SELF-CARE DURING QUARANTINE:
A DIY HAND AND ARM MASSAGE YOU CAN PERFORM AT HOME
Safer at Home: a DIY hand and arm massage you can perform at home during quarantine
- What you will need for your DIY hand & arm massage
- Your step by step tutorial for your DIY hand & arm massage
- Why we are missing touch during quarantine
During this time of social distancing most of us are feeling the need for calm connection and touch. We are here to walk you through a fun and relaxing self-care routine that you can enjoy even during quarantine. We turn to our Spa and Wellness consultant Patti for a Safer-at-Home DIY hand and arm massage tutorial. Enjoy this simple way that you and your family can enjoy a spa-like experience at home on the comfort of your couch. Better yet, with the weather warming up, this is a great time to increase the serenity factor by creating your own unique outdoor retreat or Zen Den!
MEET OUR SPA AND WELLNESS CONSULTANT PATTI COUGHLIN
Patti is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician with a masters degree in exercise physiology. She combines her experience in clinical research, bodywork and skin care to offer customized services that address the specific needs of her clients. She has worked in environments such as managing high end spas all the way to working with professional athletes. She is an enthusiastic ambassador of the clean beauty movement and an all round beauty and wellness guru.
Hand and arm massage – what you will need:
1 Comfy chair
3 Soft pillows
2 Soft hand towels or small pillow
2 Beach towels
Relaxing music of your choice – I like Org Lounge for a calming vibe
Clean burning candles or dim lighting
Loose clothing – tank shirts if possible
1 Tablespoon of natural massage oil – I prefer Organic Fiji’s Coconut Oil in Lemongrass Tangerine aroma
What is the best natural oil for massage?
I began using Organic Fiji organic raw coconut oil in my massage practice almost 18 years ago and became hooked on the many health and beauty benefits of this “miracle oil”. Along with providing the perfect amount of slip no matter what type of massage I am doing, it is also lightly scented with organic essential oils. My favorite aroma for this tutorial is the Lemongrass Tangerine because it provides an evocative spa experience AND with all the hand washing taking place, you’ll find all the skin drenching and healing properties of certified organic coconut oil is a welcome relief from moisture wicking soaps and hand sanitizers. If you’re looking for more information about how to melt or liquefy coconut oil for massage or heating it to create a warm coconut oil massage click here.
Hand and arm massage – let’s get started:
1) Place one beach towel on top of couch
2) Have receiver lay face up on the towel
3) Place pillows in the small of the back, behind their head and under their knee
4) Place about 1 tablespoon of Organic Fiji Coconut Oil in a small bowl or container
5) Be sure that the massage receiver is comfortable and can breath easily
6) Place the other beach towel over clothes exposing their full arm and hand
7) Place a small pillow or rolled hand towel under elbow in a comfortable, supportive position
Start by asking the receiver about any problem areas or chronic conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel. You will want to avoid these areas during the massage process or use caution when working certain areas. It’s a good idea to check in with the receiver, asking them how movements feel as you proceed.
Get your placement
Move your chair close to the couch so that you can easily rest your hands on the receivers arm and can also reach the top of their shoulder. If you like, you can also sit beside them on the couch or kneel on the floor. Just keeping mind, you should also be comfortable while performing this massage.
Before you start your massage, take a little time to ground yourself. This means connecting to that neutral space by taking a few cleansing breaths. Have the receiver do the same.
Melt coconut oil and apply
Scoop about a quarter size of organic coconut oil into the palm of your hand and rub both hands together to melt. Slowly spread the coconut oil on the forearm and up to the top of the shoulder in a fluid figure 8 like motion using both of your hands, one following the other as you move up the arm. Repeat this 3-4 times allowing the coconut oil to spread to a light application where your hands move easily. If needed, apply a bit more coconut oil.
Focus on the forearm
Making smaller figure 8 thumb motions, softly grab the belly of the forearm with your fingers gently squeezing the muscles in a “kneading” like fashion. This area is a place of particular tension. Repeat this figure 8 movement several times moving up and down the forearm from the elbow to the wrist.
Turn the forearm over
Slowly turn the forearm over so that the receiver’s elbow is resting by their side and work your hands in a “hand over hand” motion working to the elbow and down toward the wrist, almost like pulling a rope. Repeat several times laying the forearm in its start position when done.
Using a “hand over hand” method, gently slide your hands up and over the top of the shoulder and repeat this at least 6 times. With a slight pushing motion, spend some time with your palm in the area between the shoulder and the upper chest (pectoralis) muscle and the collar bone to gently open this space up.
“Milk” the bicep muscle
Cupping both hands in a butterfly like position, alternate moving from the top part of the shoulder to the elbow using more pressure as you move up and less as you “pull” down. Next, bring this movement down to the wrist.
Decompress the joints in the hand
Slowly and gently sandwich the receiver and compress. Take the wrist in both hands and use one hand to rub from the wrist down each finger as you pull it slightly.
Gently massage the wrist and hand with both thumbs
Use the thumbs to apply a light pressure and move them in small circular motions while massaging the entire hand, getting in-between the bones of the hand.
Turn the hand over
Next, with the palm facing up and begin to open up the wrist area. This is done by placing both thumbs in the center of where the wrist meets the palm parallel to the fingers of the receiver then moving the thumbs outward towards the side of the hand. Repeat 2-3 times.
Lay the arm back down
This should be done slowly and gently so as to keep the person you are massaging relaxed and comfortable. Place your hands in a rest position on top of the receiver’s hands.
Take some time to rest
Then repeat this massage sequence on the other arm of the receiver by having them switch to the other side of the couch. When you’re finished, switch roles. Take your time with this ritual. Be patient with yourself and you will find that these moves come more easily with practice.
Reimagining possibilities during quarantine
If you want to change someone’s mood and possibly their mind, give them a massage. With tensions running high right now, trying to carve out some bliss is oh so important. Reimagining what you want your health and home to look and feel like opens the door to possibilities. Creating a mini sanctuary, or Zen Den, at home can benefit everyone, including your four legged family members.
Twenty years ago, I reluctantly had my first massage. Surprisingly, when it was over, I felt a distant familiar state of physical and mental calm. This feeling of “reconnecting” was the inspiration of my career change from clinical research manager to that of a licensed massage therapist and esthetician. My background in exercise physiology and love of certified skincare organic products helped me to carve out a niche practice offering personalized spa treatments. Now, having performed thousands of massages, I can offer some insight into why massage is so important.
Why touch is essential
There are many studies that show our well-being, life course and even our mortality are all linked to our experience with nurturing touch. Touch truly is essential to our life in so many ways and massage in particular is a catalyst for whole body health and healing. Here are some reasons why massage unites both mind and body:
Getting that “kink” worked out is the result of relaxing muscle tissue into a softer state and releasing habitual holding patterns. This is done by increasing blood flow which delivers oxygen and flushes toxins from muscle tissue. Reminding your muscles of the freedom of movement they can experience increases your body awareness and can improve your quality of life.
Did you ever wonder why you automatically rub your shin or shake your finger after you accidentally hit them? One answer is The Gate Theory which suggests increased large muscle fiber activity blocks smaller nerve fiber pain signals explaining why pain can fluctuate so much and why massage is helpful in pain management.
Whenever we touch the body, we stimulate the creation of electrical charges called piezoelectrically (pressure electricity). Among other things, these charges activate the release chemical cascades in the body and brain, trigger collagen and elastin production and engage the “muscle melt” phenomena.
Creating your own Zen Den
Lowering the emotional noise in our home is a welcome break for everyone. Our four legged family members often drift off to sleep as we retreat to calm. Knowing you have a place in your home that feels grounding, calming and balancing is so important, especially when many of us are spending more time working at home than normal due to stay at home orders. Your Zen Den can be a peaceful and safe sanctuary within your own space, somewhere that brings you back to center.
Stay tuned for more wellness suggestions and DIY tutorials you can perform during quarantine.
- Organic Whole Body Raw Coconut Oil$10.00 – $19.00
Unique benefits of Organic Fiji’s Coconut Oil for massage:
- Certified USDA Organic coconut oil by Oregon Tilth
- Cold pressed & extra virgin coconut oil
- Unrefined, unfiltered, raw coconut oil
- Unique moisturizing & healing properties due to lauric acid content and molecular structure
- Whole body treatment: perfect for massage!
- Unscented or scented available. Aromas created using pure and organic essential oils
- Vegan and cruelty free ingredients, sourcing and production
- Clean pure & plant based – free of chemicals, synthetics and harmful toxins
- Biodegradable, Marine Safe and Wilderness Friendly
- Ethically sourced and produced
Organic Fiji’s says NO to:
- Animal byproducts
- Artificial colors
- Artificial fragrances
- Chemicals & toxic ingredients
Organic Fiji’s mission is to bring you the traditions of island life and all the benefits earth’s harvest has to offer your body and soul. The active ingredient in all our products is certified organic, cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil. We create unique, artisanal personal care and culinary items, inspired by the tropics of the Fiji Islands. We will never compromise the quality of performance or the cleanliness of ingredients when designing our organic wellness range.
⚠️ ORGANIC FIJI COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open, we are getting your orders out the door within 24 hours and we have lowered pricing / free shipping minimums to better serve you during this challenging pandemic. Read full COVID-19 address here.