Place your hand’s side by side on the body, palms down, and then smoothly and gently slide upward, leading with your fingers. Keeping a straight back, lean forward on your hands, using the weight of your body to apply a steady, even pressure through the palms and heels of the hands.
Fan your hands out to both sides of the body, reducing the pressure, and slide them down the sides, molding them to the contours of the body. Pull your hands up toward each other, and swivel them around to begin the upward movement again. Repeat several times, covering the whole area.
Follow the sequence above, using each hand alternately to stroke the body. This slight variation creates pleasant diagonal stretches. Starting with the right hand, stroke firmly upward and out. Then repeat the movement with the left hand so that it strokes up as the right-hand glides down. Repeat several times to cover the whole area
Circular stroking. In this variation of fan stroking, both hands work on the same side, one hand completing a full circle while the other makes a half circle, building up a smooth and steady rhythm. Circular stroking is particularly useful in large areas, such as the back, shoulders, and abdomen. Like fan stroking, it is useful for linking different parts in a full body massage. It produces a continuous flowing effect.
- Place both hands, fingers pointing away from you, on one side of the body about 6 inches (15 cm) apart
- Begin to circle your hands in a clockwise direction, starting with the left hand, and following with the right.
- As your left-hand meets your right arm, lift your hand over, rejoining the body on the other side to finish the circle. Repeat several times, stroking firmly on the upward and outward movement, and gliding gently to complete the circle.
This fast movement is particularly useful in small, tense areas, such as the top of the shoulders and the neck. Alter the pressure to suit your friend’s needs. If the muscles are very tight, begin gently, then stroke more firmly. To vary the effect, circle your thumbs, following steps 1-3 above for circular stroking. With your hands resting on the body, stroke firmly upward and out to the side with your left thumb. Follow with the right thumb, stroking a little higher. Make the stroke smooth and repetitive, building up a steady rhythm.
In a relaxing massage, kneading should be flat and smooth to produce an amazingly soothing effect. The movement is like kneading dough and is useful on the shoulders, back, and fleshy areas such as the hips.
- Place yow hands flat on the body with your elbows apart and fingers pointing away from you. With your right hand, gently grasp some flesh and release it into your left hand.
- Let your left hand take the flesh and then release it into a yow right hand. Repeat several times, counting to keep your strokes rhythmic, like waves washing over the muscles.