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Hand and Arm Massage

DIY Hand and Arm Massage

A hand and arm massage at home

During times of stress, and more distance than we’ve been used to, we often feel 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 at home. We turn to our Spa and Wellness consultant Patti for a DIY hand and arm massage tutorial. Enjoy this simple way that you and your family can enjoy a spa-like experience on the comfort of your couch.

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    Professional guidance

    Professional guidance

    We turn to licensed esthetician, spa professional and clean beauty guru, Patti Coughlin, to guide us through the best practices for DIY hand and arm massage sessions at home.

    What you'll need for your hand and arm massage

    “Here’s my list of things you’ll need for the perfect hand and arm massage at home:

    hand and arm massage

    What is the best natural oil for a hand and arm 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. More information about how to melt or liquefy coconut oil for massage.”

    hand and arm massage
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    Before you start your hand and arm massage

    “A few things you can do to get prepared:

    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

    Ask questions

    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. 

    Ground yourself

    Before you start your hand and arm 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. “

    hand and arm massage

    DIY hand and arm massage tutorial

    “Let’s get started!

    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. 

    Shoulder roll

    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.”

    hand and arm massage

    Benefits of a DIY hand and arm massage

    “If you want to change someone’s mood and possibly their mind, give them a massage.

    When stress levels are high, carving out some bliss is oh so important. 

    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:

    Your circulation

    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.

    Pain management

    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. 

    Electrical charges

    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' for your hand and arm massage

    “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.

    Your Zen Den can be a peaceful and safe sanctuary within your own space, somewhere that brings you back to center.”

    hand and arm massage

    Organic Fiji

    Choosing coconut oil infused body products for your hand and arm massage, or for your whole body care routine in general, is more than a product choice, it’s an ancient ritual steeped in deep, island history.

    Organic Fiji is a female and Pacific Islander owned boutique brand that creates organic body care products, based in California.

    Organic Fiji’s artisan products have been USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth since 2007 and are vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and ethically created. You can also be assured that Organic Fiji products are free of GMOs, PEGs, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, harsh ingredients or toxic chemicals.

    A brand that believes in product transparency over ‘green-washing’ and are real people on the other end of the phone and email. Click here to contact Organic Fiji.

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