Perhaps you’ve read our guide to baby massage this November and felt a little envious of all that lovely massage that babies can get (if not, then have a look here). Well, now it’s your turn! Our holistic reflexology and massage expert Katrine Birk is here to tell you about the best points on your body that you can apply pressure to and massage. So get out your Body Oil or Body Balm – it’s going to be wonderful.
Katrine’s tips for self massage
Katrine says that there aren’t really rules – instead, it’s about listening to your body when you give yourself a reflexology treatment. If the point feels sore, then it’s a good place to massage, but it shouldn’t be very sore. Listen to your body because this is where the magic happens. That being said, there are three good tips you should know:
- Do it symmetrically. Your body is symmetrical, so the points you massage must also be treated symmetrically.
- Play around with the amount of pressure. Try doing it fast, in a pulsing motion or in circles – you’ll feel it when it’s working well.
- Use a good cream, balm or oil. It makes it easier to massage into the points without irritating the skin. And it’s so nice, too.
First aid for the exhausted
If you’re so tired that you almost feel like you’re a zombie, then you should massage your feet. Yes, really! Here are two good methods:
Slather your toes in Body Balm or another rich cream, and stretch and wriggle your toes back and forth. It’s the joint between foot and toe that must be wriggled into action. This point covers the throat, neck and the head itself, and the wriggling motion sends energy to those areas. Sometimes you can be so tired and tight in the neck area that it doesn’t feel as though the head is attached to the body, and for this the trick is very effective. Massaging this point is also good for neck/shoulder tension and tension headaches.
Another way to open up energy – the basic energy that gives you surplus energy for everything and which is also a good protection against stress – is found in a point in the middle of the underside of the foot. Massage this area with a small ball or a child’s puzzle block with a knob handle. The point is located at the intersection between the second and third toes, lengthwise across the foot. Step on the ball, which is placed on the floor, and massage the point while you step down on the ball. You’ll feel it when you hit the right point. Play around with the amount of pressure – fast, in circles, or pulsing. You can also use your finger, but with the ball, you can hold your child at the same time. Spend a couple of minutes, or five – on each foot.
Help for tired eyes
Swollen, tired eyes don’t need to be part of the “mom uniform”. Put balm or Facial Oil on two fingers so that they slide along the skin, and gently massage along the orbital bone. Allow your fingers to slide from the corners of the eyes on either side of the nose, outward and upward. Often we do this quite automatically when we are tired. It’s a great zone to massage when you’re tired and a bit stressed, as it opens up the basic energy and helps tired eyes look bright and fresh again.
Shoulder massage – in your hand
You can soothe sore, tired shoulders without involving your partner or others in the project. On the outside of your hand, meaning the area below your little finger between your palm and the back of your hand, you’ll find the shoulder zone. When you massage here, you send energy to the shoulder girdle, so press and rub here if your shoulders are tired. Find the points that are a bit sore and apply a little more pressure here. It will do you good.
Sleep like a baby
Everyone who has small children knows how important sleep is. Especially your own sleep. Basically you can press on the same points as you do when you massage your baby when you want to make it easier to get to sleep – see exactly where right here. But you can also use another point on your arm that’s soothing to the nervous system – and thereby helps you to sleep better. The point also corrects hormonal imbalances. It is located three fingers’ width from the wrist on the little finger side of your hand. Here you’ll feel a soft point between the bone and the tendon. Find the place where it feels sore and apply good pressure. Massage and press the point on both arms, and if you can, spend a minute or two on each.
Our 3 favourites for great massage
A good massage gets even better when you use the right lube on the skin. Here are our (and Katrine's) favourites.
Acai Body Lotion – best for a short massage, as the cream is quickly absorbed by the skin..
Acai Body Oil – good if you enjoy light, luscious strokes when you massage.
Acai Body Balm – perfect for a longer massage. The balm allows skin to glide against skin without too much – or too little – resistance.
Katrine Birk has worked as an alternative therapist since she was 17, and she’s always loved working with babies and children. She uses a combination of different techniques – including acupressure, craniosacral therapy, reflexology, massage and healing – and loves to share her knowledge. It began with some YouTube videos which were shared on Facebook by parents who needed her instructions and amazing advice.
She’s now published three books on baby massage that are packed with tips, advice and specific instructions on how you can use pressure, massage and touch to give your baby or child improved sleep, better digestion and more calm and harmony. And there are more books on the way.