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Hand Massage

Hand Massage 

Apologies - Page still under development - more pictures to follow

Receiving a hand massage is generally a soothing experience.
Giving one can feel very strange at first.
In my experience very old people tend not to like oil or creams that make their hands feel ‘dirty’ even though their skin looks very dry; try a dry massage or use something that soaks in very fast.
Case History?
Before each treatment check for relevant conditions such as; -
·                    Sprain
·                    Cuts and bruising
·                    Joint pain
And adjust your treatment accordingly and keep notes.
If you have treated the client before, ensure that you have recently reread you notes and can ask how they have been since with some measure of recollection, it reassures the client. That assumes that case histories are kept!
It is always advisable to keep a record of treatments.
Record you impression of the client’s health, physical and mental, and outline of personal details disclosed, and what your sensed impressions were, and how they were confirmed or undermined by the client’s story.
This helps to develop your sensitivity and intuition. Most of us have been trained to distrust our gut feelings. To be useful as compassionate professionals, there may be some benefit in supporting the unlearning of a little ‘conditioning’. Hard science, intuition and common sense make a good team.
If the intention is for a ‘feel-good’ experience, I do not feel that a hand massage requires intrusive personal questions as to GP, diet etc for the case history. 
The treatment is wonderful if the client can relax totally, reclining on a treatment couch; otherwise put two chairs at the corner of a table, place a pillow covered with a towel on which to rest the hands so that your elbows are supported, and you are both comfortable. Ensure that your client likes whatever oils you intend to use, and other ambient qualities such as lighting level, incense – let them know that they have a voice in the surroundings so that you both feel at ease with each other. 
Gently remind them to turn their phone off as you ensure that yours is also off. It is very unprofessional to receive calls or texts during a treatment. 
It is quite possible that a whole world of heartbreak could spill out during the shared intimacy. Be prepared by: -
·                    Either deciding that you are ready to listen, and like a sponge, wring yourself out afterwards and / or use some restorative practices to clear your energy so that you do not become depleted and exhausted
·                    Or be very clear at the beginning that you are not qualified as a counsellor and are not able to perform that function
It is best to establish clear boundaries early in the treatment relationship. 
Examining the nails can indicate pointers to general health and diet .

Taking the right hand first stroke the oil over the whole hand and wrist. A confident firm action is generally acceptable, seek to avoid creating a suggestive or groping manner; you are a professional.

Use stroking and circular movements seeking to assist the client relax and ‘give’ you their hand. The ideal is that the client’s hand is pliable, malleable and limp.
If this cannot be achieved, one must work one’s best with the level of relaxation the client can achieve. There is little to be gained by asking them to ‘let go’ – as they are probably trying to do so! If someone is hyper-tense such requests will feed their anxiety further. Seek to reassure.

Work through each finger, massaging gently but firmly into the joints with a circular movement. Gently pull each digit before you leave it. Many teachers recommend cracking the joints with a vigorous action. I have never developed the knack! Some say it is beneficial and others that it is not. Take you pick. 


Turn the hand over to work through the fingers from the other side.

Ensure that the ‘Mother-hand’ – the one that is holding the client’s – hand is not gripping too hard; give gentle firm support. 

Work through the wrist joint, gently taking it to the maximum in each direction – releasing stagnation and tension.


  Cracking or clicking sounds are very usual, probably due to reduced synovial lubrication.
Joints benefit from regular rotation through their full range of movement to maintain appropriate synovial lubrication. 

Using both of your hands, interlock your 3rd and 4th fingers round their thumb and index finger on one side of their hand and their 3rd and 4th on the other.


A less complicated method is simply to link your thumb and little finger with the client’s little finger and thumb. But this is less satisfying for the client.


Using either technique, gently but firmly extend the palm of the hand by opening it out, pressing into the back of the hand with your fingers.

Massage into it by using thumb pressure on the palmar surface of the client’s hand while maintaining pressure on the back of the hand with your fingers. Use firm thumb pressure working both thumbs together, choose three points to follow a line to each finger, towards the middle finger work with the thumbs side by side work across the palm of the client’s hand. [Heart Governor #8; is found at the very centre of the palm]
Use the heels of your hands to firmly rub and press into the client’s palm.

With one hand, hold the client’s hand at the wrist, palmar surface up.

Thumb press on the wrist crease between the tendons.
[Heart Governor #7; tendons are palmaris longus and flexor digitorum longus]

Using the other hand thumb press down the hand and change to fingers massaging the long bones of the client’s thumb rhythmically, as though you are squeezing beads from a tube.

Finish by pressing firmly into the tip.
Repeat for each of the other fingers.
The same movements can be done again smoothly as though extruding paste from a tube. Integrate the effect by palming the whole hand.

Rotate the client’s hand presenting the back of the hand.


And integrate by palm pressing the whole hand

Holding the client’s wrist with one hand, interlace the fingers of your free hand with the client’s fingers, thumb to thumb.


Rotate the client’s hand at the wrist firmly x 5 times clockwise and x 5 anti-clockwise; slowly drag the interlaced fingers apart, squeezing the client’s fingers as you go.

Gently and firmly stretch two of the client’s fingers at a time

Gently rotate each finger

Integrate the whole treatment by using your intuition to apply whatever soothing and reassuring moves you feel are appropriate to ease out any remaining tension.

Throughout the whole treatment it is important to trust your intuition and respond to your client’s hands from a place of compassion and sensitivity. Even if you find that do not like them as a person, and you sense that there is potential for a personality clash, keep coming back to the Truth in whatever way you see it. There is some level of Inner Goodness in all of us, even the worst ‘lifer’ in prison. (I find I have to believe that or I would have given up long ago!)
Seek to find that level. As the focus is kept on the essential Inner Goodness it becomes increasingly possible to work from a place of compassion.
Acupressure points of the hand; -
As your intuition as to how to work with hands develops you may find that using some of the Acupressure points informs your sense of working more deeply and mindfully around the thumb, the thenar eminence and the wrist.

Heart Governor # 6 (also called Heart Constrictor) found at the wrist crease in the centre of the lower forearm in between the tendons of the wrist
Relieves congestion in chest and stomach and calms the mind; eases anxiety, insomnia, nausea and travel sickness, insomnia, hiccups
Heart Governor #7 at the mid-pint of the transverse crease of the wrist between the tendons of m. palmaris lungus and m. flexor carpi radialis
Eases emotional instability and palpitations

Heart Governor #8 Palace of Anxiety

On the palm where the tip of the completely flexed middle finger touches the palm
Relieves exhaustion, Vitality improvement, writer’s cramp, nausea, emotional tension

Large Intestine #4 “Great Eliminator” located midway between the two bones of the thumb and the index finger on the radial aspect

Important for general health; assists bowel health, both constipation and diarrhoea or elimination at any level such as easing fatigue, grief; headaches, all nasal disorders, toothache, sinusitis and pain.
Caution – not to be used during pregnancy

Two ways of finding LI #4
And Lung 11

Lung #11 on the outside corner of the thumbnail bed
Assists with conditions to do with communication and the throat, excessive sweating
Lung #9 make a fist and flex at the wrist – LG#9 is in the first indentation on the first fold on the thumb side of the wrist where a small pulse is felt
Relieves painful breathing, cough, sore throat, palpitations, irritability and agitation

Triple Heater #4 in the dorsal wrist depression near the ulna
Assists with wrist, shoulder and arm pain

Triple Heater #5 alittle above the wrist on the back of the forearm, above the transverse crease of the dorsum of wrist between radius and ulna
Supports immune system, relieves arthritis, headache
Drawings by Adrienne Crowe
References; -
Shiatsu-do                                             Ray Ridolfi                   British School of Shiatsu
Simple Health Maintenance                    Dr Dean Richards                     ISBN 095888 77 3x
Do It Your Self Shiatsu                        Wataru Ohashi                          ISBN 004 61303 73
Acupressure For Common Ailments       C Jarney & J Tindall                  ISBN 185675 0159
Thai Massage                                      R Gold                                      ISBN 0443 059 357
The Book of Shiatsu                              S Goodman                               ISBN 089 529 4540










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