Wednesday, 21 May 2014

10 Easy Steps to performing a Self Indian Head massage




There are so many benefits associated with massage, unless there is a medical reason not to do so, I think it is something which should become an integral part of our regular routine, whether this is self massage or working on another, certainly for anyone who does any kind of repetitive work which puts strain on particular areas of their upper body it should be something which is fitted in every day. As in the long run it will improve concentration and productivity it is far from being a waste of time. 

In some very lucky workplaces this is recognised, and is a service which is provided for their employees. Even for anyone who is at home or has limited mobility if it is approved by their doctor it will improve the quality of their life.

On an emotional and psychological level, it is carving some time out each day for self care and that is something which many of us neglect to do. It is only when we are operating at our best that we can in turn give our best for those who depend on us. 

Self massage creates a period of time to go within and connect deeply with yourself, to tune into what your body needs and to release the cares and worries, the stress and strain of the day. It can become a wonderful form of meditation for those who struggle to meditate in the more traditional ways.

Massage can be a great way to wake up, loosen up and start the day, to break up your daily routine or a relaxing way to finish your day and to aid sleeping.


Preparation

Creating the right space in which to prepare is very important;

Once seated comfortably I begin by clearing my mind and dropping myself into a deep meditative state. I do this by slowing my breathing, breathing deeply into my stomach area. As I breath in I bring in positive energy, as I breathe out I release negative energy and the stress and strain of the day. 

I then run Reiki through myself, as this is flowing; opening me up and allowing me to be more receptive to the upcoming massage 

I begin a progressive relaxation technique. Beginning with my toes I tense up with the in breath and release and relax with the out breath. Working upwards through each of the muscle groups in my body until I reach my head.

For me sound and scent is an important trigger for visualisation so I tend to ‘theme’ these according to what I am doing. 

I then visualise myself in a beautiful Zen garden, seated under a cherry blossom tree with the petals falling gently around me. I have a Cherry Blossom scented candle and I play an Indian Head Massage Therapy CD, I find these are enough to trigger a deep state of relaxation.


Massage Instructions

Self massage can be broken down into ten easy steps, unless stated below if you aim for about one minute on each step that should provide you with a good overall massage.

1. When including the use of oil in your treatment pour about one table spoonful of your chosen oil into the palm of your hand and then transfer this to the crown on your head.

2.  Now pour another table spoonful into your hand, this time rubbing both hands together to evenly distribute the oil. 

With your hands at either side of your head massage the oil into your hair working towards the crown area. 

Work towards the front and rear of the head until the oil has been evenly distributed over the complete surface of your head.

3. Using the pads of your fingers and thumbs (not nails) massage all over your head, this action will create warmth and friction and will begin the relaxation process in your head muscles.

4. This time move through the hair by gripping large clumps of hair by the root and tugging it gently but firmly from side to side. Keep your knuckles close to your scalp while doing this, this action will help to increase the flexibility across your scalp.

5. Now place the heel of your hands against your temple area and apply firm pressure as you make slow large circular movements.

6. Now we move down to the neck area, so with your head tilted forward squeeze and roll the muscles at the back of your neck using alternate hands. 

Begin at the base of the skull and work downwards repeating this process several times.

7. Now position your thumbs on either side of the base of your skull, this is just under the area known as the occiput. Using a firm movements rub in a  circular fashion.

8. Now moving onto the shoulder area begin with your left upper shoulder, or the one you have best mobility in, and squeeze the muscle tissue near the neck.

Move along the full length of your shoulder, down your upper arm and finishing at your elbow. 

Repeat this step twice more and then move onto your other shoulder and arm.

9. Still working in the same area using your right hand palm on the base of the left hand side of your neck, rub firmly downwards along the your shoulder and upper arm until you reach your elbow. 

When you have repeated this twice more move to your left side and use your right palm to complete the process. 

This technique will aid with the removal of toxins as well as improving muscle tone, mobility and increase the circulation in that area.

10. Now we come to the end of your self-massage and we finish by gently rubbing both hands over your whole head and onto your face. 

Take a few minutes now to get your bearings maybe enjoy a glass of water and gently stretch your neck, shoulders and arms before you stand up and move around.


Massage Oils

If you wish to work with massage oils below are several you may wish to try:


·         Sweet almond oil

·         Groundnut oil

·         Jojoba oil

·         Avocado oil

·         Coconut oil

·         Grapeseed oil


Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular and easily available base oils to find and work with. This pale yellow oil comes warm pressed from the kernels of the sweet almond tree is very high in nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids, proteins and vitamin A,B,D and E. 

It has a warming effect on the body and useful for stimulating hair growth as well as easing muscular pain and tightness.

It is also a natural sun block filtering out up to 25% of the sun’s rays although it should never be used solely for this. It is important to look for the warm pressed variety and not the refined type. Best places to buy this oil are chemists, health stores or aromatherapy suppliers.

Groundnut oil

As Groundnut oil is derived from peanuts care must be taken to check with the person you are working on for any nut allergies or sensitivities, also for yourself as well. 

Groundnut oil which is most readily available is quite often very refined, so again it is better to go directly to a health store or aromatherapy supplier to purchase the unrefined variety. 

This oil has a nutty odour and also contains very high levels of vitamin E which makes it a good choice to use for soothing the skin, especially if someone is suffering from sunburn.

If you choose to work with this oil for massage it is best to blend it in equal parts with sweet almond oil.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba is not actually oil based, but is in fact a liquid wax, this clear and odourless ‘oil’ can either be used neat or blended with other base oils. 

Jojoba is extracted from the beans of an evergreen plant which is found in South America. 

The substance extracted from the beans very closely resemblance the natural sebum found in your own body. When it interacts with the sebum if becomes an emulsifier which has the ability to unblock the pores of the skin and release ground in dirt. 

As it also contains myristic acid it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids, beta- carotene and Vitamin E as it penetrates and regenerates the skin very easily it makes this oil a good choice to use. 

High quality cold pressed Avocado oil should be thick, tacky and a bright Emerald green in colour. If you find some that is pale yellow in colour then it is has been made using refined oil and is a much poorer quality with little therapeutic benefits. 

Good quality Avocado oil tends to be expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Coconut oil 

This is popular oil which is often used in the Southern parts of India traditionally in Springtime. The oil is obtained by using solvent extraction on the dried flesh of the coconut.  This can cause skin sensitivity in those with delicate skin so care needs to be taken if choosing this oil. 

As coconut oil is semi solid at room temperature it needs to be liquefied by standing in warm water for a few minutes before use. 

This oil is odourless which makes it a good carrier oil to blend with essential oils as it doesn’t overpower their natural fragrance.

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes as its name suggests. Due to its offensive smell it isn’t readily available in its unrefined form, however, if you wish to increase the vitamin content and health benefits it can be mixed with 10% of the neat unrefined oil. 

Grapeseed oil in its refined state is virtually odourless and a pale green in appearance.

Raine Hilton – The Good Vibes Girl – www.goodvibesgirl.co.uk

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