Monday, 30 June 2008

Self Massage For Arms and Hands

For most people the arms and hands are the most used parts of their bodies, whether from spending long periods of time at a computer, playing a sport, or just doing day-to-day chores. Everyone, therefore, will benefit from a massage of their arms and hands. Not surprisingly, tension in your arms can create aches and pains in your shoulders and neck; strong movements are required to unlock tightness in the upper arms and forearms.

One-handed kneading

This one-handed massage can be done fully clothed, so you can do it wherever you happen to be when the need arises.

Begin by stroking your left arm from the wrist to the shoulder, working firmly as you move up the arm and then gliding gently back down again.

Squeeze and roll the muscles of your left arm between the fingers and heel of your right hand. Start kneading on your upper arm, and work down from the shoulder to the wrist.

Use your knuckles to make rotary pressures all along your arm, working as deeply and rhythmically as you can.

Stroke one forearm with the other, slowly rotating the top forearm as you stroke from the elbow to the wrist of your other arm. This stroke massages both arms simultaneously and is very effective.


Our hands are in constant use and, as a result, they can harbor a lot of tension. Most of our hand movements are holding, clutching actions, so it is very relaxing to counteract these by opening your palm and pulling your fingers. There are many nerve endings on the palms of your hands, and massage here can benefit the whole body. In fact, in reflexology each part of the body is reflected in a in a map of the hand (or foot) and massaging a particular area of the hand will have an effect on the equivalent part of the body.

  1. First, rub your palms together to warm them. Then use your thumb to stroke deeply between each tendon of your right hand from your knuckles to your wrist.
  2. Stroke your left thumb firmly down the palm of your right hand and out toward the side several times in a fanning motion. Then make deep, circular thumb pressures all over your right palm.
  3. Pull and twist each finger of your right hand with the knuckles of your left hand. Work right up to the fingertips.
  4. Repeat the whole sequence (steps 1-3) on your left hand.

Self-massage can be particularly useful if you suffer from chronic or short-term pain. It helps stimulate the release of endorphins and diverts your attention away from the pain. Above all, self-massage lives you a sense of control over your situation.

Final touches

Just as a massage given by someone else has a defined ending phase, a self-massage needs to close on a relaxed note.

Feather stroking

Use light, feather strokes starting at your forehead and then stroke the fingertips of both your hands over your face and neck, down both arms, and leave your body at the tips of your fingers. Then stroke the front of your body, down your legs, and withdraw your touch at your feet. This movement should leave you feeling refreshed, calm, and as light as a feather.

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