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Stress Management Health Center

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Massage Therapy for Stress Relief and Much More

Experts describe massage tips you can try on yourself to ease headaches, back pain, and to help you relax.

Massage Therapy to Ease Headaches and Tension

  • Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
  • Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along.

Massage Therapy to Relax the Hands

Here are several moves that will relieve the strain from pounding the keyboard all day.

  • Stretch your hands and fingers out. Rub each finger from the base to the tip, gently pulling and twisting each finger as you go.
  • Next, rest your left hand, palm upward, on your lap. Squeeze the fleshy part of your palm between your right thumb and index finger, moving from your wrist to the base of your thumb.
  • Now squeeze that web between your left index finger and thumb several times, looking for any tender points.
  • Then rub the entire palm with your right thumb, applying firm pressure and using gliding strokes from the wrist to the base of each finger.
  • Repeat this process on your right hand.

"Massaging the hands is not only great for the hands but can help to relieve headaches as well," Grust says. The hands, like the feet, contain reflexology points that correspond to the entire body, including the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and sinuses.

Massage Therapy to Relieve Neck Tension

  • While you are sitting there at the computer, mold your hands over your shoulders. Exhale, letting your head drop back as you slowly squeeze your fingers towards your palms, gliding up the muscles of your back and shoulders towards your neck.
  • Now, rest your elbows on your desk, allowing your head to drop forward slightly. Massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull using your fingertips to make small deep circles into the muscles on either side of your spine.
  • Place both hands on the back of your head, interlacing the fingers. Drop your head forward and allow the weight of your elbows to pull your head gently down, stretching the muscles of your neck and those that run down your back.

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