We are not islands unto ourselves. We need one another in this world to survive and thrive. Infants who do not receive enough cuddling die. Relaxation massage aids one to stay connected with the rest of the world. The giver and receiver reconnect into this dance of life.

For the giver of the massage:

  •  Listen to the friends/clients for feedback. Courage to speak up about wants and needs and or doesn’t want  or need when you are in their personal space is a core communication tool they can take with them throughout the day.  Adjusting the massage accordingly reinforces the value of speaking one’s own truth to the world. 
  • Be alert the physical signs as well.  Spend more time around the eyes or temples or jaws if that seems to elicit the most relief. 
  • No massage table? Relax! This is simply an opportunity to problem solve. The following massage technique after a hard day’s work (without undressing) is adapted from a sheet distributed many years ago from the Sutherland-Chan School & Teaching Clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Try this head and shoulder massage on for size:
  1. You need a table/desk, chair, and one or two pillows. Ambient music optional.
  2. Ask the person being massaged to remove glasses (if they are wearing them!).
  3. Rest the arms or elbows on the pillow as the recipient/partner leans forward against the table.
  4. Intermingle the following movements as you stand close by the side or back of your partner.
  5. Place both hands on person’s shoulders and give a bilateral squeeze: the natural, “what you do at home squeeze”. This action helps to develop a rapport and accustom the person to your touch. Develop the squeeze giving greater scoops of the trapezius with the heel of your hand.
  6. Move from the squeeze of the trapezius to working on the rhomboids. With the thumbs of each hand, work the rhomboids bilaterally from the shoulders (cervical) to the bottom (scapular). The fingers are left up on the shoulders and the wrists rotate to get the proper movement. This area can be quite tight. Be sure to check with your partner that your pressure is accurate. Work higher and lower each time up and down the neck and shoulder area. stay close to the spine. Keep your thumbs at the same speed and rhythm.
  7. Move to the side of your partner and place one hand on the forehead and one at the base of the skull and slowly rotate the head 3x in each direction. Pivot the head on the top of the spine. Do this slowly.
  8. Move to the back of the person and place the fingertips on the temples. Slowly knead all around the temporal-mandibular (jaw) and the temples.
  9. Therapists remember to breathe and they treat the trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids with loose fingertip hacking, stiff-fingered hacking, cupping, pounding and beating.
  10. Have partner lean forward. Stand to the side and work to the mid-back.
  11. Do the shoulder squeeze (#5), then the head rotations (#7) again.
  12. Finish with stroking lightly with the fingertips from the top of the head and out the shoulders and arms. Top of the head down the spine.