1. palm knead

most of the time i’ll push with the base of my palm – the meaty part between my thumb and wrist. this is great to use on any big muscles. i can, if needed, get almost my whole body weight into it

  1. palm knead with soft-claws

this is kind of like pushing with the meat of the hand, but digging in with my fingers at the same time. it lets me work two adjacent muscles at once. this works well in the upper back, with palm on the inner shoulder and fingers into the upper shoulder

  1. knuckles

knuckles are fine to use when a smidge more sharpness is desired. this works well along the sides of the spine, especially through mid and lower back

  1. thumbs

in fine-detail areas like the back of the neck i’ll push with my thumb. professionals are taught not to do this, because it wears the thumb out too fast and you can’t last through an entire day of work. i’m not professional though, and for an occasional rub on a mate, thumbs give both a lot of sensitivity and an ability to up the pressure as needed

  1. fingers

when i’m tracing energy or focusing on a node, i’ll usually use fingertips, mostly of the first and middle finger on each hand

  1. elbows and forearms

in really tough areas, like that spot under the shoulder blade, i might use an elbow, for a super-sharp push. but contrasting that, to shift the entire shoulder blade up and out, i might use my entire forearm instead, somewhat like a rolling-pin. these are both kind of rare – definitely not something i do in every massage. good tools to keep in the mental toolkit though

  1. claws

it’s nice to finish up with a gentle scritching

Back to massage