Ask your client to remove any necklaces, earrings or glasses. Shoes can also be removed if preferred. Sit them comfortably in an upright chair with a low back and no arms, and ask them to keep their legs uncrossed and their hands relaxed in their lap. Pressure should be firm but not uncomfortable. The pressure should be as firm as the client is comfortable with.
Stage One: The Neck and Shoulders
Remember to support the client’s forehead throughout.
1. Starting at the base of the skull (occipital ridge), use the tips of your fingers to make circling movements in 4 positions down the neck. Keep closely to the side of the spine on the way down, spending about 5 seconds in each position and stopping where the neck meets the shoulders. Start again at the top and repeat these 4 positions 3 times on each side.
2. Starting at the base of the skull, slide your thumb lightly down the neck to the side of the spine, then turn and slide it across the shoulder to the outer edge. Pressure should be light down the neck and firm across the shoulders.
Repeat 3 times on each side.
3. Repeat 2, above, only this time slide your thumb only halfway across the shoulders, taking it off when it’s passed over the bulk of the muscle. Repeat 3 times on each side.
4. The reverse of the last movement. Place your thumb in the middle of the shoulder and slide it firmly towards the neck. Continue sliding lightly up the neck along the side of the spine to the base of the skull. Repeat 3 times on each side.
5. Work on 3 positions along the shoulder: just by the neck, the middle, and lastly the end of the shoulder. Bring your fingers lightly up and over the top of the shoulder,then apply pressure firmly down the back. Repeat these 3 positions 3 times on each
6. On the same 3 positions across the shoulder this time use the pad of your thumb to roll the shoulder muscle forwards. Hold on to the front of the shoulder with your fingers and push your thumb forwards. Repeat these 3 positions 3 times on each
7. Use your fingers and thumb together to flick straight up along the shoulders from the inside out in the same three positions, being careful not to pinch. Repeat these 3 pecks 3 times on each side.
8. Place your hands on either side of the head. Brush them gently back behind the ears, down the neck, over the shoulders and off down the arms. The pressure should be very light.
Repeat 3 times.
9. Sit the client forwards with their arms by their sides. Squeeze the side of each arm with your hands at the top, centre and just above the elbows.
Hold these 3 positions 3 times.
10. Place the client’s right hand on their left shoulder and hold this with your left hand. Ask the client to let their arm fall heavily. With your right hand hold the client’s elbow and support the weight of the arm. Circle 3 times in both directions, moving the elbow slowly in large circles and being careful not to hit the chin or nose. Repeat with the other arm.
11. Sit the client forwards with their arms by their sides and grasp both shoulders firmly. Lift them up towards the ears then let them drop freely. Repeat 3 times.
12. Place your left elbow in the middle of the client’s left shoulder, tilt their head to the left and support their forehead. Starting at the base of the skull, slide your thumb lightly down the side of their neck to the side of the spine, then firmly along the
shoulder to the middle. Repeat 3 times on both sides.
13. Supporting the client’s forehead work with your fingers or thumb with circular pressure for 5 seconds in these 3 positions:
i) Behind the ear, using the hollow as your guide.
ii) A little further towards the spine, following the occiput round.
iii) Final position under the occiput, just to the side of the spine.
Repeat these 3 positions 3 times.