People who are used to sitting or driving for long periods of time usually suffer from neck and shoulder pain. Giving a neck massage is the best way to reduce the pain caused by these tense muscles. In addition, massage can also increase blood circulation, relieve headaches, and improve the mood and energy of the sufferer. Giving a proper neck massage is the best gift you can give; be it for friends, loved ones or massage patients.
Method 1 of 2: Giving a Sitting Massage
Step 1. Place the person to be massaged in a comfortable sitting position
The most important thing is that the back should be straight, but not too stiff. You should also be able to reach your upper shoulders and neck.
- Use a bench that allows you to reach the patient's back.
- If you use a chair, make sure the back of the chair is low enough for you to reach the shoulders.
- If you don't have a suitable stool or chair, place a comfortable cushion on the floor. Ask the person to be massaged to sit cross-legged on the seat, while you kneel behind him.
Step 2. Start massaging with light and long pressure and motion
When we hear the word “massage”, usually the first thing that comes to mind is Swedish massage, where the patient is massaged only at one point with high pressure. Actually, it's not like that. What you should do is massage in long but gentle movements over all muscle surfaces instead of high-pressure movements at just one point.
- When you find a muscle lump, focus on massaging this area.
- For all areas to be massaged, try to apply moderate pressure, but not too hard.
Step 3. Relax the muscles
Rushing to perform high-pressure massage movements before fully relaxing the muscles will cause pain for the patient. So, gently massage the patient using fingertips to relax muscles and prepare the neck and shoulder area. At this time, the patient will begin to relax his mind.
- Place the tips of your ring finger, middle finger, and index finger on the bottom of your head, where your head and neck meet. Apply firm pressure, but not too hard.
- If it's uncomfortable, use whichever fingertip feels right for you. You can also just use your index and middle fingers.
- Run your fingers down the sides of your neck, sweeping over the tops of your shoulders.
- Make sure the massage pressure you give is thorough to the focused point. Let your fingers explore the neck and shoulder area.
Step 4. Move your thumbs over the muscles that feel tense
In the previous step, you may have felt a lumpy muscle under your fingers. These lumps indicate a tense muscle. So, this is the part that you should massage with the tip of your thumb.
- Place your thumb over the muscle lump.
- Place the other four fingers in front of the patient's shoulder to stabilize the position of the thumb as it is pressed against the muscle mass.
- Apply pressure through your thumb in a circular motion to break up the muscle lump.
- Do this movement all over the muscles in the shoulder, but focus on the lumpy area.
Step 5. Move your finger up and down along the neck
The muscles in the back and sides of the neck are also usually stressed. You can use one hand to relax the neck muscles.
- Place your thumb on one side of the neck, and leave the tips of the other four fingers on the other side of the neck.
- Massage firmly but not too hard.
- Run your finger along the patient's neck.
- Move your fingers along the width of the neck as well. It's also a good idea to run your fingers over the muscles on either side of the spine below the neck. Spread your arms out to relax the sides of the neck.
Step 6. Pinch the back of the neck
Do the same movement on the side of the neck using the thumb. However, you need the other four fingers to secure the position of the thumb so it doesn't slip. If you use both hands at the same time, when the thumb is behind the neck the other four fingers will cover the throat. This will cause pain and discomfort to the patient. So, use only one hand at a time.
- Stand behind the patient, slightly to the right.
- Place the thumb of the left hand on the right side of the patient's neck.
- Cup the other four fingers on the left side of the patient's neck to secure the thumb position.
- Move your thumbs in a circular motion along your neck and shoulders.
- Focus on any muscle clumps you encounter.
- When the right side of the neck is finished, move to the patient's left side, then repeat the process on the left side of the neck.
Step 7. Move your fingers to the sides under your neck
It may be difficult to massage the side of the neck without touching the patient's throat. So, while doing this, move your fingers down from the top of the neck to the front of the shoulders. Start from the patient's left side.
- Place your left hand on the patient's left shoulder to maintain balance.
- With your fingers facing down, place your thumb on the back of your neck and the other four fingers right next to it.
- Bring your hands down in a circular motion while applying pressure.
- At the end of the movement, your thumb should be on the back of the patient's shoulder, and the other four fingers should be on the front shoulder.
- Apply light pressure on the areas where you feel tense.
Step 8. Apply pressure to the outside of the shoulder blade
Gently press down on the shoulder blades with your fingertips, then move your hands in a circular motion to relax the muscles at the back of your shoulders.
Step 9. Use the pads of your palms (the area just below your thumbs) to massage the points between your shoulder blades
Since the spine is in the center of the back, it will be difficult to massage the area. Pressing on the spine will cause pain. So, use your palms to expand the massage area.
- Move to the side of the patient.
- Place one hand in front of the shoulder to stabilize the patient's position.
- Place the pads of your palms on the patient's shoulder blades.
- Massage both shoulder blades, from one to the other, in long, thorough motions.
Step 10. Massage the bottom of the collarbone
Although on average this massage only focuses on the shoulders, neck, and lower head, but a little touch on the upper chest can help relieve neck pain as well.
- Stand next to the patient, and place your hands on his back to maintain balance.
- Use your fingertips to massage the area under his collarbone in a circular motion.
- Make sure your massage doesn't hit your collarbone to avoid pain.
Step 11. Massage the upper arm
Maybe you think arms have nothing to do with neck and shoulder pain. When in fact the arm is related to pain in these parts. The muscles in the arms, shoulders, and neck work in the same motion. So, massaging the arms can also have an effect on the neck.
- Place your hand on the patient's shoulder, then massage gently but feel enough.
- Continue to do the massage, bringing your hands down, from the shoulders to the upper arms, then back again to the shoulders. Repeat several times.
- Gently massage the upper arm in an up and down motion to relax the muscles.
Step 12. Keep repeating the massaging movement without a certain pattern, because if you focus too much on one area with one movement pattern, the patient will only feel comfortable in that part
Move from muscle clumps to another and vary your massage movements for a more pleasant sensation. The more varied the massage movements, the better the taste.
The muscles in the shoulders, neck, back, and arms are closely connected. Focusing on massaging the entire area, rather than just one point, will be much more effective in relieving pain
Step 13. Use all parts of the hand
Many amateur masseurs are constantly using their thumbs in massaging. Indeed, the thumb can provide the pressure needed. However, if used too often can also cause pain for the masseuse. So, use the entirety of your hand when you're luring. Use your thumb only where the muscle is clumping.
- Use your palms to apply light pressure over larger areas of skin and muscles.
- Use your fingertips to apply firmer pressure.
- Use your knuckles to massage the muscles that feel tight.
Step 14. Do not massage the patient's bones
Putting pressure on the bones - let alone the spine - can cause pain. Massage should only be done on the muscles.
Step 15. Continue to massage until the patient feels definite results
Remember, the massage process does not have to be long to give its benefits. A five-minute massage can also give the desired results. However, massaging for half an hour to an hour can certainly make your patient feel comfortable and cared for.
Method 2 of 2: Giving Neck Massage in Supine Position
Step 1. Position your patient in a supine position
“Supine” here means the patient must lie on his or her back. Even better, you can place it in a place that has a higher top so that it will be easier for you to stand or sit on its head. If the patient is supine on the floor, you may have to bend slightly, and this position can cause back pain.
- Tie your long hair first so that later it will not fall on the patient's face.
- If the patient has long hair, tie it to one side of the base lying down to prevent it from being pulled during the massage.
- Ask the patient to remove his upper garment so that the upper chest is exposed.
- You should have a towel or blanket ready if the patient is uncomfortable taking off his or her top.
Step 2. Choose a massage oil or lotion
You can find the right product at the nearest supermarket. If you don't have one, you can look for it in online stores.
- Some oils that are commonly used daily, such as coconut oil, can also be used as massage oils.
- Olive oil, almond oil, and sesame oil can actually also be used. However, these oils tend to be thick and sticky. So, if it is used for massage, take only a small amount.
- Make sure the patient does not have a peanut allergy before you use almond oil and sesame oil.
- Start by rubbing the oil or lotion into your palms. In this way, the oil or lotion becomes warmer so it will be more comfortable for the patient.
Step 3. Warm up gently
Stand next to the patient's head, placing palm pads on either side of the neck. Then, do the massage with steady and long movements; from the neck down to the shoulders.
- Place your thumb under the neck and index finger along the surface of the patient's neck. Start at the ears, then work your way down to where the neck and shoulders meet.
- Make an outward movement in the shoulder area. You can use your middle finger, ring finger, and little finger on the front of the shoulder.
Step 4. Focus the massage on the neck
Place your four fingers on either side of the lower neck. Then, gently massage right from the base of the skull to the shoulders.
- Relax the patient's muscles by pulling your fingers up, away from the surface on which the patient is lying. In this way, the patient's head will be lifted off the surface.
- Repeat this movement with all the fingers along the neck.
Step 5. Massage the neck and shoulders with both thumbs
Lift the remaining four fingers up, and place both thumbs on each side of the neck, just below the ears. Apply light pressure, moving your thumbs down the neck, then your shoulders and upper arms.
- Don't just the tip, use your whole thumb. That way, the pressure applied will be more evenly distributed.
- Avoid the throat area. Pressure in the area will cause pain.
Step 6. Massage the chest
The muscles in the front of the chest are in direct contact with the neck, so it's important to focus on that area as well.
- Place your thumb on the back of the patient's shoulder.
- Meanwhile, the other four fingers are in front of the shoulders.
- Massage the front area of the shoulder to the bottom of the collarbone with gentle pressure.
- Make sure your massage is not touching your collarbone or any bones to avoid pain.
Step 7. Apply pressure in a circular motion under the neck
Place your index, middle and ring fingers on both sides of the neck. Starting from the ear area; Apply pressure in a circular motion from head to shoulders.
Apply firm, but not harsh, pressure. This massage may make the patient's shoulders lift slightly, but the patient should not feel any pain
Step 8. Focus on each side of the neck
Turn the patient's head to one side to expose the other side of the neck. You can support his head by placing your hands under him. When one side of the neck has been massaged, turn the head to the other side, and repeat the movement again.
- With your free hand, use your fingertips to massage the neck area in a steady motion that extends from the area under the ears to the chest.
- Massage in small circles around the neck area with your thumbs.
Step 9. Apply deeper pressure to the sides of the neck
This massage technique can be painful, so you should pay attention to the patient's reaction to this deep massage. However, the muscles behind the ears will feel tight, so you will need to apply firm pressure here to relax them. In performing this massage technique, the patient's head should be tilted to one side with your hands under it for support.
- Form a loose fist in the free hand, then direct the fist to the side of the patient's neck, just behind the ear.
- Apply firm pressure, and move your fist slowly along the side of your neck. Continue down to the chest.
- This pressure will be painful if you move your fist too fast directly toward your chest. So, take it slowly and don't be in a hurry.
- Careful. If you see a patient in pain, take a moment to pause. This deep massage technique can indeed be relaxing, but at first it will feel uncomfortable.
- Let the patient take a few breaths if he is in pain. Stop your massage for a moment. Start again when the patient is ready.
Step 10. Move your fingertips around the area behind the ears in a circle
The muscles behind the ear, just where the head and neck meet, usually tend to be tense. Keep the patient's head back facing up to begin this massage technique, so that you can massage both sides of the neck at the same time.
- Apply pressure to those stiff muscles using your fingertips with steady (but not too hard) pressure.
- Move your fingertips in a circular motion to relax the muscles in the area.
Step 11. Massage the muscles just above the collarbone
You will feel a small hollow at this point. Use your fingertips to gently massage the muscles in the area in a circular, pressing motion.
If you feel a lump or lump in your neck or shoulder, focus on the area by applying gentle pressure with 1 or 2 fingers until you no longer feel the lump
- Do not crack your neck or back. It should only be done by a professional masseuse.
- Be careful when wrapping your arms around your neck. Do not press on the patient's throat.