- Set your Relaxation music CD.
- Gather your essential oil massage formulas. Choose a formula that is anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and swelling in the muscle.
- Hang a dry towel around your neck to wipe off hands when necessary.
- To avoid getting oil in your hair after it has been washed and rinsed, you may want to put on a towel turban.
- Open this book to the rub down instructions on the next page.
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Joint pain
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring and comfort.
The Flexibility Rub Down
Self-Care with Essential Oils
After whole-body warming, or when you have finished your shower, a soothing, self-care rub down will set the stage for a deep night’s sleep.
Starting at the top of the face and neck and working down to the ankles and feet, the following steps are designed to help you to feel circulation flowing and health radiating from head to toe. You will also feel the strength building in your upper body from using your hands and arms for massaging. The formulas will soak into the skin and will not be washed off.
The Flexibility Rub Down works its way from head to toe moving from the neck to the shoulders to the lower back and finally the legs and ankles. If you give one minute of stretch and massage to each area, this should take about four to five minutes. Of course the longer you spend on each part of the body, the better you will feel.
1) The Neck
Stretch – Stand firmly with feet slightly apart. Relax knees. With weight of head hanging forward, stretch the back of the neck and the upper spine. Carefully roll head from side to side.
Massage – Before applying any oil to hands, slide your fingers through your hair to vigorously massage your scalp. Apply a small amount of facial formula to your fingertips. Avoid hairline. Slowly massage the face with the fingertips of both hands, giving attention to tense areas at the temples, between the brows, the jaw connections, the cheekbones and the chin. Work to “erase” any trace of frowns.
Slide both hands to the back of the neck, press fingertips into the base of the head and down back of neck. Look up to stretch the neck back while you generously apply a facial formula to front of neck from chin to collar bone. While looking up, slide hands to the back of neck, pressing fingertips in firmly and pull forward several times. Use up whatever is left on your hands to massage the back of neck. Wipe off hands.
2) The Shoulders
Stretch – Lock fingers together for the next three exercises:
1) Reach toward the wall or mirror in front of you, arms straight. Turn palms out to feel a stretch in the shoulders, biceps and triceps.
2) Slowly stretch straight up over head.
3) Bend elbows, pulling down to the right until you feel a stretch in your left shoulder. Pull down to the left until you feel a stretch in the right shoulder. Alternate right and left several times.
Massage – For sore shoulder muscles, place a small amount of formula in the right hand to firmly massage left shoulder. Reach over the shoulder to apply as far down the spine as possible, pulling forward, up and over your shoulder muscles with strong fingertips.
Apply same amount to left hand to firmly massage right shoulder. Find sore spots or bumps in the muscles and give them attention.
For the “computer arm” place a small amount of formula in the left hand. Reach the right arm across to hold the left shoulder. With the fingertips of the left hand, massage the right “wing” along the right side of the body. Find the tender spots and follow the muscle up and down to press out any inflammation or swelling.
3) The Lower Back and Legs
Stretch – Stand firmly with feet slightly apart for next two exercises. Bend knees and keep them firm as if sitting in an invisible chair.
1) Clasp hands behind the neck. Twist slowly as you look over your right shoulder until you feel a stretch all the way down the spine. Then slowly turn to the left.
2) Continuing in this position, lean to the right until you feel a slight stretch in the left hip. Stand back up and lean to the left.
3) Stand with your back side against a wall. Lean forward over legs allowing the wall to support your balance. Drop arms limply in front of you. Breathe deeply. Attempt to relax head, neck and torso, hanging completely limp over the feet until the stretch becomes comfortable, (10 –20 seconds).
4) Continuing in this position, slowly and carefully straighten your knees without locking them until you feel the focus of the stretch change to the back of your legs. Hold and breathe deeply. Try firmly gripping at the knees and pulling your weight toward your feet, still using the wall for balance. Try to slide your grip further down the legs to stretch a little more. Breathe deeply.
Massage – Continuing in this bent-over position, allowing blood to flow to the head, place a generous amount of massage oil on your hands and vigorously rub the lower back with both palms. Continue up the spine as far as you are able to reach, still keeping balanced against the wall. Dig into lower back muscles firmly with the heels of your hands. Place another generous amount of oil in your hands. Slide hands down the back of calves and ankles, working fingertips deep into sore, tight areas of the legs. Replenish oil as needed.