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How to Give a Shiatsu Neck Massage

Learn how to give a shiatsu neck massage from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


The neck is one of these areas in the body that is so fascinating to me. It's this small channel between the head and the rest of the body, and every breath we take travels through the neck, as well as food that we eat and speech. It's such an important area, and it's also a very delicate one because of its size and shape. When approaching the neck, it's important just to really work slowly and gently.

I'm just going to rotate the head side to side here, just you want to encourage the receiver to let go of the head as much as possible so that the neck can be free. I'm going to show you a wave-like motion. Basically I'm bringing my hands like this together underneath the cervical spine of the neck. I have one foot up here, which gives me really good leverage with my own body, and then I'm going to shift down towards her feet and pull up a little bit under the neck as I move my hips back. You can see my body is moving in a wave-like motion as we work under the neck. This is a great way to lengthen the cervical spine and give some space between the torso and the head. I can also go the other way, lifting up.

Because I'm not working with oil, I want to be very mindful of not pulling the skin, just finding that right pressure where there's enough action back, but it's not a pulling. Another great way to work on the neck is rotating the head to the side, and then I have this whole surface along here where I'm just going to use my thumb, very gently.

If there's a point that feels like it's held or tight, I can stop and apply pressure for longer and then continue up all the way to the base of the skull. There are some really lovely points right under the base of the skull where I'm going to just stop and pause, and then turn her head back. Right under here, I'll show you, I'm going to cup with all of my fingers and kind of scoop her chin up a little bit. This is a great way to let the neck release, just in stillness, just through the pressure of my fingertips underneath, while holding.

To finish, I'm going to come onto my knees and come into, just keeping my hands there, bringing my hips back and actually releasing my own head and neck here. All I'm doing is cupping my hands like this, right underneath the base of the skull, and then sliding out so she can feel that length.

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