The Neck and Back of the Arms
Where you finish on the back suggests the transition you will make to either the neck or the back of the arms. If you are standing in front of the head the logical movement is to the neck, whereas if you end standing at the side of the body you will probably begin with the arms. This time you ended by the head, so you will continue on with the neck.
Using your finger pads, start at the base of the neck, making tiny circles up into the base of the skull. You do not work on the bony spine region of course. Small squiggly movements can be made up and down the neck using very light pressure. Circle the entire back of the neck and then move up into the space on either side of the skull base. This is known as the occipital area, and is covered by a group of muscles. Hold your fingers in at the notches just under the base of the skull right below the ears (to the right and left of the spinal cord), pull in slightly, and you will feel the muscles relax with the easy stretch you are applying. This area holds a great amount of tension so do not be afraid to press and hold gently to the count of five. Lastly, bring your fingers to the side of the neck and, using a slight pinch-and-roll motion, move up the side of the neck back into the occipitals. Press down and away along the ridge of the neck to the shoulders in transition to massaging the arms.
Kneading stroke on the back of the upper arm.
To begin massaging the arms, stand on the right side of the body with both hands resting near the top of the arm. Rest your left hand on the receiver's shoulder blade and your right hand on the deltoid area. Keep your left hand resting slightly while your right hand holds the arm and glides down in a smooth holding motion. Repeat this three times from the shoulder to the fingertips.
Using both hands now wring along the entire arm from the shoulder to the wrist; repeat this three times, down the arm and up again. Now using your right hand, lift the muscles of the upper arm and knead with a lift-pinch-roll movement starting at the shoulder and moving to the wrist. At the elbow carefully and gently let your thumb and index finger make gentle circles around the bone, passing on to the forearm. Continue to knead with the lift-pinch-and-roll motion, using your thumb and index finger as shown in FIGURE 6-5.
Gently pass your hand along the entire arm three times from shoulder to wrist and repeat these moves on the left side, using the left hand predominantly.