General classical massage

Classical massage employs main techniques such as stroking, rubbing, squeezing, kneading and vibration. There are various options for execution, more than 3 thousand. I try to make my own variations, so that they are unique, and the person being massaged has an unforgettable and pleasant experience. While performing a general classical massage, my goal is to relax the client as much as possible so that the procedure can be called "classics" by me. I apply the Russian massage system, which differs from other systems (Swedish, Finnish, Eastern) by the prevalence of mashing techniques, which makes possible to massage muscles and joints better. Consequently, the effects on the internal organs and systems of the human body is more significant. 

The general classical massage begins with back work (20 minutes). Secondly, hands (5 minutes for each), first the upper part, then the wrists. Thirdly, legs (for 10 minutes), massaged from the thighs, then the lower leg and feet. This sequence aims to work out large groups of muscles for better blood and lymph circulation. Manipulations are carried out from the bottom to top (for example: I begin to massage the hip from the knee joint upwards, working the buttocks; then shin  from the ankle up, working the knee joint). At the end, I massage the stomach, chest (5-7 minutes), and head (5 minutes). The total duration is 1 hour.

General massage has beneficial effects on the whole body, since the whole body is being worked out, from the top of the head to the toes on the legs. Thus, increases the muscle tone, the joint and ligament apparatus, activates the formation of synovial fluid, improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, which promotes active supply of organs with nutrients, as well as faster release of decay products from the body.

When a person has an increased blood pressure, the movements with a back massage are basically conducted from the top to the bottom, so that the pressure does not increase.

Special attention is given to back, feet and head massaging. These parts of the body are of upmost importance for the effect of massage in general. Here, in my opinion, the masseur can show his style, his range of techniques and manipulations. In brief, I will tell you why.

Back massage

While massaging back, we primarily work on the spine, as each segment of the spinal column is associated with certain internal organs. It is also important massaging the area of ​​the scapula, the latissimus and trapezius muscle. Back is a body area where the person can determine the professional level of the massage therapist, so it is very important to start a massage with a high level of concentration. I pour oil on my arm, while slowly, evenly stroking back area (some pour oil on body parts, then rub it, I think it's a minus).

Stroking should be pleasant, calm, gentle, so that the massaged person can relax from the first second, and completely trust our hands. I use 3-4 kinds of stroking.

Concerning squeezing, I also have 4 options, two of them being on the left side of the massaged person, the other two  in front of the head. When crossing the legs, the right hand does not detach from the body, so as not to lose contact and the already achieved relaxation effect. In my sessions, this rule applies to all the tricks and transitions from one side to the other, to the upper or lower part of the client's body (the only exception is when applying oil to a new area of ​​the body). Recently, I do not apply rubbing technique in the hot season, since I believe that these manipulations have more benefits in the cold season. This is my observation resulting from people reactions.

My favorite method is kneading, composed of 4-5 variants. Performing them, I try to imagine a little, be creative, "write" my picture, while listening to slow and relaxing music.

Back massage

While kneading, it is important massage the lumbosacral spine and trapezium, not to press on the vertebrae, with a minimal effort to work out the kidney area. At the end of one variant, slow stroking is conducted on the back, providing variety and relaxation to the person. Then, I proceed to the next version. The pace of movement is average, and the strength of manipulation depends on the particular physique, the special characteristics of the person, and on his/her desire. Do not be shy to ask a person about the power of our kneading, often a very useful hint like  here you can be stronger, there weaker. It is also important learn to feel the client's reaction to the strength of our movements. This is essential for the masseur, then we can live, breathe massage and make wonders, so you get your own "classic" massage.

In massage, elements of kneading are of great importance, even there is an opinion: "who will learn how to properly perform them, then will learn how to perform a classical massage". I can't agree with such a categorical statement, but certainly, there is some truth. Analyzing all the elements comprised in the classical massage, we can say that kneading — 60-70% of the total massage. It is important to vary the methods of kneading between each other, combining with stroking elements during the session. Besides, in order to perform a good classical massage, in addition to mastering the technique of all the methods, is important to have the desire to fulfill it, the presence of internal energy and potential to learn to feel the body of a child, a woman or a man of different ages, and much more, but about this, you will find out at the end of this article.

Massage of hands

As already said, that in general massage I give special attention to back, feet and head, but while massaging hands, there are also nuances and secrets. Therefore, it will be not fair ignore these theme.

After a back massage, you can immediately perform hands massage. In this case, client remains lying on his stomach, and the advantages are that his/her hands will be fully relaxed: a masseur will be able to work both hands and to seat the client's wrists between masseur's feet. In this position is easy to vary the height of the arm, which is bent at the elbow joint. I massage part of the hand higher than the elbow (humeral joint), also biceps and triceps muscles. Then, the elbow joint and forearm are carefully treated. In the end, we massage the brush. Here, is possible to lay hands on a massage table, along a trunk. Because according to the theory of therapy Su Jok, there are all points of our body on a brush, so I advise to behave especially to them. I conduct the point pressing on the inside of brush thumbs mainly.

I mostly apply point pressure on the inside of the brush with the thumbs of my hands, and the rest of my fingers on the outside (back) part of the hand. Thus, there is an additional stimulation of all the parts of our body.

We work on each hand approximately 5 minutes, and because after this, we start massaging feet, and the person continues lying on a stomach. For him/her, this could be too much time in the same position. To sum up time: back and arms  is approximately 30 minutes, and it should be noticed that the back of both legs will still take 10 minutes. And only after the client changes a position, we end the massage by working legs and feet. It means that almost 40 minutes are needed to be lying on a stomach, to 20-30% of my clients were not pleased, which is the small minus. In this case, hands need to be massaged after the back and legs in the supine position lying on the back. Here, there is also little inconvenience while working on the overhead part of hand, so that she appear in the air, it is possible to underlay a soft little pillow, or special support to help with this. The technique of massage in these two cases is slightly different, so it is worthwhile to master them, and apply to the situation and the client's desire.

Foot massage

There are a lot of reflex zones and acupuncture points on each foot. If properly working tem, we open the energy channels and we can improve the condition of other internal organs and parts of the body. Such systems of therapy as Chinese reflexotherapy, Korean Su Jok and Japanese Shiatsu are widely known in the world. The principle of these systems is basically the same, however there are differences in the location of the points and the technique of massage. Realizing the importance of our feet, we need to massage them, correctly and with concentration.

A lot of people have a tickling reflex during a massage on the soles of the feet, so how to solve this? The first thing that is important for a masseur is to believe that there will be no tickling. The second step: I try to go through with the rhythm of breathing of the person being massaged, and when exhaling, the foot is covered with both hands on both sides, during the inspiration, slowly and gently, press as if the foot was squeezed. The next exhalation - change the position of the hands, one is slightly up, the other one is down, with inspiration breathing press again. During 4-5 cycles of breathing, I get a complete relaxation of the client without negative reactions to these movements, even if he/she claimed to be very sensitive to tickling. Then, point pushes are carried out with the thumbs and the inner part of the palm. The next step is kneading the entire foot, including fingers and the Achilles tendon (most traumatizing part of the tendons of the human body, despite being the most powerful and strongest). On each foot is given approximately 10 minutes, on the feet for 3-4 minutes.

Head Massage

Head massage restores the blood circulation of the scalp, relieves headaches, improves hair growth and secretory function of sebaceous and sweat glands. I begin the massage by stroking the frontal part of the head (rectilinear) to the temples and down to the ear lobules (circular). Then stroking the scalp along massage lines, first from the frontal part to the top. Since the client is lying on his back, then to massage the lower part of the head, with one hand I lift and slightly turn the head to the side, and with the other hand I produce actions from the top to the nape of the head. I change the position of the hands and at the end of stroking I pass to kneading.

This procedure ends with a gentle and very slow stroking of the temples and the frontal part of the head for better relaxation. After 2-3 minutes of rest, the full classical massage is over, and a person can get up from the massage table.    

Oil for massage

The choice of oil for massage and its application to the body parts also plays a big role for the overall effect. Now a large selection of ready-made oils: from grape and apricot kernels, almond oil, jojoba oil, with wheat germ, hazelnut oil. It is important to pay attention to what type of skin is best suited each of the oils, since some of the oils are recommended for massage of the face. Each masseur chooses a component according to his preference and choice of client.

By experimenting and according to people's choices, I use a combination of oil which I prepare and mix by myself before the massage. Classic olive oil and baby aloe vera oil (Johnson ) in a ratio of 1: 1, in a ceramic mug. This mixture is ideal for normal and dry skin, if desired by the person being massaged, I add a few drops of essential oil, giving preference to the lemon, orange, fir, tea tree, ylang-ylang oils. In the mixture I add no more than two kinds of essential oils, and the amount of oil for one session. After finishing, I do not use the rest of the oil do and carefully wash the mug with warm water, and also hands.

How apply oil to the body? I do not recommend pouring or dripping oil on body parts directly from the mug or vial that is used, but rather apply to your hands in small quantities, and then evenly spread along the massaged area. Thus, it is easier and better way to get in touch with a person, since he/she feels the warmth of our hands along with the first touches. And not the rain or a bolt from the blue sky in the form of dripping, is often like the feeling of cold oil? On such small nuances and little details, pluses and minuses, a general idea of the performed massage is formed in the client's mind.

The masseur must know and feel how much oil must be applied to the area of ​​the body, so that there is good glide and grasp. If the oil suddenly turns out to be too much, then the glide will be great, and the grasp is minimal when massaging, which is not very good. In this case, simply wipe your hands with a towel, that should always be near us. So the oil will already be a little less and grasp will be better. In the hot season, as well as someone who has oily skin, or if requested by the client, I often use talc for massage.    

Other advices

To the short descriptions of classical massage of different parts of the body, I want to add some points and reasons on which qualitative professional massaging depends on. Desire, skills of manipulation and different techniques, concentration, feeling of fingers and hands while massaging different physique of the massaged person - this has already been mentioned to some extent above. The internal potential and energy of the masseur largely depends on the lifestyle and nutrition. It is desirable to practice sports or yoga every day, doing hand and breath exercises, walking or running. You could change the routines on different days of the week, try to alternate a in a circle.

More often ask yourself this question: "How can I improve my massage? What else can I do to improve all these aspects?" For a professional with experience such a question may seem rhetorical, but for beginners, is relevant. There are a lot of interesting books about massage, videos and articles about different directions and methods, competitions, championships - there is enough information to learn and to work on yourself too! Analyze everything, and intuition will help you find ways to improve.

Do not be afraid to try out and improvise, but always follow the basic rules and recommendations. From our ability, desire and manipulation depends the therapeutic effect of the procedure, and therefore the well-being and mood of people.                        

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