By Diane Przymus
- 60-second facial massage: Begin by pushing your index fingers along both sides of your nose, take a deep breath, count to 5 and release. Now place the pads of your fingers against your cheekbones and push upwards with gradually increasing pressure. Continue pushing and moving the fingers along the curve of the cheekbones until you reach the ears. Pull and rub the lobes of the ears. Next, massage the temples three times. Slide your fingers (while applying pressure up the bridge of the nose and across the eyebrows. Push your fingers up the forehead to the hairline and begin rubbing in circles around the contours of the face and scalp. Rub your palms together and place the heated palms across your closed eyes for 5-10 seconds. Take a deep breath and sense the difference.
- Neck release: Clears the sinuses and releases neck tension. Starting on either side of your spine, push the pads of your middle and ring fingers on both hands up against the base of your head. Massage areas that are sore and slowly make your way towards both ears. Make light circles down your neck until you meet your shoulders where you can apply a deep downward pressure for 3-5 seconds.
- Shoulder release: Bring one hand over your opposite shoulder and dig your fingers into the trapezius muscle while pulling forward, squeeze and release. Do this three times and then repeat for the opposite side. Next, use the pads of your fingertips and your palms to massage the pectoral muscles on your chest. Hold points that are tender for at least 10 seconds while breathing deeply. Much of our shoulder tension is often related to tight anterior muscles. End by rolling your shoulders forward and backwards.
- Low back soother: This is great for easing low back pain and inducing the relaxation response. Rub your hands together until you feel warmth being generated. Bend forward and bring your hands to your low back. Allow the warmth to penetrate into your low back and follow with gentle palm or knuckle circles and light tapping with the palms. End by holding the palms on the low back for 30 seconds.
- Acupressure points to feel calm and connected: Using the pads of your four fingers, lightly press on the middle of the sternum (the top finger should rest about 3 inches below the collar bone). With your other hand, press the pads of your index and your middle finger in the space between the eyebrows (above the nose). This is the traditional third eye position, otherwise known in acupuncture as GV 24.5. Hold these points simultaneously while breathing deeply for at least one minute. Next place the palm of the hand that was resting on the third eye on the top and center of the head. Hold this point simultaneously with the chest point. It can help us feel centered and release stress and anxiety.