Friday, 27 June 2008

Self Massage - For Neck and Shoulders

Most people suffer from tension in their necks and shoulders at some time in their lives, which is hardly surprising if you consider the job the neck has to do! Poor posture, bad working positions, and carrying heavy bags all conspire to make the problem worse. However, you can ease the pain with a remedy literally at your fingertips.

Getting to the core of tension

This simple self-massage exercise gets right to the core of the tension and eases it gently and effortlessly; you can try it almost anywhere and at any time. Try to focus on the areas that feel most tense, and work slowly, deeply, and methodically.

  1. Tilt your head back, and with the palms and fingers of each hand, squeeze the flesh at the base of your neck on either side of your spine. Then, slowly roll your head forward, still squeezing your skin. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then return your head to an upright position. The amount of flesh you can squeeze depends on your state of relaxation.
  2. Stroke your hands up and down the back of your neck to warm the area. Then use the fingers of both your hands to make deep, circular pressures all around the neck area, making sure that you do not apply pressure to the spine itself.
  3. Place your left hand on your right shoulder and squeeze the muscle. Hold the squeeze and slowly rotate your shoulder backward. A grinding noise indicates that the muscles are tense and should be freed up. Repeat with the right hand on the left shoulder.
  4. Pummel your right shoulder with your left hand to bring fresh blood to the area. Support your left elbow with your right hand for comfort, and keep your wrist loose and floppy as you swiftly strike the flesh. Repeat on your left shoulder.
  5. With your fingers, stroke firmly from the center of your chest outward, applying deep pressure between your ribs. When your fingers reach the outer edges of your ribcage, return to the center and repeat the movement. Feel for tense spots and concentrate on these as you work over the chest.

Never attempt to massage any part of your body if you are in a situation that requires your full concentration.

For example, do not massage your neck and shoulders as you are driving and if you can't wait till you get home, just pull off the road and stop the car before doing the massage.

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