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How To Massage Away Shoulder Pain

How To Massage Away Shoulder Pain

Learn how to relieve shoulder pain with our massage techniques. Whether it's for yourself or for someone else, this film will give you the essential know-how you need.

Step 1: You will need

  • person in need
  • 1 clean sheet
  • 2 towels
  • 1 pillow or cushion
  • massage oil
  • massage bed, mattress or mat

Step 2: Setting up

If you do not have a massage table, you can use a mattress or find a open space on the floor, preferably with some sort of carpet or matting for comfort. Make sure the room is warm since the person should have their top off.

Place the pillow where the person's chest will be, leaving enough space to move around the head. Spread the sheet to catch any excess oil. Have the person lie face down with the pillow underneath the breast bone. Fold one of the towels and place it under the forehead, allowing the person to keep the neck straight. Be sure to tell them to inform you if there is ever anything that is painful or uncomfortable.

Roll the other towel up and place it beneath the ankles to help support the low back.

Step 3: Apply the oil

Place a small quantity of oil in a cupped hand and warm it by rubbing your hands together. With smooth gliding strokes, spread the oil evenly over the upper back, neck and shoulders.

Step 4: Lifting

Without breaking contact, form the hands into" lobster claws” by keeping the fingers straight and spreading the thumbs. Now begin gently lifting the muscles of the upper

back by making a turning motion with the wrist. Now repeat with the other hand. Continue alternating hands, developing a smooth windshield wiper-like rhythm, covering the near side of the back nearest you. Slowly move up to the shoulder and top of the arm. Now move up to the trapezium muscle that runs from the back of the neck to the top of the shoulder. This is often one of the more tense areas, and can be more sensitive. This is a good time to check in with the person to see if you are using a good level of pressure. Now turn your body towards the person and proceed onto the neck, another high tension area.

After about a minute, move around the head without breaking contact and repeat on the other side starting on the back. Once you've finished the neck on the second side move around above the head and rub both sides of the trapezium at the same time.

Step 5: Knuckling

Again without breaking contact, slowly tuck the fingers in, making fists with both hands. Starting from the outer shoulder, pull the knuckles in along the tops of the trapezium muscle. As you reach the sides of the neck, roll the wrists under, bringing the larger knuckles into contact as the knuckles of the fingers continue up the back of the neck to the base of the skull. Hold for a moment, then reverse the movement down to the base of the neck, and continue knuckling down the back between the spinal column and the shoulder blades. When you reach the mid back, draw the knuckles back up to the neck, once again rolling the wrists under and pressing a moment at the base of the skull. This time as you go back down the neck unroll the wrists and knuckle out over the shoulders. Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 times.

Step 6: Thumb striping

Now make your hands into “lobster claws” again and with the extended thumb begin drawing up from the mid back to trapezium staying between the spine and the shoulder blade. Just as the first thumb is about to slide off the top to the shoulder, begin sliding the other thumb up the same side. Continue alternating thumbs for about a minute. Now without breaking the rhythm change the direction of your striping down along the side of the neck towards the top of the shoulder. After another minute, move down to the lower shoulder and work there for about a minute. Now stroke back up to the neck then repeat the cycle on the other side of the back.

Step 7: Shoulder rotation

This time after finishing the lower shoulder, move around to that side and allow your outside hand to slide around the top of the shoulder and support from beneath. Now extend the fingers of the other hand and place th