When our bodies get stressed or overworked, our shoulders tense up. That stress needs a release, and rolling the neck or just squeezing the shoulders won't do the trick. Here's how to massage shoulders deeply and effectively.
Ask your partner to lie down on her back on a soft, flat surface. Pour a few drops of massage oil in your hands and briskly rub them together, careful not to drop any on your partner. Flatten your hands and gently rub the oil into the skin all over the shoulder area, underneath and on top.
Prepare to massage shoulders by starting with postural ease strokes. Slip one hand underneath the right shoulder and place the other hand on top, so that you are sandwiching the shoulder between them, with your fingers pointing in toward the chest. Apply gentle pressure and hold for a few moments. As the shoulder begins to relax, slowly pull out your hands, while still applying gentle pressure. Repeat on the left shoulder.
Ask your partner to turn over onto his stomach, arms stretched out straight beside his body. Facing your partner from his head area, flatten your hands and apply a firm, sweeping motion--known as effleurage--from both sides of the rib cage, up and over the shoulder blades, down into the shoulder muscles and outward away from the body. Repeat this motion several times.
Move to your partner's side. Knead the shoulder opposite you with both hands.
Split your hands up so that they can each knead a shoulder.
Flatten your hands and perform effleurage to both shoulders, in a sweeping motion that starts at the neck, moves along the shoulder muscles and out away from the body.
Move to your partner's other side. Repeat Step 4 through Step 6.
Gently place your hands on both shoulders for an energy balancing. Let them rest there for a few moments to peacefully end the shoulder massage.
• You can make your own relaxing massage oil by combining a carrier oil--like grape-seed, sunflower or safflower--with a few drops of lavender essential oil.