My fingers are making circles, my thumbs are making circles… Feels good, man. From here you can do some more of that duck grip of shoulders, and you can work up into the neck.

Again, don’t think pinching here. If you’re using your fingertips and your thumb tips, that can feel quite sharp. And that’s okay, just realize that’s going to be a very different feel than if you’re using the flats pf these fingers and the flats of your thumb.

And it’ll be more quickly fatiguing. You can also work into the skull if you like. You’re going to feel a ridge of bone here at the base of the skull/ Do nice circles all through there. Here you can use a pinchier grip, up here at the base of the skull.

And any shoulder rub, the best way to end is with some tapotement. That just means this choppy choppy thing you’ve seen in movies. To do this, you’re going to use the karate chop part of your hand. really just this side of your fingers here. You’re going to let your fingers be loose so that as they hit, they’re going to strike each other, and let your wrist be loose.

If you used everything rigid, then it wouldn’t feel great. But, if you let your wrist be loose, and your fingers be loose, it kind of works on a deeper level, and it provides a more interesting tactile experience. And then, sweep ’em out.

Another good position for this is seated with your friend in front of you. Now, if your friend is in this position. and they don’t have anything to support them, leaning forward, and you’d like to work on the neck, you can cradle their forehead in your hand. Be very gentle with this, and probably ask before you do it…

In fact, ask before you do any of this. And then, you can use this other hand to do that duck grip, up into the neck, and up into the base of the skull. Angle that upwards, and that’ll get that base of the skull.

Hi everyone. I’m Ian Harvey, massage therapist. This is my friend Brittanie. Today, we’re going to be doing some massage for people who aren’t massage therapists. If you want to know how to give a decent shoulder neck rub to someone who is sitting in a chair in front of you, then this is how you do it.

Let’s get started. When I give people massage, they always wonder how I can do massage for so long without my fingers hurting, without hurting my thumbs. “How do your hands not get tired?” Well, the number one way to prevent hand fatigue if you’re giving someone a shoulder rub is to not squeeze but instead make these shapes with your hand, and then apply those shapes. You can move your hand a little bit as you do that, but mostly we’re going to be moving your arms.

Look how much forearm movement there is here. Basically, I’m plunging my thumbs forward as my fingers pull back just a bit, maintaining the c-shape. Now I can still do a nice circular movement with my thumbs here but it’s not this.

This is what tires your thumbs out. Second, instead of just relying on this pinchining movement the entire time, we’re going to be using a duck grip (quack quack). So, straight fingers, straight thumb, and then you’re going to draw the tissue upward.

So we’re going to draw these muscles up toward the palm. This is much easier for your thumbs and fingers than trying to make that pincer grip. When you’re giving a shoulder rub, you might be tempted to just work with this big squeezy muscle on top here.

This is the trapezius. But there’s plenty more good stuff to work with. You can go down into the shoulders here. You can go between the shoulder blades.

Feel for that inner edge of bone, that’s the inner edge of the scapula, and work along the spine. And again I’m mostly pressing in with my thumb. I’m adding a little bit a movement once I’ve done that, but I’m not just using only my thumb muscles. So, go up and down the spine, pressing in with that thumb by changing the angle of your wrist.

Come out onto the shoulder blades themselves, so you’ll feel these flat blades of bone right here, and everything on this surface here is full of feel good rotator cuff muscle! Another good way working is to come from working on both sides at the same time to working on only one side. So here I’m using my fingers to reinforce this thumb.

I’m keeping all these finger joints straight, and keeping my knuckles straight as well, and my wrist. So this is taking very little effort, and yet I’m able to increase my pressure on this side. If you’ve got someone who wants a lot of pressure up here in these shoulders, you can bring both hands over to one side, and use both thumbs together.

That will allow you to double your pressure without using too much more effort. So, a quick routine you can do is to start with both sides. Your thumbs are going to plunge in near the spine, and then come out The whole time you’re going to be sandwiching this trapezius between your thumb and your fingers. So start in the middle, come out to the sides. Start in the middle, come out to the sides.

Do some nice broad squeezes where you really draw that tissue up, and then work your way out to the sides. So we’re going to be working on that scapula otherwise known as the shoulder blade. Feel for that broad blade of bone, and explore it with your thumbs. Do circular movements, and let these come from your wrists and your forearms. rather than just from your thumb joints.

And make sure to come out. Come out toword these shoulders here. You can switch to a thumbless duck grip. So, thumb goes away, and still a duck (quack quack). So, thumbless duck grip.

You can give the shoulders a nice squeeze. Come down a bit, go up a bit. And then you can do that thumbless duck grip up on the trapezius.

And then let’s travel down the spine a bit. And Britney go ahead and put your head in your arms down here on the table. Perfect. And now that they’re supported by the table, or their desk, or the back of a chair like this, you can use your body weight a bit.

So, as I’m pressing my thumbs in I’m leaning in just a little bit. Try to keep your thumb straight, and your wrist straight, and your elbow straight, and that lets your body weight translate directly into pressure. And I’m still doing little circular movements with my thumbs as I press in. Stay right next to the spine, don’t work on those knobby, bony parts of the spine themselves, but do work right next to them. There will be those two big strips of muscle.

And from here, you can start working on the sides of the rib cage, and again up into this scapula. Do some nice squeezing here, make this another kind of duck grip. Conform your hands to the surface of your friend’s body, and again, think circular.

My fingers are making circles, my thumbs are making circles… Feels good, man. From here you can do some more of that duck grip of shoulders, and you can work up into the neck.

Again, don’t think pinching here. If you’re using your fingertips and your thumb tips, that can feel quite sharp. And that’s okay, just realize that’s going to be a very different feel than if you’re using the flats pf these fingers and the flats of your thumb.

And it’ll be more quickly fatiguing. You can also work into the skull if you like. You’re going to feel a ridge of bone here at the base of the skull/ Do nice circles all through there. Here you can use a pinchier grip, up here at the base of the skull.

And any shoulder rub, the best way to end is with some tapotement. That just means this choppy choppy thing you’ve seen in movies. To do this, you’re going to use the karate chop part of your hand. really just this side of your fingers here. You’re going to let your fingers be loose so that as they hit, they’re going to strike each other, and let your wrist be loose.

If you used everything rigid, then it wouldn’t feel great. But, if you let your wrist be loose, and your fingers be loose, it kind of works on a deeper level, and it provides a more interesting tactile experience. And then, sweep ’em out.

Another good position for this is seated with your friend in front of you. Now, if your friend is in this position. and they don’t have anything to support them, leaning forward, and you’d like to work on the neck, you can cradle their forehead in your hand. Be very gentle with this, and probably ask before you do it…

In fact, ask before you do any of this. And then, you can use this other hand to do that duck grip, up into the neck, and up into the base of the skull. Angle that upwards, and that’ll get that base of the skull.

And come back downwards and work into the neck. Before you release with this hand that’s holding the forehead, make sure to say something. Okay Brittanie, take your head back. Alright guys, let me know what you think.

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