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Stress management health centre

Massage therapy for stress relief and much more


WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Few sensual experiences rival a full-body massage for pleasure and stress relief - at least among those things you can talk about in front of the children at the dinner table. Word on the health benefits of massage therapy for stress relief has spread, and people are turning to massage for more than just relaxation.

When you can't get to a massage therapist you can still reap many of the benefits of this age-old healing practice, with your own hands. Below massage experts provide advice on simple, self-massage techniques that incorporate the best soothing rubs and pressure-point applications that massage has to offer.

Try them on yourself - or someone you love - during the day to boost your energy and increase concentration. You can also use them at night to relax and get a good night's sleep. You'll find the benefits of massage therapy for stress relief are only the beginning.

Massage therapy to relieve tired eyes

  • Close your eyes. Place your thumbs under your eyebrows, starting at the inside corner of each eye socket. Press and gently move the thumbs in tiny circles, working slowly towards the outsides of your eyebrows and continuing this movement all around your eyes, ending back at the bridge of your nose.
  • Repeat this several times, spending a little extra time at the indentation of the inner eye socket, where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows - an especially tender point on many people.

Massage therapy to ease headaches and tension

  • Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
  • Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you gradually move along.

Massage therapy to relax the hands

Here are several moves that will relieve the strain from pounding the keyboard all day.

  • Stretch your hands and fingers out. Rub each finger from the base to the tip, gently pulling and twisting each finger as you go.
  • Next, rest your left hand, palm upwards, on your lap. Squeeze the fleshy part of your palm between your right thumb and index finger, moving from your wrist to the base of your thumb.
  • Now squeeze that web between your left index finger and thumb several times, looking for any tender points.
  • Then rub the entire palm with your right thumb, applying firm pressure and using gliding strokes from the wrist to the base of each finger.
  • Repeat this process on your right hand.

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