Self Massage – Essential to Holistic Self -Care
“Self-massage is an essential part of any Massage Therapist’s holistic self-care program” says Harmony Curtis, Director of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills. “A simple self-massage done regularly can go a long way to reducing tension, stiffness, and inflammation in over-used muscles. Even Massage Therapists with the best body-mechanics will occasionally experience sore or tight muscles, so being able to address your own needs, is a skill worth developing”, she added.
When a holistic practice or skill is worth developing, Healing Hands’ Directors usually make it part of the School’s curriculum. That’s why the Circulatory Massage and Deep Tissue Manipulation classes include an introduction to using Tennis or LaCrosse Balls. They’re used to apply pressure to the body’s acupressure points. Students also experience the Thera-cane, a plastic, cane-like instrument, used to self-release Trigger Points.
The class’ instructors, also teach students to release tension in one area of the body by using another body part to apply pressure or for stretching. Shiatsu class instructors also dedicate class time to demonstrate using a tennis ball to increase circulation and reduce tension on energy meridians of the body.
In almost all Healing Hands’ courses, a portion of class is reserved for students to stretch-out and warm-up their muscles. A ritual they are encouraged to do prior to delivering any form of body-work. Simple, yet effective self-massage techniques are also taught. As in the examples shown below, self-massage reduces aches and pains and can restore optimal function to muscles and soft tissues of the body. By incorporating self-massage into their holistic, self-care programs, Graduates ensure their ability to work in their chosen profession for years to come.
Four Easy, Self-Massage Techniques for Neck & Shoulders :
- Using fingertips of both hands, place them where your neck meets the shoulder and make small, circular movements. Be sure to use medium pressure and work your way up the back of the neck to the hair-line. These circular movements ease muscular tightness more effectively than direct, static pressure on the area. Continue these circular movements up and around the base of the skull until you feel the tightness or soreness diminish- usually 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sitting upright in a comfortable chair, start from the base of the neck and press down with your fingers along the top of the shoulders. When you reach the bony part of the shoulder, slide your hand back to the base of the neck and repeat the pressing at least three more times. Finish by stroking firmly from the top of the neck down to the shoulder on both sides.
- Using one hand at a time, knead each shoulder with a firm, squeezing motion. Move between the neck and the bony part of your shoulder. Repeat several times each side, or until the any soreness is diminished.
- Placing your right hand over your head to the left temple, apply steady pressure to stretch your neck – right ear to the right shoulder and hold for the count of 5. Next, place your left hand on the right temple, applying steady pressure to stretch your neck the opposite way – left ear to the left shoulder and hold for the count of 5.
Founded in 1992 by Paula and Neha Curtiss, Healing Hands has successfully prepared more than 7,000 students for satisfying careers as a Massage Therapists and can do the same for YOU! With campuses in Escondido, San Diego (Kearny Mesa), and Laguna Hills, Healing Hands offers day, evening and weekend schedules. Interested students can train for a rewarding career in less than a year! To learn more go on-line to: www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego (Kearny Mesa).