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The best way to give a relaxing massage at home
12 February 2021
Chances are, if you've been confined to your 'home office' (spare room/kitchen table/sofa!) then you might be missing that professional massage you normally have. We all know how bad it is for eyes to stare at screens, but EVERYTHING from the eyes down takes a beating; poor posture, tension in the neck, the wrong chair often leads to back ache, and of course a general 'meh' that can set in if you've been in the same position for too long.
But temper that enthusiasm to leap onto your bed and ask a family member to give you a back massage.... it can actually do more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing - and lying fact down on a squishy bed or couch can bend your back the wrong way.
Let us help! We've come up with this simple routine to provide a safe, effective and oh-so-relaxing Indian Head Massage at home. You will be amazed how relaxing it is to massage and manipulate the scalp; think back to that lovely massage your hairdresser does over the sink, or how nice it feels to have someone plait your hair. With just a few simple moves, you can help to ease away tension from the whole body, and bring a welcome sense of calm and relaxation to the lucky recipient.
You don't need any fancy equipment because it can even be done from a sitting position - some oil can be useful to help your hands glide... and it makes a great hair/scalp treatment too. Use essential oils or a scented balm to up the spa-factor, and why not get the kids involved and give them the gift of screen-free relaxation?
Before we start, get your model to take 3 nice deep, slow breaths in and out and consciously relax from head to toe. Keep the head in a neutral position.
Keeping your fingers wide, finger-comb the hair to loosen the strands and any tangles... a bit like hair brushing but gently and slowly. We're ready for step 1.
Step 1: Shampooing
With a light to medium pressure, pretend you are shampooing the hair. Use gentle circular motions and work from the forehead to the nape, 'wrapping' the hair around your fingers then releasing. Then do the same on the sides of the head, starting just above the ears and work back to the nape. The idea here is to move the hair around - it's a loose, flowing movement.
Step 2: Scalp Manipulation
Next, we're going to increase the pressure, but using a similar motion, the idea now is to gently manipulate the scalp over the skull bones. Use small circular motions and medium to hard pressure to help create movement in the scalp. This stimulates blood flow and helps release tensions. Work from the forehead to the nape, then on each side.
Step 3: Pressure Point Massage
Using the thumbs, line up your thumbnails at the middle of the forehead, at the hairline. Press down firmly, then release, twice. Then move your thumbs apart and work down the hairline, applying pressure twice, then release and move down. Continue to the ears. First, work behind the ear. Have your model turn their head so that the ear you're working on is exposed. Find the gap of skin behind the ear where there is no hair, and continue your pressure point massage to the base of the lobe. Then you can gently 'pinch' from the lobe back up to the top of the ear cartilage - again this is stimulating and helps release pressure from the scalp. Repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Hair Pulling
Exactly as it sounds! Grab a large section of hair in each hand, then twist it around your hand and gently pull - hard enough that your model's head moves... but obviously we still want to have hair! Work all over the head, finishing at the nape.
Step 5: Neck massage
Have your model lower their head and move the hair away from the neck. Make a V shape with your dominant hand, so your thumb and fingers can massage either side of the neck. It's really important that you don't massage over the actual bones in the neck - keep the pressure medium to firm, not too hard, and gently glide up and down towards the upper shoulders. This feels really good... and your model will probably want you to carry on for ever.....
Now your model is nice and relaxed, ask them to return their head to the neutral position. As we did to begin, gently finger comb the hair so it lies flat again. Then take another 3 deep, slow breaths to finish.
If you need a little more help, here's a video we recorded during the first lockdown, to follow along with - I really hope you enjoy it.