Releasing the Neck

Deep massage and mobilising techniques

NEXT WORKSHOP: See the Diary for workshop dates, cost, locations, etc

 1 day course

Neck Stretch

This 1 day course begins with a ‘hands on’ review of the main muscles of the neck and upper back and their actions. We then work with the client in a supine position, which enables us to work on most of the neck and upper shoulder muscles and is a good position for mobilising the neck.

Techniques covered for this area include:

  • deep massage techniques for stretching and softening the muscles
  • sliding and stationary pressure techniques for specific tension release
  • applied stretches and mobilisations for increasing neck flexibility.

  4 day course – Releasing the Neck, Shoulders and Lower Back

There is also a 4 day course covering the neck, shoulders and lower back, which incorporates and extends the work on these areas – with the client prone, supine, side-lying and seated (clothed).

As well as covering specific techniques, these courses look at:

  • applying the techniques appropriately – monitoring the client’s responses, and choosing and adapting the techniques for the individual client (including how to moderate the pressure)
  • blending firm techniques and stretches fluidly into massage sessions
  • good hand and bodyuse by the practitioner (working with minimum strain and maximum effectiveness)

“I can immediately think of some clients who are going to love this”

Note: This course on Releasing the Neck is self-contained. However the techniques covered in the Freeing the Shoulders course complements it, particularly for working on the overlapping area at the upper shoulder/base of the neck, so the two courses work well together.

NEXT WORKSHOP: See the Diary for workshop dates, cost, locations, etc

Releasing the Neck – More workshop information

The Releasing the Neck day is designed to help you understand more about the neck and to increase your skills to work on this area. It is designed for people who have basic massage skills. Because of variations in massage training levels, this, in practice, means a range of skill levels – but, in my experience in running this course for over two decades, what I’m offering expands the skills of all who have attended.

We begin the day by looking briefly at the main muscles of the neck and their connection into the shoulders (and feel them hands-on on fellow participants – what they feel like relaxed, in action and tensed up, and on different builds) to make some sense of what’s going on in this area and some of the reasons why the common tensions arise. Then, for the rest of the day, we work with partners – giving and receiving – with me demonstrating and then coaching you in a range of techniques for the neck and top of the shoulders, with the client supine – primarily strong petrissage techniques (to stretch and move the muscles), deep tissue type of techniques, and passive stretches and mobilisations.

It is NOT a sports massage course – we are not trying to jump around and just focus on particular ‘problem’ areas. Instead the aim is to expand your repertoire of techniques for generally releasing neck tension and for working more specifically on knotty/tight areas within general massage sessions. 

The techniques are ones that you can easily incorporate into familiar sessions (with a little practice). You can use them in a general full body massage session, or to spend more time easing up those tight areas (and therefore spend less time on other body areas), or do sessions where you primarily focus on the neck and top of the shoulders. I coach you on how to work in a ‘fluid’ way, so that you can use them in a relaxation massage (without breaking the mood) or a sports massage session, how to apply them in ways that put the least strain on your hands while being most effective, including how to use your body most effectively to support your hands. (A crucial part of my teaching is how to work most effectively with the least strain on your hands and body – the subject of my book “Dynamic bodyuse for effective, strain-free massage”.)

In the past, I found that if I threw a large number of techniques at people, they tended to feel overwhelmed, didn’t consolidate many of them and forget many of them by the end of the day. Therefore my teaching now involves covering less techniques more thoroughly. My teaching style is to demonstrate one technique at a time. I then move around the room and coach each person individually (as needed) to consolidate the technique (including coaching on how best to adapt the technique to suit your own body – your hands and your build). This gives people more time to practice and consolidate each technique (to really get a handle on them). I also demonstrate and coach on variations on the technique, and ways of adapting to different client’s builds and tensions.

Towards the end of the day, I like to do a demonstration of how to integrate what we’ve covered within a general massage of this area.

The overall aim is to give you both more specific techniques and more confidence and familiarity with working on each client’s neck.

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