Self-massage is often just as therapeutic as being given a massage by someone else and you should try to do it on a regular basis; it can boost energy levels when you are feeling exhausted, ease aches and pains, banish he tensions of the day, and, most importantly, provide you with the opportunity to spend time on yourself.

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The face and scalp are especially well suited to self-massage; we instinctively stroke our foreheads when we have a headache and hold our foreheads when concentrating. The face contains a huge number of nerve receptors and, therefore, a face massage can have profound effects all through the body, changing our mood, enhancing relaxation, and controlling pain. The scalp, too, can store a surprising amount of tension­the skin will feel taut and difficult to move if it is not relaxed.

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  1. Stroke your whole face with soft, molding hands. Then, with the fingers of both hands, stroke slowly and firmly from the center of your forehead out to your temples. Stroke under your cheekbones, from your nose to your ears; this can help if you suffer from sinus congestion. Then stroke from your mouth out toward the edges of your jaw.
  2. Explore your face with circular finger pressures, moving your skin against the underlying muscles. Vary the size, depth, and direction of the circles; try flat, shallow circles and deep, penetrating spirals. Feel for any taut, overused muscles and pay particular attention to your jaw, since tension is often stored there.
  3. Gently squeeze and pull your ears with your thumb and forefinger, working around all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Place a palm over each ear, then slowly and gently move your ears up and down in a circular motion, easing pressure on the upward movement. The noise you will hear sounds like the sea and i am sure you will find it very soothing.
  5. Gently stroke around your right eye with your right hand and your left eye with your left hand at the same time. Then squeeze along each eyebrow from the bridge of your nose to your temples using your index fingers and thumbs. If you find a particularly tight spot, keep holding this point until the tension eases.
  6. Use the pads of your fingers to tap lightly under your eyes and over your eyelids. The sensation should resemble lightly falling rain. This movement helps disperse congestion in the area and reduce puffiness around the eyes that can be caused by tiredness.
  7. Place your palms on your temples, with your fingers resting on your head, and slowly circle your palms ten times in one direction and ten times in the other. Then make circular palm pressures all over your scalp.
  8. In each of your hands, clasp some strands of hair at the root, twist them around your fingers, and gently pull. Imagine you are pulling out tension. Hold the hair for a few seconds longer and then release it. Repeat the sequence using hair from all over the scalp. You can use both hands together or one hand after the other.
  9. Comb the fingers of one hand through the hair from the roots to the ends, then follow the movement with the other hand. Repeat this sequence all over your head and try to achieve a smooth, fluid rhythm. Try not to hurry these movements since they can be surprisingly relaxing.
  10. Use percussion movements on your head to wake yourself up. Use the fingers and thumbs of alternate hands to pluck the scalp, or pummel the area with relaxed fists. Vary the lightness and speed for different effects.

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