I’m Hannah, Natural Skincare Therapist at Southsea Bathing Hut. I’ll be sharing weekly wellness tips to lift the mind and spirit as we all stay safe, stay well and stay home.
Well, week 8 of lockdown and I know some of you are in desperate need of a massage fix! So, for the next couple weeks Wellness Wednesday will focus on self-massage… and perhaps guiding another member of your household on how to give you a SBH massage at home.
We’ll be kicking off this week with self-neck and shoulder massage.
Self-Massage | Neck & Shoulder
The neck and shoulders is a common area that holds the majority of all our tensions and stresses.
Whether your working from home with endless hours looking at a screen, holed up on the sofa with Netflix or looking after the kids and spending most of your day on your feet; this simple step-by-step guide will help to melt away those knots and ease your tensions.
When massaging yourself it’s important to create a space that makes you feel relaxed. Set the atmosphere with a candle, music or maybe a pre-soak in the bath.
Sit comfortably and focus on your breath. Don’t be afraid to listen to your body and close your eyes. Find what feels good for you. These steps are guidelines, let your own massage flow.
The Southsea Bathing Hut Pure Aromatherapy Massage Oil is lovingly handmade with Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil and Vitamin E to create a beautiful slip and glide that will make your massage movements smooth and gentle whilst creating a sensory experience with beautiful essential oils. You have a choice of two blends, High Tide or Low Tide. High Tide contains Bergamot, Lime, Mandarin and Sweet Orange for an uplifting, energising citrusy blend. Or Low Tide contains with Lavender, Rose Geranium and Patchouli for or a deeply relaxing and meditative floral scent.
In this massage we'll be particularly working two muscles:
- Trapezius Muscle
- Sternocleidomastoid Muscle
- Firstly take a small amount of your chosen oil, warm through the palms and take 3 deep breaths inhaling the gentle aromas.
- Set your intention and apply the oil to your shoulders and around the back of the neck.
- Now to warm up the muscles and stimulate the blood flow, working on one side at the time.
- Using the palm of your hand, gently stroke from your shoulder up towards the side of the neck, finishing below the centre hairline. This is working the Trapezius Muscle (see the picture above). Repeat 3 times.
- With the same stroking motion, apply a deeper pressure through your fingertips, massage and stretch the Trapezius Muscle towards the head. Repeat 3 times.
- Now using either your fingertips (for a lighter pressure) or your knuckles (for a deeper pressure) in slow small circular motions massage into the deeper layers of the same muscle, finding and feeling for tension. If you find some, focus on those areas!
- Now we’ll be working the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle, located on the side of the neck, in between the collar bone up towards the ear (see the picture above). Using your index and middle finger to create small circular motions. Massage upwards towards the ear, sliding back down. Repeat 3 times.
- Now slide up the centre back of the neck towards the base of the skull (the Occipital Bone). You’ll find a hollow just before you reach the bone. This area holds a lot of tension. You can add a deeper pressure here with gentle circular motions using either your fingertips or your knuckles.
- You can introduce your other hand here, massage from the tops of the shoulders upwards along the spine up towards the base of the skull using circular motions. Repeat 3 times.
- Continuing in this area, now slide upwards from the tops of the shoulders to the base of the skull. When you reach the base of the skull you’ll find the hollow where you can anchor your thumbs and stretch the head away from the neck, creating space between the vertebrae. I like to spread my fingers through my hairline for grip.
- Now complete steps 3 – 10 on the other side of the neck and shoulder to centre and balance each side.
- To finish gently place your hand on the crown of your head and let the head gently press down towards your right shoulder. Repeat to stretch to the left shoulder.
- To encourage your head to feel light and loose, gently roll and rotate our head from one side to another.
- Take a few deep breaths to awaken, and you’re done!
I hope you enjoy giving yourself a much needed massage! You’ll find a video over on our You Tube channel to follow too.
If you have any areas that you would love to know how to massage let us know and I can feature them in the series.
Next week, I’m focusing on how to give back massage to someone, so either you or a loved one can have a go!
Love and light!