Neck massage offers extraordinary relaxation and relief from stress. Relieve tension in the neck muscles, and the brain will relax, offering fast relief from headaches and feelings of tension.
Remember that the middle of the neck is where the spinal cord joins the lower part of the brain. All of the thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves that provide sensory and motor control of the body pass through this point, so always be conscious of the level of pressure that you exert.
Begin the neck massage with some wide effleurage strokes, sweeping around and over the shoulders until your hands meet at the back of the neck, and then slowly up to the base of the skull before releasing and starting over.
If your massage partner has long hair, gently lift her head and, as part of the massage stroke, draw the hair away from the neck in a fluid motion. Take your time to enjoy this intimate and luxurious action – don’t let it feel as if you just trying to get the hair out of the way.
The gentle rocking of this technique provides a beautiful sensation of release and yielding to an inviting flow.
Begin by cupping one side of your partner’s neck in the palm of one hand, placing your hand just below the skull. Gently rock the head to the other side, into the palm of the other hand and then back again, keeping contact all the time. Repeat the rocking movement several times.
A very sensual neck massage technique is to use finger pressure to rotate the head.
Locate the first and second fingers of each hand in the depression at the back of the head under the centre of the skull, and cradle the neck in the palms of the hands.
Slowly rotate the fingertips of each hand in turn, so that pressure moves from the horizontal to the vertical, which will gently rock the head back and forth. Do this for up to a minute or minute and a half, so that the rocking motion provides ease and relaxation, not a blurring of the senses.
With the fingers together and the fingertips of each hand facing the other on the thick, fleshy part of the neck, press up on the back of the neck until you are lifting it slightly. Then rotate your hands in small opposing circles, pressing up into the flesh. The flesh will rise and fall as you move your hands up and down. Try not to break contact with your partner’s neck during this movement.
A rotating movement also works well on the scalp, just above the hairline. With your fingertips make small rotations, taking care not to pull your partner’s hair. Cover the part of the head and neck you can reach on one side, then change hands and repeat the sequence on the other side.
This invigorating and revitalising technique can be easiest with your partner seated in front of you, with his back to you.
Position your fingertips together, with your palms up, on either side of the spine, but not on the spine. Then press the fingertips up so that they move up a few inches, lifting the back and shoulders.
Continue this motion up along either side of the spine as far as the neck, creating a rhythmic vibration as you flex and relax your fingers. Your partner may be tempted to lift their back in concert with your movements; resist this - their role is simply to relax and enjoy.