A shoulder and neck massage can help you relax, reduce muscle tension, and reduce stress. You will need a friend to exchange massages.
Use these steps to give your friend a shoulder and neck massage.
- Have your friend sit straight but comfortably in a chair.
Place your hands on your friend's shoulders.
- Knead the two muscles on either side of the neck next to the shoulders.
Start with very little pressure, then squeeze harder.
- Work on the back of the neck.
- Have your friend lean their head forward.
- Support your friend's forehead firmly with one of your hands. This lets your friend's neck muscles relax.
- With the thumb and first finger of your other hand, make tiny circles at the base of the skull.
- Gently squeeze the entire back of the neck. Bring your friend's head up to its normal position.
- Use a "thumb crawling" technique.
- Press both thumbs down, one on the outside of each shoulder.
- Move them in, pressing firmly at intervals of 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) until both thumbs reach the spine at the same time.
- "Crawl" your thumbs out again to the shoulder joints.
- Repeat this movement 4 or 5 times.
- Knead the upper back and shoulders.
- Place one hand on each shoulder.
- Work your hands away from each other, ending at the upper arms.
- Then reverse the process by massaging back to either side of the neck.
Current as of: September 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine