There is nothing better than getting a 60 or 90 min massage treatment with a skilled Holistic Therapist but when living in uncertain times like these where visiting your local spa or salon is out of the question, you can still enjoy the benefits of massage by practising a few simple techniques at home. Self-massage brings you back in balance, increases circulation, stimulates organ function, helps the body to detox, nourishes the skin and improves sleep. A quick massage is also good after exercise or a long day giving you a boost and relieving tired muscles. Make sure your room is warm enough and get comfortable.  A great time to do this is after you’ve had a bath or shower as your muscles will be relaxed.
A great way to get into tight spots is to use a tennis ball.  Place the ball between you and a wall or the floor and use your body weight to provide pressure into the affected area.  Hold the pressure into the muscle, roll it around the sore spot until you feel it release.

Glutes

Place the ball between your glutes and the wall and use as much or as little pressure as you need.  This massage is great for sciatic pain, or pinching in the glutes.  It is also good for women who have suffered with pelvic pain in pregnancy. It stretches and pushes on the trigger points or sore areas in your muscles which helps them to release and relax.

Neck, Back & Shoulders

Place the back between your shoulder muscles and lean in to the ball for more pressure and ease off for less. Roll the ball around the muscle to release the tension. To ease any tension in your back it’s best to use two tennis balls. Lie on the ground and place one tennis ball either side of the spine (never on it!) starting at the base.  Lie back and allow your body to relax and feel the balls pressing into the muscles.  Move the tennis balls up a few inches and repeat.  Keep moving them up until they reach the shoulders.

Feet

Place a tennis ball under the foot and roll your foot over the ball to release tension in the muscles. Roll it up and down or side to side. This light massage is great for expectant mums as the pressure is light. You can do this sitting down whilst doing something else.
Another way to relief achy feet is to give yourself a simple 10-15 minute but yet effective foot massage with essential oils to relax and balance.  It can also be done every night before you go to bed. You can use a carrier oil of your choice such as coconut oil (good for perimenopause) if you tend to have cold feet sunflower or sesame are good. Grapeseed oil is a great all-rounder but If you are not sure what oil to use, just experiment and see what works for you and add an  essential oil like Lavender, Vanilla, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood or Geranium.

Directions

Rub a small amount of oil on your ankles and feet; begin to massage your ankles in a circular motion all the way round each ankle,
Massage the joints in a circular motion and then move index and thumb along the long bones in a linear motion.
Begin to massage the top of the feet, moving back and forth from the toes to the ankle,
Pinch and massage each to paying particular attention to the big toe (which is related to the head) then massage the sole of the foot and the heel,
Interlace your forefinger and thumb between the toes and roll the ankle in both directions.
If you are pregnant, you can opt for essential oils that are safe to use in pregnancy eg neroli, tangerine, german and roman chamomile, lavender, peppermint and ylang ylang. However, take care whilst you massage the feet as there are certain pressure points to avoid during pregnancy. The inside and outside of the ankles in the hollow areas just under the ankle bones these areas are a direct channel to the uterus and ovaries and can cause miscarriage and the inner ankle area just 3 finger widths above the inner ankle bone, the outer pinkie toe, just below the level of the ball of the foot, between the first and second tarsal bone on top of the foot, about an inch past the gap between the toes towards the ankle.

Couple Massage – Soft Touch Massage

Soft touch massage is a gentle massage that can be done in 10-15 mins.  You can do it through clothes or use massage oils whatever suits best.  Sit in front of your partner so that the back is open to them. Have your partner sit sideways on a chair.  This type of massage is also ideal for expectant mums. It helps release endorphins that promote natural healing, reduce stress and anxiety and gives you a feeling of general wellbeing.

Directions

Sit facing your partner’s back
Criss-cross your hands from the top of their shoulders to the base of their spine
Then using the backs of your fingers stroke up the neck to the side of the head and back down again x 6 repeat on the other side
Criss-cross your hands back down to the base of the spine.
If your partner is expecting avoid massaging the tops of their shoulders and the top of their heads as it can bring on miscarriage.
Repeat x 6

Deeper Massage

Ask your partner to massage your muscles but never on the bone or spine.  Always ask if the pressure is ok and ease or add pressure depending what they require.  Always make sure they are warm so they can fully relax and take your time.  Slow repetitive strokes are best for helping muscles to release tension and the body to drain itself of toxins.

Directions

The Back

Starting at the base of the spine have a hand either side of your partner’s spine massage up towards the head, over the shoulders and back down the sides
Bring the hands back into the centre on either side of the spine and repeat x 6

The Shoulders

Using your fingers and thumb massage tops of shoulder like you are kneading bread check with your partner to make sure the pressure is ok.
Then with one hand on top of the other, start at the front edge of shoulder, just above the shoulder blade, near the neck using the weight of both hands,
Trace the line of the shoulder blade down the back, out over the shoulder blade, up the outer edge of the shoulder and back to the starting position. Repeat x 6
Again, if your partner is expecting avoid the tops of the shoulders and concentrate on the shoulder blades.

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