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LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF AS A MASSAGE THERAPIST

LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF AS A MASSAGE THERAPIST

By Gill Tree Managing Director Essentials for Health

LOOKING AFTER YOUR BACK

1. Check your posture

 

- Stand with your feet hip distance apart- Bend the knees- Tilt your pelvis forward- Lift the shoulders up and back and relax

- Maintain this posture throughout the massage.

Check your posture every 10-15 minutes

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STRENGTH EXERCISES

2. Strengthen abdominals

 

- Lie on floor with knees bent, feet flat on the floor

- Tilt pelvis slightly

- Supporting neck with hands, remain looking at ceiling and lift shoulders off floor

- Breathe out as you lift up

- Repeat performing sets of 8

3. Strengthen back

 

- Lie on front with hands resting on lower back

- Keep looking at the floor and lift shoulders away from floor and slowly lower

- Repeat performing sets of 8

STRETCHES

 

Do not hold your breath or bounce stretches. Warm up before stretching

4. Stretch hip flexors- Kneeling on floor as in diagram. Push hip of leg "a" forward until you feel a stretch- Hold for 20 seconds or more- Repeat on other side

 

5. Stretch hamstrings

- Lie on floor with legs bent, feet flat on floor- Bring right knee to chest and straighten leg into air- Hold behind thigh or calf and pull leg towards you until you feel stretch (no pain) to the centre of the thigh- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Do not bounce. Try and keep left leg on the floor.

- Repeat with left leg.

6. Calf stretch

 

- Stand with right leg behind left, keeping the left leg bent, and push right heel into the floor until you feel a stretch in the right calf- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Do not bounce- Repeat for left leg

7. Horizontal stretch

 

- Lying on floor with arms above head (but resting on the floor)

- Point toes and stretch whole length of body, through feet, legs, trunk and arms

8. Neck stretch

 

- Standing or sitting take the right ear to shoulder and push away with left hand

- Hold for 20-30 seconds- Repeat on left side

9. Neck stretch 2

 

- Standing or sitting rotate head round to right to look behind you

- Hold for 20-30 seconds

- Repeat on left side

10. Back stretch

 

- Standing or sitting, clasp hands together and relax head to chest- Push hands away from body in front of chest to stretch upper back- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Maintain a bend in the elbows

11. Pectoral stretch

 

- Standing or sitting up straight, clasp hands behind you and pull away to stretch chest- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Maintain a bend in the elbows

12. Tricep and shoulder stretch

 

- Hold a towel behind the back. With one arm bent down behind neck and other arm bent up behind back

- Pull towel down with lower hand- Hold for 10-15 seconds

MOBILITY

13. Feldenkrais clock

 

Lie on floor with knees bent, feet flat on floor and lift the lower back from the floor. Imagine a clock underneath your knees and maintaining the pelvis tilt, rotate hips around the clock from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock

Rock hips from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock

14. Neck mobility

 

- Roll head from right to chest, to left to chest in a half circle

15. Shoulder mobility

- Circle shoulders backwards for 8

- Circle shoulders forwards for 8

Exercises in between clients to maintain your energy

 

- Rub hands together at eye level

- Shake them out and clap

- Pull fingers and breathe out

- Rap top of head and face

- Pinch eyebrows, bridge of nose

- Blink

- Rub ears and pull

- Pound shoulders

- Thump chest as you breath out

- Pound arms and legs

- Bend over (with knees bent) and pound back of legs and buttocks

- Stand with the correct posture (knees bent, pelvis titled) and ground yourself by a) closing your eyes b) taking deep breaths c) imagine being ‘rooted’ to the spot

Exercises after a client to clear your energy

 

It is recommended that you wear white

- Shake off any negativity by vigorously stroking down the legs and arms

- Pull each finger, blowing out hard with each finger pull

- Wash hands and let cold water trickle over you

Exercises during the massage

 

- Pay attention to your breathing – make sure you are not holding your breath. Breath slowly and deeply

- To release tension a) flick your fingers b) circle the shoulders

- Try massaging with your eyes closed to help concentration and increase sensitivity

- The more fluid your body is and the more you move with the techniques, the more relaxing the massage will be to perform and the less tense you will feel

Exercises for the hands

 

- Push fingertips of each hand together

- Push fist of one hand between 2 fingers of the other to stretch the hand

- Place hands in a ‘prayer’ against the chest and push the wrists down

- In the same position rotate hands up and down

- Push back of hands together

- Squeeze a ball

- Rotate wrists

- To strengthen wrists hold onto a weight (e.g. tin of food) and rest hand over a table. Flex and extend the wrist (palm down)

Feeling Ki

 

To increase sensitivity and feel your ‘Ki’:

- Hold the hands 6 inches apart and slowly bring to 1 inch apart. Take hands to 8 inches apart and bring to 1 inch apart. Repeat 5 times increasing the distance apart by 2 inches each time

Eventually you may feel a pulsating energy between your hands. This is your ‘Ki’

Calming Ki

 

- Standing with pelvis tilted, cup hands, palms up level with lower abdomen

- Inhale and move hands up to front of body until at shoulder height. Keep palms facing up and imagine you are holding a ball of energy within them

- Turn palms to face the ground, exhale and lower hands until they reach starting position

- Repeat

Essentials for Health

 

Essentials for Health, School of Massage, Aromatherapy and Sports Massage based in Central London, was established in 1992 and is now one of the most reputable and innovative schools in the U.K.

The School offers an exceptionally high standard of tuition designed to equip the aspiring Therapist with a broad range of skills. They hold a broad range of courses including professional diplomas in Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy and Sports Massage; Infant Massage Instructors Certificate and a variety of Masterclasses for qualified therapists.

For further information please visit their website at www.essentialsforhealth.co.uk or call on 0845 1080088

Essentials for Health

11-15 High Street, Marlow, Bucks. SL7 1AU
Tel: 0845 1080088
Fax: 0845 1080527
www.essentialsforhealth.co.uk
enquiries@essentialsforhealth.co.uk

 

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