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Shoulder Massage Techniques

Rujuta Borkar
Is pain in your shoulder driving you nuts, and you don't know what to do about it? Why not opt for a massage to get rid of the pain? Knowingly or unknowingly, we end up sitting in wrong postures or sit in an uncomfortable chair for a prolonged period, which affects the shoulder muscles and lead to excruciating pain and swollen muscles.
If you're experiencing shoulder pain and nothing seems to help, then opting for various shoulder massage techniques might just prove helpful. Using specialized massage techniques will help relieve the pain and pressure in the muscles and also reduce the chances of these aches and pains taking on a more severe stand at a later stage.

How to Give a Shoulder Massage

Follow these techniques to get rid of the pain. You will need a person to help you with this.

Getting Ready

Ask the patient to lie down on a matting, with a pillow under the breast bone.
Place a towel under the forehead to bring the body in a straight line. Also place either a pillow or a rolled towel under the ankles so as not to put pressure on the lower back. This is the position that you should be in when you are being massaged.

Applying Oil

A massage should be carried out only after applying oil. It acts as a medium and allows for a smooth flow, preventing the pulling of any muscles.
Take a small amount of oil and pour it onto your palms, then rub the palms together to heat the oil. Then, with smooth flowing strokes, glide your hand over the person's shoulder, neck and back to spread the oil.

Muscle Lifts

After the oil has been properly spread, start massaging.
  • Keeping the fingers pointed straight, spread the thumbs of both hands.
  • Now, with hands in this position, start lifting the muscles of the back, very gently.
  • Do this by making a turning motion of the wrists, much like a windshield wiper motion.
  • Build a rhythm and alternate both hands.
  • Move from the back to the upper arms and then to the shoulders.
  • Continue the lifting of muscles from the back to the neck and down again, running over the shoulders.
  • Vary the pressure and force according to the person's choice.
  • Do the routine first on the left side and then right, or vice versa.

Using Knuckles

Now bring a change in the technique of massage by making use of your knuckles.
  • The fingers that were spread out, should be rolled into fists.
  • Start at the upper shoulder and use your knuckles from the shoulder to the neck to the back in one smooth motion.
  • When you come to the neck area, fold your wrists so that the larger knuckles come in contact with the neck muscles.
  • Using the same technique, continue to knead the different areas, like from the neck to mid back, mid back to shoulder blades and then back again.
  • Remember to roll and unroll the wrists so that the smaller and larger knuckles are alternated, and with that the different sensations and pressures are brought to the fore.
  • Repeat this 4-5 times.

Thumb Cycle

Using your thumb with the right amount of pressure, is one of the best shoulder massage techniques. Here's how you do it.
  • Keep your thumb out and the fingers on the side.
  • Then start tracing the area from the mid back till the neck, (from the sides of the back) with your thumb.
  • When you reach the neck using one thumb, immediately start the same route with the other thumb.
  • Continue to do this for 2 minutes or so.
  • Change the direction of the cycle by tracing the thumb from the side of the neck till the shoulder top.
  • Do not change the rhythm and continue to do this for 2 minutes.
  • Again, change the area and massage in the same way over the lower shoulder.
  • Now, go back up to the neck.
  • Do the same process on the other side of the back.

Shoulder Circling

Next, move on to the shoulders.
  • Take a hand and place it such that the shoulder is padded in the palms.
  • Now, using the fingers of the other hand, place them on the inner edge of the shoulder blade.
  • Begin rotating and circling the shoulder so that it can roll over the extended fingers.
  • Extend the thumb to apply more pressure, in case there is a lot of tension in the muscles.
  • Do this on one side, then the other.

Back Massage

After the shoulder circling is done, move to the back.
  • Use both hands to make an action as though you are pushing something away.
  • Alternate with both hands, as one hand comes towards you, use the other and push it away.
  • Do this all over the back for 2-3 minutes.
  • This completely relieves the sore muscles.
These are some of the techniques that you can apply to relieve the pain and give you some much-needed relief. Alternately, there are shoulder massage machines and shoulder massage pads that are available that you can use for the same. So there is no need to suffer from shoulder pain anymore. Just employ one of these massage techniques and kiss the pain bye.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.