LOOSEN UP!

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The next few paragraphs will tell you how by using simple Swedish and other massage techniques, you can loosen your muscles:

"How do I do that!? What is Swedish?" RELAX! Just listen to your body and it will tell you which spot to press or massage. Generally, acupressure points are held about three to five seconds each. There is no correct way to do it. Simply find the most sore or tense spot and press or massage there.

Massage the muscles, kneading them, working gradually from lighter to firmer pressure. Work from the center of the body outwards. Then, stretch gradually just to the point of discomfort, hold for fifteen to thirty seconds, release and repeat, stretching further if you can.


RELAXING A STIFF NECK
STEP 1

Apply cream or oil, then, using a firm, kneading motion similar to a contented kitten's front paws, massage back and sides of neck with both hands. Begin at the base of the skull, working slowly to the shoulders, and back a few times while staying off the vertebrae. Do this for 1-3 minutes. For further tension release, press points every one-half inch down neck for three seconds each.

STEP 2
With the middle finger on top of the forefinger, press hollow at the top of the neck for 4 seconds.

STEP 3
Using your first two fingers, press the points on either side of the spine for three seconds each.

STEP 4
Continue as above until you have reached the depressions at the ends of your shoulders.


Treatment For a Crick in the Neck

Much of neck stiffness is caused simply by incorrect sleep and general posture. Also consider possible emotional causes.

STEP 1
To locate the exact trouble spot press the aching part lightly.

Step 2
Relax the area by warming with your hand, a hot pack or a heating pad.

Step 3
Apply pressure with the flat of your thumb gently.

Step 4
Press gently until the surface discomfort has subsided. Then, press firmly and massage in tiny circles until the deeper pain is alleviated. Total recovery may take several days if there's torn muscles, but this treatment should enable you to move your neck without serious pain. Shoulder tightness may be the cause of the more serious crick. Treat shoulder tension at the first sign of discomfort. End