Massage for Arms and Hands
Massage expert Tracie Bell demonstrates how to massage arms and hands.
Hi, my name is Tracy Bell, and we will be demonstrating a full body Swedish massage, and we will be beginning with her arm.
Now, you want to add just a little bit of massage oil because the arm is not that big of an area and you don't want to be sliding all up and down your friend's arm. So, you just apply the massage oil nice and evenly. You never want to squirt the massage oil directly on the person's body because it's just not cute, it's not comfortable. You want to bring the massage oil all the way down to your friend's hand. If you feel like you need more massage oil, it's okay, just add a little bit more so that you have a nice even area, a nice smooth area to work with. Now, you want to start off with an effleurage stroke, which is a stroke that's nice and even and it goes towards the heart, going all the way over to the shoulder, up and around, and then bringing your stroke back out again.
You can even bend the arm and do muscle stripping, which is just taking your thumb all along the length of the muscle. Making sure you lean into your stroke so that you don't injure yourself, and you're just as comfortable as the person on the table, maybe not that comfortable. As you're working with the arm, like I said you want to make sure your strokes are nice and even and the pressure that you use down at the wrist you can follow it through all the way to the top of the shoulder. Bringing the stroke all the way down to the person's hand and stretching each one of the fingers individually, you might hear a little pop, that's just gas releasing from in between the joint, that's perfectly fine.
Again, taking the stroke all the way up over the shoulder, being very careful on the brachial area, making sure that you don't add a lot of pressure here because of the arteries going through that area as well. So, after you've done a few effleurage strokes, which are broadening strokes towards the heart to increase circulation, you can do little tiny petrosage or kneading strokes on the small of the arms. If your hands are big like mine and you feel like you're not really giving into the muscle the way you want to, you can go back and do muscle stripping all along the length of the muscle, making sure that your pressure is okay throughout the massage. You can do a little bit more focus work by holding the hand and really getting into the wrist and joint area of the hand, and working your way slowly up the length of the arm, probably ending at the elbow. The best place to receive massage is in your joints, because that's where you do most of your movement from, is your joints.
Being very gentle, you go into the palm, starting off with a softer pressure, and then getting just a little bit deeper so you can work those fingers, because most of us are sitting at computers all day, and these muscles in our hands tend to get tight. You can do small circular strokes in the hand, working your way from the bottom of the palm up to the base of the fingers, and then going down again and redoing that same process in between each of the fingers. Then you can end it off by stretching out each one of the digits individually, not pulling too hard because you don't want to cause a lot of pressure in between the wrist and the hand with the muscles pulling apart. You can end it with a few effleurage strokes towards the heart, rounding it off at the shoulder, letting your fingers contour on the person's body, making sure that your back remains straight so that you don't have any lower back problems at the end of your massage. Making sure that your fingers are nice and relaxed, the pressure of course is coming from the palm of my hand, so I don't really need to have a vice grip on her arm, I just naturally allow my fingers to mould and contour with her body. A few narrow strokes down, ending with the small hand holding at the end to make your client a little bit more relaxed.
Next we will be demonstrating how to do massage on the cervical or the neck area.