Five Minute Shoulder Massage

Depending on your environment, you might want someone to sit forward on their chair, or backwards. When I take massages into schools and workplaces, I always get people to turn their chair round so they sit astride the back of the chair resting on a pillow. 

The advantage of this is you get much better access to someone's entire back, rather than their shoulders. It also means you can rest their head against you to support it as you are massaging their neck. 

Clearly though, if you are not lucky enough to have a massage partner, you will end up doing that yourself. This can still be a relaxing and therapeutic experience. 

It’s worth reminding yourself that the neck does not exist in isolation. It forms the upper part of the spine and connects that to the head. The muscles structures that support that are complicated, wrapping right round the neck, and down the back. 

Notice how they are made of bundles? When they are tense, blood supply becomes restricted and “knots” begin to form. You might also notice how the muscles build up in layers. Whilst it is easier to get to the top surface one, a myofascial specialist will help to release the lower level ones. In all cases the essential oils will help loosen the fibers. 

Self massage is best done using the space of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. That muscle is powerful. 

Work one side of the neck and shoulders first, then change to the other side. 

Grip the muscles of the neck and slowly pinch the muscles using the length of your fingers 

Work up and down the muscles, slowly, taking time to notice where it hurts and to apply gentle and increasing pressure. 

Notice how you can feel the different fibers of the neck muscles, use your fingertips to gently palpate and see where tension in stores.

Use your index finger to slowly and firmly trace along each side of your spine. 

Push in deeply, to really stretch the muscle out 

Use your thumb and forefinger to work outwards from the spine along the shoulder mantle. 

When you have worked these areas, massage up the neck to the base of the skull. 

Notice how tension is stored painfully underneath the skull, and gently work to release each point

Essential oils for Shoulder Massages 

Lavender and chamomile for soothing and relaxing 

Juniper for detoxifying the joints 

Geranium for telling the rest of the world where to get off! 

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