Sunday, March 04, 2012
I am getting a lot out of our four lessons at the community centre. The first week I had the ah-ha realization that the pressure sweep of the hand in the massage stroke is the one that goes in the direction of the heart. That makes sense.
I received a massage on a table with the head "hole" support. Instead of the disposable tissue cover, we opted for a hand towel which is washable. Sounds "green" doesn't it? Well, I learned that the terry cloth fibre is very aggressive against my face. Ha, ha, I won't do that again.
Last night I tried to give another massage but I have stubbornly cold hands. I tried washing dishes first. I tried more hot water. I tried rubbing my hands together. Finally I just started the massage action with a flannel sheet between my partner and my chilly palms. It worked. In a very few moments, my hands were warm enough to spread oil and get the circling motions started properly.
I had basic knowledge of the names of the hand actions now too. The smooth, gentle, rhthmic stokes that start and end a massage are called "Effleurage" stokes. Imagine doing the breaststroke as if you were swimming.
In relaxation massage, the body parts receive a firmer stroke with single hand alternative palmar 'travelling' actions; think-- left, right, left, right. The palm pushes (light force) toward the heart and travels back in a loop in a lighter stroke. These have been called Single Palmar Stroking. These help the circulation and relieve some stiff muscles.
The next level of intensity is Palmar Kneading. I am learning how much force I can use on the back of a thigh and what is comfortable on the back, around the shoulder areas. If you get good at this stroke, it can even be used on a grumpy baby.
Thumb kneading can be used in a relaxing massage. Make sure your nails are short and that you don't push too hard with your thumbs. There are hundreds or pressure points that enjoy receiving stimulation but react in a bad way when the touch is too aggressive.
I have learned that the act of giving massage is very enjoyable to the 'technician'. It is not all about receiving a massage! I can slow my breathing. I can be very aware of what the muscles under my hands are doing. Your partner can be like a big Braille message! " I hurt here. I'm stiff and sore there. Don't stop."
And sometimes your hands tell you it is time to move away from this area. The message is, " This is not beneficial to either of us right here, right now."
I already knew about having the room darkened and warm. I have experienced the delicate light of candles while receiving a massage. Some people really like a chosen scent. (Some are relaxing, while others are invigorating.) Music can be a nice addition to the experience. Keep the volume soft and relaxing too.
Today's lesson is in another two hours and I expect to be giving a 1.5 hour massage AND trying to learn how to be more proficient with my hands. I am a work in progress!
Next week will be my turn to receive the hour and a half massage. I learn things while on the table too.
Next blog, I will try to share what the benefits are to receiving massage. Who needs it and when?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
For the past 2 weekends, we have been attending Relaxation Massage classes. It is at a local community centre and there are 9 couples of all ages in attendance.
If I only learn one thing, it is that the pressure stroke goes back toward the heart. Really? So, there you go.
Last night, a brand new massage table arrived to take up space in our spare room. Guess I'll have to squeeze the sewing machine and ironing board over a bit... cuz mamma needs a massage!
This was my idea of a Valentine's gift. Apparently, somebody thinks massage is a worthwhile investment!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
How could I buy MORE fabric today? I did and now I'm confessing... it's supposed to be good for the soul.
My friend, Shirley is having a birthday in 2 weeks and I have already bought her a "beginners cook book", so I reasoned that a cheery apron would complete the gift. Believe me, the fabric is VERY happy. (Almost goofy happy and it had colourful coffee cups and lots of words such as 'coffee, mocha, cappichino, java etc'.
Shirley prefers coffee, whereas I am the tea granny.
My neighbour doesn't have much ability to cook or bake. She is in deep grief after losing her hubby in the summer, so she really isn't all that hungry either. We are trying to get her to look after her health a bit better than she is doing now.
I am willing to host mini cooking workshops if she wants to learn to follow a recipe or even if she needs tips on how to chop an onion or bake a potato. I will supply all the hints, help and hugs that she needs.
Plus we both can wear our aprons! (Am I seven years old or WHAT?)
So, think of me at the sewing machine, imagining how to make a friend surprised and happy. Here goes another apron!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
This morning, I had a lovely breakfast with someone I love. I relished the time together.
I went to a front garden and pulled out half my invasive heather. I felt a twinge of success.
I raked up some dead leaves and pine needles and saw a 'cleaner' difference. I smiled at my accomplishment.
No thread in the correct colour? No problem. I took a scenic drive to a nearby town and found the thread and two other items I had been thinking of. AND I bought some chilli pepper fabric for another apron to create. (I have a weakness for material and aprons, folks.)
Leaving the car where it was parked, I hoofed it 6 minutes east and 6 minutes back again... why drive to the bank if I could get in some cardio? I enjoyed the fresh seaside air!
I found a little packet of flavoured tea that I wanted to give as a gift. Happy, happy, happy!
Right under my nose, I located a few groceries for tonight's dinner. (Pleased that I was thinking ahead.)
I managed a few hours of sewing to replace some tired kitchen chair cushions. I could give myself a high 5! They aren't complete, but I really made some headway.
Did mention that I got two loads of laundry washed and dried. (Not exactly put away.) That is SO me.
Dinner was DEEE-lish. (Just bragging a bit.) Had more water and half the dessert I would normally allow myself.
So I consider this a delightful, wonderful, ordinary weekend day. It doesn't take too, too much to make my a happy lady.
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