Self Massage for Stress Relief and Renewed Energy

A Gift to You

by Jenny Gelfan

Do each exercise unhurriedly. When you think of moving to the next, continue the one you are on for one more breath cycle.

LAND

Stand or sit or lie comfortably. Feel the earth beneath supporting you. Position your body as comfortably as possible. Take several long slow breaths, putting your attention on the sensations of the breathing and your body.

HANDS

Warm your hands by softly holding and rubbing them. Gently rub each finger on both hands for at least two breaths per finger.

WASHING THE FACE

Bring those warm hands up to your face, close and cover your eyes for a few breaths. Gently pinch the eyebrow from center to outside. Then smooth all the skin on your face with a light touch, using your palms and fingers as well as tips.

LISTEN

Hold and massage the different parts of your ears. Using thumb and forefinger, gently pull your ears as if to open the canal. Breathe with a sound.

SHAMPOO

Bring your fingers onto your scalp and apply firm enough pressure so that when you move your fingers the scalp travels with them. Move the scalp in small circles, repositioning your hands to massage all parts. When it feels like enough, softly and quickly drum with your finger tips all over your scalp.

NECK

Gently, firmly massage the back of the neck, especially where the neck meets the skull. Use touch that feels good. If a place is sore, lighten up and take more time there softly encouraging the tissue to move a little and relax.

SHOULDERS

With a soft fist, pound on the muscles between your neck and the opposite shoulder first on one side then using the opposite fist on the other. Thump thump thump thump.

ARMS

With a cupped hand, gently pat down and up one arm on the inside and outside. Then switch hands and do the other arm.

TARZAN

Inhale deeply. With soft fists thump on your chest while exhaling with a sound. Aahh! Repeat at least once more.

BELLY

With a flat hand softly circle your belly clockwise (up on the right side, across, down on the left, cross back) for at least three breaths.

LOW BACK

With the back of your hands gently rub in circles over your low back. Breath and relax your shoulders as you move your arms. Notice the warm sensation being generated in your lower back.

BUTTOCKS

With a soft fist, pound your big muscles first on one side, then the other. Your hip bones thank you.

LEGS

With the relaxed palms of both hands pat down and up one leg several times, then do the other.

FEET

Bounce/ jump up and down on your feet, or instead softly patter alternating feet. Lightly, quickly, softly.

LISTEN AND RESPOND

Return to any part that calls for a little more touch and repeat the self massage of that place.

STRETCH

Stretch arms over your head inhaling, then slowly reach out and down as you exhale, crossing your arms and lifting them overhead as you inhale. Repeat once or twice more. On the final circle, float your arms slowly down.

LAND AGAIN

Stand or sit or lie comfortably. Feel the earth beneath supporting you. Position your body as comfortably as possible. Take several long slow breaths, putting your attention on the sensations of the breathing and your body.

GRATITUDE

Thank yourself for this healing time.