Our arms work hard and often get little appreciation for their effort. They lift and carry heavy loads, then hold steady as we type, work, paint, or just carry on an animated conversation. If you want to give a loved one a special treat, an arm massage is a great idea — and fairly easy to perform. Plan to spend about 10 minutes on each arm.
Start at the shoulder. Tension in the arms often begins in the shoulder muscles. Use both hands to gently knead all over the ball of the shoulder. As explained on Newsweek.com, the exact technique you use doesn’t matter as much as simply using a gentle but firm touch that leaves an indentation in the skin temporarily.
Pay special attention to the triceps and biceps. These muscles get a lot of use. With a gentle kneading motion, rub all the way around the upper arm. Increase the pressure to loosen tense muscles and repeat.
Loosen the arm by rolling the joints. Hold the wrist in one hand and put your other hand on the shoulder. Smoothly and slowly rotate the arm at the shoulder. Then move your hand down to just above the elbow and move the arm up and down at the elbow several times. Then hold the forearm with both hands and gently shake the hand.
Knead the hand. Use your thumb in firm, circular motions to knead the palm of the hand, pushing up from the base of the palm and ending at the base of the fingers. Then massage and roll each finger individually. MassageHealthTherapy.com says massaging the hand actually helps relieve tension in the neck and head.
Pay attention to any tight muscles. As you have worked your way from the shoulder to the fingers, you will notice particular areas with tense muscles. Spend more time there, using a combination of longer and shorter strokes, kneading, circular motions and pressure to ease muscle tension.
Finish with more long, firm strokes down the entire length of the arm. This creates a continuity with the beginning of the massage. Rest one hand on the shoulder, then repeat the entire process with the other arm.