Wednesday, July 25, 2007

back and back massage

I made the mistake of taking my MacBook Pro in for a yearly 'tune-up'. I was thinking this would be a short, in-store process. Little did I know they were going to keep it from Saturday until yesterday. Then when I got it back home last night - shocker! It would not start up. I had to go back today and they ended up reinstalling the operating system.

On one hand I am very disappointed with Apple that this was needed. On the other hand, unlike my PC, this is the first time in a year it was required and even better, all data, software, settings, etc. were fine - no need to mess with any of it.

Anyway, I'm up and running and here is one of the fist things I read about - How to Give a Back Massage. Go to the site for the video. My wife's in for a treat tonight.

1) Have the person receiving the massage lie on her belly on a firm, comfortable surface, such as a floor mat or firm bed. Make sure you can reach her whole back without straining your own.
2) Stand or kneel by her side. Place one hand on the lower back and one hand between the shoulder blades, over the heart.
3) Warm up the back by applying thumb pressure along both sides of the spine simultaneously: Start at the lower back and knead gently with your thumbs up to the neck area. This will also promote relaxation.
4) Use a smooth, delicate stroke (called "effleurage") to apply massage oil. In one long stroke, slide your palms down either side of the spine to the pelvis; scoop out around the hips and back up the sides to the shoulders. Maintain contact with the back. Glide your hands over the back to start a new area.
5) Continue up both sides of the neck to the base of the head.
6) Start at the spine and slide your palms in opposite directions outward to the sides of the back, starting with the lower back area and moving up to the shoulders.
7) Knead the fleshy muscular areas at the top of the shoulders, the mid-back area and the buttocks to loosen tight muscles and fascia (the connective tissue).
8) Use your thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to areas that feel hard or tight, often called knots.
9) Perform clockwise circular friction with your fingertips along the muscles that are close to the spine and around the shoulder blades.
10) Rotate the arms gently, one at a time, to loosen the shoulder joints and enhance blood flow.

Tips & Warnings

  • The many benefits of massage include relaxation, increased body awareness, improved circulation, and improved lymphatic drainage for release of toxins.
  • Massage oil is typically used to decrease the friction created on the skin and to prevent the pulling of hair. The less oil, the greater the friction and the deeper the pressure.
  • Incorporate effleurage throughout your massage as a connective stroke to move from one area to another, to soothe an area of localized deep tissue work or to make a transition to another stroke.
  • Use slow movements for a soothing or calming response and fast movements for a stimulating effect.
  • Do not put any direct pressure on the spine.
  • Avoid any broken skin, blisters or areas of possible infection.

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