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Back Strokes - Stroking and Circular Pressures

Move on up: neck and shoulders Nearly everyone experiences stiffness and tension in their neck and shoulders, and when giving a massage, special attention should be given to these areas.

 The neck muscles have to work continuously to support the weight of the head so it is hardly surprising that these muscles are often painful. Many people habitually hunch their shoulders, which makes the muscles at the sides of the neck in addition to the shoulder muscles, very tense.StrokingGently stroking the neck and shoulders is a wonderful way of easing tension. Keep the movements smooth and slow - any jerky or heavy movements may increase tension in the area. To avoid becoming stiff yourself, move further up toward the neck so that you can reach the area more easily. If you are working with your partner lying on the floor, put one of your knees up with your foot resting on the floor so you have more control and can keep your movements steady and smooth.If your partner is not comfortable with his or her head turned to one side, they can rest their head on their hands, a cushion, or rolled-up towel.Stroke from the top of the shoulders up the sides of the neck, moulding your hands to the body's shape.Reach right to the top of the neck, then glide your hands down, keeping the pressure smooth and even. Repeat four times.Additional movesAsk your partner to lie face down and knead the neck muscles gently. Work on both the shoulders and up the neck to the base of the skull.Circular pressuresFollow this with circular pressures applied up the neck on either side of the spine. Use only one of your hands, with your thumb on one side of the spine and your index and middle fingers on the other side. Put your other hand on top of the head to convey reassurance. Press into the muscle and make small circular movements. Continue to make these movements up into the hair around the base of the skull.So that you don't disturb your partner when you need to apply more oil, put a few drops on your forearm and top of the hand. You can wipe it off with your other hand while continuing the massage.Down to the buttocksWhen you have finished working on your partner's neck, make some long stroking movements over the whole of the back to warm up the area, and then move down to start working on the buttocks. Keep your hands on your partner's back as you move down to stand or kneel by his or her hips. Face toward the head as you massage the buttocks.The buttock muscles are among the most powerful in the bodyBusiness Management Articles, and a good massage in this area really helps release tension.

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