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Home Massage-Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch

Home Massage-Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch

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HOME MASSAGE

Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch
“This book is well-crafted, practical, creative, innovative and accessible. Highly recom-
mended for all those who value the role of touch and intimacy in their lives.”
—Mariana Caplan, Ph.D. , author of To Touch is to Live
“The healing power of massage therapy must be promoted in all appropriate ven-
ues—and healthy touch in the home is a vital component of creating harmony and
happiness. From infants to seniors, we all need touch, and Home Massage, by Chuck
Fata and Suzette Hodnett, with its focus on relationship, stress relief, body image and
nonsexual touch, provides an important stepping stone on the path to peace in our
world.”
—Joseph D. Doyle, president and CEO, The Doyle Group, publisher of
MASSAGE Magazine and Chiropractic Economics magazine
“This book does it all! Simple yet profound, great for beginners or professionals, flled
with insight and wisdom. Chuck had the best hands of any bodyworker I have ever
known and the compassion and love he could express through his touch was truly
astonishing.”
—Dr. Vincent Medici D.C. and Ph.D., Biochemistry, Curriculum Director for
Western Sciences at The Shiatsu Massage School of CA

“This book offers insight into touch that many massage text books do not offer. It is
the conversation about how touch communicates, the discussions of honor, respect
and presence, and the methods of being comfortable in one’s own body and mind,
that are not always available, but are extremely important to introduce to the student
of touch and future therapists. I would recommend using this book as a classroom text
for both the casual student and the professional one.”
—Tania Clutter, LMT, Instructor, Everest College
“Those of us who know and live healthy touch can’t even imagine ourselves without
it. This is a book that is long overdue. When one opens his heart to healthy touch, the
possibilities are unlimited.”
—Michael Young, NCTMB, Founder of RUIT (Repetitive Use Injury Therapy)
PRAISE FOR
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“This beautiful, comprehensive guide to massage is a gift for our families and loved
ones, in teaching each of us how to support one another though the healing power
of touch. The heartfelt photos tell the story so eloquently of creating quality con-
nection, being present and giving to those in our lives who give so much to us
each and everyday. And there is nothing more profound than cultivating the skills
for massage in our children and an appreciation of the power it has to bring us
together in harmony and to help us heal both physically and emotionally. This
book is a gem to be shared with friends and family and generations of a lifetime.”
—Tara Grodjesk, President and Founder, Tara Spa Therapy
Certifed Holistic Health Educator, Massage Therapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner

“Chuck and Suzette have succeeded in creating a fun, easy-to-follow guide to
home massage. The book covers everything from creating a safe environment to
a full massage routine with basic strokes. Written for beginners, it’s guaranteed to
enhance your family life as you discover the joy and happiness of healing touch.”
—Tomas Nani, Founder, Earthlite Massage Tables
“What can be as simple, and as wonderful, as a touch? This book explores this con-
cept in clear, concise language and pictures so that ANYONE can partake of one of
the greatest gifts of being human. As a public librarian I am often wary of massage
books and whether the message within will be appropriate to my patrons. Thankfully,
with books such as this, the gift of touch can be explored in a safe and nurturing envi-
ronment. When we get a copy in our collection I plan on checking it out many times!”
—Terry Oxley, Librarian II, Youth Services, Velma Teague Branch
“As a retired educator and former superintendent, I know the importance of so-
cial interaction and the role human touch plays in the development of children
both in and out of the classroom. In these days when we are sensitive to and limit
‘touch’ in schools, we can’t lose site of this aspect of being human. There is much
stress in the modern school environment and plenty of studies about the positive
effects of massage on decreasing stress. In Home Massage by Chuck Fata and Su-
zette Hodnett, there are clear ways to have parents and their children together
learn to experience the positive effect of touch which can better prepare them
to meet the demands of school, both academic and social. This book is an im-
portant tool to provide improved health for all who utilize the steps it provides.”
—Dr. Laura McGaughey, retired educator and former superintendent
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“This book is just lovely and well written. The authors did a wonderful job in covering
the topic of massage for everyone and demonstrating how easy it is to put the power
of touch in every household. Children to grandparents will love this book.”
—Lynda Solien-Wolfe LMT, NCTMB, Vice-Chair of the Florida Board of
Massage Therapy, President of the Solwolfe Resource Group, Inc.
“I’ve been getting massage regularly for 25 years and wish my family had started 25
years before that. I’m the ‘Massage Dad’ in our house and thankful for the opportunity
to give to my family. This book is a must have and every family will beneft from its
common sense approach to family healing.”
—Allan Share, President, Day Spa Association, International Medical Spa
Association
“Chuck and Suzette break new ground with an excellent book designed to bring the
healing benefts of touch through massage into our daily life. They are a clear voice on
how respect, honor, and appropriate touch learned on the massage table can return
intimacy and loving touch to family life. Every family should have this book to use and
peruse daily.”
—Bruce Eatchel, GM and VP, Stronglite Massage Tables
“Touch is vital to the health of body, mind and soul. Yet, because of the transgressions
of a few, many Western societies are legislating against touch in public institutions. This
is not the answer. The solution is to teach people how to touch in a nurturing and
safe way. Home Massage does this beautifully within the family setting. All members of
the family are included—young and old, healthy and ill, male and female, parent and
child, brother and sister. Bravo!”
—Gayle MacDonald, Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer
The wonderful principles and techniques described in this book reveal the real heal-
ing power of touch, which is often neglected in families but can make such a differ-
ence in our physical, emotional and mental health.
—Dr. Chris Elisabeth Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D., author of Dr. Chris’s A, B, C’s
of Health and The French Stethoscope
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We recommend you also consult the companion DVD to this book:
Available from:
• your local bookstore
• the author’s website:
www.tchcomemassage.com
• the publisher’s website:
www.fndhornpress.com
With step-by-step instructions from certifed wellness experts, this DVD demonstrates how anyone
can use massage to bring health and connection back into family life. Designed for the nonprofes-
sional, the 47-minute disc is divided into three sections. Section one discusses the philosophy and
important principles of home massage. Then, section two offers easy-to-follow directions showing
all aspects of giving an effective full-body massage. Finally, section three presents ideas for bringing
home massage into daily life with children, adolescents, the elderly, spouses, and infants. This invalu-
able resource will allow viewers to discover the healing benefts of touch in their own home with the
people they know and trust.
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CHUCK FATA &
SUZETTE HODNETT
MASSAGE CONSULTANT
JACKIE SLOAN
HOME MASSAGE
Transforming Family Life
Through the Healing Power of Touch
v i x u n o v x v v v s s
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© Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett 2011
The right of Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett to be identifed as the authors
of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998.
First published by Findhorn Press 2011
ISBN 978-1-84409-559-9
All rights reserved.
The contents of this book may not be reproduced in any form,
except for short extracts for quotation or review,
without the written permission of the publisher.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Printed and bound in China
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 17 16 15 14 13 12 13 12 11
Published by
Findhorn Press
117-121 High Street
Forres IV36 1AB
Scotland, UK
t +44(0)1309 690582
f +44(0)131 777 2711
e info@fndhornpress.com
www.fndhornpress.com
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In loving memory of
Chuck Fata
whose healing hands and heart touched us all
His vision and journey continue within this book.
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Touch is our frst language.
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The best environment to provide healing touch
is in the safety of our home and the “toucher” would be
a husband, wife, other family member or trusted friend.
—Mariana Caplan, Ph.D, To Touch is To Live
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12
Introduction
Foreword 14
A Message From The Authors 16
Introduction 18
Section One — Understanding Home Massage
Chapter 1 Touch Heals 26
Chapter 2 Stress 36
Chapter 3 Home Massage 42
Section Two — Learning Home Massage
Chapter 4 The Three TCHM Principles 52
Chapter 5 Preparation 66
Chapter 6 Simple Strokes 88
Chapter 7 Massage Routines 100
Section Three — Bringing Home Massage Into Your Life
Chapter 8 Family Life 142
Chapter 9 Children 156
Chapter 10 Adolescents 168
Chapter 11 Couples 174
Chapter 12 Infants 180
Chapter 13 The Elderly 186
contents
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Conclusion
Our Choice 195
Bibliography 197
Suggested Reading 198
About the Authors 201
References 202
Acknowledgements 204
Index 206
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14
If you are holding this book in your hands, you have already made a conscious step
closer to connecting with your loved ones. Your innate senses are reminding you of
how good it feels to be touched or to touch someone. Those same senses “know”
that touch relaxes, heals, connects, and communicates. It can be as simple as a warm
feeling of security and acceptance or as powerful as to create mental, emotional and
physical shifts in our lives. It is the way most of us were touched as children—un-
abashed, unrestrained, free and unashamed. But when is the last time you remember
touching someone or being touched in that way?
Our social upbringing, our poor experiences with touch, our physical and emotional
injuries and the rules and regulations imposed on us at our workplaces and schools
have slowly and surreptitiously led us to put up barriers so that we might fnd our-
selves not touching or being touched for days. Human touch is as vital to our physical
and emotional health as food and water. Would we consider going without food and
water?
In 2004, Chuck Fata was asked to teach a 15-hour massage class for the students at
the University of California at Irvine. He took the challenge and found that they were
starving for touch and yet full of apprehensions. Aware of this, he opted to teach what
we knew to be under the surface of healthy, human touch. He taught about respect,
honor and nurturing intentions, of being present and aware, of being comfortable
with touch and comfortable in one’s body. Techniques followed, and with these con-
cepts in place, Chuck and the students created a safe, nurturing, loving environment
free from sexual intonations and fears of being hurt. Creativity, trust and relaxation
then happened naturally. I came to assist Chuck with this frst group and was truly fas-
cinated by what I saw. These students looked like professionals after only four hours.
Word spread, and it became the most popular class in the department. Chuck and
I continued our research, discussions and teaching. With great fortune we added life
coach, Tai Chi sandan and co-author of this book, Suzette Hodnett. With her psycho-
logical expertise and her East/West perspectives, together we recognized we had a
different approach and the desire to bring it to the general public.
Home Massage: Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch is one of
our gateways to present these concepts to the world around us. Years were spent in
its development. We have seen that the introduction to these principles is what makes
massage easy to learn and extremely effective. TC Home Massage bridges massage
techniques with the art of massage. This is rare, even in the professional world. There
is much more to massage than structural change and this book explores the depth
of human touch in clear language, simple directions and heartwarming photography.
FOREWORD
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15
Our lives are fast-paced and there seems to be no time for rest, peace and introspec-
tion. If one could only “take a breath.” This book offers us that breath. Our society is
hesitant to touch and fears improper touch. This book is an invitation to make proper
touch a household word. Our families and friends often miss out on our deepest
communication—loving touch. This book shares a path to bring the lessons learned
on the massage table into our relationships and our daily lives.
Touch is our innate wisdom. It is not something we need to learn, but something we
need to remember. What better place than with our trusted friends and family to
return to our natural ability of healing touch through massage?
Turn the pages to learn the principles beneath touch, the techniques for a basic mas-
sage and everyday methods to use this gift to bring your family and friends closer.
Whether you have fve minutes or an evening to spend, every touch shared is a com-
munication. Don’t miss the opportunity.
—JACKIE SLOAN, CMT
CO-FOUNDER, TCHM
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16
It’s a home run and the Yankees have won the World Series.
In that moment, in front of thousands of people with millions of others watching on
television, the winning team rushes to the middle of the feld and embraces each
other with hugs, expressing the joy of victory through the language of touch.
Elsewhere in that very same moment, the father of an 18-year-old exchange student
preparing to leave on a fight to a foreign land resists hugging his daughter in public.
While a baseball team is hugging in front of millions, a father and daughter are not
willing to physically and emotionally connect in public. Observing these extreme at-
titudes regarding touch has captured my imagination.
We are all comfortable with some kind of touch. For some it is a handshake; for oth-
ers, a hug. But we all have a “touch threshold” that keeps us from opening further our
body, our heart, and our mind to the countless gifts of touch.
During the past ten years, while teaching massage to the general public, I have seen
years of touch inhibition disappear as people of all ages become comfortable with
touch through giving and receiving massage. I have seen others already comfortable
with touch begin sharing massage with their families, making touch a greater part of
their daily lives. One of my students contacted me seven years after taking my mas-
sage class to tell me how it had changed her life. I would fnd that hard to believe, but
I have heard similar stories from other students. This is the power of clear boundar-
ies and nonsexual touch. It is the power of honoring yourself and honoring others.
It is the power of becoming comfortable giving and receiving healing touch. It is the
power of touching someone in a reverent way.
When we become comfortable massaging someone for ten minutes or for an hour,
we are transformed. The true magic of massage comes from the duration of touch
that extends to us the gift of an unlimited potential to heal. Through home massage,
we return to the powerful language of touch we knew as a child but have since for-
gotten as adults. We remember how relaxation feels. We connect with those we love.
And we bring touch into our daily lives as a way to communicate with our children,
spouses, relatives, and friends.
I invite you to learn the art of Touch Communications Home Massage (TCHM) and
discover the healing benefts of touch for yourself.
A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
—CHUCK FATA
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17
As far back as I can remember, “taking turns” was a part of my vocabulary and my life.
One of my frst memories is of massaging my dad’s back. He didn’t know about the
many benefts of home massage, but he was a teacher who stood in front of his class
all day and appreciated a good back massage after school. In return, he would mas-
sage me while he watched television. I will never forget the feeling of his single hand
enveloping my tiny back. In those moments, I felt safe, loved, and calm.
Although I was raised in an alcoholic family with unpredictable stress and trauma,
even a few minutes of massage exchange from a parent or sibling would return me
to a feeling of calm. Some nights I would even lie in bed and massage my own arms,
putting myself to sleep. My sisters and I would always exchange massage—before bed,
on vacation, and when we were bored. In the car, massage was the only thing allowing
us to cross the “imaginary line” that separated our places in the back seat.
Life comes full circle and, years later, as both my parents were dying of cancer, I com-
forted them through massage. It was our conversation without words. It made them
feel better and less alone. It made me feel helpful and loving. As they grew weaker,
massage turned to gentle touch, then to a held hand in their fnal moments.
Working in the feld of psychotherapy for over twenty years, I have seen what hap-
pens when touch invades and damages and what happens when touch embraces and
heals. I have listened to painful stories of abusive touch that scarred a child’s soul for
a lifetime. I have seen how loving touch or a forgiving hug—father to son or husband
to wife—can heal a deep hurt that may have taken years in talk therapy. I have seen
the lonely and depressed who craved and needed touch, but had no place to either
receive or give it. I have seen discomfort with touch passed on from generation to
generation.
It has been said that touching is the true revolution. In our Touch Communications
Home Massage (TCHM) workshops, I continue to see mother and daughter, father
and son, friends and couples reach a place that defes explanation. Quiet. Present. Re-
spectful. Calm. Loving. Touched. A place of freedom, safety, and connection. We need
more of this—as individuals, as families, and as a culture.
We have this amazing gift at our fngertips that costs nothing, can go anywhere and
makes us feel relaxed, loved, and healthy. I used to joke that my perfect world would
be that anywhere, anytime, we could exchange back rubs with our family and friends.
I have always wondered why more people weren’t “taking turns.” Now they can. Wel-
come to Touch Communications Home Massage—for family and friends.
—SUZETTE HODNETT
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18
Who says massage has to be only in the
hands of the professionals? Anyone can do it!
Countless individuals like yourself are begin-
ning to use one of the oldest healing thera-
pies known to man—massage—to bring
health and connection back into their daily
lives. Someday every home will have a mas-
sage table—as natural a piece of furniture as
the living room sofa. More and more families
are exchanging massage and allowing healing
touch to be an integral part of their daily lives.
Now you can experience the transformative
benefts of bringing massage into your home.
Home massage is an idea whose time has
come.
I NTRODUCTI ON
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20
A Gallup poll asked Americans what they wanted the most. One
answer dominated the list: “A happy family life.” But in our high-
tech and fast-paced society, we are often disconnected from
those we love the most, making the wish for a happy family life
more diffcult to realize.
Stress is no longer an occasional event but a way of life. Our lives
run “pedal to the metal,” often stuck in high gear. Husbands and
wives have become strangers in their own homes. Divorce is on
the rise. Some children turn to drugs. Others, juggling activities
and homework, suffer from stress-related disorders. How do we
reverse this strong current of tension and disconnect amid our
fast and furious lives?
Could it be that the answer to our modern dilemma is as old
as time itself? Touch Communications Home Massage says “YES”
and is bringing massage—the oldest healing therapy known to
man—back into our daily lives.
To achieve a happy family life, experts agree that we need to
communicate with each other more, not only via our speech
but also with the healing vocabulary of loving touch. Touch is our
frst language. Whatever our age or stage in life, the gift of touch
can make us feel protected, appreciated, and validated, letting us
know that we are loved, understood, and forgiven. Home mas-
sage brings this healing gift into our homes.
A HAPPY FAMI LY LI FE
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22
WHAT BE T T E R PLACE
THAN I N OUR HOME?
There is a resistance in many of us to learning and practicing massage at home. We
will nod and agree that it is a great idea. We may even acknowledge the many benefts
to both the giver and the receiver. Yet we also feel a certain reluctance to touch.
Maybe in childhood we were never touched, and so massage feels foreign and un-
comfortable. What better place than in our own home with the people we love and
trust for us to discover and share the healing benefts of touch?
Maybe in childhood we were touched the wrong way, and now we are afraid the
same thing will happen again. What better place than a private and safe home envi-
ronment to heal through the loving, appropriate touch of someone we trust?
Maybe we tell ourselves that we don’t have time because of our busy, hectic lives. But
home massage is easy and can be done in the convenience of our home. Massage,
shared with our loved ones, brings us calm, balance, and an opportunity to rest and
recharge from our stressful lives.
Maybe we are uncomfortable with our bodies. We think we are too fat or too thin.
We don’t want to feel vulnerable. What better place than in our own home to begin
to feel at ease with our own unique bodies and so gain a sense of comfort in our
own skin?
Maybe we are uncertain how to teach our children about proper and improper
touch. What better place than in our home, through shared massage, to open the
lines of communication and make touch a household word and natural part of our
vocabulary?
Maybe we are too uncomfortable touching another person. With home massage, we
can fnally give loving touch to our trusted friends and family. Nurturing massage is a
gift of healing. What better place than in our own home to share this natural connec-
tion with each other?
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Massage is now accepted by the general public and the medical community as an
valuable adjunct to effective health care. Certifed massage therapists with hundreds
of hours of training and years of experience are providing relaxation and rehabilita-
tion to everyone from infants to the elderly. But by limiting massage to our infrequent
visits to professional massage therapists, the many healing gifts of massage are sadly
under-used. Now the healing benefts of massage—stress reduction, pain manage-
ment, improved immunity, and emotional well-being—are in our hands through home
massage.
Home massage, done with the people we already know and trust, is fun, easy to learn,
and effective. Home massage is based on three important, tried-and-true principles:
creating a safe place of honor and respect, encouraging the art of massage, and taking
the mystique out of massage techniques. Following these principles returns us to our
natural ability of healing touch. With home massage, the healing benefts of massage
are not confned to a massage table. There are a myriad of applications in our daily
life for people of all ages and all situations to connect with each other through the art
and techniques of home massage.

Massage gives us a way to experience touch for a long enough duration to allow heal-
ing of unlimited potential. As insurance and medical costs rise, home massage is an
excellent hands-on technique that allows us to take responsibility for our own health
and reduce our need for doctors and drugs.
Home is where we frst learn to touch, and yet touch is often a neglected means of
communication with our family members. When touch through massage becomes a
regular and natural part of family life, touch becomes a household word. Parents feel
comfortable talking to their children about improper touch and children become
receptive and willing to be part of the discussion. Families learn to honor and respect
each other through their experience with home massage and report fewer fghts, less
time watching television, improved health, increased relaxation and renewed emo-
tional connection.
When words fall short, when words can’t soothe, and when words are not enough,
the power of touch through massage can heal your mind, body, and spirit. We en-
courage you to learn Touch Communications Home Massage. Experience it. Allow
the magic of healing touch to weave into the very fabric of your life. You will be glad
you did.
OUR HOME I S WHE RE WE
FI RS T LE ARN T O T OUCH
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Authors’ note
Although the authors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness
of information contained in this book, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies,
omissions, or any inconsistency herein. Any slights of people, places, or organizations are
unintentional.
Publisher’s note
This book is not intended as guidance for the treatment of serious health problems. The
information provided is intended to educate and complement, not replace, the advice
of your physician or other healthcare professional. Prior to massaging anyone, refer to
page 78 for contraindications. Please consult a medical professional if you suffer from any
health problems or special conditions.
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25
UNDERS TANDI NG
HOME MAS S AGE
SECTION ONE
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1
TOUCH HEALS
Where touching begins, there love and humanity also begin.
—Ashley Montague
I know that touching was and still is and always will be
the true revolution.
—Nikki Giovanni
CHAPTER ONE
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27
To touch, to hold, and to hug with kindness and compassion are universal and natural
instincts. When we gently rub the tired shoulders of a friend, when we embrace, or
when we reach out to hold a loved one’s hand in kindness and compassion, we are
doing something as ancient as time itself.

Touch calms us. It naturally heals us. It makes us feel safe. It makes us feel loved and
loving.
OUR NATURAL INSTINCT
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There is nothing that treats our emotional and physical wounds
as much as the bandage of a hug.
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YE S T E RDAY
Touch is not something we need to learn; it is something we need to remember. The
healing power of touch through the art of massage is one of the frst healing thera-
pies known to man. Before the advent of drugs, medicine consisted mainly of touch.
The earliest tribal cultures throughout the world used touch to cure the sick. To the
ancient Greek and Roman physicians, massage was one of the principal means of
healing and relieving pain. The “laying on of hands” has been a primary form of healing
throughout history. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, wrote, “Physicians must be
experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing.”
TODAY
Touch is a primal need. It is considered stronger than verbal or emotional contact.
Our need and desire for touch is the key to our species, to continuing parenthood,
and the survival of the human race. Beyond mere survival, touch improves our physi-
cal health, relationships, and emotional well-being.
Today our high-tech and fast-paced lives propel us into an increasingly impersonal
world. The detached state of our society is but a refection of our own individual
failure to touch. Virtual reality, chat rooms, and computer games are on the rise and
scouting programs, sports leagues, and community groups are on the decline. Some-
times we are more connected to the computer than to our loved ones. The cold
metal and hard plastic of our cell phones and iPods has begun to replace the soft,
warm touch of those most dear to us.
Living life at high speed also makes it diffcult to fnd the time to connect with those
closest to us and maintain our cherished relationships. Gandhi wrote, “There is more
to life than increasing its speed.” The debris left behind in the whirlwind of our manic
desire to get the most done in the least amount of time is ill health and estrangement
from family and friends.
Our deep primal need to be touched is even more important today. Our fngertips
on a computer may make us feel connected to cyberspace, but the same hands
placed upon a loved one can give the gift of healing, connection, and relaxation. The
power of touch through home massage can return balance, health, and calm to our
often hectic and impersonal lives.
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RE S E ARCH S TUDI E S ON T OUCH
Landmark research on touch with rhesus monkeys shows they prefer surrogate
mother objects providing contact comfort (frames covered with terry cloth) to those
consisting of frames with bare wires that provide a steady milk supply. This reveals
that it is touch, not food, that promotes the greater attachment.
1
Longitudinal studies of rhesus monkeys also indicate that touch deprivation has an
impact on physiological functions, such as stress hormone response and immunologi-
cal strength.
2
Recent research in humans shows that aberrant behavior stemming from early touch
deprivation is sustained, repeated, and reinforced from generation to generation.
3,4
A research study of 49 cultures revealed that those exhibiting minimal physical af-
fection towards their children had signifcantly higher rates of violence. Those that
showed the most amounts of physical affection had the least occurrence of adult
violence.
5
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A study examining the effects of massage on women receiving massage (30-min-
ute massage three times weekly for fve weeks) showed reduced anxiety, depressed
mood and anger. The longer-term massage effects included reduced depression and
hostility, increased urinary dopamine, serotonin values, natural killer cell number and
lymphocytes.
6
In a study on HIV-positive adults, natural killer cells increased after 20 days of mas-
sage.
7

After fve weeks of twice-weekly massages, adults with spinal cord injuries saw their
functional activity improve and experienced increased range of motion in their wrists
and elbows.
8
Short sessions of soft-tissue massage provided a sense of meaning and inner respite
among cancer patients in palliative care, according to recent research.
9
Research studies concluded that therapeutic massage was an effective treatment pro-
viding long-lasting benefts for patients suffering from chronic low back pain.
Researchers hypothesize that massage might be an effective alternative to conven-
tional medical care for persistent low back pain.
10

A pilot study revealed that massage reduces pain and muscle spasms in patients who
have undergone heart bypass surgery when patients are treated with massage at the
hospital after their surgery. Because of its effectiveness, 60 percent of the massage
group expressed a willingness to pay for massage therapy out-of-pocket.
11
Furthermore, research studies have found that massage is helpful in decreasing blood
pressure in people with hypertension, alleviating pain in migraine sufferers, and im-
proving alertness and performance in offce workers.
12
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T OUCHY ABOUT T OUCH
Research has now proven what the ancients always knew—touch heals. Ironically, the
high-tech world that created the equipment to scientifcally reveal the healing power
of touch is “out of touch” with touch.
In the United States, we are usually at the forefront of new ideas. But, unfortunately,
our society has become touch-phobic. America is what anthropologists call a “non-
tactile society.” Compared with most societies around the world, we are “touchy
about touch.” Sadly, our attitudes about touch are infuenced by our culture and not
our need for touch. Our culture has now convinced us that touch is dangerous. Fears
of sexual abuse and improper touch haunt innocent adults. No-touch laws in schools
restrict teachers from hugging their students or even picking up preschoolers who fall
on the playground. Many parents are confused about how and where to touch their
children. Others wonder, “How old is too old to touch?”
The truth is that we have become a “touch-starved” nation. We hunger for touch and
connection with the people in our lives. Many people are unaware of the emotional
and physical effects of their touch deprivation. Some adults unconsciously develop
psychosomatic illnesses in hopes of receiving the gentle, nurturing touch they remem-
ber from childhood. The elderly often ask others to take their hand, not for stability,
but because they crave touch. Children pretend to be sick, not necessarily to stay
home from school as parents suspect, but to receive their healing touch and attention.
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Sometimes we go to great lengths to show friends and family we care about them
through giving or doing, but we are reluctant to embrace them.
Secretly a mother would like to express affection to her teenage son. Secretly he
would enjoy it—just as he did in childhood—but instead he snarls, “Leave me alone!”
A father, leaving on a trip, starts to kiss his daughter goodbye but is hurt when she
turns and gives him an uncomfortable shrug instead.
A small child deliberately disobeys his parent for the payoff of being spanked. To some
children, negative touch is better than no touch at all.
We visit a relative in the hospital, bringing fowers and candy, but we may be reluctant
to give them a healing hug or to hold their hand.
A grieving friend needs a compassionate hug, but we are uncomfortable and so offer
only awkward words of condolence.
We intuitively know that touch is healing, but sometimes we fear the honesty of
touch. The truth is that often touch is more than appropriate—it may be the very
best way to communicate and connect with those we love.
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PROPE R T OUCH
Touch, like fre, can hurt or heal you.
Touch can be a healing gift or a damaging poison. Children have been wounded with
life-long scars from the devastating effects of abusive touch. Bad touch makes us feel
uncomfortable, scared, nervous, and threatened. Healing touch makes us feel com-
fortable, calm, peaceful, and safe.
We face the dilemma of knowing that touch is critical for our health and well-being,
but that improper touch can scar our very soul. And so a great schism divides our
culture: to touch or not to touch?
If we choose not to touch, we are robbing ourselves and future generations of one
of our most precious birthrights—the innate healing power of touch. The art of mas-
sage, shared between family and friends whom we love and trust, can help us reclaim
that deep heritage of healing touch for ourselves and our children.
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TO TOUCH OR NOT TO TOUCH
There is nothing more hideous,
More damaging,
More disappointing,
Than the touch that shatters our trust.
It can break our heart;
It can reach our core;
It can scar our soul.
There is nothing more accessible,
More under-used,
More needed,
More healing,
Than sacred touch.
It can mend a broken heart;
It can make us feel more alive;
It can refresh our mind;
It can soothe our soul.
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The time to relax is when you don’t have time to relax.
All this talk and turmoil and noise and movement is outside
the veil. Inside the veil is silence and calm and peace
-Bayazid Bistami
S T RE S S
CHAPTER TWO
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37
Our bodies have forgotten how relaxation feels. We have come to accept our fast-
paced, over-loaded, and increasingly impersonal lives as normal. As self-help author
and motivational speaker Richard Carlson states, “Stress is nothing more than a so-
cially acceptable form of mental illness.“
Stress can be seductive and strong, dominating our lives and luring us in with the
adrenaline rush of life on full throttle. Too much to do with too little time is our
national anthem. Some label it the American Way or modern living. But perhaps it is
our collective insanity that has us all convinced that our exhaustion from competing
demands, overabundant choices, and over-extended schedules is either natural or
impossible to avoid.
Stress is the gradual and insidious running down of our general health. Outside pres-
sures such as work, family tensions, and bad nutrition take their toll on our mind,
body and spirit. Stress can also emanate from inside us through negative thoughts,
constant worrying and low self-esteem. No matter what the gender, economic status,
or position, no one is immune from the damaging effects of stress. Chronic stress un-
dermines the body’s ability to fx itself and causes psychological and physical disease.
We can hardly pick up a newspaper or watch television without seeing and hearing
about a new study relating stress to a variety of illnesses. A public health survey es-
timated that 70 to 80 percent of Americans who visit conventional physicians suffer
from stress-related or “lifestyle” diseases. Perhaps the most damaging effect of stress
is that we have lost touch with just how much this chronic tension is controlling our
relationships, our physical health, and our emotional well-being.
Consider stress on the freeway.
If you want to break it down to
what the cell understands, it is
chemical stress because of the
smog. Being on the freeway is
emotional stress because you are
not happy to be there. Being on
the freeway is structural stress
because your heart and lungs
and kidneys don’t function as
well when you are cramped up
in your tight little car seat.
—Dr. Vincent Medici
S TRE S S KI LLS
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Memory Loss
Sleep Disturbances
Racing Heart
Sexual Dysfunction
Fatigue
Mental Illness
Ulcers
Diabetes
Low Back Pain
Substance Abuse
Shortness of Breath
S YMPTOMS OF S TRE S S
Heart Disease
Infections
Poor Immunity
Eating Disorders
High Blood Pressure
Migraines
Gastrointestinal Distress
Muscular Pain
Loneliness
Depression
Tight Muscles
Stress is an ignorant state.
It believes that everything is an emergency.
—Natalie Goldberg
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THE S T RE S S RE S PONS E
FI GHT OR FLI GHT
The Sympat het i c Ner vous Syst em
The stress response is our body’s rapid and automatic switch into high gear. During
the stress response our body is like a plane readying itself for take-off. Our heart,
blood, lungs, digestion, and brain are all activated and set to go. This reaction helps us
deal with physical threats by giving us more energy, speed, concentration, and agility
to protect ourselves or to run as fast as possible. But physical threats aren’t the only
events that trigger this stress response. Psychological threats—pressures at work, in-
terpersonal issues, money worries, illness, or the death of a loved one—can also set
off the same alarm system. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contrib-
ute to our body’s stress response.
Any situation that we perceive as dangerous, even subconsciously or falsely, is experi-
enced as a threat to our sympathetic nervous system. Our bodies react by prompting
our adrenal glands to release a series of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol,
increasing our heart rate, elevating our blood pressure, and boosting our energy.
Under most circumstances, once the acute threat has passed our relaxation response
returns all systems to neutral. But modern life poses ongoing stressful situations that
are not short-lived, creating chronic stress. Thus we run on a fght-or-fight reaction
longer than is necessary or healthy.
What is good for the body on a short-term basis can be very harmful over long pe-
riods of time. A nervous system under chronic stress can, as a result, either become
hyperactive (frenetic) or hypoactive (underactive). The disharmony of these two nat-
ural and essential forces can then imbalance many of our physiological activities and
contribute to, or create, various physical and psychological conditions.
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Our bodies have forgotten
how relaxation feels.
Massage returns us to our
natural, calm state of being.
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41
How we perceive a stress-provoking event will determine its impact on our health.
Not all stressful situations are negative. The birth of a child, a job promotion, or a new
relationship may not be perceived as dangerous to our body. However, we may feel
that these situations are stressful because they are new or we are not fully prepared
to deal with them.
Perhaps nothing can age us more rapidly—internally and externally—than high stress.
Unfortunately, when we are under stress it is diffcult for us to maintain the habits
that lead to a healthy life. Instead of exercising, some people respond by inactivity
and overeating. Instead of eating healthy, we succumb to increasingly poor nutritional
choices. Instead of practicing moderation, we abuse alcohol, smoke, and self-medicate.
Although stress is a fact of life, steps can be taken to manage the impact that life
events have on you. First, learn to identify stressful events and develop healthy ways
of dissipating this daily strain, such as exercise, healthy eating, social support, and psy-
chotherapy. Add to that regular massage, which can be very effective in balancing the
nervous system and restoring homeostasis (physical balance and equilibrium). The
skin and muscles contain many nerve endings and connections. The soothing, balanc-
ing, healing touch of massage is relayed by them to every part of the body to bring
relief and promote well-being.
Touch Communications Home Massage is an excellent method you can bring into
your daily life to alleviate tension and remind the body how relaxation feels. There is
no single cure-all, but integrating home massage into your life can help you manage
stress, connect with the people you love, create a peaceful home environment, and
help you enjoy a longer, healthier life.
THE S T RE S S RE S PONS E
REST AND DI GEST
The Par asympat het i c Ner vous Syst em
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HOME MAS S AGE
Touch is a path to peace in our world.
It is the realization of the
oneness of humanity.
What better place
than in our home,
through the universal language of touch,
to plant the seeds of peace?
— Jackie Sloan
CHAPTER THREE
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Massage is good medicine. Americans make 60 million visits to massage practitioners
every year. Massage is now recognized by both the medical community and the public
as an integral part of health care. Some insurance companies offer reimbursement
for massage to treat various ailments. Infant massage is on the rise and is being taught
to parents around the country. Instead of coffee breaks or two-martini lunches, many
companies offer chair massages during the lunch hour as part of their wellness pro-
gram. Hospitals are introducing massage for their patients to reduce pain, alleviate
anxiety, and boost their immune systems. Recognizing that healing, caring touch is
good for everyone, community centers and colleges around the nation are offering
massage classes to teach the general public how to give an effective massage.
Professional massage therapists are well educated with hundreds of hours of classes
and years of training in a variety of modalities such as Trager, Rolfng, cranial sacral, and
polarity bodywork. Their sincere desire to help others, combined with their special-
ized expertise, allows them to effectively treat a variety of physical and emotional ail-
ments, offering an invaluable contribution to our health care system. Trained massage
therapists now work in hospitals, psychiatric units, rehabilitation centers, special-care
baby units, nursing homes, and medical centers. Anyone who has ever gone to a certi-
fed massage therapist for assistance with anything from stress reduction to specifc
injuries knows the value of a professional massage.
Factors of cost and convenience can limit visits to certifed massage therapists, and
thus we are vastly underutilizing the many healing benefts of massage. The truth is
that you don’t have to be a massage therapist to give a soothing, healing massage.
Anyone can do it. The benefts of massage—reducing stress, soothing overworked
muscles, boosting our immune system, and meeting our emotional needs for touch—
are in our own hands. When massage is done in the comfort and familiarity of our
homes with the people we already trust and respect, we feel safe, allowing the magic
of massage to happen with very little effort.
With home massage, we fnd relief from a variety of ailments without the fnancial
burden of medical bills. As health insurance costs soar, our need for self-responsibility
and prevention becomes even more important. The health care of the future will
include effective, low-cost interventions like home massage used side by side with
sophisticated new techniques. Hands-on healing will help lessen our need for doctor
visits, drugs and hospital care. The convenience of home massage makes it a valuable
tool that can be used with almost limitless frequency. It can aid in not only the treat-
ment but in the prevention of so many ailments of daily life—everything from sports
injuries to pain management to stress reduction. It can promote relaxation and, ulti-
mately, our emotional well-being.
MAS S AGE HE ALS
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Relaxes the nervous system,
relieving anxiety, lifting depression,
and boosting energy.
Increases joint fexibility and
relaxes and softens injured and
overused muscles.
Creates a relaxed state of being.
Regular sessions signifcantly
reduce stress.
Brings awareness of our mind-
body connection.
HEALI NG BENEFI TS
OF HOME MASSAGE
Assists the blood fow, encourages the
lymphatic drainage, and stretches the
connective tissue of our joints.
Boosts our immune system.
Improves circulation, bringing much
needed oxygen and other nutrients
to our tissue.
Fulflls our emotional need for caring,
nurturing touch.
Releases endorphins, the body’s
natural painkiller.
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The magic of home massage comes from not only the quality of touch but also the
duration. Where else but through massage can we touch each other in a healing, com-
fortable, and nonsexual way for one minute, fve minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour? The
real benefts of massage for both the giver and receiver are realized with the duration
of touch. This is where the magic happens. Massage opens the door and gives us a
safe and concrete way to touch our partners in a loving, nurturing way for a suffcient
amount of time to make the cells in our body happy, excited, fulflled and healthy.
When we become comfortable massaging someone—when we can give and receive
non-sexual touch for 10 to 50 minutes—we are transformed. Translated to our ev-
eryday lives, we are able to keep that 20-second hug going for 35 seconds, hold the
hand of a sick relative for two full minutes and hug our son or daughter when it previ-
ously felt uncomfortable. Through home massage, we return to our innate ability for
and comfort with healing touch.
THE MAGI C
OF HOME MAS S AGE
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46
A family in harmony will prosper in everything.
—Chinese proverb
No other institution in our society does more than a loving family to shape our values,
support our needs, and nurture our mind, body, and spirit. The family provides not
only food and shelter, but also love, security, and a sense of belonging. What we learn
or don’t learn from our family can affect us for a lifetime, shaping who we are, how
we live, and how we interact with the world. A strong family is our anchor in a world
that is inherently unpredictable and constantly changing.
Our frst experience with touch is our mother’s loving caress in our home. Within
our family we learn how, when and where to touch. Yet natural touch among family
members is an often neglected means of communication. Touch is vital to our rela-
tionships. It is critical for our growth and development. It is essential to our emotional
well-being. What better place than within our family to rediscover the healing benefts
of touch? And what better way than through the medium of massage to express lov-
ing touch to those closest to us?
When the massage table becomes as natural a piece of furniture as the living room
sofa, families achieve better health, increased relaxation, and a deeper connection
with each other. Parents have a way to relieve stress and enjoy renewed intimacy.
Children fght less as they learn to nurture each other. When massage is a natural
routine, families learn to express themselves easily through the language of touch,
creating harmony, mutual respect, and stability in our homes.
FAMI LY CONNE CT I ON
Home is where one starts from.
—T. S. Eliot
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Time alone together sharing the gift of massage allows every pair in the family the opportunity
to connect with the opening of the heart and the relaxing of the ego.
The giver becomes the receiver and the receiver becomes the giver.
And, in that special moment, they become one.
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48
HOME MAS S AGE MAKE S
TOUCH A HOUS E HOLD WORD
There is no place like home.
—Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz
What better place than in our own homes to regain our comfort with touch? Fears
and inhibitions about touch begin in our home, but they can also end there. Home
massage makes touch a household word instead of allowing it to become a taboo
subject. Too often parents, in an attempt to protect their children from the dangers
of improper touch, are reluctant to discuss issues surrounding touch or, even worse,
they discourage any kind of touch. Often they wait until their children are teenagers,
unwilling to listen and thus more infuenced by their peers. Adults who are raised in
families where touch was awkward or discouraged often suffer from a discomfort
with touch that can affect their relationships in ways both disguised and apparent.
When massage is part of our daily lives, it becomes a natural bridge for both adults
and children to talk easily about issues relating to touch. Home massage reminds us
that our bodies belong to us. Through exchanging massage with our loved ones, we
learn to communicate what kind of pressure we want, where we want to be mas-
saged, and when something doesn’t feel good. The trust and comfort that grows on
the massage table can easily be transferred to more delicate and personal matters.
By experiencing loving, safe, and appropriate touch, we also learn to understand the
many signs our bodies offer us when touched appropriately. Furthermore, the conf-
dence gained on the massage table will help us recognize the signs and communicate
our concerns when touch is not appropriate.
Once we become comfortable with touch on the massage table, we don’t need to be
told how to touch, where to touch, what is bad touch, or be convinced of our need
to be touched. We experience a return to our natural expression of touch. As touch
becomes a household word through massage, everyone learns to honor and respect
themselves and each other in all matters of touch.
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Fears and inhibitions about touch begin in our home but can also end there.
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50
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51
LE ARNI NG
HOME MAS S AGE
SECTION TWO
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T HE
T HRE E PRI NCI PLE S
OF TOUCH COMMUNI CATI ONS HOME MAS S AGE
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
but in the expert’s there are few.
—Shunryu Suzuki
CHAPTER FOUR
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T HE
THRE E PRI NCI PLE S
OF TOUCH COMMUNI CAT I ONS HOME MAS S AGE
You don’t have to be a massage therapist
to give a good massage. Anyone can do it.
The tried and true principles of TCHM are a
winning formula that makes massage easy and
fun to learn. Use these three simple but pow-
erful principles and you will naturally return to
your innate ability for healing touch.
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PRI NCI PLE ONE
CREATE A SAFE PLACE
OF HONOR AND RESPECT
When the recipient of massage feels safe, that person is able to relax and the magic
of massage happens with very little effort. This applies to anyone we are massaging—
young or old, family member or trusted friend. The beauty of home massage is that by
working on family and friends, a certain level of trust already exists, allowing relaxation
to occur at a deeper level. Understanding that we are creating a sacred, safe place of
honor and respect builds upon that trust and allows for deep healing.
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AN UNWRITTEN
CONTRACT
The giver creates an unwritten
contract with the receiver that
the massage will be done with a
great sense of honor and respect.
There is an agreement that the
massage is a “time out” from our
daily responsibilities and there will
be no talk about such things as
money, school or work.
There is an agreement that the
massage will be nonsexual in
conversation, insinuation, and
behavior.
Both the giver and receiver will
enter the massage with a kind,
patient, and nonjudgmental spirit.
When the unwritten contract
is understood and consistently
experienced, trust grows and the
receiver will let go and a healing,
relaxing massage will naturally
occur.
LEARN TO LI STEN
Massage is a conversation without words. Listening to
the person on the table with your whole mind, body,
and spirit takes energy and the best of intentions. Just
as we practice our massage techniques, we should also
continually practice listening. How well we listen to
what is happening beneath our hands resonates with
the receiver and either takes them deeper into, or fur-
ther away from, a state of relaxation and peace.
If the receiver asks you to turn the music down and
you don’t oblige, he or she will feel slighted. If the re-
ceiver asks you not to massage a certain part of their
body and you do anyway, they will not feel safe. If a
spouse even jokingly makes an unkind remark towards
their mate, their body will become tense.
Occasionally, during or after a massage, the receiver
may verbally share something personal with the giver.
It is natural, especially between family and friends, to
want to help and so the temptation might be to lec-
ture or give advice. Good listening, without offering
advice, makes the receiver feel safe and accepted ver-
sus judged and analyzed. Always remember the tre-
mendous healing power of simply listening.
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Words cannot express the loving connection
that happens when you spend an hour in this
sacred place of honor and respect, silently in
touch with your grownup child.
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HONOR YOURSELF
The benefts of home massage go far beyond the mas-
sage session. The lessons learned from the frst prin-
ciple can also improve our daily lives.
It is just as important for the receiver to communicate
when they don’t like the way they are being touched
as when they are enjoying a certain technique. When
receiving a massage, clearly communicate to the giver
when something feels uncomfortable or inappropri-
ate. We’ve all had experiences when someone has
violated our boundaries, whether by a family member,
friend, relative, or co-worker. What do we do? Do we
let it pass? Do we confront the person? Do we allow
it to continue? It is critical for children and adults to be
aware of their physical and emotional boundaries. For
example, “I don’t want my feet massaged,” or “Please
use a softer touch,” or “I want to be fully clothed dur-
ing the massage.”
Creating a safe place of honor and respect means that
both the giver and the receiver honor themselves as
well as each other. As the giver, never agree to mas-
sage someone you are not comfortable touching.

It takes effort and practice to learn to assert ourselves,
but it is worth the rewards. Expressing our boundar-
ies during home massage will transfer to other areas
of our lives. Real boundaries come from inside as we
learn what we want, what is crossing a line, and what
signals our bodies offer when touched appropriately
and inappropriately. Adopting a healthy attitude about
touch teaches our children to honor their bodies. This
will do more to prevent improper touch than instilling
fear and avoidance.
Creating a safe place of honor
and respect through compas-
sionate, non-judgmental touch
allows the receiver to relax, let
go, and heal emotionally and
physically. The receiver should
always feel a deep sense of safe-
ty and inner calmness when he
or she is on the table. Let your
hands be the healing instruments
that convey kindness, compas-
sion, and respect .
Everything we do during a mas-
sage—putting a bolster under a
leg, lifting hair off the face, folding
a blanket back, or applying oil—
should be done with great care,
deliberation and honor.
This principle applies to any-
one we are massaging—child,
spouse, friend, elderly person, or
sibling. Don’t assume that be-
cause you are familiar with, older
than, or a parent of the person
on the table that you should
relax this principle. The magic
of massage happens when you
completely honor and respect
whomever is on the table.
COMPASSIONATE
TOUCH
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58
PRI NCI PLE T WO
ENCOURAGE THE ART OF MASSAGE
If you want to know what true art is: Go outside on a
clear night, wait until it gets very, very dark, and look
up. You will see no rules of composition, no evidence of
superior technique. Yet you will be staring into the face
of pure, unadulterated beauty and wonder.
—Derek R. Audette
Have you ever been massaged by an electronic massager? Many variations exist in the
marketplace. The mechanics are there but the human touch is absent. Have you ever
been hugged by someone and it somehow felt awkward, preoccupied and without
emotion? Compare that with a hug from a child who is comfortable with touch, gives
you his or her whole attention and whose emotions are pure and spontaneous.
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I NTENTI ONS
The “art of massage” focuses on being present and being comfortable in mind, body
and spirit. The techniques of massage comprise our brush and paints. Our canvas is
the receiver of the massage. The art of massage comes from what is within us. It is the
way we hold the “brush”—our intentions, our heartfelt presence, and our comfort
level—that separates an ordinary massage from a great, healing massage.
BEI NG PRESENT
Massage is a meditation shared by two people—a quiet conversation through the
medium of touch. Moment to moment, all that should exist for the giver is the com-
fort, safety, and relaxation of the person on the table. If outside thoughts come, allow
them to pass by and then return to your breath and the sensation of the receiver’s
skin against your hands. Being present in mind, body, and spirit allows you to focus all
your energy on the massage.
The dynamics of the giver and receiver relationship should never become a power
imbalance that makes the person on the table feel vulnerable. It is critical that the
giver of the massage is always present with “good intentions.” The vulnerability of the
receiver should be met with kindness and compassion. Rather than feeling powerful,
he or she should be thankful for the privilege of massaging his or her partner.
BEI NG COMFORTABLE
Your comfort as the giver is as important as the comfort of the receiver. A great mas-
sage should be as relaxing for the giver as for the person on the table. This is why it is
important to fnd a comfortable place to work. As the giver, keep your body as free
from tension as possible. Remember to occasionally bring your attention back to your
own level of relaxation to make sure you are not stiffening your body and passing that
tension on to the receiver. The more relaxed you are touching your partner, the more
comfortable she will be accepting your touch.

Being comfortable will allow the massage to reach another level. If we can be physi-
cally and emotionally relaxed when we touch the receiver, she will be able to let go
and release tension that resides deep within the body.
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The art of massage is about being comfortable in mind, body and spirit.
When the giver is comfortable it resonates with the receiver
and they naturally relax and heal.
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PRI NCI PLE THRE E
TAKE THE MYSTIQUE
OUT OF MASSAGE TECHNIQUES
We work with being, but non-being is what we are.
—Lao-Tzu
What is the mystique of massage? It is normal for beginning students to think that
massage is about learning a precise way of doing techniques. The misconception
is that the larger the arsenal of techniques we have, the better the massage. This is
not so.

Massage techniques are important in giving a healing massage. But massage tech-
niques by themselves don’t heal. It is the connection between the giver and the re-
ceiver during the massage that is the catalyst for healing. Blending techniques with a
safe environment and the art of massage creates a healing experience.
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63
Blending techniques with a safe environment and the art of massage
creates a healing experience.
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It is the connection between the giver and receiver,
not complicated massage moves, that heals.
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PRE PARAT I ON
The beauty of Touch Communications Home Massage is that it can be done any-
where and anytime. No specialized equipment is needed—only your healing hands,
your good intentions, and a willing and trusting partner. Our sense of calm and re-
laxation is affected by the environment that surrounds us. Thus, some forethought in
creating the most comfortable environment for both the giver and the receiver will
greatly enhance a feeling of deep relaxation. Healing takes place when the massage
fows without interruption and distractions.
CHAPTER FIVE
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Relaxation is paramount to giving a good massage. Take the time to create a calm and
secure space that makes the receiver feel relaxed and comfortable. Provide a quiet,
private, uncluttered space away from household distractions. Turn off or disconnect all
phones. Make sure that you have enough room to easily move around the table. Keep
a good supply of massage oil or lotion close by. It is a good idea to provide a supply of
cotton sheets that you use only for massage. Twin size sheets work the best. Flannel
sheets provide extra warmth. Have a pillow or bolster for the legs.
THE ROOM
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1. Make child care
arrangements.
2. Refrain from eating a
heavy meal before the
massage.
3. Provide a room that is
warm and draft-free.
4. Let everyone in the
house know the time and
duration of the massage.
5. Hang a “do not disturb”
sign on the door.
6. Turn off or disconnect all
phones.
7. Go to the bathroom
before beginning a
massage.
8. Give yourself time after
the massage to relax.
Many people cool down during a massage and
get chilled. Provide a room that is warm and draft
free. A space heater works well to warm the area
around the massage table. Have a blanket nearby to
cover your partner.
Make sure the lighting is soft and subdued to allow
the eyes of the receiver to relax completely. Natural
light provides the best atmosphere. Soft lights work
when there is no natural light available. Provide a small
table lamp or foor lamp away from the massage table.
Candles are a nice mood enhancer. Make sure, how-
ever, they don’t create a fre hazard.
LIGHTING
TEMPERATURE
TIPS FOR AN
UNDISTURBED
MASSAGE
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Choose a time when you and your partner will be un-
disturbed. Relaxation can go deeper and deeper when
there are no interruptions. Decide beforehand how
long the massage will last. Let others in your household
know that this is your time and ask them to honor your
space without interruptions.
Some sink deeper into relaxation with calm, peaceful
massage music while others fnd it distracting. Honor
the wishes of the receiver. Soft, calming music that ap-
peals to both the giver and receiver works best.
MUSIC
TIME
CHECKLIST
l. Two clean soft towels
or sheets.
2. Light blanket for
warmth.
3. Pillow or bolster for
underneath the legs.
4. Massage oil or lotion.
5. Tissues to wipe
your hands.
6. Clock.
7. Water for the receiver
during and after the massage.
8. Music.
9. Comfortable clothes.
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SELECTING THE SURFACE
THE FLOOR
The foor is a massage surface that
is available anywhere—at home,
on vacation, and even outside.
Be sure to place several cushions
down to create a frm bed. You
can use foam, a mattress pad, or a
futon. Let the surface be soft and
pliable.
The foor offers plenty of room
in all directions for both the giver
and receiver to stretch out. Make
sure you put some pillows under
the receiver’s knees while you are
working on the front of the body.
The foor can be a challenge for
the giver’s body. Only massage for
the length of time you are com-
fortable. If necessary take a few si-
lent breaks during the massage to
stretch. Your partner can relax and
breathe.
THE CHAIR
Using a chair works great for giv-
ing 15- or 20-minute rejuvenat-
ing rubs. The advantage of using a
chair is that it is accessible to all of
us and can be used anytime, any-
where. The chair is especially good
for doing work on the back, but
it rules out working on the entire
body. It is not impossible to work
on the other parts of the body us-
ing a chair, but it is a little diffcult
for the giver to remain comfort-
able.
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A GOOD MASSAGE TABLE
A good massage table is a
worthy investment. Today some
massage tables are designed
especially for the home. They
are durable, affordable, and can
be easily folded and put away
when not in use. You can use
your massage table at home, at
a friend’s house, or bring it on
vacation.
PROPER HEIGHT
Set the table height so that
when you stand next to it, the
top of your knuckles of your
relaxed arms brush the table
surface. This works for most
people, however the proper
height is the height that you
fnd most comfortable. Always
adjust the table to the height
that works best for you.
BEING COMFORTABLE
Being comfortable while you
work is an important principle
of Touch Communications
Home Massage. The comfort
of the giver resonates with the
receiver and together they sink
into a more relaxed state.
THE TABLE
It is paramount that both the giver and the receiv-
er are relaxed and comfortable during the massage.
The foor or chair limits the duration that both the
giver and receiver can maintain a feeling of comfort.
A massage table makes it possible for both persons
to be relaxed. It is designed to be ergonomically ef-
fcient for the giver. It can be adjusted so that a maxi-
mum amount of pressure can be applied with the least
amount of effort. It allows the giver to be comfortable
while moving around the table and using a wide vari-
ety of massage techniques.
The massage table works for just about anyone,
whether adult or child. The giver can sit in a chair, a
wheelchair, or even kneel on the table itself.
The softness of the massage table helps the receiver
relax and let go. The headrest allows the receiver to
rest his head comfortably in the horse-shoe shaped
hole so that he can breathe easily throughout the en-
tire massage.
A massage table is durable, comfortable, easily stored,
and an invaluable addition to every home.
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T HE GIVER AND THE RECEI VER
In Touch Communications Home Massage, the giver and the receiver are full par-
ticipants in the healing process. The spirit of both persons is equally important. Mas-
sage is the willingness to share and communicate through the sense of touch. It is a
two-way fow of energy—a conversation without words. This two-way mutual com-
munication through the hands of the giver and the skin of the receiver is dependent
upon both participants. It is a meditation for both partners, each engaging fully in the
present moment of exchange.
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THE RECEI VER
To beneft fully from a massage as the receiver,
relax and let go of worries and concerns. As
soon as you lie down, let yourself melt into the
working surface. Close your eyes and become
aware of your breathing and the parts of your
body that move as you inhale and exhale.
Rather than trying to help, surrender to the
massage. Let the giver know if you particularly
enjoy a certain stroke or movement.
Sounds are a wonderful way of releasing ten-
sion in your body. If the feeling arises, allow
yourself the freedom to let go through deep
breaths or “oohs” and “aahs.” Let the giver
know if you fnd the pressure too deep or too
soft. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable
or if you have to use the bathroom, let the
giver know.
THE GI VER
Massage is more about attitude than it is about
talent and skill. When you give a massage, do
it in a loving and joyful way. As giver, remind
yourself of the three principles of Touch Com-
munications Home Massage:
1. Create a safe space of honor and respect.
2. Encourage the art of massage by being
present, being comfortable, having good
intentions, and using your intuition.
3. Take the mystique out of massage tech-
niques. Remember that techniques are
important but for deep healing to occur,
massage techniques must be blended with
the art of massage.
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TI PS FOR THE GI VER
TI PS FOR T HE RE CE I VE R
Always wash your hands before giving a massage.
Remove all jewelry. Rings can scratch the skin and bracelets or necklaces can jingle,
which causes a distraction. Rings or watches can also interfere with the free fow and
natural movement of touching the receiver.
Wear loose clothing. Wear comfortable shoes or go barefoot.

Leave your daily worries and concerns behind and put a relaxed energy and focus into
the massage.
Keep conversation to a minimum.

Remain present and be aware of the receiver’s needs.
Do not eat for about 90 minutes before the massage.
Remove all jewelry.
Remove make-up, contact lenses, and glasses.
The giver of the massage cannot “fx” anyone. Rather they assist or facilitate the heal-
ing process. To beneft from this process, the receiver must relax and be open to the
touch of the giver.
During the massage, let the giver know if you want less or more pressure.
Remember, the massage is for your pleasure. Let the giver know your needs, whether
you want music, the room is too cold, or you need a blanket for warmth.
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RE LAX AND LE T GO
Before giving a massage, take a few minutes to come down from your day’s activities.
You can meditate, listen to soft, soothing music, and take a few deep breaths.
During the massage, most of your attention will be on the receiver. It is important,
however, to occasionally bring your attention back to yourself. Check to see that your
breath is open, your shoulders are relaxed, and that you are not straining yourself in
any way. Remember that touch is a highly sophisticated form of communication. If you
are uncomfortable and stressed, that energy will be transmitted to the person on the
table. If you are comfortable, relaxed, and calm, the receiver will feel the same. Stay
in the full moment of the massage—no past and no future, just the beauty of your
conversation through touch. If your thoughts drift away, gently bring them back to the
moment by focusing on the skin beneath your hands.
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CE NT E RI NG
CENTERING EXERCISE
This centering technique combines
breath awareness with the phrase or
mantra, “Let go.” It is especially help-
ful when you are tense or fxating on a
stressful situation or a negative thought
or emotion.
Sit cross-legged or kneel down on the
foor, putting a cushion under your but-
tocks. Do whatever it takes to make
yourself comfortable. As you inhale,
silently or out loud say, “Let.” As you
exhale, say “go”while letting go of all that
is stressing you.
Repeat this exercise for three to fve
minutes.
Before doing any kind of massage, you
should spend a few minutes centering
yourself. Emptying your mind allows your
intuition, rather than your conscious mind,
to guide the massage. This moves your
energy down to the hara, just below the
navel. This area, in Chinese and Japanese
tradition, is considered the body’s physical
center of gravity and by extension the seat
of one’s spiritual energy.
Centering can be as simple as sitting quietly
for a few minutes, or taking a deep breath
and letting go of scattered thoughts while
becoming aware of your body and breath.
You can also take a few minutes and do a
more formal type of exercise. These exer-
cises can be done 10 to 30 minutes before
the massage.
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FOLLOWING YOUR INTUIT I ON
A good “massager” is one who has the ability to combine input from his intuition and
from their intellect as well. Balancing your knowledge of massage techniques with
your intuition is vital to giving a healing massage.
Following the three principles of Touch Communications Home Massage—creating
a safe place, encouraging the art of massage, and taking the mystique out of massage
techniques—unleashes our innate ability to give an intuitive massage. In other words,
it gives us confdence and opens the door to using our innate ability for healing touch.
When we don’t follow the principles—when we work under stress, are “in our ego,”
or try to prove our self-worth—we lose fexibility and openness. This also inhibits
our ability to receive subtle information and clues from the receiver and from within
ourselves. But when we focus on good intentions, promote comfort, become quiet
and relaxed, we are able to listen and respond to the body of the receiver and sense
her needs without saying a word.
Honor the receiver. This means that you have the very best of intentions.
Take the mystique out of massage techniques. This means that you don’t put
all of your reliance into the massage techniques, but that you combine tech-
niques with your innate ability of touch.
Apply the art of massage. This means that while you are giving a massage, you
become quiet and comfortable in mind, body and spirit, returning you to your
natural ability for healing touch.
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WHE N TO S AY NO
Massage is appropriate most of the time. It is non-invasive, relaxing, and generally con-
sidered a safe treatment for most people. However, there are times when massage is
not advisable, when symptoms or a condition contraindicate its usage. Some of these
deal with symptoms of disease. Some pertain to skin conditions. Others only apply to
certain types of massage strokes or preclude working on a particular part of the body.
One contraindication that you should ALWAYS FOLLOW is a request from the re-
ceiver to stop what you are doing or to not work on a specifc area. Just acknowledge
the request without judgement or questions. If you are following the First Principle of
“Creating a safe place of honor and respect” (page 54), this will come naturally.
A good rule to follow: when you are in doubt, check with your physician.
TOTAL CONTRAINDICATIONS
Contagious diseases or infections including colds or fu
Recent operations or acute injuries
Skin disease
Fever
LOCAL AREAS TO AVOID
Varicose veins
Bruises
Cuts and abrasions
Undiagnosed pain
Swollen areas and areas of infammation
MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Cancer, diabetes, heart problems, osteoperosis and other bone disease,
and other medical conditions do not mean that massage cannot take place.
With these and other conditions, it is best to check with your physician.
The very young, the elderly and pregnant women all should be
handled with great care. Please refer to pages 147, 184 and 189
as well as the Suggested Reading section at the end of this book
for more information.
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T I ME TO T ALK
Before you start the massage, spend a few minutes discussing your partner’s needs.
Listen to any concerns. If this is the frst time massaging the person, ask if she has any
places on the body that you should avoid massaging.
Check on the time available for the massage. It helps to have some idea of the
amount of time you will be massaging the receiver. Ask if she would like soft music or
she would prefer quiet.
Massage involves intimate touch, so it is very important to eliminate any concerns.
Make your conversation brief but complete so the massage can occur without inter-
ruptions. A few minutes of mutual understanding will alleviate any worries for both
the giver and receiver.
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80
When we are present and flled with good
intentions, our healing hands communicate love and
compassion to the receiver.
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81
KEEPI NG YOUR HANDS SOFT
Many students of massage, as well as many professional massage therapists, have a
diffcult time accepting that their hands can be soft—that is, free from tension, while
still applying enough pressure. Hence, they resist the notion of keeping their hands
soft. They work with tension in their hands and then wonder why they are not able
to feel and sense the subtle differences in the tissue.
Using our relaxed body to apply pressure while keeping our hands soft not only feels
better to the receiver, it indicates to the giver how deep to go, where to spend more
time, and how fast or how slow to move our hands.
Becoming quiet and improving our awareness of our body is vital to releasing our
accumulated stress. Without awareness, we live in the illusion that everything is fne,
and that it is normal to feel tense and uptight.
We can practice releasing the tension in our hands at any time, including
while we are giving a massage. Try this exercise:
With your hands soft, center your attention to different parts of your
hands, continue to release the tension out of your hands. Once you
have done that bring your attention back to where you started and
again relax your hands and let go of all tension.
We do not release tension from our hands or from any other part of
our body in one big swoop, but rather in tiny increments.
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OI LS AND LOT I ONS
Using a lubricant when massaging helps your hands glide easily while still creating the
necessary friction to be effective. Whether you use a massage lotion or oil is a matter
of preference. However, it is best to use pure products formulated from all natural
ingredients.
Massage oils are applied easily to the skin for a light, even glide and smooth workabil-
ity. Pure cold-pressed oils are ideal for therapists looking for natural products.
Pure almond oil is an excellent emollient (softening and soothing to the skin) and
also helps the skin to balance its loss of moisture. The aroma is light, slightly sweet,
and nutty.
Massage lotions are a combination of oil and cream. They are the preference of many
massage therapists. Lotions create a smooth friction that allows for deeper work. Lo-
tions don’t absorb as quickly into the skin. Massage lotions can be purchased in bath
and body shops, health food stores, and in massage supply stores.
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APPLYI NG THE OI L OR LOTI ON
First, apply the lubricant to your hands and rub it
on. If the lubricant feels cold, rub it into your hands
until it feels warm enough to apply. Using a gliding
stroke, cover the part of the body you want to
work on frst.
Be sparing with the amount of lubricant you ap-
ply. Use enough to glide along the tissue while still
maintaining a gentle friction. Using too much lubri-
cant makes the body too slippery and diffcult to
work on. If you apply too much, do not wipe it off.
Instead, softly pat the lubricated area with a towel
to remove the excess.
Keep the lubricant dispenser on or near you. Do
not place it on the massage table near enough to
the receiver where they might brush against it.
Leave the bottle open so you don’t have to pause
to open or close the lid.
It is a nice touch to have a
bowl with hot water in the
room in which to place the lo-
tion. This warms the lotion and
guards against an abrupt sensa-
tion of cold to the receiver.
Never apply the oil or lotion
directly onto the receiver.
Apply it to your hands, then
spread it where you want to
work
If you have both massage
lotion and oil in the room,
give the receiver the option
of choosing which he would
prefer.
Always check with your part-
ner to see if he or she has any
known allergy or skin condi-
tions. When possible, use a
hypoallergenic product.
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84
DRAPI NG
Draping plays an essential role in creating a secure environment for the receiver to
feel safe and honored. Make sure you convey to the receiver that you respect her
privacy and vulnerability and that you appreciate her trust.
There are many different stages of undress, from being completely naked under the
covers to wearing underwear or articles of clothing during the massage. If this is
someone’s frst time receiving a massage, you may have to inform her of the options
and then explain that the decision is strictly up to her.
Everything you do during a massage, including draping, should be done with a great
sense of care and deliberation to make the receiver feel relaxed and secure.
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85
A fat twin-sized sheet provides a very effective, secure cover. Uncover only the part
of the body you are massaging. The sheet should protect the rest of the body. For
comfort, some people prefer their arms or feet to be outside of the covers. Ask your
partner what feels most comfortable to them.
Sometimes people need assistance getting on and off the table. This might also involve
your assistance with the draping, and may necessitate turning your head away while
holding the covering material. Remember, if you approach draping from a place of
honor and respect, you will create a space of security and trust and you will be able
to handle any situation comfortably.
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86
Using good body mechanics and leaning into the movements improves effciency,
power, and strength while reducing stress on the giver. Use your body to apply pres-
sure and keep your hands soft. Pay attention to your own body and mind while you
are giving a massage.
The following stances are merely a guideline for you to follow. Use whatever method
you feel comfortable in and relax your stance. Breathing is one of the best ways to
relax your body.
THE HORSE STANCE
In the horse stance, both feet are point-
ed into the table. The knees are slightly
fexed and the back remains erect and
relaxed. The horse stance involves shift-
ing your weight from side to side.
Pay attention to your shoulders, hands,
and legs while working. If you feel ten-
sion in your body, move around and fnd
a way to get comfortable.
PROPE R BODY S T ANCE
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PROPE R BODY S T ANCE
THE ARCHER STANCE
The archer stance is the most commonly used position. For the archer stance, the
feet are positioned so that an imaginary line drawn through the center of one foot at
the arch passes through the other foot at mid-heel. This foot position provides a solid,
stable foundation for the giver to lean into or pull back on a massage stroke. By shift-
ing weight from one foot to the other, the giver can perform long, rhythmic strokes.
Breathe, relax, and use your body. Keep your hands soft.
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SIMPLE STROKES
Most massage treatments are a combination of massage strokes. These essential
strokes provide you with the basic movements needed to perform a full-body mas-
sage. Although the rhythmic, fowing movements of these individual strokes form the
basic components of massage, there are many more variations of strokes.
Slower movements are generally soothing and relaxing, while faster movements
tend to energize and invigorate. For home massage treatment, we recommend that
you work slowly and deliberately, using your relaxed body to apply pressure while
keeping your hands soft. As you become more comfortable and confdent, experi-
ment by creating your own movements and routines.
Your hands are perfectly designed
for giving a massage
CHAPTER SIX
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89
Practice these strokes with a light heart. You don’t have to hit every note
perfectly to give a good massage.
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GENTLE STROKE
Gentle touch means simply laying your hands on your partner’s covered body with-
out movement. Let your hands rest in a peaceful position. You can lay your gentle
touch on your partner’s back, abdomen, heart, feet, and head. Breathe slowly and,
when possible, synchronize your breathing with the inhale and exhale of your part-
ner’s breathing. Become as comfortable and present as possible. Your willingness to
be still, to do nothing, and to expect nothing promotes a sense of calm and peace
within the receiver.
This gentle touch without movement should always be used to initiate the massage. It
signals your partner that the massage is about to begin, creates a necessary connec-
tion and sets the tone for a continual sense of safety, comfort, and relaxation. Guided
by your own intuition, this stroke can be used at any time during the massage. It is also
a gentle way to end the massage.
Gentle touch. It is amazing how much so little will do!
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GENTLE STROKE
This soft gentle touch without movement feels deeply relaxing and comforting
to both the giver and the receiver.
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After the application of the gentle touch used to initiate the massage, the effeurage
stroke is often next in sequence. The simple name for the effeurage stroke is the
gliding stroke. This stroke is the easiest massage movement to learn and one of the
most used during the massage. It is excellent for spreading lubricant on the skin. The
effeurage stroke is applied using hands, fngers, or your forearm in a succession of
light or deep gliding motions. It is the most versatile stroke. When the gliding stroke is
applied with more pressure, it can produce increased circulation of blood and lymph
fuids and can reduce muscle spasms and tension.
The simplicity and ease of applying this movement, particularly when done in a rhyth-
mic fashion, makes this an effective manipulation to use repetitively while gradually
increasing the pressure. It is also excellent for warming up an area to prepare for
more detailed work. The effeurage stroke is the best stroke to use when working
over sensitive areas, such as the abdomen.
EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Gliding Stroke
Lay your relaxed hands onto your partner with full contact
and your fngers softly together.
For your own safety and protection and for that of any family member or
friend, please take a moment to review the Contraindications (page 78)
prior to practicing the strokes and techniques.
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93
The back provides an excellent canvas to practice the gliding stroke with your partner.
Be present and pay attention to the sensation of the tissue beneath your hands.
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The petrissage stroke is best to use after you have warmed the tissue with the gliding
stroke. Petrissage movements include the wringing, lifting, and rolling of tissue and skin.
To prevent pinching, the kneading stroke should be done slowly and with soft hands.
If the tissue is lifted and squeezed too tightly or too rapidly, it will be uncomfortable
for your partner.
The kneading stroke can be used to soothe tired, aching and overworked muscles.
The petrissage movements can stimulate the skin, improve muscle tone, encourage
the elimination of waste products from tissues, and help break down scar tissue.
When done correctly with a smooth rhythm, kneading is one of the most pleasurable
strokes to receive.
PETRISSAGE STROKE
Move forward and back in a rhythmic way when
doing the petrissage stroke.
Kneading Stroke
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95
PETRISSAGE STROKE
Let all thoughts leave your mind, relax your body,
make full contact with soft hands, and enjoy the rhythm.
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Thumb circling can be applied gently on places like the forehead. It can be a penetrat-
ing stroke over areas such as the lower back, between the shoulder blades and the
spine, and on the calf muscles. Be sure to warm the area before using thumb circling,
especially before doing deep work.
Place the pads of your thumbs on the area you are working and gradually lean into
the fesh. Next, make small, penetrating circular movements. It is best to keep your
hands and thumbs soft when doing this move. Tightening your hands and thumbs will
not feel good to the receiver and may cause your thumbs and hands to become sore
and irritated. Only apply as much pressure as is comfortable for you and the receiver.
If you are uncomfortable using your thumbs, you can use a knuckling circular mo-
tion to achieve the same effect. Sometimes the pads of your fngers are used for this
stroke. Once again, lean into the move and keep your hands soft.
THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
Thumb circling is good for loosening
deep, chronic muscle tension.
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THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
You can use your thumbs one at a time, both together, or alternately,
depending on the area you are massaging.
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COMPRESSION
The compression stroke is one of the best to use
through clothing or through the drape.
Compression strokes are simple and do just that: compress. There are variations on
this stroke, all of which are applied in a similar manner — by compressing the tissue,
holding for a moment, then slowly releasing. This stroke slows the blood fow for a
moment, then allows the blood to fush through the area, increasing circulation, deliv-
ering needed nutrients, and removing toxins.
The heel of the hand can be used to compress the back of the leg, the lower back,
or the shoulders. Whole hands can be wrapped around an arm or foot to squeeze
and compress. Fingertips can be placed on the temples or the jaw to lightly compress,
hold, and release.
When using the heels of the hands, slowly add pressure by leaning your body into
your hands, hold for a moment, then slowly release by moving your body back. As
with the other strokes, apply the compression stroke rhythmically. The body likes
rhythm. It is a comforting movement, similar to a rocking baby.
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COMPRESSION
The compression stroke is especially good for boosting local circulation,
clearing toxins and lymph, and reducing tension in the area you are working.
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MASSAGE ROUTINES
Now that you are familiar with massage strokes, it’s time to move on to massage rou-
tines. If massage strokes are the notes, then massage routines are putting the notes
together into a song.
Massage routines are specifc strokes linked in a variety of ways to various parts of
the body. Massage routines can be performed on a particular part of the body such as
the back or arm, or they can be combined to form a wonderful full-body massage. A
massage routine can be a planned sequence of strokes or intuitive from the beginning
to the end of the massage. A good idea is to develop a massage routine but always
improvise your moves to meet the needs and wants of your partner.
CHAPTER SEVEN
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A good way to begin your massage is with strokes that relax and warm your partner’s
muscles. These are usually the long, sweeping effeurage strokes. After your partner is
relaxed and his muscles have been warmed, you can apply more specifc and deeper
techniques. As an example, if your partner is a runner, then you may want to spend
more time doing thumb circling to the legs. If your partner indicates that a certain
stroke or a particular part of his body you are working on feels especially good, then
spend more time there.
A good rule to follow is to transition one stroke smoothly into the next, the same
way an accomplished dancer fows from one move into another. At frst combining
these strokes may seem a bit awkward but, with a little practice, you will forget about
the notes and experience the melody, rhythm and song.
The Back and
Shoulders
The Arms and Hands
The Legs
The Abdomen
The Feet
The Head and Neck
ONE POSSIBLE SEQUENCE
NOTE: Please take a moment to refer to the Contraindications (page 78)
before beginning the massage routine.
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After applying the initiating gentle touch, the back provides a wonder-
ful starting point for your massage journey. It is the part of the body
that most people are comfortable touching and the part of the body
where most people are comfortable being touched. It is the largest
part of the body to work and the easiest on which to practice those
long gliding strokes.
There are many nerves branching out from the spine to all parts of
the body. A good back massage can have a calming effect on your en-
tire nervous system. Slow, smooth, rhythmic strokes relax, while fast
strokes invigorate. For family massage, we recommend that you use
these slower movements. They assist in removing the strer daily lives
and create a general sense of well being.
THE BACK AND SHOULDERS
94 Massage Routi nes

After applying the initiating gentle touch, the back provides a wonderful starting point
for your massage journey. It is the part of the body that most people are comfort-
able touching and the part of the body where most people are comfortable being
touched. It is the largest part of the body to work and the easiest on which to prac-
tice those long gliding strokes.
There are many nerves branching out from the spine to all parts of the body. A good
back massage can have a calming effect on your entire nervous system. Slow, smooth,
rhythmic strokes relax, while fast strokes invigorate. For family massage, we recom-
mend that you use these slower movements. They assist in removing the stresses of
our daily lives and create a general sense of well-being.
THE BACK AND SHOULDERS
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3
After completing the lower back, place
your hands on the shoulders and ap-
ply the compression stroke. Lean in, hold
for fve seconds, and maintain contact as
your slowly release.
1
Place the palms of your hands on the sacrum
(the fat, bony area at the base of the spine).
Slowly lean forward while keeping your arms
straight. This move stretches and opens the lower
back. Continue to lean forward and hold for about
fve seconds. Maintain contact with the palms of
your hands as you slowly lean backwards to release
the pressure.
2
Next, move your hands so they are
about two to three inches apart, then
repeat this entire stroke several times. Re-
member to lean in slowly, hold without
movement for fve seconds, and maintain
contact as you slowly release.
PALM COMPRESSION STROKE
Lower Back
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Back and Shoulders
This long, gliding effeurage stroke covers the entire back. It is a good stroke to initiate and to
complete the work on the back. It also warms the muscles for detailed work.
1
Apply the lubricant to your hands.
Place your hands on either side of
the spine with your fngers pointing to-
wards the feet. Leave space between your
thumbs for the spine.
2
Using the fat of your relaxed hands
lean forward into your hands and glide
all the way down to the sacrum.
3
Once you have reached the sacrum,
draw your hands back up to the top
of the shoulders.
4
Next, circle your hands around the
shoulders, molding them to the con-
tour of the shoulders. Complete this stroke
by returning to the original starting point.
You can repeat this stroke several times.
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The gliding effeurage stroke on the back is a very effective stroke for young children
to do while sitting on the receiver, gliding their hands up the spine
from the lower back to the shoulders and down again.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Lower Back
1
For this stroke you are working on the side opposite
from where you are standing. Place the pads of your
fngers against the far side of the lower spine.
2
Next, slowly move away from
the spine down to the waist. It is
important when doing this stroke to
move slowly and stay present.
3
Complete this stroke by grasping
the fesh with soft open hands
and leaning back. This is a sensitive
part of the body. Too much pressure
will feel uncomfortable and too little
will feel like a tickle.
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HAND ON HAND PETRISSAGE STROKE
Shoulder and Scapula
1
For this stroke, you will be standing on one side of your partner and facing the head of
the table. Next, reach across your partner to the opposite shoulder. With your hands
conforming to the body, put one hand on top of the other and place them on the shoulder.
2
Start with the muscle between the
neck and the shoulders. Use both
hands to grasp the fesh, lean back and lift
the muscle. Maintain contact as you stroke
in a circular motion.
3
Conform your hands to the body as
its shape changes. Continue to circle
around with both hands in a smooth, rhyth-
mic way. Repeat this stroke on the other
side.
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Throughout the massage, keep most of
your attention on your partner and some
of it on yourself. While working on your
partner’s shoulders or any other part of
her body, make sure that your hands are
soft, that you are comfortable, and that
your breath is open.
DETAILED EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Between Spine and Shoulder Blade
THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
Between Spine and Shoulder Blade
Use your fnger pads to apply the gliding (ef-
feurage) stroke between the spine and the
shoulder blade. Start at the top of the back be-
tween the spine and the shoulder blade and
massage to the end of the shoulder blade. That
is approximately at the end of the crease of the
armpit.
Continue to work this area by making thumb
circles between the shoulder blade (scapula)
and the spine. Your movements should be slow
and rhythmic. Use your body to lean into the
stroke. Remember to use the pads of your
thumbs as opposed to using the tips of your
thumbs.
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Place one hand on the sacrum
and the other hand on the up-
per back. Lean in with your body,
hold for approximately fve
seconds, then release pressure
slowly while maintaining con-
tact with your partner. You can
repeat this stroke several times.
COMPRESSION STROKE
Back
FINGER CIRCLING STROKE
Groove Between the
Head and Neck
Standing at the head of the table,
place your fnger pads in the groove
between the head and the neck. This
groove is called the occipital ridge.
Make circles with the pads of your
fngers. It is best when these circles
are done slowly with frm pressure.
This stroke is excellent for relieving
stress in the head and neck.
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THE LEGS
Aches and pains in our back and neck are often caused by tight muscles in the legs.
Whether one leads a highly active or a more sedentary life, everyone can greatly
beneft from a leg massage.
A good leg massage will circulate the blood and lymphatic system, loosen tight mus-
cles, and leave the receiver feeling invigorated. You can apply deep pressure over the
thicker areas on the leg, but be especially careful when working over the back of the
knee. Only apply a very light pressure when working over the knee and bony areas
of the leg.
If your partner has varicose veins, avoid them entirely and use a light pressure over
the rest of the leg.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Back of Legs
1
For this stroke, you are in the archer
stance. The effeurage stroke is used
to initiate and complete a leg massage.
Start at the ankle, with both hands soft.
Remember, this is a gliding stroke.
2
Lean into your hands to apply even,
frm pressure up the calf muscle.
Glide over the back of the knee with a
light touch. If your partner has varicose
veins, avoid working directly on them.
3
Once you get past the knee and into
the feshy area of the thigh, you can
increase the pressure. From the thigh,
bring both of your hands to the outside
of the leg and drag them back to the an-
kle. Repeat this move several times. Each
time you stroke up the leg, stroke up at a
different angle so you eventually cover or
“paint” the entire leg.
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1
Use the horse stance for this stroke. You may notice that your body sways with
this stroke. Begin with the lower leg. Place one hand on the outside of the leg,
with the heel of that hand touching the table. Place your other hand on the inside of
the leg, with your fngertips touching the table.
2
Next, take hold of a large por-
tion of fesh and pull your hands
up the sides, changing hand positions.
Continue to lift the tissue, gradually
working over the entire calf muscle.
Your intention with this stroke is to lift
the muscle off of the bone. Use full,
frm soft hands.
3
When you have completed the
petrissage stroke on the lower
part of the leg, move to the upper part
of the leg and do the same stroke on
the thigh. Take hold of a large portion
of fesh because too little may feel like
a pinch. Keep kneading until the thigh
muscles feel warm and relaxed.
PETRISSAGE STROKE
Back of Legs
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THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
Back of Legs
1
Place your thumbs just below the calf
muscle on both sides of the leg. 2
Begin thumb circling and gradually
move up the back of the calf muscle.
Remember to stay away from the area be-
hind the knee.
3
Keeping your hands and thumbs soft, lean into them and continue circling up the thigh.
To return, glide your hands down the leg to the ankle and begin again. Repeat this move
several times.
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1
For your comfort, the archer stance is
best for this stroke. Start at the ankle,
with the hands on either side of the leg.
2
Next, gently lean into your hands and
glide up the sides of the calf muscle.
3
Stroke (with no pressure) over the knee. When beyond the knee, increase the pressure
and continue up the thigh. Be sensitive about your partner’s privacy as you work the
inner thigh. To return, bring your hands to the outside of the leg and drag them back to the
ankle. You can repeat this stroke several times.
EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Front of Leg
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Massage is the gift that keeps on giving. Apply the three principles of
Touch Communications Home Massage and you will never go wrong.
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THE ARMS AND

HANDS
Many of us do work that requires the excessive use of our arms and hands. The list
of jobs where people are constantly using their arms and hands is long—dentist,
beautician, cashier, and anyone using the computer for long periods of time.
The arm and hand massage is very easy to do, and it can be done as part of a full body
massage or separately within fve to ten minutes. Either way, a good arm and hand
massage will relax a person and relieve pain. Massaging the arms and hands increases
blood circulation, which can help people with arthritis. The nicest thing about a hand
and arm massage is that it can be done on anyone at just about any time. People of all
ages welcome the benefts of a good arm and hand massage.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Wrist to Shoulders
1
Begin in the archer stance. Standing
on your partner’s left side, gently hold
your partner’s left hand with your left hand.
2
Using your right hand, effeurage from
the wrist up to and around the shoulder.
3
Glide back down to the wrist and repeat. Use long fuid strokes. Maintain whole hand
contact, with your hand conforming to your partner’s arm. This stroke is often used to
initiate and complete the massage routine on the arm. Repeat this stroke several times.
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Enjoy massage as both the giver and receiver with a light heart
and the spirit of a child. Let massage be fun. Practice the strokes and routines,
but never make massage a stressful experience.
Massage should always be joyful, loving, and positive.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Back of Arm
There are times when you only work on the back of the body. This stroke can be used to
massage the arm while your partner is lying face down.
1
Standing at your partner’s head, place both palms on his shoulders. With full contact, glide
one hand out towards the top of the arm. Keep gentle contact with your other hand.
2
Effeurage down the arm to the wrist.
Glide over the elbow but do not apply
pressure to the elbow.
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3
Increase the pressure and
continue the stroke down the
forearm, over the hand and off the
fngers. Lift your hand, place it back
on the shoulder and repeat the ef-
feurage stroke. On the last stroke,
end on your partner’s hand and
hold for fve seconds.
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THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
Back of Hand
2
Start at the base of the fngers and be-
gin making circles over the tendons to the
outside of the hand. Move slowly and apply
frm pressure as you work up to the wrist.
THUMB CIRCLING STROKE
Palm of Hand
1
For this stroke, your thumbs should be in
the palm of your partner’s hand. Start at
the base of the fngers and glide outward from
the center of the hand.
2
Continue this stroke up the hand to the
wrist. Remember that massage routines are
not carved in stone. (If you get the notion, work
your thumbs beyond the hand and up the arm).
1
Facing the head of the table, hold your
partner’s hand in your hand with your
fngers on the bottom of the hand and your
thumbs on top.
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COMPRESSION AND STRETCHING STROKE
Fingers and Thumbs (Digits)
1
Gently hold your partner’s hand. With
your thumb and index fnger, begin
near the knuckle and do gentle squeezes
out to the fngertip. When you reach the
tip of the fnger, pull (extend) the digit,
hold for fve seconds and slowly release.
2
Begin with the little fnger and with an
even fow do one digit, then move on
to the next. Be sure not to jerk the fngers.
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The human foot is a biological wonder. It is strong, fexible, weight-bearing and versatile.
The foot is resilient and the most utilized part of our body. The average person uses their
feet to move more than 100,000 miles in a lifetime. Still, we often take our feet for grant-
ed, concerning ourselves more with our appearance than the health and care of our feet.
If you have been rushing around all day, a foot massage will help restore your aching feet.
The foot contains an intricate network of nerves and massaging the feet can stimulate
and rejuvenate the whole body. A foot massage is also one of the most relaxing treats
that you can give your partner. A foot massage can be part of a full body massage or
done separately.
It is a good idea to have your partner wash and dry her feet before starting the foot
massage.
THE FEET
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Top and Bottom of Foot
This stroke can be done in either direction, from toe to ankle or ankle to toes. (For
most strokes, your and your partner’s comfort is more important than the direction
of the stroke).
1
You can begin a foot massage
by warming up the feet. Start
with one hand on the top of the
foot and the other hand on the bot-
tom. Begin at the base of the toes.
2
Move one hand followed by the
other or move both hands at
the same time. Continue to work
up the foot to the ankle.
3
Use moderate pressure while
molding your hand to the con-
tour of the feet. You can repeat this
stroke several times.
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THUMB CIRCLING
Bottom of Foot
1
Hold your partner’s foot in your
hands with your fngers on the top of
the foot and your thumbs on the bottom.
Make circles starting at the heel of the
foot working all the way to the toes.
2
You can apply frm pressure as long
as you work slowly and deliberately.
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THUMB EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Top of Foot
1
Start at the base of the toes with
your fngers on the bottom of the
foot and your thumbs on the top.
2
Glide your thumbs out from the cen-
ter of the foot to each side, working
your way up the foot.
Support the foot with one hand. Place
the other hand on the bottom of the foot
and curl your fngers so you are gliding
down the foot with your knuckles. This is
a frm stroke. Keep your hands soft and
conform them to the contour of the foot.
(You can lean your body in to the foot to
increase pressure, instead of taking it in
your back.)
Gently support your partner’s foot. With
your thumb and index fnger, clasp the
base of the toe and do gentle squeezes
out to the tip of the toe.When you reach
the end of the toe, pull (stretch) the toe,
hold for fve seconds, and then slowly re-
lease. Massage all toes, one by one.
EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Bottom of Foot
COMPRESSION AND
STRETCHING STROKE
Toes
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Before you begin the massage, ask your partner if he or she wants work on the
abdomen. Some people feel vulnerable and apprehensive about being massaged on
the abdomen. But those willing to accept the work will fnd it especially enjoyable,
comforting, and relaxing.
Abdominal massage can improve the circulation of blood and lymph and stimulate
the movement of the small intestines. It can relieve constipation. Massaging the abdo-
men soothes away stomach aches, indigestion and can help relieve bad menstrual
pains.
It is especially important for the giver of the massage to be very centered, relaxed,
and comfortable when massaging the abdomen. All of your movements should be
gentle, slow, and done with great care.
THE ABDOMEN
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HAND ON HAND CIRCLING STROKE
Abdomen
1
Position yourself on the right side of
your partner. Place one hand on the
other and gently lay them on the right side of
the belly with your palms facing down.
2
With your hands soft and molded to the
tissue, begin making a circle going clock-
wise.
3
Continue the circle to the left side of the
abdomen. Keep sweeping your hands
over the abdomen in a circular motion until
you have completed a full circle.
4
Repeat this stroke several times. Apply
moderate pressure. Stay present and
relaxed in your own body as you work the
abdomen.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Abdomen and Waist
1
Position yourself on the right side of
your partner. In preparation for this
stroke, open your hands, cross your thumbs,
and bring your index fngers together.
2
Bring your thumbs softly against your
partners right waist. Use soft, frm pres-
sure as you glide your hands over the ab-
domen. Make sure that your hands are soft
and that they are conforming to the shape
of the body.
3
Reach under the waist on the opposite side. With your hands soft, clasp the tissue and
slowly move back to where you began this stroke. You can repeat this stroke several
times. Always massage the belly with a great deal of respect and presence.
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EFFLEURAGE AND STRETCHING STROKE
Waist
1
Position yourself so
you are comfort-
able. Gently slide both
hands under your part-
ner’s waist as far as you
can reach with your
palms facing up and your
fngers pointing towards
each other.
2
Slowly pull, lift, and
stretch the waist by
moving your hands from
the back of the waist to-
wards the navel. Do not
make any sudden move-
ments. You can repeat
this stroke several times.
This stroke opens the
area between the pelvis
and ribs.
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THE HEAD AND NECK
A good head, neck, and shoulder massage is a delight anytime. When giving a full-body
massage, adding a head massage is the icing on the cake and can bring a deep sense
of calm and well-being to the receiver.
Working at a desk or computer all day long can lead to a great deal of tension being
stored in the upper body, especially our neck and shoulders. Many of us have poor
posture or work in professions that have us slouching our shoulders for long periods
of time, creating a lot of tension in our entire body. Massage can release those tight
areas and remind us what relaxation feels like.
Make the last four or fve minutes of a head, neck, and shoulder massage slow, smooth,
and rhythmic.
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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Head, Neck, and Shoulders
1
This effeurage stroke is done in one full, sweeping motion. Start with your hands
next to each other just below the collar bones (the wing-shaped bones just below
the neck) at the base of the neck.
2
Keeping your hands soft and
molded to the contour of the
shoulders, apply smooth but frm
pressure as you fan your hands
out and behind around the shoul-
ders. Your hands should end palms
up.
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3
Glide the pads of your fngers along
the muscles of the shoulders and
up the back of the neck to the occipi-
tal ridge (the groove at the back of the
head where the base of the skull meets
the spine). Gently remove your hands
from under the head and begin again.
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COMPRESSION AND STRETCHING STROKE
Neck and Shoulders
1
Place your hands gently on the head be-
hind the ears. Rotate the head to the left
without lifting it. Place your left hand in back
of the head with your fngers between the
groove of the head and the neck. Place your
right hand on your partner’s right shoulder
and gently stretch the neck by pushing the
shoulder down towards the toes with your
right hand. Hold for fve seconds and slowly
release. Repeat this stroke several times.
2
Turn your partner’s head to center and
then to the right side. Place your right
hand in the back of the head with your fn-
gers between the groove of the head and
the neck and your left hand on your part-
ner’s left shoulder. With your left hand gently
stretch the neck by compressing the shoul-
der down towards the toes. Hold for about
fve seconds and release slowly. Repeat this
stroke several times.
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137
1
Place your thumbs gently on the cen-
ter of the head with the tips of your
thumbs on the eyebrow bone. Your fngers
should be resting gently on the sides of
your partner’s head.
2
Next, glide your thumbs apart and to
the sides. Keep full, frm contact with
your thumbs.
EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Forehead
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STRETCHING STROKE
Head and Neck
CIRCLING STROKE
Scalp
Clasp your hands around the base of the skull with your fngers in the groove between the
head and the neck. Slowly lean back with your body weight, hold for four or fve seconds and
release slowly. You can repeat this stroke several times.
1
Using the pads of your fngers and
thumbs, make slow and deliberate
circling moves on the scalp. You can start
by making circles at the front and work
over the whole head. Do extra work at
the hollows at the base of the skull.
2
Continue working the scalp. You can
use the pads of your thumbs as well
as the pads of your fngers. Rather than
sliding your fngers over the scalp, move
the scalp around to release tension in
the underlying muscles. Relax your own
body while you work.
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This is an excellent stroke to use to end a massage. Place one hand on the heart and
one behind the head, or place your hands gently on your partner’s shoulders. Remain
there for 20 to 30 seconds. Breathe slowly and relax your hands and body. Let your
partner rest and absorb all the sensations. Then gently remove your hands. This will
signal the close of the massage.
GENTLE TOUCH STROKE
Head and Heart
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140
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141
SECTION THREE
BRINGING HOME MASSAGE
INTO YOUR LIFE
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FAMILY
To put the world right in order, we must frst put the nation in order;
to put the nation in order, we must frst put the family in order;
to put the family in order, we must frst cultivate our personal life;
we must frst set our hearts right.
—Confucius
CHAPTER EIGHT
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Massage is transforming family life. Families report fewer fghts, more laughter, better
health, and increased relaxation. They fnd that they spend less time watching televi-
sion and on the computer and more time on the massage table, connecting with one
another.
Home massage should be a fun, loving, and joyful time. Create an atmosphere in the
home that is comfortable with touch. Sharing massage in the home allows parents to
model proper touch with their children. Make massage a natural expression for every
family member.
A NAT URAL E XPRE S S I ON
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MASSAGE IDEAS FOR THE FAMILY
A massage train is an easy and quick way to rejuvenate and bond. Sit or stand in front of each
other and rub the other’s back. Have the caboose become the engine every few minutes.
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Encourage everyone in the family to make
up their own massage moves. Think of the
receiver’s body as a “blank canvas” and
paint a picture that says relaxation and
health.
Set aside a Family Night. Turn off all cell
phones, televisions, and computers. Take
turns giving and receiving. The massage can
be 10 minutes each or longer.
Make a weekly appointment to share mas-
sage with any family member. This weaves
massage into the fabric of family life. Chil-
dren and parents look forward to this spe-
cial time to relax and connect with one
another.
Offer each other a gift certifcate for massage.
It can be given as a reward, birthday present, or in exchange for chores.
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Reduces stress and insomnia
Eases tension on weight-bearing muscles
Reduces swelling from an increase in blood and lymphatic circulation
Reduces muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascsial pain,
especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.
Enhances the pliability of skin and the underlying tissue
Reduces the physical and emotional strains of mothering
Reduces labor pains
Provides emotional support and nurturance
Reduce swelling in hands and feet
Relieves headaches and sinus congestion
PREGNANCY
Massage is a wonderful gift to give a pregnant spouse or family member. Massage
soothes nerves and alleviates common complaints of pregnancy such as backaches,
shoulder tension, and aching legs and feet. It is also a wonderful way for the mother
and father to stay involved during the pregnancy. Gentle, calming strokes stimulate the
circulation without putting strain on the heart and can help reduce blood pressure,
calming both the mother and child.
MASSAGE DURING PREGNANCY
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Positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother
and the baby. Set up the massage table so the receiver will lie in a semi-reclining posi-
tion. This is not only comfortable, but also safe for the baby. Turn the pregnant person
from side to side to do her back and hips. You can use body pillows, wedge pillows,
and extra padding for added comfort. Remember to be very gentle, especially on the
abdomen and lower back. Avoid using deep pressure and percussive strokes. Some
massage therapists suggest refraining from massage during the frst trimester, but
many women fnd gentle strokes very calming during this sometimes physically and
emotionally challenging phase of their pregnancy. Checking with the woman’s doctor is
always the best course of action.
Twenty-six pregnant women were assigned either to a massage therapy group
or a relaxation therapy group for fve weeks. Only the massage group reported
improved mood, better sleep, and less back pain by the last day of the study.
Also the massage therapy group had decreased uterine stress-hormones levels,
and experienced fewer complications during labor, post-natal problems with
their infants, and premature births.
13
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ILLNESS
If a drug were discovered that provided the many benefts massage gives,
pharmaceutical companies would be falling all over themselves to bottle it.
Granted, pharmacological interventions are necessary, but percodan cannot
touch the pain in the soul, and prednisone can’t heal wounded emotions.
—Gayle MacDonald, Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People With Cancer

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Throughout history, the healing power of touch provided relief for the ill when seek-
ing medical care. Although medical technology has advanced, many medical profes-
sionals seem to have lost touch literally with the patient. In today’s touch-phobic
world, the use of hand-holding and empathetic embrace is now minimal or obsolete
in doctors’ offces and hospitals. Family members and friends must fll in the gap and
provide this supportive, healing touch for their sick loved ones.
Sometimes we do not know what to say when someone is ill. Yet often words are
not what is needed. The most basic need of a patient, sometimes more vital to them
than medication, is comforting touch. When a patient’s need for touch is satisfed, he
or she is strengthened and better able to deal with problems and traumas.
Some of our most cherished memories of childhood are of our parents’ nurturing,
loving touch when we were sick. As adults, we all crave and need this same physical
and emotional support when dealing with illness.
Offering a massage to a sick relative or friend can be a much-welcomed respite for
them that brings comfort during illness. Massage helps people feel less isolated and
alone. It releases natural pain relievers in the body that are stronger than morphine.
The peace and relaxation that massage provides aids in the healing process.
Loved ones who are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy often experience fewer
side effects if they receive regular massage. Gentle massage helps decrease nausea,
improve sleep, lift depression, and ease fatigue. If massage is uncomfortable, then a
loved one can offer the much needed human touch by holding the patient’s hand or
giving a loving embrace.
When massaging the sick and the grieving, we must learn we must learn the degree
and duration of pressure most comfortable for them. Ask for feedback and keep the
touch soft and nurturing.
Among patients with advanced cancer, 30 minutes of massage therapy resulted
in immediate benefts to both pain and mood.
14
For more information on mas-
saging those with cancer, please see the Further Reading section at the end of
the book.
A head-and-neck massage resulted in improved heart-rate variability, decreas-
es in tension-anxiety and anger-hostility, and a reduction in head pain among
research participants with chronic tension-type headaches.
15
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IN A WHEELCHAIR
GRIEVING
When a loved one is grieving, touch is a powerful way to show concern and provide
comfort when words are inadequate. You do not have to do a full body massage to
show you care. Simply stroke the grieving relative’s hand and arm or massage their
face, neck, and shoulders to help release their physical and emotional tension. Even a
hand gently laid on a shoulder or a loving touch to an arm can make a huge difference
to someone experiencing loss.
Grief can be a single event of loss or the accumulated and unexpressed feelings of a
lifetime. Little losses that we thought weren’t major can build and trigger overwhelm-
ing emotions. Grief kept within can create physical illness and emotional distress. Poor
sleep, headaches, backaches, increased anxiety, depression, and stomach ailments are
all symptoms of grief.
Sometimes people who are grieving keep their emotions inside because they feel
they are too overwhelming or powerful to express. When reaching out to loved ones
who are grieving, even a gentle embrace or held hand can cause them to cry. Allow
them the loving space to feel and release their emotions. A longer massage on the
table can also be a gift of relaxation and comfort to a grieving loved one. Again, if they
begin to cry, be loving and supportive without judgment and advice. Communicate
through touch and know that you are providing a place for them to open, release,
and feel comforted. As always, honor and respect the person’s wishes on the table.
Being bound to a wheelchair,
whether for a few days or a life-
time, can be physically and emo-
tionally challenging. No matter
what the reason for being in a
wheelchair, seated massage can
be extremely benefcial. Wheel-
chair massage can improve range
of motion, increase circulation,
and create emotional well-being.
Massage is a “commendable source of consolation support during the griev-
ing process,” according to recent research. The researchers noted: “Soft tissue
massage appears to be a worthy, early, grieving-process support option for
bereaved family members whose relatives are in palliative care.”
16
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The seated position in a wheelchair can have many advantages for giving a massage.
Standing behind the chair makes it easy to work on the head, neck, and shoulders,
with easy accessibility to the hands and arms.

Sometimes our own discomfort or misunderstanding keeps us from reaching out
with a hug or embrace to our wheelchair-bound loved ones. Being in a wheelchair
can be physically and emotionally challenging. Offer your loving touch and the healing
benefts of home massage.
By keeping the legs of a massage table low, those in a wheelchair can easily
maneuver around the table and give a massage as well.
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Family pets love to get on the massage
table.
Pet massage is a growing modality for
animal health, teaching us to support our
animals and their natural need for touch.
Massage is now an invaluable part of sports clinics, college athletic training, and profes-
sional locker rooms. Family members are involved in a variety of sports and exercise
routines—baseball, soccer, dance, jogging, hiking, swimming, strength training, and yoga.
Working out has great beneft for everyone in the family, but it can also cause stiffness,
soreness and injury. Home massage is an excellent adjunct to all exercise programs,
as it provides before and after care from the wear and tear of physical workouts. The
convenience and availability of home massage allows us to exchange massage with
family members before and after athletic events, helping to minimize injuries, increase
fexibility, ease fatigue, and promote quicker recovery.
PETS
SPORTS
Clinical studies have concluded that
pets experience reduced pain, greater
fexibility and increased circulation of
both lymph and blood system with
massage.
17
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Promotes fexibility
Minimizes injuries from over-exertion
Eases fatigue
Reduces swelling
Increases blood circulation
Relieves pain
Heals strained muscles
Promotes quicker recovery
Creates peak performance
Promotes greater endurance
Reduces muscle tension
BENEFITS OF HOME SPORTS MASSAGE
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Perhaps the greatest social service
that can be rendered by anybody
to this country and to mankind is to
bring up a family.
—George Bernard Shaw
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CHILDREN
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope
to give our children. One is roots, the other is wings.
—Hooding Carter
Don’t limit a child to your own understanding.
He was born in a different time.
—Rabbincal saying
CHAPTER NINE
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Stress knows no age limits and can take its toll on children at an early age. A young
toddler may feel abandoned by an absent parent. A child starting school is faced with
new surroundings and classmates. Academic and social pressures are a daily part of a
child’s life. As children grow, healthy, spontaneous play turns into stressful, competitive
sports. Years of public school change a child’s natural curiosity for life into regimented
learning in predetermined blocks of time. Some children are enrolled in so many ac-
tivities that they lack time to just be children and enjoy creative play. Even at a young
age, they are often judged more by what they achieve than who they are. In their
homes, children overhear family troubles, watch disturbing images on the evening
news, and are the victims of divorce.
Massaging your child and encouraging massage between siblings will give them a daily
release from pent-up stress and tension. They will sleep better, increase their perfor-
mance in school, and feel calm because of your loving touch.
A fve-minute shoulder rub or a half-hour on the table will be a gift of physical and
emotional health to your growing child.
Consistent studies of the benefts of massage therapy for children leave no
doubt that massage therapy is extremely benefcial for children suffering from
stress and anxiety.
Recent research found that massage therapy reduced the number, duration
and severity of tension-type headaches among children ages 5 to 15 years.
18
As parents, we “do” for our children. We feed them, taxi them, and give them
material things. But it is the hugs, pats, and embraces that children remember
and cherish. Touch reassures children of their worth. Research shows that chil-
dren deprived of touch grow up with a tendency towards physical violence,
sleep disorders, suppressed immune systems, and impaired physical and emo-
tional growth. Knowing through touch that they are loved gives children the
strength and the foundation to deal with the stresses, strains, and insults of life.
Always remember to respect and honor your child by listening to them. Never
force your touch on them.
STRESS
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GETTING A MASSAGE
Some parents, when asked how come they don’t touch and hold their child, justify
their lack of touch by saying, “Oh, my kid hates being touched. He runs in the op-
posite direction.” Children who do not like to be touched are not born that way. It
is a conditioned response, prompted by grownups who either refrain from touching
them or hold them too tight and with too much emotional need. Sometimes we try
to restrain forcibly a squirming child with hugs when they want to be doing something
else. Other times we allow overbearing friends and relatives, or even strangers, to hug
and kiss our children.
Children love to be touched and to touch. They are natural massage therapists.
Encourage them to give and get a massage from you and foster an honoring attitude
about touch.
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Children should be encouraged to learn massage. From the age of three onward,
children are fascinated by watching massage and love to give one. They like to feel that
they are doing something for someone else, making their mother or father feel good.
By fve or six, many can give a really good massage. They enjoy percussion movements
because they make a noise, kneading because it is like playing with clay, and stroking
because it is so easy and fun.
It is easy for a young child to massage your back if they just sit or kneel on it. Just the
pressure of their body on your lower back can feel wonderful.
GIVING A MASSAGE
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Touch is the greatest gift we can give our children. All children naturally crave touch.
Children that are touched are less fearful and more secure, loving, and kind.
It is important for parents to exhibit spontaneous affection with their children. Chil-
dren learn from their parents how to touch and show affection. Children learn not
only from how their parents touch them but by the way their parents touch each oth-
er. They learn how to be either open and compassionate or withdrawn and defensive.
Some parents may not even realize that they are nurturing a child that will be un-
comfortable with touch. Parents who were not given touch or were raised to feel
uncomfortable with touch may feel like they don’t know how to touch. It is important
for parents to share their own touch experiences with their children, including their
fears and insecurities. Exhibiting openness, vulnerability, and a desire to move past any
discomfort with touch will nurture a positive relationship with touch in our children.
Loving and natural touch allows parents to connect with their children in deeper ways
than words can express. The security given to children through a parent’s positive,
unconditional touch stays with them throughout their lifetime. They learn not only to
care for themselves but also to care for others.
THE GIFT OF TOUCH TO A CHILD
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Children have never been good at listening to their elders,
but they have never failed to imitate them.
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Parents of children who practice home massage have found that there is less fghting
between siblings. Sharing home massage gives siblings the opportunity to nurture and
be nurtured by their brothers and sisters.
BONDING WITH SIBLINGS
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When a child is home sick with a common cold or something more serious, the heal-
ing comfort of touch will make him feel relaxed and safe. Give him a gentle massage
on his face, back, arms, or legs. He will sleep better, heal faster, and be in better spirits.
Stress exacerbates the symptoms of all childhood illnesses and perhaps even causes
them. Children with more serious illnesses must cope with hospitalization, painful
treatments, dietary limitations, and restrictions on their normal activities. When stress
hormone levels rise, symptoms increase. Massage has been found to improve blood
sugar levels in childhood diabetes, improve pulmonary function in asthmatics, and
improve skin conditions in children with excema.
CHILDHOOD ILLNESS
Parents of diabetics who massaged their children daily before bedtime reported
lower anxiety and improved mood levels for both parent and child, higher insulin
and food regulation scores, and decreased blood glucose levels from very high
average levels to the normal range.
21
Following one month of 20-minute bedtime massages by their parents, asth-
matic children had less anxiety, an improvement in mood, and decreased stress
hormones (cortisol) levels. Over the month, the children had fewer attacks and
experienced improved pulmonary functioning and peak airfow.
22
In a study on preschool children with autism, after a 10-day period of regular
massage there was a decrease in touch sensitivity, a reduction in disruptive be-
havior, and an increased ability to relate to their teachers.
19
In another study, par-
ents massaged their autistic children every night. The children experienced the
same benefts, along with an improvement in sleep.
20
Massage therapy reduced pyschological and physical distress among children
with cancer and blood diseases, thereby contributing to a general improvement
in overall quality of life among subjects.
23
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EASING A CHILD TO SLEEP
Getting children to sleep can be a draining fght in many households. Wound up from
the day’s activities or from a sugar overload, some children fght going to sleep. Home
massage is an excellent tool to relax kids. Make a back rub part of your children’s
routine before going to sleep. They will be less reluctant to go to bed, sleep better,
and end the day feeling your positive, unconditional love.
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The demands of after-school home-
work have increased for students of all
ages. They spend many hours crouched
over their computers. Give your child
a chair massage or a 10-minute rejuve-
nating break on the massage table.
Parents of hyperactive children are all too familiar with
the phrase, “Would you please just settle down?” Mas-
sage takes the same amount of time as yelling but pro-
duces incredibly better results in hyperactive children.
Give your hyperactive child a mini-massage. Touch is
very important to attention defcit and hyperactivity
disorder children. Massage their temples, give them a
shoulder rub, or lightly run your fngers through their
hair to calm these children down quickly.
Preschoolers showed better performance on tests of intellectual and manual skills after
a 15-minute massage. They also slept better during naps, were calmer, and had better
behavior ratings.
24
HOMEWORK
HYPERACTIVE CHILDREN
A study on children with attention defcit hyperac-
tivity disorder revealed they exhibited less hyperac-
tivity, more on-task behavior, and were happier after
receiving regular massage treatments.
25
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While teachers and other adults once felt comfortable patting a child on the shoul-
der or giving her a hug, they are now advised to avoid all physical contact for fear
of misinterpretation. As parents, we must make up for this lack of touch from the
world and improve our physical interactions with children at home.
How can we teach our children the dangers of improper touch without frst teach-
ing them what appropriate touch feels like? Educating children about proper touch
works far better than instilling fear in children as a means to protect them from the
dangers of inappropriate touch. On the table, children learn that both the receiver
and the giver have the right to say no. Just as adults have the authority to say no at
any time, so do children.
Home massage provides a bridge for parents to talk to their children about touch.
If a parent has any doubt about any friend or family member massaging their child,
they should not allow it; and if they do, they should be present during the massage.
By experiencing loving, safe, and appropriate touch, children naturally learn about
proper touch in the home. When kids learn to be comfortable in their bodies and
can express touch in a healthy way, it positively affects all areas of their lives.
TEACHING CHILDREN
APPROPRIATE TOUCH

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Children who learn massage are comfortable with touch
and naturally share it with their siblings.
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ADOLE S CE NCE
Home massage is a way to connect with your teenager
during this turbulent age.
CHAPTER TEN
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169
Adolescence is one of the most diffcult stages of our lives. During this dynamic pe-
riod, teenagers not only encounter awkward physical changes but they also have the
added expectation of approaching adulthood, which creates emotional stress and
confict. One-third of American teens have reported that they suffer from stress-re-
lated symptoms—insomnia, anxiety, and depression—daily. The remaining two-thirds
experience symptoms at least once a week.
Teenagers sometimes shut down their emotions as a method of coping with the
unpredictability and change in their lives. Sometimes they become irritable, angry, or
resort to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope. Parents can have a diffcult time adjust-
ing to the changing moods of their teenage children.
While teens may be
reluctant to get or give
a massage, there are
plenty of reasons why
this age group should
be encouraged to give
it a try.
Massage is good for a teenage body in the midst of rapid growth and development.
Strains from competitive sports, stress from erratic sleep and overloaded schedules,
and nutritional challenges from a less-than-optimal diet are all part of adolescence.
Massaging your teen can
help improve body image,
increase sleep, and decrease
depression, stress, and anxi-
ety.
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Parents with the best intentions feel trapped in their own uncertainty about how to
deal with the changes going on with their adolescent children. Home massage is a way
to connect with your child during this often turbulent age. If children are raised being
comfortable with touch, that sense of comfort will naturally carry over into adolescence.
Home massage creates a comfortable environment to discuss proper and improper
touch, and other sensitive issues, with your teenager.
Adolescents crave intimacy but often look for it in the wrong places. By the time they
reach junior high, they receive only half the touch they did during their younger years.
The touch they do receive is now different—shoulder to shoulder and elbow to el-
bow—rather than hand contact. If they experience touch in the home through the
natural connection of massage, they are not likely to seek dangerous and unhealthy
avenues for emotional and physical contact, succumbing to peer pressure and experi-
menting with drugs, alcohol, or sex.
Teenagers enjoy sharing massage with each
other as a way to relax, unwind, and connect.
They learn to enjoy the many benefts of mas-
sage with their friends.
CONNECTING WITH PEERS
CONNECTING WITH YOUR TEEN
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Bombarded by messages from the media, peers, and even their parents about their
bodies and what is beautiful, adolescents can become confused about healthy body
image. Home massage takes the focus away from how they look and teaches them
the importance of health and wellness. Through the positive touch and unconditional
acceptance of the giver, teenagers begin to feel comfortable in their body.
Hormonal pressures, parental expectations, peer pressure, and overloaded schedules
create stress for teenagers. Although in trying to discover their own identity they seek
separation and independence, these children still need the security of their parents’
love and acceptance as much as ever. Negotiating this path between adolescence
and the independence of adulthood can be extremely stressful for some teenagers.
Depression can occur if teenagers don’t have the internal and external resources to
cope with their feelings. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers.
Home massage can be invaluable for teenagers to reduce stress, lift depression, and
relax their mind, body, and spirit.
Following a month of massages, teenagers with bulimia had fewer symptoms of
depression, lower anxiety, and lower stress hormones (urinary cortisol levels).
Eating habits improved, and they developed improved body image.
26
BODY IMAGE
STRESS
Clinical research monitoring brain activity in depressed teenagers revealed that
massage therapy had positive effects and indicated that these therapies should
be considered in conventional treatment programs for depression.
27, 28
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IDEAS FOR MASSAGING
YOUR TEENAGER

While your teen is bending over
the computer doing her home-
work, gently lay your hands on
her shoulders and slowly start
massaging her neck and back.
This will ease her tense shoul-
ders, increase concentration, and
renew her energy.
Set aside a time each week to exchange massage with your teenager. She will
look forward to this special connection.
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Sometimes your teenagers will sur-
prise you with a relaxing shoulder
massage as a way to let you know
they care.
Many teenagers are involved in
sports and suffer from tight, over-
worked muscles and strains. Invite
them to lay on the table or bed,
then massage their stressed leg and
arm muscles.
When your teenager is lying on the couch watching television, massage their feet.
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COUPLE S
If you don’t care for each other,
who will care for you?
—Jack Kornfeld
CHAPTER ELEVEN
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Couples who bring home massage into their lives fnd that it has renewed their
connection with each other and sometimes even saved their relationship. Touch, so
important to emotional connection, is sometimes lacking between couples despite
living in such close quarters.
Some spouses that have a diffcult time communicating with words fnd they can
communicate more easily through the hands-on communication of touch. Home
massage between couples inspires closeness and creates mutual relaxation.
Sadly, many couples don’t feel comfortable touching except during sex, thus miss-
ing out on the healing intimacy of loving touch outside the bedroom. In his defni-
tive book on touch, Touch Heals, Ashley Montague writes, “It is sad to refect that in
the western world the only time that many married couples will exhibit nonsexual
physical closeness or genuine intimacy is when a serious illness befalls the one or the
other.” Exercises such as Masters and Johnson’s “sensate focus” have been developed
to teach couples to lovingly and slowly touch each other everywhere but in the geni-
tal and breast areas. These exercises allow couples to give and get sensual stimulation
without the burden of performing sexually.
Many relationships fail because couples don’t know how to hold each other with this
kind of intimate, non-sexual touch. Unfortunately, movies, television, and billboards all
suggest that touch equals sex. But even healthy adult sexual touch is based on also
receiving the loving, unconditional touch we received as a child from our partner—
safe, protective, and nurturing.
Home massage offers couples a way to lovingly connect in a nonthreatening, non-
sexual environment. On the massage table, each partner acts from the unwritten
agreement that the time together on the table will be non-sexual and non-seducing.
This allows each partner to totally relax and enjoy the gift of touch without sexual
expectation. No matter how little or how much touch we received as children, we all
need a steady diet of this loving touch. Learning how to touch through home massage
creates a deeper intimacy and renewed connection between couples.
NONSEXUAL TOUCH
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Some couples have learned to communicate with words,
Some have learned to communicate with action,
While others have even learned to communicate with silence.
Yet there are so many
who have never learned
to communicate at all.
—Javan
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Many couples fnd that they are stressed when they return home after a long day at
work. Many of them are exhausted and just want to unwind without talking. Giving
each other a 10-minute back rub after a long day creates the space to relax and cen-
ter, offering a positive alternative to silence or withdrawal.
Take the massage table on vacation with you. Exchanging time on the table is even
better when you can relax before and after the massage.
A great gift for a mate for a celebration is a relaxing massage.
Set aside a night each week that is your special time to exchange massage. Use can-
dles, music, and an uncluttered space to set an intimate, relaxing mood. Plan to have
time afterwards to completely relax.
IDEAS FOR COUPLES
Preliminary fndings show that couples who massage each other have lower
levels of sexual performance anxiety and report increased physical intimacy.
29
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The pressures and responsibilities of family life can wear parents down physically and
emotionally. Incorporating massage into the home increases relaxation, renews con-
nection, and soothes the symptoms of stress. With the understood agreement that
the massage will be sensual rather than sexual, each person can totally relax into the
massage.
New research has found that giving a massage also reduces stress, elevates the
mood, and increases your sense of well-being.
30
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I NFANTS
Being touched and caressed,
being massaged,
is food for the infant.
Food as necessary
as minerals, vitamins and proteins.
Deprived of this food,
the name of which is love,
babies would rather die.
And they often do.
—Frederic LeBoyer
CHAPTER TWELVE
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For nine months a newborn is in the protected environment of his mother’s womb.
Birth removes him from this safe environment and delivers him into a strange new
world of light, noise, and sudden movements.
Touch lets babies know that they are loved and are safe. Touch is the frst developed
sense and therefore one of the most highly developed senses in infants. Touching,
cuddling, hugging, and stroking are the natural, nurturing ways for parents to bond
with their infants. They provide the positive stimulation needed for relaxation and an
infant’s continuing development. The more a newborn is touched, the better his physi-
cal and emotional growth.
Encourages emotional security
Encourages physiological growth
Encourages alertness and responsiveness
Helps infants adapt to their environment
Fosters neurological development
Boosts the immune system
Helps muscle development
Improves motor skills
Promotes social development
Helps prevent colds and infections
Eases agitated babies into sleep
Increases blood fow
Relieves colic and constipation
Calms overstimulated infants
Relieves physical and emotional stress
Promotes a calm disposition
BENEFITS of infant massage
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There are no special sequences for massaging a baby. Just adapt your strokes to ft the
tiny body. Notice what your baby likes and dislikes. Keep your movements slow and
smooth. Do whatever comes naturally. Talk to him lovingly as you massage.
Make sure the room is kept warm and the area well padded. Start with your baby
face up so he can see you. Make sure your hands are clean and warm. Remove your
jewelry so it doesn’t scratch your baby’s skin. Use your fngertips or thumbs whenever
the area you are working on is too small for your entire hand.
Choose a time when the baby is relaxed to give a massage. The best times are be-
tween feedings, after a bath, shortly after waking, right before bedtime, or simply
when you both feel the need for closeness. The length of time of the massage de-
pends entirely on how long your baby enjoys the experience. If the baby seems happy,
continue. If the baby is fussy, try again later.
Infants who experienced massage therapy spent more time in active alert and ac-
tive awake states, cried less, and had lower cortisol levels, suggesting lower stress.
Over the six-week period, the massage-therapy infants gained more weight,
showed greater improvement on emotionality, sociability, and soothability tem-
perament dimensions, and had greater decreases in stress.
31
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A tender way to begin a massage is
with the head and face so you can
make eye contact with your baby.
Gently cradle your baby’s head in both
hands with your thumbs together in
the center of the head. Spread your
hands to each side.
With the pads of your index fngers,
start at the center of the head at the
hairline and trace a heart-shape on
your baby’s face, ending at the chin.
With one hand caress the baby’s
wrist and gently stroke from the wrist
around the shoulders and back down
to the wrist. Next, gently squeeze and
pull each fnger.
THE LEGS
ARMS AND HANDS
THE HEAD AND FACE
Give your baby’s leg a
gentle stretch. Caress
the baby’s foot in your
hand. Lower his leg,
pushing his knee to-
wards his chest. Then
gently extend the leg
towards your chest.
Hold the baby’s leg with one hand.
With your free hand, start at the
ankle and stroke from the ankle to
the hip and back down to the ankle.
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Massaging the belly can expel gas, relieve
constipation, and help babies suffering
from colic.
Babies digestive systems are quite sensi-
tive. Keep your touch gentle and always
clockwise. Massaging counter-clockwise
could cause constipation.
Hold the baby’s feet in your hands with
your fngers on the top of their feet and
your thumbs on the bottom. Use one
thumb, following the other thumb to mas-
sage from the heel to the toes.
Next, slowly rotate the baby’s legs in a
bicycle-riding pattern. This can help ease
gas pains and has a playful rhythm for both
parent and child.
Lie the baby on his stomach across your
thighs. With both hands on your baby’s
back, glide each hand back and forth. Move
them in a circular motion and then back
and forth in opposite directions.
THE BACK
FEET
TUMMY
A pilot study has shown that massage applied to preterm infants with very
low birth weights resulted in improved motor skills among those infants who
showed especially low motor skills at the start of the study.
32
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Daddy’s turn.
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T HE E LDE RLY
A family with an old person has a living treasure of gold.

—Chinese proverb
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
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Touch is essential for our well-being at all ages, but we receive the least in our later
years. Life goes full circle and, just as infants need touch, so do the elderly. Due to the
fear of aging in our society, the touch that has nurtured and comforted us earlier in
life often dwindles to a token of tenderness or affection.
Massage can greatly enhance the quality of life for the elderly. It can relieve them of
depression and loneliness, improve circulation, alleviate stiffness problems, and reduce
high blood pressure.
BENEFITS FOR THE ELDERLY
Stimulates the appetite and digestion
Improves sleep
Reduces joint pain
Relieves swelling caused by fuid retention
Stimulates circulation
Lowers blood pressure
Supports elimination
Improves the skin and relieves dryness and itching
Helps prevent pressure sores
Speeds healing from injuries and surgery
Increases energy
Provides emotional comfort
Increases muscle tone
Eases and deepens breathing
Boosts the immune system
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Often just an embrace, light touch, or gentle stroke will make your elderly relative
feel loved, appreciated, and nurtured. Caring touch helps the elderly deal with loss,
dependency, and a changed body.
The elderly’s need to be touched doesn’t differ from any other age group. Just re-
member that an aging body requires extra tender, loving care. If they are bed-rid-
den or have limited mobility, massage them in their bed or wheelchair. Be soft and
gentle—their skin can be fragile and too hard a pressure can tear the skin or cause
bruising. Sometimes the skin of the elderly, or that of an ill person, tends to be dryer
and often loses some of its absorption capabilities. Often they are taking medications,
which can affect absorption as well. Start with very little or no oil. Use light pressure
to insure that no harm is done. If massaging on a table, take great care in positioning
their body and, once positioned, do not ask them to move. Replace eyewear once
you are fnished so as not to affect their mobility and balance. Remind them that they
could possibly be light-headed after the massage. Suggest that they sit for a while be-
fore standing, offering the reason why or assist them to the standing position.
CARING TOUCH
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Many elderly relatives or friends may have diffcultly walking or don’t have full use of
their hands due to arthritis. Massaging their feet and hands will increase their circula-
tion. This can be done easily with the person sitting in a chair, on a couch, or in bed.
It is best to provide support for the limb that is being massaged. Always begin gently
with light pressure and then increase the intensity only if requested. Rotate and fex
the wrist or ankle to help improve the mobility of the joints.
INCREASING CIRCULATION
Sometimes family members are so excited about being able to help that they
forget one of the most important principles: Honor, Repect, and Listen. Before
massaging an elderly person, one needs to proceed with a little extra caution.
The authors ask that you do no “hands on” until you have read this entire sec-
tion and the Contraindications on page 78. For further information, refer to our
Suggested Reading “for the elderly” section at the end of the book. As always, be
sure to check with their doctor if they have any medical conditions or illnesses.
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Often there may be no words to make your elderly relative or friend feel better, but
a hug, pat on the shoulder, or gentle massage can bring great healing.
Young nursing students tend to avoid touching elderly patients. Our culture associ-
ates touch with vibrancy and youth, and so we often don’t consider the touch needs
of an older person.
A widow after 50 years of marriage might go for weeks and months without being
touched. Elderly relatives in a nursing home may feel physically and emotionally iso-
lated from their family. Their spouse may be required to reside in a different room
in the facility. Obstacles like wheelchairs and bedside tables may make it diffcult to
touch our elderly loved ones. Sometimes we may live out of state and are not often
able to give the gift of our healing embrace. Or our fast-paced lives are consumed
with activity and it seems like we just can’t fnd the time to visit our elderly relatives.
Home massage is a tonic for their body, a comfort to their emotions, and a miracle
for their spirits.
EASING LONELINESS
A research study found a correlation between sensory defcits and traits of senil-
ity—irritability, memory loss, and careless grooming and eating patterns. Among
42 nursing home residents more than 70 years old, those receiving massages,
squeezes, and other affectionate touches were more alert, good-humored, and
physically vibrant than those not receiving massage.
33
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Research has shown that among hospitalized patients, the psychotic and the
elderly were touched the least. The touch they did receive was mostly ìnstru-
mental to carry out tasks rather than touch to express acceptance, nurturance,
and love.
34
Elderly family members and friends enjoy being the giver of a massage as much as
the receiver. In fact, the elderly have been found to actually enjoy giving a massage as
much or more because it makes them feel useful.
A single 20-minute massage and mobilization protocol focused on the feet and
ankles of elderly adults signifcantly improved their performance on balance tests
immediately following touch therapy, according to recent research.
36
Following a one-month period in which grandparents massaged abused infants,
the elderly caregivers experienced increased self-esteem and cortisol levels, im-
proved lifestyle habits, and fewer trips to the doctor’s offce.
35
TO GIVE IS TO RECEIVE
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CONCLUS I ON
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Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
There are always many fngers pointing to the same moon. The path to health,
connection, and balance has many names but all involve choice.
To close down or open up?
To withdraw or reach out?
To speed up or slow down?
To stay in denial or move into truth?
To isolate or connect?
To live or merely exist?
Touch Communications Home Massage asks us to slow down. It reminds us how
relaxation feels. It connects us with those we love. It teaches honor and respect. It
returns us to our natural ability to heal ourselves and others through touch.
Thank you for your time.
OUR CHOICE
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Caplan, Mariana, Ph.D. To Touch Is To Live. Arizona: Hohm Press, 2002.
Colton, Helen. The Gift of Touch. New York: Kensington Press, 1983.
Costa, Larry. Massage: Mind and Body. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2003.
Davis, Phyllis, Ph.D. The Power of Touch. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 1999.
Dychtwald, Ken. Bodymind. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1950.
Field, Tiffany, Ph.D. Touch. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2003.
Field, Tiffany, Ph.D. Touch Therapy. New York: Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Juhan, Deane. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. New York: Station Hill Press, 1987.
Lidell, Lucinda with Sara Thomas, Carola Beresford Cooke, and Anthony Porter. The Book of Massage.
New York: Simon & Schuster Inc.,1984.
LeBoyer, Frederick. Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.
MacDonald, Gayle. Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People With Cancer. Scotland: UK. Findhorn
Press, 2008.
McIntosh, Nina. The Educated Heart. Tennessee: Decatur Bainbridge Press, 1999.
McMahon, James. The Price of Wisdom. New York: The Crossroad Publishing
Company, 1996.
Montagu, Ashley. Touching: The Human Signifcance of the Skin. New York: Harper
and Row Publishers,1986.
Nelson, Dawn, M.F.A., C.M.T. From the Heart Through the Hands: The Power of Touch in Caregiving. Scot-
land, UK: Findhorn Press, 2009.
Nichols, Michael P Ph.D. The Lost Art of Listening. New York: Guilford Press, 1995.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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TOUCH AND MASSAGE
Barnard, Kathryn E. and T. Berry Brazelton. Touch: The Foundation of Experience. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1990.
Caplan, Mariana, PhD. To Touch Is To Live. Arizona: Hohm Press, 2002.
Colton, Helen. The Gift of Touch: How Physical Contact Improves Communication, Pleasure and Health. New York: Seaview and Putnam,
1983.
Davis, Phyllis K. The Power of Touch. Carlbad, CA: Hay House, 1999.
Field, Tiffany M. Touch in Early Develoment. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1995.
_______, ed. Touch. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.
_______, ed. Touch Therapy. New York: Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Ford, Clyde W. Compassionate Touch. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
Finch, Mary Ann. Care Through Touch: Massage as the Art of Anointing. New York: Continuum Publishing, 1999.
Heller, Morton, A. The Psychology of Touch. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1991.
Josipovici, Gabriel. Touch. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.
Juhan, Deane. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1987.
Krieger, Dolores. Ph.D., R.N. The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1979.
Kychinskas, Susan. The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love. Oakland, CA:
New Harbinger Publicatoins, Inc., 2009.
Lidell, Lucinda with Sara Thomas, Carola Beresford Booke and Anthony Porter. The Book of Massage. New York: Simon & Schuster
Inc., 1984.
Montagu, Ashley. Touching: The Human Signifcance of the Skin. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1986.
Sayre-Adams, Jean, et al. The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Touch. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 2001.
Simon, Sidney B. Caring, Feeling, Touching. Niles, IL: Argues Communications, 1976.
Sullivan, Karin Horgan. The Healing Power of Touch: The Many Ways Physical Contact Can Cure. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications Interna-
tional, Ltd., 1998.
Thomas, Zach. Healing Touch: The Church’s Forgotten Language. Longville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press,1994.
Webb, Marcus and Maria. Healing Touch: A Complete Guide to the Use of Touch Therapies that Promote Well-Being. New York: Sterling
Publishing Company, 1999.
SUGGESTed READING
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INFANT MASSAGE
Ady, Mary. An Infant Massage Guidebook: For Well, Premature, and Special Needs Babies. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2008.
Heath, Alan and Nicki Bainbridge. Baby Massage: The Calming Power of Touch. London, England: DK Adult, 2004.
Heller, Sharon, Ph.D. The Vital Touch: How Intimate Contact With Your Baby Leads To Happier, Healthier Development. Henry Holt and
Co. LLC, 1997.
LeBoyer, Frederick. Loving Hands. The Traditional Art of Baby Massage. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.
Mc Clure, Vimala Schneider. Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents. Bantam, 2000.
Reese, Suzanne and Milne. Baby Massage: Soothing Strokes for Healthy Growth. New York, NY: Viking Press, 2006.
Staerker, Paul. Tender Touch: Massage Your Baby to Health and Happiness. Singapore: Twickenham Media Masters, 1999.
Toporek, Robert. New Book of Baby and Child Massage. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press, 2001.
PET MASSAGE
Ayrault, Megan, LMP. The Dog Lovers Guide to Massage: What Your Dog Wants You to Know. Kirkland, WA: All About Animal Massage,
2009.
Hourdebaigt, Jean-Pierre. Canine Massage: A Complete Reference Manual. Wenatchee, WA: Direct Book Service, 2003.
Prasad, Kathleen and Fulton, Elizabeth. Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animal in Your Life. Berkeley Press: Ulysses Press, 2006.
Robertson, Julia. Physical Therapy and Massage for the Dog. New York, NY: Thieme/Manson, 2011.
STRESS
Forman, Jeffrey W. Managing Physical Stress with Therapeutic Massage. Clifton Park, NY: Milady, 2006.
Kavanagh, Wendy. Massage Basics: How to Treat Aches and Pains, Stress and Flagging Energy. London, England: Hamlyn, Revised Edi-
tion, 2009.
Inkeles: Gordon. Unwinding: Super Massage For Stress Control. New York: Grove PR, 1998.
Roseberry, Monica. Massage: Simple Solutions for Everyday Stresses. London: Aurum Press Ltd., 2005.
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PREGNANCY
Osbourne, Carole. Pregnancy: Pre and Perinatal Massage Therapy. Wolter Kluwer, Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins,
2009.
Stillerman, Elaine. A Handbook for Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy. Brooklyn, New York: Delta, 1992.
Waters, Bette. Massage During Pregnancy. St. Augustine, Florida: Bluewaters Press, 2009.
COUPLES
Horan, Peggy Morrison. Connecting Through Touch: The Couples Massage Book. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2007.
CHILDREN
Carlson, Frances M. National Association For The Education of Young Children. Essential Touch: Meeting the Needs of Young Children.
Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. Chicago, Illinois: Northfeld Publishing, 2000
Martin, Chia. The Art of Touch: A Masage Manual for Young People. Prescott, AZ: Holm Press, 1996.
CAREGIVING, ILLNESS, THE ELDERLY
Babcock, Elise NeeDell. When Life Becomes Precious: A Guide for Loved Ones and Friends of Cancer Patients. New York, NY: Bantam
Books, 1997.
Catlin, Ann, LMT, OTR. Sensitive Massage: Reclaiming the Human Touch in Caregiving. Compassionate Touch, Springfeld, MO 2010.
DVD
MacDonald Gayle, M.S,, L.M.T. Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer. Findhorn, Scotland: Findhorn Press, Revised
Second Edition, 2006.
Meisler, Deitrich and Meiia, Else. Massaging the Alzheimer’s Patient. Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute. DVD.
Nelson, Dawn, M.F.A., C.M.T. From the Heart Through the Hands: The Power of Touch in Caregiving. Findhorn, Scotland: Findhorn Press,
Third Edition, 2009.
Rose, Mary Kathleen. Comfort Touch: Massage for the Eldery and Ill. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2006.
Thompson, M. Keith, M.D. Caring For An Elderly Relative: A Guide to Home Care. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1986.
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If you would like to get in touch with Suzette and share your thoughts about this
book and about your experience with massage and touch:
Email: suz4tchm@aol.com
Website: www.tchomemassage.com
Please contact us if you would like to schedule a massage workshop, lecture, re-
treat, or to order additional home massage products such as:
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Suzette Hodnett, M.S. co-founder of TCHM, has a
background as a licensed psychotherapist, profes-
sional artist and Tai Chi Sandan instructor. She cur-
rently works as a Life Coach, blending her experience
to bring emotional and physical health to youth and
adults. With Jackie Sloan, CMT, she offers retreats,
lectures and workshops nationwide to promote re-
laxation, connection, and the healing power of touch.
Co-founder of TCHM, Chuck was a na-
tionally certified massage therapist with
a private practice in Long Beach, Cali-
fornia. He was an instructor at the Uni-
versity of Irvine and the Shiatsu Massage
School of California. Chuck taught and
lived from the heart. His message was
reverence, honor, respect, acceptance
and love. Although he has gone on to
his next jouney, his vision continues with
family members, friends and his numerous students. The ripples from his “stone” still
flow outwards, touching and transforming many more lives.
The Path to Zen: Songs of Serenity (CD)
by Sonic Zion
Enjoy this relaxing music while you exchange
massage and relax throughout the day.
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202
1
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7
Ironson, G., Field, T., Scafdi, F., Hashimoto, M., Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Price, A., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Tetenman, C., Patarca, R., &
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9
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10
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11
Pilot study, Cedars Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles.
12
Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J. & Theakston, H. (2000). “High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced
by massage therapy.” Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.
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14
University of Colorado, National Institutes of Health and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Origi-
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15
Health Sciences School, Universidad Granada, Spain; Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain; Franklin Pierce Uni-
versity, Concord, New Hampshire; Concord Hospital, New Hampshire; Regis University, Denver, Colorado; University Hospital
San Cecilio, Granada, Spain. Originally published in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, September 2009:32 (7):
527-535.
16
Dr. Cronfalk, Karolinska Institute. “Hand and foot massages consoled bereaved relatives.” Journal of Clinical Nursing, April 4, 2010.
17
The Pet Arthritis Chronicle. Volume One. Issue 7.
18
Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital Department of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine; Friedrich-Baur-Institute De-
partment of Neurology; Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometrics and Epidemiology; and Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich,
Germany. Originally published in the Journal of Child Neurology (April 2009) 24(4): 406-409.
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19
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36
Laboratoire Santé Plasticité Motricité, Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble, Grenoble, France; Ecole de Kinésthérapie du Centre
Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; Hôpital de Saint-Laurent-du-Pont, Saint-Laurent-du-Pont, France; Service
de Rhumatologie du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Genéve, Genéve, Switzerland; Service de Rhumatologie du Centre Hos-
pitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France. Originally published in Manual Therapy (2009).
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Our TC Home Massage co-founder, Jackie Sloan, who continually inspires others to dis-
cover that touch is their own innate magic. If it were not for Jackie there would be no
TCHM. Jackie is responsible for bringing a sense of community, connection, and relation-
ship to our workshops. She keeps the message of home massage alive. Though not an
author of this book, she was always there for support and played a critical role in the
development and editing of the massage techniques.
Jim Chenevey, CEO and Tomas Nani, Founder of Earthlite, Inc., for their support of home
massage and vision of “healing humanity through touch.”
Our photographer, Tim Neighbors, for his dedication, attention to detail, and commitment
to high standards.
The enthusiastic support of our one-woman fan club, Lourdes Flamino, and her uncanny
ability to bring the right people together at the right time.
Dr. Jack Ebner for the use of his wonderful yoga studio to hold our workshops and to
Nancy Isabel for her warm smile and constant “behind the scenes” assistance.
To Findhorn Press, our talented friends “across the pond,” who launched our dream to
reality.
Liza Macawili, makeup artist (cover and inserts), for her high standards and keen eye.
The forerunners on the subject of touch—Ashley Montague, Tiffany Field and Mariana
Caplan—who helped shape our vision to bring massage into the home.
Those of you who have taken the time to read this book and begin your touch journey.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Our heartfelt appreciation,
—Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett
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205
My loving thanks to...
My co-author, Suzette Hodnett, whose hard work, creativity, calm, sensitivity, vision, and unique
talents, continue to take TCHM to greater depths.
Dr. Vincent Medici for sharing his wealth of knowledge of the art of healing with me and for
bringing me back to health.
My children, who inspired me to continue my vision to have massage become an
integral part of family life.
My students, who continue to show me the limitless possibilities of rediscovering touch
through the principles of Touch Communications Home Massage.
—Chuck Fata
A special thank you to those who have touched my life...
My co-author, best friend, travelling companion, and partner who showed me what it feels
like to love and be loved. Thank you for your healing heart and hands. I miss you.
My parents, three sisters (Cricket, Jeannine, and Kerry), and nieces and nephews (Tally, Ker-
rigan, Molly, and Brian) whose willingness to “take turns” continually allowed family touch
through massage to be a part of my childhood and adult life. And for my fond memories of
the “octopus” —four people and eight hands melting me into relaxed bliss.
My deep appreciation to my Tai Chi teacher, Sensei Frank Mc Gouirk, of the Aikido-ai In-
stitute in Whittier, for his many years of nurturing support, light-hearted humor, excellent
teaching about presence and connection, and insight into the many layers of this art.
All my clients, students and friends who continually remind me of the importance of loving
touch in our lives.
—Suzette Hodnett
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A
abdomen, 128
abdominal massage, 128-131, 184
abuse, physical, 34
adolescence, 168-173
intimacy and, 170
affection, physical expression of, 33,
157, 160
almond oil, 82
ankle, stroke location on, 125
arm massage, 116-121, 183
arms, stroke location on, 116-121
ar thritis, 116, 189
asthma, 163
attention deficit disorder, 165
Audette, Derek R., 58
autism, 163
B
back pain, 31
back, stroke location on, 102-109
Bistami, Bayazid, 36
blood pressure, 31, 146
body image, adolescents and, 171
bulimia, 171
C
calf muscle, 111-115
Caplan, Mariana, 11, 204
Carlson, Richard, 36
Car ter, Hooding, 156
centering technique, 76
center of gravity, 76
Chenevey, Jim, 204
chemotherapy, 149
childhood illnesses, 163
children, 156-167
circling stroke, see strokes
circulation, 146
clothing, during massage, 57, 84
colic, 184
collar bones, 134
compression stroke, see strokes
Confucius, 142
constipation, relief of, 128, 184
contract (agreement), unwritten, 55,
175
contraindications, 57, 78, 128, 147,
184, 189
couples, massage and, 175-179
cranial sacral, 43
D
depression, 31, 157, 171
diabetes, 163
divorce, 20
draping, 84-85
E
Ear thlite, Inc., 204
Ebner, Jack, 204
elderly, massage and, 187-190
electronic massager, 58
Eliot, T. S., 46
F
facial massage, 183
family life, 20, 46, 142-155
feet, stroke location on, 124-127
finger circling stroke, see strokes
Flamino, Lourdes, 206
foot massage, 125-127, 184
forehead, stroke location on, 137
G
gentle stroke, see strokes
Ghandi, 29
gift cer tificates, 145
gliding (effleurage), see strokes
Giovanni, Nikki, 26
Goldberg, Natalie, 38
grief, 150
H
hand massage, 121-123, 183
hands, stroke location on,116, 122-
123
hara, 76
head and neck massage, 132-138,
183
hear t bypass patients, 31
Hippocrates, 29
HIV positive adults, 31
Holmes, Oliver Wendell Jr., 195
home massage
ailment relief from, 43
benefits of in daily life, 57
convenience of, 43
duration of, 45
healing benefits of, 44
low cost of, 43
promoting touch, 48
homeostasis, 41
homework, 165
hyperactivity disorder, 165
hyper tension, 31
I
illness, 148-149
immune system, 30
indigestion, relief of, 128
infants, massage and 181-185
intimacy, adolescents and, 170
intuition, 77
J
Javan, 178
K
knees, avoiding pressure on, 110,
111, 113-114
knuckling stroke, see strokes
Kornfield, Jack, 174
L
Lao-Tzu, 62
LeBoyer, Frederic, 180
legs, back of, 111-113
legs, front of, 114
legs, stroke location on, 110-115
lighting, 68
listening
healing power of, 55
by massage giver, 55
to concerns, 79
loneliness, elderly and, 187
lotions, massage, 82-83
lower back, stroke location on, 103,
104, 106, 109
lubricants, 82-83, 92
M
MacDonald, Gayle, 148
I NDE X
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massage
adolescents and, 169-173
ar t of, 58-59
childhood illness and, 163
children and, 156-167
children’s bedtime and, 164
communication through, 55
couples and, 175-179
elderly and, 187-191
facial, 183
giver of, 72-76
grieving and, 150
homework and, 165
hyperactive children and, 165
illness and, 148-149
infants and, 181-185
as meditation, 59
pets and, 152
pre-discussion of, 79
pregnancy and, 146-147
receiver of, 72-76
routines, 100-139
spor ts and, 152-153
techniques, 62
wheelchairs and, 150-151
massage chairs, 70
massage practitioners, 43
massage strokes, see strokes
massage surface, 70
massage table, 67, 71
massage therapists, 43
massage therapy, patient benefit, 31
massage train, 144
Masters and Johnson, 175
Macawili, Liza, 204
Mc Gouirk, Sensei Frank, 205
Medici, Dr. Vincent, 24, 37, 205
Medicine Hands (MacDonald), 148
menstrual pain, relief of, 128
migraines, 31, 149, 157
Montague, Ashley, 26, 204
music, 69
N
Nani, Thomas, 204
neck, stroke location on, 109, 134-
136, 138
Neighbors, Tim, 204
non-tactile society, America as, 32
O
oils, massage, 82-83
P
palm, stroke location on, 122
parasympathetic ner vous system, 41
petrissage (kneading) stroke, see
strokes
pet massage, 152
pets, 152
physical affection, children, 30
physicians, Greek and Roman, 29
place, safe/of honor, 54, 57
polarity bodywork, 43
posture, 132
pregnancy, 146-147
R
Rolfing, 43
room preparation, 67-71
routines, see massage routines
S
sacrum, 103, 104, 109
scalp, stroke location on, 138
scapula, 107-108
scheduling, 69
sensate focus, 175
sensitive areas, 92
sensor y deficits, elderly and, 187
sexual abuse, fears of, 32
Shaw, George Bernard, 155
shoulders, stroke location on, 102-
104, 107-109, 134-136
siblings, bonding with, 162
sleep habits, children and, 164
Sloan, Jackie, 15, 42, 201, 204
soft hands, 81
spinal cord injuries, 31
spor ts, 152-153, 173
stances, of giver, 86-87
stress, 37-38
stress
adolescents and, 169, 1718
children and, 157, 163
hormone response, 30, 39, 147,
163
as “lifestyle disease,” 37
as positive, 43
symptoms of, 38
stress response, 39
stretching stroke, see strokes
strokes, 88-99
circling, 129, 138
compression, 98-99, 103, 109,
123, 127, 136, 139
effleurage (gliding), 92-93, 101,
104-106, 108, 111,114 118-
121, 125, 127, 130-135, 137
finger circling, 109
gentle, 90-91, 139
knuckling, 96
petrissage (kneading), 94, 107,
112
stretching, 123, 127 131, 136, 138
thumb circling, 96-97, 108, 113,
122, 126
suicide, adolescents and, 171
Susuki, Shunr yu, 52
sympathetic ner vous system, 39
T
teenagers, see adolescence
temperature, 68
thigh, stroke location on, 111-114
thumb circling stroke, see strokes
To Touch is To Live (Caplan), preface
touch
appropriate, 166
as first language, 20
as first sense, 181
children and, 158, 160
communication through, 46, 48
compassion through, 57
deprivation, 30, 32
healing, 34
inappropriate, 166
non-sexual, 45, 175
proper, 34
touch phobia, 32, 149
Trager, 43
V
varicose veins, 78, 111
violence, rates of, 30
W
wheelchairs, 150-151
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v i x u n o v x v v v s s
Life-Changing Books
www.findhornprcss.com
Touch is as essential to us as sunlight.
home-massage-pages.indd 208 20/07/2011 00:42

PRAISE FOR
HOME MASSAGE Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch “This book is well-crafted, practical, creative, innovative and accessible.€Highly recommended for all those who value the role of touch and intimacy in their lives.” —Mariana Caplan, Ph.D.€, author of To Touch is to Live “The healing power of massage therapy must be promoted in all appropriate venues—and healthy touch in the home is a vital component of creating harmony and happiness. From infants to seniors, we all need touch, and Home Massage, by Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett, with its focus on relationship, stress relief, body image and nonsexual touch, provides an important stepping stone on the path to peace in our world.” —Joseph D. Doyle, president and CEO, The Doyle Group, publisher of MASSAGE Magazine and Chiropractic Economics magazine “This book does it all! Simple yet profound, great for beginners or professionals, filled with insight and wisdom. Chuck had the best hands of any bodyworker I have ever known and the compassion and love he could express through his touch was truly astonishing.” —Dr. Vincent Medici D.C. and Ph.D., Biochemistry, Curriculum Director for Western Sciences at The Shiatsu Massage School of CA “This book offers insight into touch that many massage text books do not offer.€ It is the conversation about how touch communicates, the discussions of honor, respect and presence, and the methods of being comfortable in one’s own body and mind, that are not always available, but are extremely important to introduce to the student of touch and future therapists. I would recommend using this book as a classroom text for both the casual student and the professional one.” —Tania Clutter, LMT, Instructor, Everest College “Those of us who know and live healthy touch can’t even imagine ourselves without it. This is a book that is long overdue. When one opens his heart to healthy touch, the possibilities are unlimited.” —Michael Young, NCTMB, Founder of RUIT (Repetitive Use Injury Therapy)

“This beautiful, comprehensive guide to massage is a gift for our families and loved ones, in teaching each of us how to support one another though the healing power of touch. The heartfelt photos tell the story so eloquently of creating quality connection, being present and giving to those in our lives who give so much to us each and everyday. And there is nothing more profound than cultivating the skills for massage in our children and an appreciation of the power it has to bring us together in harmony and to help us heal both physically and emotionally. This book is a gem to be shared with friends and family and generations of a lifetime.” —Tara Grodjesk, President and Founder, Tara Spa Therapy Certified Holistic Health Educator, Massage Therapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner “Chuck and Suzette have succeeded in creating a fun, easy-to-follow guide to home massage.€ The book covers everything from creating a safe environment to a full massage routine with basic strokes. Written for beginners, it’s guaranteed to enhance your family life as you discover the joy and happiness of healing touch.” —Tomas Nani, Founder, Earthlite Massage Tables “What can be as simple, and as wonderful, as a touch? This book explores this concept in clear, concise language and pictures so that ANYONE can partake of one of the greatest gifts of being human. As a public librarian I am often wary of massage books and whether the message within will be appropriate to my patrons. Thankfully, with books such as this, the gift of touch can be explored in a safe and nurturing environment. When we get a copy in our collection I plan on checking it out many times!” —Terry Oxley, Librarian II, Youth Services, Velma Teague Branch “As a retired educator and former superintendent, I know the importance of social interaction and the role human touch plays in the development of children both in and out of the classroom. In these days when we are sensitive to and limit ‘touch’ in schools, we can’t lose site of this aspect of being human. There is much stress in the modern school environment and plenty of studies about the positive effects of massage on decreasing stress. In Home Massage by Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett, there are clear ways to have parents and their children together learn to experience the positive effect of touch which can better prepare them to meet the demands of school, both academic and social. This book is an important tool to provide improved health for all who utilize the steps it provides.” —Dr. Laura McGaughey, retired educator and former superintendent

“This book is just lovely and well written.The authors did a wonderful job in covering the topic of massage for everyone and demonstrating how easy it is to put the power of touch in every household. Children to grandparents will love this book.” —Lynda Solien-Wolfe LMT, NCTMB, Vice-Chair of the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, President of the Solwolfe Resource Group, Inc. “I’ve been getting massage regularly for 25 years and wish my family had started 25 years before that. I’m the ‘Massage Dad’ in our house and thankful for the opportunity to give to my family. This book is a must have and every family will benefit from its common sense approach to family healing.” —Allan Share, President, Day Spa Association, International Medical Spa Association “Chuck and Suzette break new ground with an excellent book designed to bring the healing benefits of touch through massage into our daily life.They are a clear voice on how respect, honor, and appropriate touch learned on the massage table can return intimacy and loving touch to family life. Every family should have this book to use and peruse daily.” —Bruce Eatchel, GM and VP, Stronglite Massage Tables “Touch is vital to the health of body, mind and soul. Yet, because of the transgressions of a few, many Western societies are legislating against touch in public institutions.This is not the answer. The solution is to teach people how to touch in a nurturing and safe way. Home Massage does this beautifully within the family setting. All members of the family are included—young and old, healthy and ill, male and female, parent and child, brother and sister. Bravo!” —Gayle MacDonald, Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer The wonderful principles and techniques described in this book reveal the real healing power of touch, which is often neglected in families but can make such a difference in our physical, emotional and mental health. —Dr. Chris Elisabeth Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D., author of Dr. Chris’s A, B, C’s of Health and The French Stethoscope

this DVD demonstrates how anyone can use massage to bring health and connection back into family life. Section one discusses the philosophy and important principles of home massage.findhornpress. Available from: • your local bookstore • the author’s website: www. and infants.com . spouses. This invaluable resource will allow viewers to discover the healing benefits of touch in their own home with the people they know and trust. the 47-minute disc is divided into three sections.com • the publisher’s website: www.We recommend you also consult the companion DVD to this book: With step-by-step instructions from certified wellness experts. Then. Designed for the nonprofessional. section two offers easy-to-follow directions showing all aspects of giving an effective full-body massage.tchcomemassage. adolescents. section three presents ideas for bringing home massage into daily life with children. Finally. the elderly.

HOME MASSAGE Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch CHUCK FATA & SUZETTE HODNETT MASSAGE CONSULTANT JACKIE SLOAN findhorn press .

com .findhornpress. except for short extracts for quotation or review. First published by Findhorn Press 2011 ISBN 978-1-84409-559-9 All rights reserved. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. UK t +44(0)1309 690582 f +44(0)131 777 2711 e info@findhornpress.com www.© Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett 2011 The right of Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright. without the written permission of the publisher. The contents of this book may not be reproduced in any form. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Printed and bound in China 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 17 16 15 14 13 12 13 12 11 Published by Findhorn Press 117-121 High Street Forres IV36 1AB Scotland. Designs and Patents Act 1998.

In loving memory of Chuck Fata whose healing hands and heart touched us all His vision and journey continue within this book. .

.

.Touch is our first language.

.

The best environment to provide healing touch is in the safety of our home and the “toucher” would be a husband. other family member or trusted friend. —Mariana Caplan.D. Ph. To Touch is To Live . wife.

contents Introduction Foreword 14 A Message From The Authors 16 Introduction 18 Section One — Understanding Home Massage Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Touch Heals Stress Home Massage 26 36 42 Section Two — Learning Home Massage Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 The Three TCHM Principles Preparation Simple Strokes Massage Routines 52 66 88 100 Section Three — Bringing Home Massage Into Your Life Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Family Life Children Adolescents Couples Infants The Elderly 142 156 168 174 180 186 12 .

Conclusion Our Choice 195 Bibliography 197 Suggested Reading 198 About the Authors 201 References 202 Acknowledgements 204 Index 206 .

honor and nurturing intentions. Those same senses “know” that touch relaxes. He taught about respect. even in the professional world. heals. Chuck Fata was asked to teach a 15-hour massage class for the students at the University of California at Irvine. Years were spent in its development. He took the challenge and found that they were starving for touch and yet full of apprehensions. and communicates. and it became the most popular class in the department. emotional and physical shifts in our lives. It is the way most of us were touched as children—unabashed. TC Home Massage bridges massage techniques with the art of massage. together we recognized we had a different approach and the desire to bring it to the general public. free and unashamed. Home Massage: Transforming Family Life Through the Healing Power of Touch is one of our gateways to present these concepts to the world around us. Chuck and I continued our research. unrestrained. Suzette Hodnett. human touch. Word spread. of being present and aware. Human touch is as vital to our physical and emotional health as food and water. I came to assist Chuck with this first group and was truly fascinated by what I saw. our poor experiences with touch. Your innate senses are reminding you of how good it feels to be touched or to touch someone. 14 . With her psychological expertise and her East/West perspectives. of being comfortable with touch and comfortable in one’s body. trust and relaxation then happened naturally. our physical and emotional injuries and the rules and regulations imposed on us at our workplaces and schools have slowly and surreptitiously led us to put up barriers so that we might find ourselves not touching or being touched for days. and with these concepts in place. loving environment free from sexual intonations and fears of being hurt. you have already made a conscious step closer to connecting with your loved ones. There is much more to massage than structural change and this book explores the depth of human touch in clear language. Techniques followed. Tai Chi sandan and co-author of this book. nurturing. discussions and teaching. Would we consider going without food and water? In 2004. We have seen that the introduction to these principles is what makes massage easy to learn and extremely effective. Chuck and the students created a safe. simple directions and heartwarming photography. connects. With great fortune we added life coach. Creativity. Aware of this. This is rare. These students looked like professionals after only four hours. he opted to teach what we knew to be under the surface of healthy.FOREWORD If you are holding this book in your hands. But when is the last time you remember touching someone or being touched in that way? Our social upbringing. It can be as simple as a warm feeling of security and acceptance or as powerful as to create mental.

This book is an invitation to make proper touch a household word.” This book offers us that breath. but something we need to remember. Don’t miss the opportunity. Touch is our innate wisdom. peace and introspection. TCHM 15 . It is not something we need to learn. the techniques for a basic massage and everyday methods to use this gift to bring your family and friends closer. Whether you have five minutes or an evening to spend. every touch shared is a communication. Our society is hesitant to touch and fears improper touch. Our families and friends often miss out on our deepest communication—loving touch. If one could only “take a breath. This book shares a path to bring the lessons learned on the massage table into our relationships and our daily lives.Our lives are fast-paced and there seems to be no time for rest. CMT Co-Founder. What better place than with our trusted friends and family to return to our natural ability of healing touch through massage? Turn the pages to learn the principles beneath touch. —JACKIE SLOAN.

our heart. We connect with those we love. We are all comfortable with some kind of touch. It is the power of touching someone in a reverent way. in front of thousands of people with millions of others watching on television. Observing these extreme attitudes regarding touch has captured my imagination. and friends. I have seen years of touch inhibition disappear as people of all ages become comfortable with touch through giving and receiving massage. And we bring touch into our daily lives as a way to communicate with our children. a hug. the father of an 18-year-old exchange student preparing to leave on a flight to a foreign land resists hugging his daughter in public. the winning team rushes to the middle of the field and embraces each other with hugs. The true magic of massage comes from the duration of touch that extends to us the gift of an unlimited potential to heal. We remember how relaxation feels. While a baseball team is hugging in front of millions. relatives. making touch a greater part of their daily lives. When we become comfortable massaging someone for ten minutes or for an hour. I have seen others already comfortable with touch begin sharing massage with their families. This is the power of clear boundaries and nonsexual touch. Elsewhere in that very same moment. In that moment. and our mind to the countless gifts of touch. while teaching massage to the general public. —CHUCK FATA 16 . But we all have a “touch threshold” that keeps us from opening further our body. Through home massage. It is the power of honoring yourself and honoring others. we return to the powerful language of touch we knew as a child but have since forgotten as adults. we are transformed. expressing the joy of victory through the language of touch. During the past ten years.A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS It’s a home run and the Yankees have won the World Series. I would find that hard to believe. It is the power of becoming comfortable giving and receiving healing touch. One of my students contacted me seven years after taking my massage class to tell me how it had changed her life. For some it is a handshake. for others. a father and daughter are not willing to physically and emotionally connect in public. I invite you to learn the art of Touch Communications Home Massage (TCHM) and discover the healing benefits of touch for yourself. spouses. but I have heard similar stories from other students.

Calm. In the car. father and son. I have seen how loving touch or a forgiving hug—father to son or husband to wife—can heal a deep hurt that may have taken years in talk therapy. I used to joke that my perfect world would be that anywhere. I continue to see mother and daughter. then to a held hand in their final moments. I comforted them through massage. as both my parents were dying of cancer. As they grew weaker. I have always wondered why more people weren’t “taking turns. —Suzette Hodnett 17 . Welcome to Touch Communications Home Massage—for family and friends. on vacation. Present. It made me feel helpful and loving. loved. “taking turns” was a part of my vocabulary and my life. anytime. It was our conversation without words. In return. One of my first memories is of massaging my dad’s back. Working in the field of psychotherapy for over twenty years. Respectful. and calm. We need more of this—as individuals. can go anywhere and makes us feel relaxed. Quiet. and connection. I have seen discomfort with touch passed on from generation to generation. My sisters and I would always exchange massage—before bed. It made them feel better and less alone. and healthy. years later. Some nights I would even lie in bed and massage my own arms. safety. putting myself to sleep. loved. Loving. In those moments. but had no place to either receive or give it. I will never forget the feeling of his single hand enveloping my tiny back. I felt safe. even a few minutes of massage exchange from a parent or sibling would return me to a feeling of calm. I have listened to painful stories of abusive touch that scarred a child’s soul for a lifetime. but he was a teacher who stood in front of his class all day and appreciated a good back massage after school. Touched. It has been said that touching is the true revolution. I have seen the lonely and depressed who craved and needed touch. Life comes full circle and. and as a culture. friends and couples reach a place that defies explanation. He didn’t know about the many benefits of home massage. We have this amazing gift at our fingertips that costs nothing. massage turned to gentle touch. Although I was raised in an alcoholic family with unpredictable stress and trauma. we could exchange back rubs with our family and friends. as families. In our Touch Communications Home Massage (TCHM) workshops. I have seen what happens when touch invades and damages and what happens when touch embraces and heals. and when we were bored.As far back as I can remember.” Now they can. he would massage me while he watched television. massage was the only thing allowing us to cross the “imaginary line” that separated our places in the back seat. A place of freedom.

18 . More and more families are exchanging massage and allowing healing touch to be an integral part of their daily lives. Now you can experience the transformative benefits of bringing massage into your home. Someday every home will have a massage table—as natural a piece of furniture as the living room sofa.I N T R O DUCT I ON Who says massage has to be only in the hands of the professionals? Anyone can do it! Countless individuals like yourself are beginning to use one of the oldest healing therapies known to man—massage—to bring health and connection back into their daily lives. Home massage is an idea whose time has come.

.

Our lives run “pedal to the metal.a happy family life A Gallup poll asked Americans what they wanted the most. suffer from stress-related disorders. Husbands and wives have become strangers in their own homes.” But in our hightech and fast-paced society. Stress is no longer an occasional event but a way of life. One answer dominated the list: “A happy family life. not only via our speech but also with the healing vocabulary of loving touch. To achieve a happy family life. understood. Others. appreciated. juggling activities and homework. Divorce is on the rise. 20 . making the wish for a happy family life more difficult to realize. and validated. experts agree that we need to communicate with each other more. we are often disconnected from those we love the most. Some children turn to drugs. letting us know that we are loved.” often stuck in high gear. Home massage brings this healing gift into our homes. the gift of touch can make us feel protected. Whatever our age or stage in life. Touch is our first language. and forgiven. How do we reverse this strong current of tension and disconnect amid our fast and furious lives? Could it be that the answer to our modern dilemma is as old as time itself? Touch Communications Home Massage says “YES” and is bringing massage—the oldest healing therapy known to man—back into our daily lives.

.

Massage. Maybe we are uncomfortable with our bodies. With home massage. What better place than in our own home with the people we love and trust for us to discover and share the healing benefits of touch? Maybe in childhood we were touched the wrong way. through shared massage. What better place than in our own home to share this natural connection with each other? 22 . We think we are too fat or too thin. But home massage is easy and can be done in the convenience of our home. to open the lines of communication and make touch a household word and natural part of our vocabulary? Maybe we are too uncomfortable touching another person. We will nod and agree that it is a great idea.WHAT BETTER PLACE T H A N I N OUR HOME? There is a resistance in many of us to learning and practicing massage at home. Yet we also feel a certain reluctance to touch. We don’t want to feel vulnerable. and so massage feels foreign and uncomfortable. brings us calm. Nurturing massage is a gift of healing. We may even acknowledge the many benefits to both the giver and the receiver. hectic lives. appropriate touch of someone we trust? Maybe we tell ourselves that we don’t have time because of our busy. What better place than in our home. What better place than a private and safe home environment to heal through the loving. and now we are afraid the same thing will happen again. Maybe in childhood we were never touched. balance. What better place than in our own home to begin to feel at ease with our own unique bodies and so gain a sense of comfort in our own skin? Maybe we are uncertain how to teach our children about proper and improper touch. we can finally give loving touch to our trusted friends and family. and an opportunity to rest and recharge from our stressful lives. shared with our loved ones.

Now the healing benefits of massage—stress reduction. Allow the magic of healing touch to weave into the very fabric of your life. Experience it. When touch through massage becomes a regular and natural part of family life. Following these principles returns us to our natural ability of healing touch. the many healing gifts of massage are sadly under-used. the power of touch through massage can heal your mind. Home massage is based on three important. improved immunity. and yet touch is often a neglected means of communication with our family members.OUR HOME IS WHERE WE F I R S T L E A R N T O T OUCH Massage is now accepted by the general public and the medical community as an valuable adjunct to effective health care. less time watching television. You will be glad you did. when words can’t soothe. improved health. and when words are not enough. When words fall short. and effective. Families learn to honor and respect each other through their experience with home massage and report fewer fights. touch becomes a household word. pain management. the healing benefits of massage are not confined to a massage table. body. and spirit. encouraging the art of massage. increased relaxation and renewed emotional connection. Parents feel comfortable talking to their children about improper touch and children become receptive and willing to be part of the discussion. tried-and-true principles: creating a safe place of honor and respect. Massage gives us a way to experience touch for a long enough duration to allow healing of unlimited potential. 23 . But by limiting massage to our infrequent visits to professional massage therapists. As insurance and medical costs rise. and taking the mystique out of massage techniques. and emotional well-being—are in our hands through home massage. done with the people we already know and trust. Home massage. is fun. easy to learn. home massage is an excellent hands-on technique that allows us to take responsibility for our own health and reduce our need for doctors and drugs. With home massage. There are a myriad of applications in our daily life for people of all ages and all situations to connect with each other through the art and techniques of home massage. Certified massage therapists with hundreds of hours of training and years of experience are providing relaxation and rehabilitation to everyone from infants to the elderly. Home is where we first learn to touch. We encourage you to learn Touch Communications Home Massage.

or organizations are unintentional. inaccuracies.Authors’ note Although the authors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information contained in this book. we assume no responsibility for errors. places. Please consult a medical professional if you suffer from any health problems or special conditions. refer to page 78 for contraindications. 24 . Prior to massaging anyone. Publisher’s note This book is not intended as guidance for the treatment of serious health problems. the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional. not replace. Any slights of people. The information provided is intended to educate and complement. or any inconsistency herein. omissions.

SECTION ONE UNDERSTANDING H O M E M AS S A G E 25 .

1 T OUCH HEA L S I know that touching was and still is and always will be the true revolution. —Ashley Montague . —Nikki Giovanni CHAPTER ONE Where touching begins. there love and humanity also begin.

we are doing something as ancient as time itself. It makes us feel loved and loving. to hold. Touch calms us. When we gently rub the tired shoulders of a friend. It naturally heals us. or when we reach out to hold a loved one’s hand in kindness and compassion.OUR NATURAL INSTINCT To touch. It makes us feel safe. 27 . when we embrace. and to hug with kindness and compassion are universal and natural instincts.

28 .There is nothing that treats our emotional and physical wounds as much as the bandage of a hug.

Our fingertips on a computer may make us feel connected to cyberspace. touch improves our physical health. Gandhi wrote. medicine consisted mainly of touch. Living life at high speed also makes it difficult to find the time to connect with those closest to us and maintain our cherished relationships. it is something we need to remember.The “laying on of hands” has been a primary form of healing throughout history. Sometimes we are more connected to the computer than to our loved ones. and community groups are on the decline. but assuredly in rubbing. but the same hands placed upon a loved one can give the gift of healing.” The debris left behind in the whirlwind of our manic desire to get the most done in the least amount of time is ill health and estrangement from family and friends. The detached state of our society is but a reflection of our own individual failure to touch. Today our high-tech and fast-paced lives propel us into an increasingly impersonal world. health.” T O D AY Touch is a primal need. It is considered stronger than verbal or emotional contact. The earliest tribal cultures throughout the world used touch to cure the sick. Virtual reality. Our need and desire for touch is the key to our species. massage was one of the principal means of healing and relieving pain. and calm to our often hectic and impersonal lives. “There is more to life than increasing its speed. The power of touch through home massage can return balance. and the survival of the human race. Hippocrates. The healing power of touch through the art of massage is one of the first healing therapies known to man. warm touch of those most dear to us. to continuing parenthood. Beyond mere survival. To the ancient Greek and Roman physicians.Y E S T E R D AY Touch is not something we need to learn. The father of medicine. The cold metal and hard plastic of our cell phones and iPods has begun to replace the soft. Before the advent of drugs. sports leagues. wrote. 29 . and computer games are on the rise and scouting programs. and emotional well-being. Our deep primal need to be touched is even more important today. relationships. “Physicians must be experienced in many things. connection. chat rooms. and relaxation.

and reinforced from generation to generation. 5 30 .4 A research study of 49 cultures revealed that those exhibiting minimal physical affection towards their children had significantly higher rates of violence.2 Recent research in humans shows that aberrant behavior stemming from early touch deprivation is sustained. repeated. This reveals that it is touch. Those that showed the most amounts of physical affection had the least occurrence of adult violence.1 Longitudinal studies of rhesus monkeys also indicate that touch deprivation has an impact on physiological functions.R E S E A R C H S TUDI E S O N T OUCH Landmark research on touch with rhesus monkeys shows they prefer surrogate mother objects providing contact comfort (frames covered with terry cloth) to those consisting of frames with bare wires that provide a steady milk supply. such as stress hormone response and immunological strength. not food. that promotes the greater attachment.3.

adults with spinal cord injuries saw their functional activity improve and experienced increased range of motion in their wrists and elbows. research studies have found that massage is helpful in decreasing blood pressure in people with hypertension. Because of its effectiveness. natural killer cell number and lymphocytes.11 Furthermore. and improving alertness and performance in office workers. depressed mood and anger.10 A pilot study revealed that massage reduces pain and muscle spasms in patients who have undergone heart bypass surgery when patients are treated with massage at the hospital after their surgery. natural killer cells increased after 20 days of massage. The longer-term massage effects included reduced depression and hostility.A study examining the effects of massage on women receiving massage (30-minute massage three times weekly for five weeks) showed reduced anxiety. according to recent research.6 In a study on HIV-positive adults. 60 percent of the massage group expressed a willingness to pay for massage therapy out-of-pocket. serotonin values.12 31 . Researchers hypothesize that massage might be an effective alternative to conventional medical care for persistent low back pain.8 Short sessions of soft-tissue massage provided a sense of meaning and inner respite among cancer patients in palliative care. alleviating pain in migraine sufferers.9 Research studies concluded that therapeutic massage was an effective treatment providing long-lasting benefits for patients suffering from chronic low back pain.7 After five weeks of twice-weekly massages. increased urinary dopamine.

but to receive their healing touch and attention.” Compared with most societies around the world.” Sadly. we are “touchy about touch. nurturing touch they remember from childhood. the high-tech world that created the equipment to scientifically reveal the healing power of touch is “out of touch” with touch. not for stability. but because they crave touch. In the United States. 32 . But. Others wonder.T OUC HY A B O U T T OUCH Research has now proven what the ancients always knew—touch heals. Our culture has now convinced us that touch is dangerous. Some adults unconsciously develop psychosomatic illnesses in hopes of receiving the gentle. our attitudes about touch are influenced by our culture and not our need for touch. unfortunately. our society has become touch-phobic. America is what anthropologists call a “nontactile society. “How old is too old to touch?” The truth is that we have become a “touch-starved” nation. we are usually at the forefront of new ideas. Fears of sexual abuse and improper touch haunt innocent adults. Many people are unaware of the emotional and physical effects of their touch deprivation. The elderly often ask others to take their hand. Ironically. Many parents are confused about how and where to touch their children. We hunger for touch and connection with the people in our lives. not necessarily to stay home from school as parents suspect. No-touch laws in schools restrict teachers from hugging their students or even picking up preschoolers who fall on the playground. Children pretend to be sick.

We intuitively know that touch is healing.Sometimes we go to great lengths to show friends and family we care about them through giving or doing. starts to kiss his daughter goodbye but is hurt when she turns and gives him an uncomfortable shrug instead. Secretly he would enjoy it—just as he did in childhood—but instead he snarls. bringing flowers and candy. but sometimes we fear the honesty of touch. but we are uncomfortable and so offer only awkward words of condolence. Secretly a mother would like to express affection to her teenage son. We visit a relative in the hospital. leaving on a trip. but we are reluctant to embrace them. A small child deliberately disobeys his parent for the payoff of being spanked. 33 . A grieving friend needs a compassionate hug.To some children. “Leave me alone!” A father. The truth is that often touch is more than appropriate—it may be the very best way to communicate and connect with those we love. but we may be reluctant to give them a healing hug or to hold their hand. negative touch is better than no touch at all.

PROPER TOUCH T ouch. but that improper touch can scar our very soul. We face the dilemma of knowing that touch is critical for our health and well-being. Touch can be a healing gift or a damaging poison. we are robbing ourselves and future generations of one of our most precious birthrights—the innate healing power of touch. and safe. Bad touch makes us feel uncomfortable. scared. can hurt or heal you. nervous. And so a great schism divides our culture: to touch or not to touch? If we choose not to touch. like fire. 34 . Healing touch makes us feel comfortable. The art of massage. shared between family and friends whom we love and trust. can help us reclaim that deep heritage of healing touch for ourselves and our children. Children have been wounded with life-long scars from the devastating effects of abusive touch. and threatened. peaceful. calm.

More needed. It can break our heart. It can mend a broken heart. 35 . It can refresh our mind. More disappointing. More healing. It can reach our core. It can soothe our soul. More under-used. There is nothing more accessible.TO TO U C H O R N OT TO TO U C H There is nothing more hideous. It can scar our soul. It can make us feel more alive. Than sacred touch. More damaging. Than the touch that shatters our trust.

All this talk and turmoil and noise and movement is outside the veil. Inside the veil is silence and calm and peace CHAPTER TWO -Bayazid Bistami .STRESS The time to relax is when you don’t have time to relax.

Consider stress on the freeway. We can hardly pick up a newspaper or watch television without seeing and hearing about a new study relating stress to a variety of illnesses. But perhaps it is our collective insanity that has us all convinced that our exhaustion from competing demands. our physical health. and over-extended schedules is either natural or impossible to avoid. body and spirit. If you want to break it down to what the cell understands. no one is immune from the damaging effects of stress. economic status. overabundant choices. Some label it the American Way or modern living. and our emotional well-being. Too much to do with too little time is our national anthem. and increasingly impersonal lives as normal. Vincent Medici 37 . A public health survey estimated that 70 to 80 percent of Americans who visit conventional physicians suffer from stress-related or “lifestyle” diseases.S tre S S K I L L S Our bodies have forgotten how relaxation feels. or position. Being on the freeway is emotional stress because you are not happy to be there. As self-help author and motivational speaker Richard Carlson states.“ Stress can be seductive and strong. —Dr. Being on the freeway is structural stress because your heart and lungs and kidneys don’t function as well when you are cramped up in your tight little car seat. over-loaded. Outside pressures such as work. dominating our lives and luring us in with the adrenaline rush of life on full throttle. Perhaps the most damaging effect of stress is that we have lost touch with just how much this chronic tension is controlling our relationships. family tensions. constant worrying and low self-esteem. Stress can also emanate from inside us through negative thoughts. Chronic stress undermines the body’s ability to fix itself and causes psychological and physical disease. We have come to accept our fastpaced. and bad nutrition take their toll on our mind. it is chemical stress because of the smog. Stress is the gradual and insidious running down of our general health. No matter what the gender. “Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.

—Natalie Goldberg SYMPTOMS OF STRESS Heart Disease Infections Poor Immunity Eating Disorders High Blood Pressure Migraines Gastrointestinal Distress Muscular Pain Loneliness Depression Tight Muscles Memory Loss Sleep Disturbances Racing Heart Sexual Dysfunction Fatigue Mental Illness Ulcers Diabetes Low Back Pain Substance Abuse Shortness of Breath 38 . It believes that everything is an emergency.Stress is an ignorant state.

as a result. once the acute threat has passed our relaxation response returns all systems to neutral. A nervous system under chronic stress can. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contribute to our body’s stress response. elevating our blood pressure. What is good for the body on a short-term basis can be very harmful over long periods of time. This reaction helps us deal with physical threats by giving us more energy. blood. increasing our heart rate. and brain are all activated and set to go. Any situation that we perceive as dangerous. either become hyperactive (frenetic) or hypoactive (underactive). lungs. or create. illness. digestion. Psychological threats—pressures at work. even subconsciously or falsely. is experienced as a threat to our sympathetic nervous system. or the death of a loved one—can also set off the same alarm system. interpersonal issues. creating chronic stress. speed. Our heart. and boosting our energy. concentration. adrenaline and cortisol. money worries.THE STRESS RESPONSE FIGHT OR FLIGHT The Sympathetic Nervous System The stress response is our body’s rapid and automatic switch into high gear. 39 . Thus we run on a fight-or-flight reaction longer than is necessary or healthy. and agility to protect ourselves or to run as fast as possible. Our bodies react by prompting our adrenal glands to release a series of stress hormones. During the stress response our body is like a plane readying itself for take-off. But modern life poses ongoing stressful situations that are not short-lived. The disharmony of these two natural and essential forces can then imbalance many of our physiological activities and contribute to. various physical and psychological conditions. Under most circumstances. But physical threats aren’t the only events that trigger this stress response.

Our bodies have forgotten how relaxation feels. calm state of being. Massage returns us to our natural. .

Add to that regular massage. Unfortunately. or a new relationship may not be perceived as dangerous to our body. However. healthier life.THE STRESS RESPONSE REST AND DIGEST The Parasympathetic Nervous System How we perceive a stress-provoking event will determine its impact on our health. connect with the people you love. balancing. Not all stressful situations are negative. which can be very effective in balancing the nervous system and restoring homeostasis (physical balance and equilibrium). but integrating home massage into your life can help you manage stress. healing touch of massage is relayed by them to every part of the body to bring relief and promote well-being.The birth of a child. Instead of practicing moderation. Touch Communications Home Massage is an excellent method you can bring into your daily life to alleviate tension and remind the body how relaxation feels. The soothing. social support. and psychotherapy. Although stress is a fact of life. Instead of exercising. a job promotion. Instead of eating healthy. There is no single cure-all. create a peaceful home environment. and self-medicate. and help you enjoy a longer. some people respond by inactivity and overeating. The skin and muscles contain many nerve endings and connections. smoke. when we are under stress it is difficult for us to maintain the habits that lead to a healthy life. 41 . we succumb to increasingly poor nutritional choices. steps can be taken to manage the impact that life events have on you. healthy eating. Perhaps nothing can age us more rapidly—internally and externally—than high stress. First. we abuse alcohol. such as exercise. we may feel that these situations are stressful because they are new or we are not fully prepared to deal with them. learn to identify stressful events and develop healthy ways of dissipating this daily strain.

H OME MAS S AGE CHAPTER THREE T ouch is a path to peace in our world. It is the realization of the oneness of humanity. through the universal language of touch. to plant the seeds of peace? — Jackie Sloan . What better place than in our home.

Anyone who has ever gone to a certified massage therapist for assistance with anything from stress reduction to specific injuries knows the value of a professional massage. offering an invaluable contribution to our health care system. special-care baby units. When massage is done in the comfort and familiarity of our homes with the people we already trust and respect. low-cost interventions like home massage used side by side with sophisticated new techniques. Their sincere desire to help others. healing massage. Infant massage is on the rise and is being taught to parents around the country. combined with their specialized expertise. we feel safe. and boost their immune systems. and polarity bodywork. Instead of coffee breaks or two-martini lunches. drugs and hospital care. Recognizing that healing. Massage is now recognized by both the medical community and the public as an integral part of health care. Trained massage therapists now work in hospitals. It can aid in not only the treatment but in the prevention of so many ailments of daily life—everything from sports injuries to pain management to stress reduction. soothing overworked muscles. It can promote relaxation and. Americans make 60 million visits to massage practitioners every year. caring touch is good for everyone. our emotional well-being. boosting our immune system. cranial sacral. Factors of cost and convenience can limit visits to certified massage therapists. Anyone can do it. allowing the magic of massage to happen with very little effort. 43 . nursing homes. community centers and colleges around the nation are offering massage classes to teach the general public how to give an effective massage. The health care of the future will include effective. With home massage. Hands-on healing will help lessen our need for doctor visits. psychiatric units. rehabilitation centers. The benefits of massage—reducing stress. allows them to effectively treat a variety of physical and emotional ailments. Professional massage therapists are well educated with hundreds of hours of classes and years of training in a variety of modalities such as Trager. The convenience of home massage makes it a valuable tool that can be used with almost limitless frequency. Rolfing. and meeting our emotional needs for touch— are in our own hands. and medical centers. many companies offer chair massages during the lunch hour as part of their wellness program. alleviate anxiety. ultimately. our need for self-responsibility and prevention becomes even more important.MASSAGE HEALS Massage is good medicine. As health insurance costs soar. Hospitals are introducing massage for their patients to reduce pain. we find relief from a variety of ailments without the financial burden of medical bills. Some insurance companies offer reimbursement for massage to treat various ailments. The truth is that you don’t have to be a massage therapist to give a soothing. and thus we are vastly underutilizing the many healing benefits of massage.

Assists the blood flow. Increases joint flexibility and relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles. Creates a relaxed state of being. the body’s natural painkiller.H EA L IN G B E N E F ITS of home massage Relaxes the nervous system. bringing much needed oxygen and other nutrients to our tissue. encourages the lymphatic drainage. nurturing touch. Releases endorphins. Fulfills our emotional need for caring. Improves circulation. relieving anxiety. Brings awareness of our mindbody connection. Regular sessions significantly reduce stress. and boosting energy. 44 . Boosts our immune system. lifting depression. and stretches the connective tissue of our joints.

Massage opens the door and gives us a safe and concrete way to touch our partners in a loving. Where else but through massage can we touch each other in a healing. nurturing way for a sufficient amount of time to make the cells in our body happy. Through home massage. and nonsexual way for one minute. When we become comfortable massaging someone—when we can give and receive non-sexual touch for 10 to 50 minutes—we are transformed. we return to our innate ability for and comfort with healing touch. or an hour? The real benefits of massage for both the giver and receiver are realized with the duration of touch. excited. we are able to keep that 20-second hug going for 35 seconds. fulfilled and healthy. 30 minutes. This is where the magic happens. 45 . Translated to our everyday lives. hold the hand of a sick relative for two full minutes and hug our son or daughter when it previously felt uncomfortable. five minutes. comfortable.THE M A G I C OF H O M E MAS S A G E The magic of home massage comes from not only the quality of touch but also the duration.

mutual respect. and how we interact with the world. families learn to express themselves easily through the language of touch. how we live. and spirit. increased relaxation. A strong family is our anchor in a world that is inherently unpredictable and constantly changing. —Chinese proverb Home is where one starts from. Children fight less as they learn to nurture each other. and stability in our homes. but also love. Our first experience with touch is our mother’s loving caress in our home. —T. when and where to touch. shaping who we are. families achieve better health. Eliot No other institution in our society does more than a loving family to shape our values. and nurture our mind. and a sense of belonging. S. Within our family we learn how. creating harmony. Yet natural touch among family members is an often neglected means of communication. When massage is a natural routine. 46 . and a deeper connection with each other. support our needs. The family provides not only food and shelter. security. It is essential to our emotional well-being. Touch is vital to our relationships. It is critical for our growth and development.F A M I LY C O N N E C T I O N A family in harmony will prosper in everything. What better place than within our family to rediscover the healing benefits of touch? And what better way than through the medium of massage to express loving touch to those closest to us? When the massage table becomes as natural a piece of furniture as the living room sofa. Parents have a way to relieve stress and enjoy renewed intimacy. body. What we learn or don’t learn from our family can affect us for a lifetime.

.Time alone together sharing the gift of massage allows every pair in the family the opportunity to connect with the opening of the heart and the relaxing of the ego. they become one. The giver becomes the receiver and the receiver becomes the giver. in that special moment. And.

and when something doesn’t feel good. 48 . what is bad touch. By experiencing loving. where to touch. unwilling to listen and thus more influenced by their peers. or be convinced of our need to be touched. When massage is part of our daily lives. we don’t need to be told how to touch. Home massage makes touch a household word instead of allowing it to become a taboo subject. Through exchanging massage with our loved ones. Furthermore. but they can also end there. in an attempt to protect their children from the dangers of improper touch. We experience a return to our natural expression of touch. and appropriate touch. are reluctant to discuss issues surrounding touch or. we also learn to understand the many signs our bodies offer us when touched appropriately. everyone learns to honor and respect themselves and each other in all matters of touch. they discourage any kind of touch.H O M E MAS S A G E MAKE S T O U C H A HOUS E H O L D W ORD —Dorothy. the confidence gained on the massage table will help us recognize the signs and communicate our concerns when touch is not appropriate. What better place than in our own homes to regain our comfort with touch? Fears and inhibitions about touch begin in our home. Home massage reminds us that our bodies belong to us. Adults who are raised in families where touch was awkward or discouraged often suffer from a discomfort with touch that can affect their relationships in ways both disguised and apparent. even worse. The trust and comfort that grows on the massage table can easily be transferred to more delicate and personal matters. safe. As touch becomes a household word through massage. Often they wait until their children are teenagers. Once we become comfortable with touch on the massage table. The Wizard of Oz There is no place like home. we learn to communicate what kind of pressure we want. where we want to be massaged. it becomes a natural bridge for both adults and children to talk easily about issues relating to touch. Too often parents.

49 .Fears and inhibitions about touch begin in our home but can also end there.

50 .

SECTION TWO LEARNING H O M E MAS s AGE 51 .

CHAPTER FOUR THE three P R I N C I P L E S of T O U C H C O M M U N I C A T I O N S H O M E M A S S A G E In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. but in the expert’s there are few. —Shunryu Suzuki .

Anyone can do it. . The tried and true principles of TCHM are a winning formula that makes massage easy and fun to learn.You don’t have to be a massage therapist to give a good massage. Use these three simple but powerful principles and you will naturally return to your innate ability for healing touch.

allowing relaxation to occur at a deeper level.The beauty of home massage is that by working on family and friends. that person is able to relax and the magic of massage happens with very little effort. This applies to anyone we are massaging— young or old. Understanding that we are creating a sacred.P rinciple one CREATe A SAFE PLACE OF HONOR AND RESPECT When the recipient of massage feels safe. . safe place of honor and respect builds upon that trust and allows for deep healing. a certain level of trust already exists. family member or trusted friend.

. Listening to the person on the table with your whole mind. or further away from. they will not feel safe.LEARN TO LISTEN AN UNWRITTEN CONTRACT The giver creates an unwritten contract with the receiver that the massage will be done with a great sense of honor and respect. Good listening. body. their body will become tense. When the unwritten contract is understood and consistently experienced. and behavior. Both the giver and receiver will enter the massage with a kind. we should also continually practice listening. Massage is a conversation without words. during or after a massage. If the receiver asks you not to massage a certain part of their body and you do anyway. makes the receiver feel safe and accepted versus judged and analyzed. trust grows and the receiver will let go and a healing. insinuation. relaxing massage will naturally occur. and spirit takes energy and the best of intentions. without offering advice. If a spouse even jokingly makes an unkind remark towards their mate. and nonjudgmental spirit. How well we listen to what is happening beneath our hands resonates with the receiver and either takes them deeper into. patient. a state of relaxation and peace. to want to help and so the temptation might be to lecture or give advice. Just as we practice our massage techniques. Always remember the tremendous healing power of simply listening. school or work. If the receiver asks you to turn the music down and you don’t oblige. the receiver may verbally share something personal with the giver. There is an agreement that the massage is a “time out” from our daily responsibilities and there will be no talk about such things as money. It is natural. Occasionally. especially between family and friends. he or she will feel slighted. There is an agreement that the massage will be nonsexual in conversation.

Words cannot express the loving connection that happens when you spend an hour in this sacred place of honor and respect. silently in touch with your grownup child. .

What do we do? Do we let it pass? Do we confront the person? Do we allow it to continue? It is critical for children and adults to be aware of their physical and emotional boundaries. and respect . As the giver. relative. The receiver should always feel a deep sense of safety and inner calmness when he or she is on the table. or applying oil— should be done with great care. The lessons learned from the first principle can also improve our daily lives.” or “I want to be fully clothed during the massage. let go. It is just as important for the receiver to communicate when they don’t like the way they are being touched as when they are enjoying a certain technique. Everything we do during a massage—putting a bolster under a leg. and what signals our bodies offer when touched appropriately and inappropriately.” or “Please use a softer touch. lifting hair off the face. It takes effort and practice to learn to assert ourselves. We’ve all had experiences when someone has violated our boundaries. or a parent of the person on the table that you should relax this principle. older than.HONOR YOURSELF The benefits of home massage go far beyond the massage session. and heal emotionally and physically. clearly communicate to the giver when something feels uncomfortable or inappropriate. Real boundaries come from inside as we learn what we want. what is crossing a line. or sibling. This principle applies to anyone we are massaging—child. or co-worker. whether by a family member. elderly person. Expressing our boundaries during home massage will transfer to other areas of our lives. deliberation and honor. spouse. friend. non-judgmental touch allows the receiver to relax. When receiving a massage. folding a blanket back. For example.” Creating a safe place of honor and respect means that both the giver and the receiver honor themselves as well as each other. . friend. compassion. Adopting a healthy attitude about touch teaches our children to honor their bodies. “I don’t want my feet massaged. but it is worth the rewards. COMPASSIONATE TOUCH Creating a safe place of honor and respect through compassionate. Don’t assume that because you are familiar with. Let your hands be the healing instruments that convey kindness. The magic of massage happens when you completely honor and respect whomever is on the table. never agree to massage someone you are not comfortable touching. This will do more to prevent improper touch than instilling fear and avoidance.

Have you ever been hugged by someone and it somehow felt awkward. very dark. 58 . Audette Have you ever been massaged by an electronic massager? Many variations exist in the marketplace. Yet you will be staring into the face of pure. The mechanics are there but the human touch is absent.PRINCIPLE TWO ENCOURAGe THE ART OF MASSAGE If you want to know what true art is: Go outside on a clear night. preoccupied and without emotion? Compare that with a hug from a child who is comfortable with touch. unadulterated beauty and wonder. —Derek R. gives you his or her whole attention and whose emotions are pure and spontaneous. wait until it gets very. You will see no rules of composition. and look up. no evidence of superior technique.

As the giver. BEING PRESENT Massage is a meditation shared by two people—a quiet conversation through the medium of touch.” The vulnerability of the receiver should be met with kindness and compassion. she will be able to let go and release tension that resides deep within the body. This is why it is important to find a comfortable place to work. If outside thoughts come. keep your body as free from tension as possible.The more relaxed you are touching your partner. If we can be physically and emotionally relaxed when we touch the receiver. the more comfortable she will be accepting your touch. and our comfort level—that separates an ordinary massage from a great. Being comfortable will allow the massage to reach another level.INTENTIONS The “art of massage” focuses on being present and being comfortable in mind. safety. The dynamics of the giver and receiver relationship should never become a power imbalance that makes the person on the table feel vulnerable. our heartfelt presence. and spirit allows you to focus all your energy on the massage. 59 . Being present in mind. he or she should be thankful for the privilege of massaging his or her partner. The techniques of massage comprise our brush and paints. allow them to pass by and then return to your breath and the sensation of the receiver’s skin against your hands. It is critical that the giver of the massage is always present with “good intentions. all that should exist for the giver is the comfort. Our canvas is the receiver of the massage. It is the way we hold the “brush”—our intentions. and relaxation of the person on the table.The art of massage comes from what is within us. body. BEING COMFORtABLE Your comfort as the giver is as important as the comfort of the receiver. Rather than feeling powerful. body and spirit. A great massage should be as relaxing for the giver as for the person on the table. healing massage. Remember to occasionally bring your attention back to your own level of relaxation to make sure you are not stiffening your body and passing that tension on to the receiver. Moment to moment.

.

.The art of massage is about being comfortable in mind. body and spirit. When the giver is comfortable it resonates with the receiver and they naturally relax and heal.

Massage techniques are important in giving a healing massage.PRINCIPLE THREE TAKE THE MYSTIQUE OUT OF MASSAGE TECHNIQUE S We work with being. It is the connection between the giver and the receiver during the massage that is the catalyst for healing. The misconception is that the larger the arsenal of techniques we have. But massage techniques by themselves don’t heal. Blending techniques with a safe environment and the art of massage creates a healing experience. the better the massage. This is not so. but non-being is what we are. . —Lao-Tzu What is the mystique of massage? It is normal for beginning students to think that massage is about learning a precise way of doing techniques.

Blending techniques with a safe environment and the art of massage creates a healing experience. 63 .

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that heals. .It is the connection between the giver and receiver. not complicated massage moves.

Thus. and a willing and trusting partner. Our sense of calm and relaxation is affected by the environment that surrounds us.PREPARATION CHAPTER FIVE The beauty of Touch Communications Home Massage is that it can be done anywhere and anytime. some forethought in creating the most comfortable environment for both the giver and the receiver will greatly enhance a feeling of deep relaxation. Healing takes place when the massage flows without interruption and distractions. . No specialized equipment is needed—only your healing hands. your good intentions.

Provide a quiet. .T HE ROOM Relaxation is paramount to giving a good massage. Make sure that you have enough room to easily move around the table. private. Keep a good supply of massage oil or lotion close by. uncluttered space away from household distractions.Turn off or disconnect all phones. It is a good idea to provide a supply of cotton sheets that you use only for massage.Take the time to create a calm and secure space that makes the receiver feel relaxed and comfortable. Twin size sheets work the best. Have a pillow or bolster for the legs. Flannel sheets provide extra warmth.

Make sure the lighting is soft and subdued to allow the eyes of the receiver to relax completely. Make child care arrangements. Candles are a nice mood enhancer. 2.LIGHTING TIPS FOR AN UNDISTURBED MASSAGE 1. Give yourself time after the massage to relax. Provide a room that is warm and draft free. Refrain from eating a heavy meal before the massage. 5. TEMPERATURE Many people cool down during a massage and get chilled. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door. Have a blanket nearby to cover your partner. Let everyone in the house know the time and duration of the massage. 4. Make sure. Go to the bathroom before beginning a massage. 7. Soft lights work when there is no natural light available. Natural light provides the best atmosphere. Provide a room that is warm and draft-free. Provide a small table lamp or floor lamp away from the massage table. A space heater works well to warm the area around the massage table. . 3. 6. however. they don’t create a fire hazard. Turn off or disconnect all phones. 8.

Some sink deeper into relaxation with calm. Pillow or bolster for underneath the legs. Water for the receiver during and after the massage. 4. Decide beforehand how long the massage will last. Relaxation can go deeper and deeper when there are no interruptions. Soft. 3. 9. MUSIC 2. Tissues to wipe your hands. . 6. Two clean soft towels or sheets. Massage oil or lotion. 8. 7. calming music that appeals to both the giver and receiver works best. Clock. Honor the wishes of the receiver. Comfortable clothes. CHECKLIST l. peaceful massage music while others find it distracting. Music.TIME Choose a time when you and your partner will be undisturbed. Light blanket for warmth. Let others in your household know that this is your time and ask them to honor your space without interruptions. 5.

but it is a little difficult for the giver to remain comfortable. and even outside. The chair is especially good for doing work on the back. 70 . but it rules out working on the entire body.or 20-minute rejuvenating rubs. Your partner can relax and breathe. Let the surface be soft and pliable. The floor can be a challenge for the giver’s body. If necessary take a few silent breaks during the massage to stretch. You can use foam. or a futon. The floor offers plenty of room in all directions for both the giver and receiver to stretch out. on vacation. Be sure to place several cushions down to create a firm bed. anywhere. It is not impossible to work on the other parts of the body using a chair.SELECTING THE SURFACE THE FLOOR The floor is a massage surface that is available anywhere—at home. Make sure you put some pillows under the receiver’s knees while you are working on the front of the body. THE CHAIR Using a chair works great for giving 15. Only massage for the length of time you are comfortable. The advantage of using a chair is that it is accessible to all of us and can be used anytime. a mattress pad.

Today some massage tables are designed especially for the home. This works for most people. You can use your massage table at home. however the proper height is the height that you find most comfortable. the top of your knuckles of your relaxed arms brush the table surface. It allows the giver to be comfortable while moving around the table and using a wide variety of massage techniques. It is designed to be ergonomically efficient for the giver. affordable. and can be easily folded and put away when not in use. A GOOD MASSAGE TABLE A good massage table is a worthy investment. or even kneel on the table itself. whether adult or child. The massage table works for just about anyone. a wheelchair. and an invaluable addition to every home. The giver can sit in a chair.THE TABLE It is paramount that both the giver and the receiver are relaxed and comfortable during the massage. easily stored. The softness of the massage table helps the receiver relax and let go. The comfort of the giver resonates with the receiver and together they sink into a more relaxed state. . Always adjust the table to the height that works best for you. at a friend’s house. A massage table is durable. BEING COMFORTABLE Being comfortable while you work is an important principle of Touch Communications Home Massage. The headrest allows the receiver to rest his head comfortably in the horse-shoe shaped hole so that he can breathe easily throughout the entire massage. PROPER HEIGHT Set the table height so that when you stand next to it. or bring it on vacation. It can be adjusted so that a maximum amount of pressure can be applied with the least amount of effort. The floor or chair limits the duration that both the giver and receiver can maintain a feeling of comfort. comfortable. They are durable. A massage table makes it possible for both persons to be relaxed.

The spirit of both persons is equally important. 72 .T HE GIVER A N D THE R E C E I V E R In Touch Communications Home Massage. It is a meditation for both partners. the giver and the receiver are full participants in the healing process. each engaging fully in the present moment of exchange. Massage is the willingness to share and communicate through the sense of touch. It is a two-way flow of energy—a conversation without words. This two-way mutual communication through the hands of the giver and the skin of the receiver is dependent upon both participants.

Sounds are a wonderful way of releasing tension in your body. Take the mystique out of massage techniques. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable or if you have to use the bathroom. Close your eyes and become aware of your breathing and the parts of your body that move as you inhale and exhale. As soon as you lie down. remind yourself of the three principles of Touch Communications Home Massage: 1. If the feeling arises. surrender to the massage. relax and let go of worries and concerns. Rather than trying to help. having good intentions. allow yourself the freedom to let go through deep breaths or “oohs” and “aahs. To benefit fully from a massage as the receiver. let yourself melt into the working surface. Encourage the art of massage by being present. massage techniques must be blended with the art of massage. 73 . let the giver know. being comfortable. do it in a loving and joyful way. As giver. When you give a massage.THE GIVER THE RECEIVER Massage is more about attitude than it is about talent and skill. and using your intuition. Create a safe space of honor and respect.” Let the giver know if you find the pressure too deep or too soft. 2. 3. Remember that techniques are important but for deep healing to occur. Let the giver know if you particularly enjoy a certain stroke or movement.

or you need a blanket for warmth. whether you want music. Remove all jewelry. contact lenses. which causes a distraction. Wear loose clothing. Remove make-up. Let the giver know your needs. Remember. Remove all jewelry. Rings can scratch the skin and bracelets or necklaces can jingle. and glasses. Wear comfortable shoes or go barefoot. the massage is for your pleasure. Remain present and be aware of the receiver’s needs. Rather they assist or facilitate the healing process. let the giver know if you want less or more pressure. The giver of the massage cannot “fix” anyone.TIPS FOR THE GIVER Always wash your hands before giving a massage. Keep conversation to a minimum. Leave your daily worries and concerns behind and put a relaxed energy and focus into the massage. TIPS FOR THE RECEIVER Do not eat for about 90 minutes before the massage. the receiver must relax and be open to the touch of the giver. During the massage. Rings or watches can also interfere with the free flow and natural movement of touching the receiver. 74 . the room is too cold. To benefit from this process.

RELAX AND LET GO
Before giving a massage, take a few minutes to come down from your day’s activities. You can meditate, listen to soft, soothing music, and take a few deep breaths. During the massage, most of your attention will be on the receiver. It is important, however, to occasionally bring your attention back to yourself. Check to see that your breath is open, your shoulders are relaxed, and that you are not straining yourself in any way. Remember that touch is a highly sophisticated form of communication. If you are uncomfortable and stressed, that energy will be transmitted to the person on the table. If you are comfortable, relaxed, and calm, the receiver will feel the same. Stay in the full moment of the massage—no past and no future, just the beauty of your conversation through touch. If your thoughts drift away, gently bring them back to the moment by focusing on the skin beneath your hands.

CENTERING

Before doing any kind of massage, you should spend a few minutes centering yourself. Emptying your mind allows your intuition, rather than your conscious mind, to guide the massage. This moves your energy down to the hara, just below the navel. This area, in Chinese and Japanese tradition, is considered the body’s physical center of gravity and by extension the seat of one’s spiritual energy. Centering can be as simple as sitting quietly for a few minutes, or taking a deep breath and letting go of scattered thoughts while becoming aware of your body and breath. You can also take a few minutes and do a more formal type of exercise. These exercises can be done 10 to 30 minutes before the massage.

CENTERING EXERCISE This centering technique combines breath awareness with the phrase or mantra, “Let go.” It is especially helpful when you are tense or fixating on a stressful situation or a negative thought or emotion. Sit cross-legged or kneel down on the floor, putting a cushion under your buttocks. Do whatever it takes to make yourself comfortable. As you inhale, silently or out loud say, “Let.” As you exhale, say “go”while letting go of all that is stressing you. Repeat this exercise for three to five minutes.

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FOLLOWING YO UR INTUIT I O N
A good “massager” is one who has the ability to combine input from his intuition and from their intellect as well. Balancing your knowledge of massage techniques with your intuition is vital to giving a healing massage. Following the three principles of Touch Communications Home Massage—creating a safe place, encouraging the art of massage, and taking the mystique out of massage techniques—unleashes our innate ability to give an intuitive massage. In other words, it gives us confidence and opens the door to using our innate ability for healing touch. When we don’t follow the principles—when we work under stress, are “in our ego,” or try to prove our self-worth—we lose flexibility and openness. This also inhibits our ability to receive subtle information and clues from the receiver and from within ourselves. But when we focus on good intentions, promote comfort, become quiet and relaxed, we are able to listen and respond to the body of the receiver and sense her needs without saying a word.

Honor the receiver. This means that you have the very best of intentions. Take the mystique out of massage techniques. This means that you don’t put all of your reliance into the massage techniques, but that you combine techniques with your innate ability of touch. Apply the art of massage. This means that while you are giving a massage, you become quiet and comfortable in mind, body and spirit, returning you to your natural ability for healing touch.

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W H E N T O S AY N O
Massage is appropriate most of the time. It is non-invasive, relaxing, and generally considered a safe treatment for most people. However, there are times when massage is not advisable, when symptoms or a condition contraindicate its usage. Some of these deal with symptoms of disease. Some pertain to skin conditions. Others only apply to certain types of massage strokes or preclude working on a particular part of the body. One contraindication that you should ALWAYS FOLLOW is a request from the receiver to stop what you are doing or to not work on a specific area. Just acknowledge the request without judgement or questions. If you are following the First Principle of “Creating a safe place of honor and respect” (page 54), this will come naturally. A good rule to follow: when you are in doubt, check with your physician.

TOTAL CONTRAINDICATIONS Contagious diseases or infections including colds or flu Recent operations or acute injuries Skin disease Fever LOCAL AREAS TO AVOID Varicose veins Bruises Cuts and abrasions Undiagnosed pain Swollen areas and areas of inflammation MEDICAL CONDITIONS Cancer, diabetes, heart problems, osteoperosis and other bone disease, and other medical conditions do not mean that massage cannot take place. With these and other conditions, it is best to check with your physician. The very young, the elderly and pregnant women all should be handled with great care. Please refer to pages 147, 184 and 189 as well as the Suggested Reading section at the end of this book for more information.

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TIME TO TALK Before you start the massage. Ask if she would like soft music or she would prefer quiet. 79 . Make your conversation brief but complete so the massage can occur without interruptions. spend a few minutes discussing your partner’s needs. Massage involves intimate touch. If this is the first time massaging the person. Check on the time available for the massage. It helps to have some idea of the amount of time you will be massaging the receiver. ask if she has any places on the body that you should avoid massaging. A few minutes of mutual understanding will alleviate any worries for both the giver and receiver. Listen to any concerns. so it is very important to eliminate any concerns.

80 . our healing hands communicate love and compassion to the receiver.When we are present and filled with good intentions.

Becoming quiet and improving our awareness of our body is vital to releasing our accumulated stress. 81 . Hence. We do not release tension from our hands or from any other part of our body in one big swoop. They work with tension in their hands and then wonder why they are not able to feel and sense the subtle differences in the tissue. we live in the illusion that everything is fine. Once you have done that bring your attention back to where you started and again relax your hands and let go of all tension. free from tension.KEEP I N G Y O U R H A N D S S O F T Many students of massage. and that it is normal to feel tense and uptight. continue to release the tension out of your hands. they resist the notion of keeping their hands soft. and how fast or how slow to move our hands. Try this exercise: With your hands soft. while still applying enough pressure. it indicates to the giver how deep to go. including while we are giving a massage. have a difficult time accepting that their hands can be soft—that is. We can practice releasing the tension in our hands at any time. but rather in tiny increments. as well as many professional massage therapists. Using our relaxed body to apply pressure while keeping our hands soft not only feels better to the receiver. where to spend more time. center your attention to different parts of your hands. Without awareness.

Lotions don’t absorb as quickly into the skin. Massage lotions are a combination of oil and cream. Lotions create a smooth friction that allows for deeper work. and in massage supply stores. However. The aroma is light. Pure cold-pressed oils are ideal for therapists looking for natural products. slightly sweet. Massage oils are applied easily to the skin for a light. even glide and smooth workability. health food stores. Pure almond oil is an excellent emollient (softening and soothing to the skin) and also helps the skin to balance its loss of moisture.OILS AND LOTIONS Using a lubricant when massaging helps your hands glide easily while still creating the necessary friction to be effective. it is best to use pure products formulated from all natural ingredients. Massage lotions can be purchased in bath and body shops. and nutty. They are the preference of many massage therapists. Whether you use a massage lotion or oil is a matter of preference. 82 .

This warms the lotion and guards against an abrupt sensation of cold to the receiver. Using a gliding stroke. Apply it to your hands. Using too much lubricant makes the body too slippery and difficult to work on. Do not place it on the massage table near enough to the receiver where they might brush against it. When possible. Be sparing with the amount of lubricant you apply. cover the part of the body you want to work on first. First. use a hypoallergenic product. Keep the lubricant dispenser on or near you. give the receiver the option of choosing which he would prefer. Leave the bottle open so you don’t have to pause to open or close the lid. . apply the lubricant to your hands and rub it on. rub it into your hands until it feels warm enough to apply. Instead. If the lubricant feels cold. softly pat the lubricated area with a towel to remove the excess. If you apply too much.A P P L Y I N G T H E O I L or lotion It is a nice touch to have a bowl with hot water in the room in which to place the lotion. then spread it where you want to work If you have both massage lotion and oil in the room. do not wipe it off. Use enough to glide along the tissue while still maintaining a gentle friction. Always check with your partner to see if he or she has any known allergy or skin conditions. Never apply the oil or lotion directly onto the receiver.

should be done with a great sense of care and deliberation to make the receiver feel relaxed and secure. Make sure you convey to the receiver that you respect her privacy and vulnerability and that you appreciate her trust. If this is someone’s first time receiving a massage. Everything you do during a massage. There are many different stages of undress. 84 . you may have to inform her of the options and then explain that the decision is strictly up to her. from being completely naked under the covers to wearing underwear or articles of clothing during the massage.DRAPING Draping plays an essential role in creating a secure environment for the receiver to feel safe and honored. including draping.

you will create a space of security and trust and you will be able to handle any situation comfortably. secure cover. Uncover only the part of the body you are massaging. if you approach draping from a place of honor and respect. Remember. some people prefer their arms or feet to be outside of the covers.A flat twin-sized sheet provides a very effective. and may necessitate turning your head away while holding the covering material. 85 . Ask your partner what feels most comfortable to them. For comfort. Sometimes people need assistance getting on and off the table. The sheet should protect the rest of the body.This might also involve your assistance with the draping.

and legs while working. The knees are slightly flexed and the back remains erect and relaxed.P R O P E R B O DY S T A N C E Using good body mechanics and leaning into the movements improves efficiency. The following stances are merely a guideline for you to follow. Pay attention to your own body and mind while you are giving a massage. THE HORSE STANCE In the horse stance. If you feel tension in your body. The horse stance involves shifting your weight from side to side. Use whatever method you feel comfortable in and relax your stance. power. Pay attention to your shoulders. Breathing is one of the best ways to relax your body. move around and find a way to get comfortable. both feet are pointed into the table. 86 . Use your body to apply pressure and keep your hands soft. hands. and strength while reducing stress on the giver.

stable foundation for the giver to lean into or pull back on a massage stroke. 87 . the feet are positioned so that an imaginary line drawn through the center of one foot at the arch passes through the other foot at mid-heel.THE ARCHER STANCE The archer stance is the most commonly used position. relax. For the archer stance. Breathe. and use your body. the giver can perform long. Keep your hands soft.This foot position provides a solid. rhythmic strokes. By shifting weight from one foot to the other.

.SIMPLE STROKES Your hands are perfectly designed for giving a massage CHAPTER SIX Most massage treatments are a combination of massage strokes. flowing movements of these individual strokes form the basic components of massage. These essential strokes provide you with the basic movements needed to perform a full-body massage. For home massage treatment. experiment by creating your own movements and routines. there are many more variations of strokes. while faster movements tend to energize and invigorate. As you become more comfortable and confident. Although the rhythmic. we recommend that you work slowly and deliberately. Slower movements are generally soothing and relaxing. using your relaxed body to apply pressure while keeping your hands soft.

Practice these strokes with a light heart. 89 . You don’t have to hit every note perfectly to give a good massage.

and relaxation. synchronize your breathing with the inhale and exhale of your partner’s breathing. creates a necessary connection and sets the tone for a continual sense of safety. and to expect nothing promotes a sense of calm and peace within the receiver. abdomen. This gentle touch without movement should always be used to initiate the massage. Become as comfortable and present as possible. Let your hands rest in a peaceful position.GENTLE STROKE Gentle touch. Breathe slowly and. It is amazing how much so little will do! Gentle touch means simply laying your hands on your partner’s covered body without movement. feet. Guided by your own intuition. It is also a gentle way to end the massage. heart. It signals your partner that the massage is about to begin. . You can lay your gentle touch on your partner’s back. when possible. this stroke can be used at any time during the massage. comfort. Your willingness to be still. and head. to do nothing.

91 .This soft gentle touch without movement feels deeply relaxing and comforting to both the giver and the receiver.

After the application of the gentle touch used to initiate the massage. please take a moment to review the Contraindications (page 78) prior to practicing the strokes and techniques. This stroke is the easiest massage movement to learn and one of the most used during the massage. it can produce increased circulation of blood and lymph fluids and can reduce muscle spasms and tension. particularly when done in a rhythmic fashion. The simplicity and ease of applying this movement. When the gliding stroke is applied with more pressure. For your own safety and protection and for that of any family member or friend. It is the most versatile stroke. . makes this an effective manipulation to use repetitively while gradually increasing the pressure. It is also excellent for warming up an area to prepare for more detailed work. The effleurage stroke is applied using hands. such as the abdomen. It is excellent for spreading lubricant on the skin.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Gliding Stroke Lay your relaxed hands onto your partner with full contact and your fingers softly together. The effleurage stroke is the best stroke to use when working over sensitive areas. The simple name for the effleurage stroke is the gliding stroke. the effleurage stroke is often next in sequence. or your forearm in a succession of light or deep gliding motions. fingers.

Be present and pay attention to the sensation of the tissue beneath your hands.The back provides an excellent canvas to practice the gliding stroke with your partner. 93 .

The petrissage movements can stimulate the skin. aching and overworked muscles. The petrissage stroke is best to use after you have warmed the tissue with the gliding stroke. The kneading stroke can be used to soothe tired. When done correctly with a smooth rhythm. If the tissue is lifted and squeezed too tightly or too rapidly. kneading is one of the most pleasurable strokes to receive. and rolling of tissue and skin. the kneading stroke should be done slowly and with soft hands.PETRISSAGE STROKE Kneading Stroke Move forward and back in a rhythmic way when doing the petrissage stroke. lifting. Petrissage movements include the wringing. it will be uncomfortable for your partner. . and help break down scar tissue. To prevent pinching. encourage the elimination of waste products from tissues. improve muscle tone.

Let all thoughts leave your mind. make full contact with soft hands. 95 . relax your body. and enjoy the rhythm.

. If you are uncomfortable using your thumbs. especially before doing deep work. penetrating circular movements. Be sure to warm the area before using thumb circling. make small. Only apply as much pressure as is comfortable for you and the receiver. Once again. Sometimes the pads of your fingers are used for this stroke. between the shoulder blades and the spine. It can be a penetrating stroke over areas such as the lower back. Tightening your hands and thumbs will not feel good to the receiver and may cause your thumbs and hands to become sore and irritated. lean into the move and keep your hands soft. Thumb circling can be applied gently on places like the forehead. and on the calf muscles.THUMB CIRCLING STROKE Thumb circling is good for loosening deep. Next. It is best to keep your hands and thumbs soft when doing this move. you can use a knuckling circular motion to achieve the same effect. chronic muscle tension. Place the pads of your thumbs on the area you are working and gradually lean into the flesh.

You can use your thumbs one at a time. both together. depending on the area you are massaging. or alternately. 97 .

There are variations on this stroke. the lower back. delivering needed nutrients. then slowly release by moving your body back. holding for a moment. Whole hands can be wrapped around an arm or foot to squeeze and compress. slowly add pressure by leaning your body into your hands. The heel of the hand can be used to compress the back of the leg.COMPRESSION The compression stroke is one of the best to use through clothing or through the drape. Compression strokes are simple and do just that: compress. and removing toxins. hold. . apply the compression stroke rhythmically. It is a comforting movement. The body likes rhythm. all of which are applied in a similar manner — by compressing the tissue. or the shoulders. hold for a moment. This stroke slows the blood flow for a moment. When using the heels of the hands. and release. increasing circulation. As with the other strokes. similar to a rocking baby. then slowly releasing. Fingertips can be placed on the temples or the jaw to lightly compress. then allows the blood to flush through the area.

The compression stroke is especially good for boosting local circulation. and reducing tension in the area you are working. 99 . clearing toxins and lymph.

If massage strokes are the notes. . A good idea is to develop a massage routine but always improvise your moves to meet the needs and wants of your partner.MASSAGE ROUTINES CHAPTER SEVEN Now that you are familiar with massage strokes. Massage routines can be performed on a particular part of the body such as the back or arm. A massage routine can be a planned sequence of strokes or intuitive from the beginning to the end of the massage. Massage routines are specific strokes linked in a variety of ways to various parts of the body. it’s time to move on to massage routines. then massage routines are putting the notes together into a song. or they can be combined to form a wonderful full-body massage.

If your partner indicates that a certain stroke or a particular part of his body you are working on feels especially good. rhythm and song. you will forget about the notes and experience the melody. the same way an accomplished dancer flows from one move into another. These are usually the long. then spend more time there. if your partner is a runner. A good way to begin your massage is with strokes that relax and warm your partner’s muscles. sweeping effleurage strokes. After your partner is relaxed and his muscles have been warmed. As an example. At first combining these strokes may seem a bit awkward but. 101 . you can apply more specific and deeper techniques. with a little practice.ONE POSSIBLE SEQUENCE The Back and Shoulders The Legs The Feet The Arms and Hands The Abdomen The Head and Neck NOTE: Please take a moment to refer to the Contraindications (page 78) before beginning the massage routine. then you may want to spend more time doing thumb circling to the legs. A good rule to follow is to transition one stroke smoothly into the next.

A good back massage can a calming effect on your enback massage can have a calming effect on have your entire nervous system. There are many nerves branching out from spine of There are many nerves branching out from the spinethe to all partsto of all the parts body. and create a general sense of well being. massage.THE BACKAND ANDSHOULDERS SHOULDERS THE BACK After applying the initiating gentle touch. It is the part of the body and that the mostpart people are comfortwhere mostand people are of comfortable being touched. we fast recomstrokes invigorate. strokes while rhythmic strokes relax. For familyrelax. the back provides a wonderful starting for your massage journey. 94 Massage Routines . the back provides a wonderful starting point that most people are comfortable touching of the body for your massage journey. They assist removing the strer daily lives our daily lives and create a general sense of in well-being. smooth. A good the body. They assist in removing the stresses of these slower movements. while fast strokes rhythmic invigorate. Slow. It is the largest part of thethe body to work and the easiest on which to praclong gliding strokes. smooth. Slow. tice those long gliding strokes. It is the largest able touching the part the body where most people are comfortable being part of the body to work and easiest on which to practice those touched. For family massage. tire nervous system. we recommend that you use mend that you use these slower movements. It is the part of the body After applyingpoint the initiating gentle touch.

hold for five seconds. and maintain contact as your slowly release. Continue to lean forward and hold for about five seconds. move your hands so they are about two to three inches apart. 1 Next. This move stretches and opens the lower back. place your hands on the shoulders and apply the compression stroke. 3 103 . Maintain contact with the palms of your hands as you slowly lean backwards to release the pressure. Lean in. then repeat this entire stroke several times. bony area at the base of the spine). Slowly lean forward while keeping your arms straight. 2 After completing the lower back. hold without movement for five seconds.PALM COMPRESSION STROKE Lower Back Place the palms of your hands on the sacrum (the flat. Remember to lean in slowly. and maintain contact as you slowly release.

It is a good stroke to initiate and to complete the work on the back. 2 Once you have reached the sacrum.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Back and Shoulders This long. Place your hands on either side of the spine with your fingers pointing towards the feet. draw your hands back up to the top of the shoulders. molding them to the contour of the shoulders. gliding effleurage stroke covers the entire back. Leave space between your thumbs for the spine. circle your hands around the shoulders. 4 104 . Complete this stroke by returning to the original starting point. 3 Next. Apply the lubricant to your hands. You can repeat this stroke several times. 1 Using the flat of your relaxed hands lean forward into your hands and glide all the way down to the sacrum. It also warms the muscles for detailed work.

The gliding effleurage stroke on the back is a very effective stroke for young children to do while sitting on the receiver. gliding their hands up the spine from the lower back to the shoulders and down again. 105 .

Place the pads of your fingers against the far side of the lower spine. This is a sensitive part of the body. slowly move away from the spine down to the waist. 3 1 Complete this stroke by grasping the flesh with soft open hands and leaning back.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Lower Back 2 Next. For this stroke you are working on the side opposite from where you are standing. Too much pressure will feel uncomfortable and too little will feel like a tickle. It is important when doing this stroke to move slowly and stay present. 106 .

lean back and lift the muscle. Next. 3 107 . 1 2 Conform your hands to the body as its shape changes. Continue to circle around with both hands in a smooth. Start with the muscle between the neck and the shoulders. Repeat this stroke on the other side. you will be standing on one side of your partner and facing the head of the table. Use both hands to grasp the flesh. rhythmic way.HAND ON HAND PETRISSAGE STROKE Shoulder and Scapula For this stroke. Maintain contact as you stroke in a circular motion. With your hands conforming to the body. reach across your partner to the opposite shoulder. put one hand on top of the other and place them on the shoulder.

108 . That is approximately at the end of the crease of the armpit. Use your body to lean into the stroke. Remember to use the pads of your thumbs as opposed to using the tips of your thumbs.DETAILED EFFLEURAGE STROKE Between Spine and Shoulder Blade Use your finger pads to apply the gliding (effleurage) stroke between the spine and the shoulder blade. keep most of your attention on your partner and some of it on yourself. that you are comfortable. make sure that your hands are soft. Start at the top of the back between the spine and the shoulder blade and massage to the end of the shoulder blade. and that your breath is open. While working on your partner’s shoulders or any other part of her body. Your movements should be slow and rhythmic. Continue to work this area by making thumb circles between the shoulder blade (scapula) and the spine. Between Spine and Shoulder Blade THUMB CIRCLING STROKE Throughout the massage.

then release pressure slowly while maintaining contact with your partner. Lean in with your body. It is best when these circles are done slowly with firm pressure. You can repeat this stroke several times.FINGER CIRCLING STROKE Groove Between the Head and Neck Standing at the head of the table. Make circles with the pads of your fingers. This stroke is excellent for relieving stress in the head and neck. place your finger pads in the groove between the head and the neck. COMPRESSION STROKE Back Place one hand on the sacrum and the other hand on the upper back. This groove is called the occipital ridge. hold for approximately five seconds. .

but be especially careful when working over the back of the knee. Only apply a very light pressure when working over the knee and bony areas of the leg. everyone can greatly benefit from a leg massage. avoid them entirely and use a light pressure over the rest of the leg. . A good leg massage will circulate the blood and lymphatic system. You can apply deep pressure over the thicker areas on the leg.THE LEGS Aches and pains in our back and neck are often caused by tight muscles in the legs. If your partner has varicose veins. and leave the receiver feeling invigorated. loosen tight muscles. Whether one leads a highly active or a more sedentary life.

bring both of your hands to the outside of the leg and drag them back to the ankle. If your partner has varicose veins.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Back of Legs For this stroke. avoid working directly on them. this is a gliding stroke. Glide over the back of the knee with a light touch. Start at the ankle. From the thigh. Each time you stroke up the leg. you can increase the pressure. Remember. stroke up at a different angle so you eventually cover or “paint” the entire leg. with both hands soft. firm pressure up the calf muscle. you are in the archer stance. Repeat this move several times. The effleurage stroke is used to initiate and complete a leg massage. 2 Once you get past the knee and into the fleshy area of the thigh. 1 Lean into your hands to apply even. 3 111 .

You may notice that your body sways with this stroke. Place your other hand on the inside of the leg. Continue to lift the tissue. 1 Next. 2 When you have completed the petrissage stroke on the lower part of the leg. 3 112 . Use full. Begin with the lower leg.PETRISSAGE STROKE Back of Legs Use the horse stance for this stroke. take hold of a large portion of flesh and pull your hands up the sides. firm soft hands. with the heel of that hand touching the table. move to the upper part of the leg and do the same stroke on the thigh. changing hand positions. Place one hand on the outside of the leg. with your fingertips touching the table. Take hold of a large portion of flesh because too little may feel like a pinch. gradually working over the entire calf muscle. Keep kneading until the thigh muscles feel warm and relaxed. Your intention with this stroke is to lift the muscle off of the bone.

lean into them and continue circling up the thigh.THUMB CIRCLING STROKE Back of Legs 1 Place your thumbs just below the calf muscle on both sides of the leg. Begin thumb circling and gradually move up the back of the calf muscle. 2 Keeping your hands and thumbs soft. Remember to stay away from the area behind the knee. To return. glide your hands down the leg to the ankle and begin again. 3 . Repeat this move several times.

You can repeat this stroke several times. Be sensitive about your partner’s privacy as you work the inner thigh. . with the hands on either side of the leg. Start at the ankle. gently lean into your hands and glide up the sides of the calf muscle. Stroke (with no pressure) over the knee. To return. the archer stance is best for this stroke. When beyond the knee.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Front of Leg For your comfort. increase the pressure and continue up the thigh. 1 2 3 Next. bring your hands to the outside of the leg and drag them back to the ankle.

115 . Apply the three principles of T ouch Communications Home Massage and you will never go wrong.Massage is the gift that keeps on giving.

The list of jobs where people are constantly using their arms and hands is long—dentist. People of all ages welcome the benefits of a good arm and hand massage. Either way. cashier. a good arm and hand massage will relax a person and relieve pain. Massaging the arms and hands increases blood circulation. The nicest thing about a hand and arm massage is that it can be done on anyone at just about any time. The arm and hand massage is very easy to do. which can help people with arthritis. and it can be done as part of a full body massage or separately within five to ten minutes. and anyone using the computer for long periods of time. .THE ARMS AND HANDS Many of us do work that requires the excessive use of our arms and hands. beautician.

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gently hold your partner’s left hand with your left hand. This stroke is often used to initiate and complete the massage routine on the arm. 1 2 Using your right hand. 118 . Repeat this stroke several times. with your hand conforming to your partner’s arm. Maintain whole hand contact. Use long fluid strokes.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Wrist to Shoulders Begin in the archer stance. Standing on your partner’s left side. 3 Glide back down to the wrist and repeat. effleurage from the wrist up to and around the shoulder.

119 . Let massage be fun. but never make massage a stressful experience.Enjoy massage as both the giver and receiver with a light heart and the spirit of a child. Massage should always be joyful. Practice the strokes and routines. and positive. loving.

2 120 . This stroke can be used to massage the arm while your partner is lying face down. With full contact.EFFLEURAGE STROKE Back of Arm There are times when you only work on the back of the body. glide one hand out towards the top of the arm. Effleurage down the arm to the wrist. place both palms on his shoulders. Glide over the elbow but do not apply pressure to the elbow. 1 Standing at your partner’s head. Keep gentle contact with your other hand.

over the hand and off the fingers. place it back on the shoulder and repeat the effleurage stroke. end on your partner’s hand and hold for five seconds. 3 .Increase the pressure and continue the stroke down the forearm. On the last stroke. Lift your hand.

1 122 . 2 For this stroke. work your thumbs beyond the hand and up the arm). 2 THUMB CIRCLING STROKE Palm of Hand Continue this stroke up the hand to the wrist. your thumbs should be in the palm of your partner’s hand. Remember that massage routines are not carved in stone. Move slowly and apply firm pressure as you work up to the wrist. 1 Start at the base of the fingers and begin making circles over the tendons to the outside of the hand. (If you get the notion.THUMB CIRCLING STROKE Back of Hand Facing the head of the table. Start at the base of the fingers and glide outward from the center of the hand. hold your partner’s hand in your hand with your fingers on the bottom of the hand and your thumbs on top.

COMPRESSION AND STRETCHING STROKE Fingers and Thumbs (Digits) Gently hold your partner’s hand. With your thumb and index finger. 1 Begin with the little finger and with an even flow do one digit. Be sure not to jerk the fingers. begin near the knuckle and do gentle squeezes out to the fingertip. 2 123 . hold for five seconds and slowly release. pull (extend) the digit. then move on to the next. When you reach the tip of the finger.

. The foot is resilient and the most utilized part of our body.000 miles in a lifetime. The foot contains an intricate network of nerves and massaging the feet can stimulate and rejuvenate the whole body. It is strong. flexible. A foot massage is also one of the most relaxing treats that you can give your partner. If you have been rushing around all day. It is a good idea to have your partner wash and dry her feet before starting the foot massage. Still.THE FEET The human foot is a biological wonder.The average person uses their feet to move more than 100. A foot massage can be part of a full body massage or done separately. a foot massage will help restore your aching feet. concerning ourselves more with our appearance than the health and care of our feet. weight-bearing and versatile. we often take our feet for granted.

You can begin a foot massage by warming up the feet. 1 Move one hand followed by the other or move both hands at the same time. You can repeat this stroke several times. your and your partner’s comfort is more important than the direction of the stroke).EFFLEURAGE STROKE Top and Bottom of Foot This stroke can be done in either direction. Begin at the base of the toes. Start with one hand on the top of the foot and the other hand on the bottom. 3 125 . (For most strokes. 2 Use moderate pressure while molding your hand to the contour of the feet. from toe to ankle or ankle to toes. Continue to work up the foot to the ankle.

Make circles starting at the heel of the foot working all the way to the toes. 2 You can apply firm pressure as long as you work slowly and deliberately. 126 .THUMB CIRCLING Bottom of Foot 1 Hold your partner’s foot in your hands with your fingers on the top of the foot and your thumbs on the bottom.

Massage all toes. working your way up the foot. Place the other hand on the bottom of the foot and curl your fingers so you are gliding down the foot with your knuckles.THUMB EFFLEURAGE STROKE Top of Foot Start at the base of the toes with your fingers on the bottom of the foot and your thumbs on the top. 127 . hold for five seconds. clasp the base of the toe and do gentle squeezes out to the tip of the toe. (You can lean your body in to the foot to increase pressure. Keep your hands soft and conform them to the contour of the foot. instead of taking it in your back. and then slowly release.) Gently support your partner’s foot. 1 Glide your thumbs out from the center of the foot to each side. 2 EFFLEURAGE STROKE Bottom of Foot COMPRESSION AND STRETCHING STROKE Toes Support the foot with one hand. This is a firm stroke.When you reach the end of the toe. With your thumb and index finger. pull (stretch) the toe. one by one.

slow. relaxed. But those willing to accept the work will find it especially enjoyable. Massaging the abdomen soothes away stomach aches. and done with great care. and relaxing. All of your movements should be gentle. It can relieve constipation.THE ABDOMEN Before you begin the massage. It is especially important for the giver of the massage to be very centered. indigestion and can help relieve bad menstrual pains. ask your partner if he or she wants work on the abdomen. and comfortable when massaging the abdomen. Some people feel vulnerable and apprehensive about being massaged on the abdomen. comforting. . Abdominal massage can improve the circulation of blood and lymph and stimulate the movement of the small intestines.

HAND ON HAND CIRCLING STROKE
Abdomen

Position yourself on the right side of your partner. Place one hand on the other and gently lay them on the right side of the belly with your palms facing down. Continue the circle to the left side of the abdomen. Keep sweeping your hands over the abdomen in a circular motion until you have completed a full circle.

1 3

With your hands soft and molded to the tissue, begin making a circle going clockwise.

2 4

Repeat this stroke several times. Apply moderate pressure. Stay present and relaxed in your own body as you work the abdomen.

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EFFLEURAGE STROKE
Abdomen and Waist

Position yourself on the right side of your partner. In preparation for this stroke, open your hands, cross your thumbs, and bring your index fingers together.

1 3

Bring your thumbs softly against your partners right waist. Use soft, firm pressure as you glide your hands over the abdomen. Make sure that your hands are soft and that they are conforming to the shape of the body.

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Reach under the waist on the opposite side. With your hands soft, clasp the tissue and slowly move back to where you began this stroke. You can repeat this stroke several times. Always massage the belly with a great deal of respect and presence.

EFFLEURAGE AND STRETCHING STROKE
Waist

Position yourself so you are comfortable. Gently slide both hands under your partner’s waist as far as you can reach with your palms facing up and your fingers pointing towards each other.

1

Slowly pull, lift, and stretch the waist by moving your hands from the back of the waist towards the navel. Do not make any sudden movements. You can repeat this stroke several times. This stroke opens the area between the pelvis and ribs.

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THE HEAD AND NECK

A good head, neck, and shoulder massage is a delight anytime. When giving a full-body massage, adding a head massage is the icing on the cake and can bring a deep sense of calm and well-being to the receiver. Working at a desk or computer all day long can lead to a great deal of tension being stored in the upper body, especially our neck and shoulders. Many of us have poor posture or work in professions that have us slouching our shoulders for long periods of time, creating a lot of tension in our entire body. Massage can release those tight areas and remind us what relaxation feels like. Make the last four or five minutes of a head, neck, and shoulder massage slow, smooth, and rhythmic.

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sweeping motion. Neck.Your hands should end palms up. apply smooth but firm pressure as you fan your hands out and behind around the shoulders. Start with your hands next to each other just below the collar bones (the wing-shaped bones just below the neck) at the base of the neck. 1 Keeping your hands soft and molded to the contour of the shoulders. 2 134 . and Shoulders EFFLEURAGE STROKE This effleurage stroke is done in one full.Head.

Glide the pads of your fingers along the muscles of the shoulders and up the back of the neck to the occipital ridge (the groove at the back of the head where the base of the skull meets the spine). Gently remove your hands from under the head and begin again. 3 .

With your left hand gently stretch the neck by compressing the shoulder down towards the toes. Place your left hand in back of the head with your fingers between the groove of the head and the neck.COMPRESSION AND STRETCHING STROKE Neck and Shoulders Place your hands gently on the head behind the ears. Place your right hand on your partner’s right shoulder and gently stretch the neck by pushing the shoulder down towards the toes with your right hand. Turn your partner’s head to center and then to the right side. Place your right hand in the back of the head with your fingers between the groove of the head and the neck and your left hand on your partner’s left shoulder. Repeat this stroke several times. 1 2 . Hold for about five seconds and release slowly. Rotate the head to the left without lifting it. Repeat this stroke several times. Hold for five seconds and slowly release.

EFFLEURAGE STROKE Forehead Place your thumbs gently on the center of the head with the tips of your thumbs on the eyebrow bone. glide your thumbs apart and to the sides. firm contact with your thumbs.Your fingers should be resting gently on the sides of your partner’s head. Keep full. 1 2 Next. 137 .

hold for four or five seconds and release slowly. Rather than sliding your fingers over the scalp. Relax your own body while you work. You can start by making circles at the front and work over the whole head. You can repeat this stroke several times. Do extra work at the hollows at the base of the skull.STRETCHING STROKE Head and Neck Clasp your hands around the base of the skull with your fingers in the groove between the head and the neck. 2 138 . 1 Continue working the scalp. move the scalp around to release tension in the underlying muscles. CIRCLING STROKE Scalp Using the pads of your fingers and thumbs. Slowly lean back with your body weight. You can use the pads of your thumbs as well as the pads of your fingers. make slow and deliberate circling moves on the scalp.

Let your partner rest and absorb all the sensations. .GENTLE TOUCH STROKE Head and Heart This is an excellent stroke to use to end a massage. Place one hand on the heart and one behind the head. Breathe slowly and relax your hands and body. Remain there for 20 to 30 seconds. Then gently remove your hands. or place your hands gently on your partner’s shoulders. This will signal the close of the massage.

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SECTION THREE BRINGING HOME MASSAGE INTO YOUR LIFE 141 .

we must first cultivate our personal life.FAMILY T o put the world right in order. we must first put the family in order. —Confucius CHAPTER EIGHT . we must first set our hearts right. to put the family in order. to put the nation in order. we must first put the nation in order.

loving.A NATURAL EXPRESSION Massage is transforming family life. Sharing massage in the home allows parents to model proper touch with their children. better health. more laughter. Families report fewer fights. Make massage a natural expression for every family member. and joyful time. connecting with one another. Home massage should be a fun. Create an atmosphere in the home that is comfortable with touch. They find that they spend less time watching television and on the computer and more time on the massage table. . and increased relaxation.

. Have the caboose become the engine every few minutes.MASSAGE IDEAS FOR THE FAMILY A massage train is an easy and quick way to rejuvenate and bond. Sit or stand in front of each other and rub the other’s back.

Turn off all cell phones. or in exchange for chores. 145 . This weaves massage into the fabric of family life. Set aside a Family Night. televisions. birthday present. Take turns giving and receiving. Think of the receiver’s body as a “blank canvas” and paint a picture that says relaxation and health. and computers. It can be given as a reward. Offer each other a gift certificate for massage.The massage can be 10 minutes each or longer. Children and parents look forward to this special time to relax and connect with one another.Encourage everyone in the family to make up their own massage moves. Make a weekly appointment to share massage with any family member.

Massage soothes nerves and alleviates common complaints of pregnancy such as backaches. and myofascsial pain. calming both the mother and child. shoulder tension.PREGNANCY Massage is a wonderful gift to give a pregnant spouse or family member. calming strokes stimulate the circulation without putting strain on the heart and can help reduce blood pressure. Gentle. especially in the lower back. It is also a wonderful way for the mother and father to stay involved during the pregnancy. MASSAGE DURING PREGNANCY Reduces stress and insomnia Eases tension on weight-bearing muscles Reduces swelling from an increase in blood and lymphatic circulation Reduces muscle cramps. and aching legs and feet. hips. neck. spasms. Enhances the pliability of skin and the underlying tissue Reduces the physical and emotional strains of mothering Reduces labor pains Provides emotional support and nurturance Reduce swelling in hands and feet Relieves headaches and sinus congestion 146 . and legs.

Twenty-six pregnant women were assigned either to a massage therapy group or a relaxation therapy group for five weeks.13 147 . especially on the abdomen and lower back. You can use body pillows. Remember to be very gentle. Turn the pregnant person from side to side to do her back and hips. Set up the massage table so the receiver will lie in a semi-reclining position. Only the massage group reported improved mood. but many women find gentle strokes very calming during this sometimes physically and emotionally challenging phase of their pregnancy. post-natal problems with their infants. and premature births. and experienced fewer complications during labor. Avoid using deep pressure and percussive strokes. Checking with the woman’s doctor is always the best course of action. wedge pillows. and extra padding for added comfort. and less back pain by the last day of the study. This is not only comfortable.Positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby. but also safe for the baby. Also the massage therapy group had decreased uterine stress-hormones levels. Some massage therapists suggest refraining from massage during the first trimester. better sleep.

but percodan cannot touch the pain in the soul.ILLNESS If a drug were discovered that provided the many benefits massage gives. pharmacological interventions are necessary.€ Granted. —Gayle MacDonald. Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People With Cancer 148 . pharmaceutical companies would be falling all over themselves to bottle it. and prednisone can’t heal wounded emotions.

It releases natural pain relievers in the body that are stronger than morphine. If massage is uncomfortable. we must learn we must learn the degree and duration of pressure most comfortable for them. and ease fatigue. When massaging the sick and the grieving. the use of hand-holding and empathetic embrace is now minimal or obsolete in doctors’ offices and hospitals. the healing power of touch provided relief for the ill when seeking medical care. he or she is strengthened and better able to deal with problems and traumas. healing touch for their sick loved ones. Sometimes we do not know what to say when someone is ill. A head-and-neck massage resulted in improved heart-rate variability. The most basic need of a patient. In today’s touch-phobic world. please see the Further Reading section at the end of the book. decreases in tension-anxiety and anger-hostility.15 149 . Among patients with advanced cancer. Ask for feedback and keep the touch soft and nurturing. Although medical technology has advanced. Loved ones who are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy often experience fewer side effects if they receive regular massage. many medical professionals seem to have lost touch literally with the patient. lift depression. When a patient’s need for touch is satisfied. then a loved one can offer the much needed human touch by holding the patient’s hand or giving a loving embrace. Offering a massage to a sick relative or friend can be a much-welcomed respite for them that brings comfort during illness. The peace and relaxation that massage provides aids in the healing process. sometimes more vital to them than medication. Yet often words are not what is needed. Massage helps people feel less isolated and alone. improve sleep. loving touch when we were sick. Some of our most cherished memories of childhood are of our parents’ nurturing. and a reduction in head pain among research participants with chronic tension-type headaches. is comforting touch. 30 minutes of massage therapy resulted in immediate benefits to both pain and mood. Gentle massage helps decrease nausea.14 For more information on massaging those with cancer.Throughout history. we all crave and need this same physical and emotional support when dealing with illness. As adults. Family members and friends must fill in the gap and provide this supportive.

depression. even a gentle embrace or held hand can cause them to cry. When reaching out to loved ones who are grieving. The researchers noted: “Soft tissue massage appears to be a worthy. Massage is a “commendable source of consolation support during the grieving process. Even a hand gently laid on a shoulder or a loving touch to an arm can make a huge difference to someone experiencing loss. Grief can be a single event of loss or the accumulated and unexpressed feelings of a lifetime. No matter what the reason for being in a wheelchair. whether for a few days or a lifetime. can be physically and emotionally challenging. increase circulation. Grief kept within can create physical illness and emotional distress. and shoulders to help release their physical and emotional tension. honor and respect the person’s wishes on the table. 150 . and feel comforted. if they begin to cry. seated massage can be extremely beneficial. Little losses that we thought weren’t major can build and trigger overwhelming emotions. neck. Poor sleep. grieving-process support option for bereaved family members whose relatives are in palliative care. Allow them the loving space to feel and release their emotions.GRIEVING When a loved one is grieving. Sometimes people who are grieving keep their emotions inside because they feel they are too overwhelming or powerful to express. and stomach ailments are all symptoms of grief. Again.”16 IN A WHEELCHAIR Being bound to a wheelchair. A longer massage on the table can also be a gift of relaxation and comfort to a grieving loved one. and create emotional well-being. increased anxiety. You do not have to do a full body massage to show you care. release. Simply stroke the grieving relative’s hand and arm or massage their face. backaches. As always. early. Wheelchair massage can improve range of motion. Communicate through touch and know that you are providing a place for them to open. be loving and supportive without judgment and advice.” according to recent research. headaches. touch is a powerful way to show concern and provide comfort when words are inadequate.

those in a wheelchair can easily maneuver around the table and give a massage as well. Being in a wheelchair can be physically and emotionally challenging. with easy accessibility to the hands and arms.The seated position in a wheelchair can have many advantages for giving a massage. By keeping the legs of a massage table low. Sometimes our own discomfort or misunderstanding keeps us from reaching out with a hug or embrace to our wheelchair-bound loved ones. 151 . neck. Standing behind the chair makes it easy to work on the head. and shoulders. Offer your loving touch and the healing benefits of home massage.

Clinical studies have concluded that pets experience reduced pain. soccer.pets Family pets love to get on the massage table. swimming. dance. and yoga.17 SPORTS Massage is now an invaluable part of sports clinics. increase flexibility. and promote quicker recovery. helping to minimize injuries. greater flexibility and increased circulation of both lymph and blood system with massage. as it provides before and after care from the wear and tear of physical workouts. soreness and injury. Home massage is an excellent adjunct to all exercise programs. ease fatigue. strength training. Family members are involved in a variety of sports and exercise routines—baseball. jogging. 152 . and professional locker rooms. hiking. teaching us to support our animals and their natural need for touch. but it can also cause stiffness. The convenience and availability of home massage allows us to exchange massage with family members before and after athletic events. Pet massage is a growing modality for animal health. Working out has great benefit for everyone in the family. college athletic training.

BENEFITS OF HOME SPORTS MASSAGE Promotes flexibility Minimizes injuries from over-exertion Eases fatigue Reduces swelling Increases blood circulation Relieves pain Heals strained muscles Promotes quicker recovery Creates peak performance Promotes greater endurance Reduces muscle tension 153 .

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Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family. —George Bernard Shaw .

the other is wings. CHAPTER NINE —Rabbincal saying . —Hooding Carter Don’t limit a child to your own understanding. He was born in a different time. One is roots.CHILDREN There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children.

A young toddler may feel abandoned by an absent parent. and feel calm because of your loving touch. But it is the hugs. spontaneous play turns into stressful. we “do” for our children. Massaging your child and encouraging massage between siblings will give them a daily release from pent-up stress and tension.18 157 . they are often judged more by what they achieve than who they are. increase their performance in school. They will sleep better. A child starting school is faced with new surroundings and classmates. sleep disorders. Always remember to respect and honor your child by listening to them. Years of public school change a child’s natural curiosity for life into regimented learning in predetermined blocks of time. strains. Knowing through touch that they are loved gives children the strength and the foundation to deal with the stresses. Touch reassures children of their worth. healthy. Recent research found that massage therapy reduced the number. Consistent studies of the benefits of massage therapy for children leave no doubt that massage therapy is extremely beneficial for children suffering from stress and anxiety. A five-minute shoulder rub or a half-hour on the table will be a gift of physical and emotional health to your growing child. suppressed immune systems.As parents. In their homes. We feed them. Even at a young age. and embraces that children remember and cherish. Never force your touch on them. children overhear family troubles. and insults of life. watch disturbing images on the evening news. and are the victims of divorce. duration and severity of tension-type headaches among children ages 5 to 15 years. and impaired physical and emotional growth. As children grow. Research shows that children deprived of touch grow up with a tendency towards physical violence. and give them material things. Some children are enrolled in so many activities that they lack time to just be children and enjoy creative play. pats. competitive sports. Stress Stress knows no age limits and can take its toll on children at an early age. taxi them. Academic and social pressures are a daily part of a child’s life.

158 . They are natural massage therapists. to hug and kiss our children. when asked how come they don’t touch and hold their child. He runs in the opposite direction. or even strangers. Encourage them to give and get a massage from you and foster an honoring attitude about touch.GETTING A MASSAGE Some parents. “Oh. justify their lack of touch by saying. Other times we allow overbearing friends and relatives. Children love to be touched and to touch. Sometimes we try to restrain forcibly a squirming child with hugs when they want to be doing something else. It is a conditioned response.” Children who do not like to be touched are not born that way. my kid hates being touched. prompted by grownups who either refrain from touching them or hold them too tight and with too much emotional need.

By five or six. and stroking because it is so easy and fun.GIVING A MASSAGE Children should be encouraged to learn massage. making their mother or father feel good. many can give a really good massage.They like to feel that they are doing something for someone else. Just the pressure of their body on your lower back can feel wonderful. It is easy for a young child to massage your back if they just sit or kneel on it. children are fascinated by watching massage and love to give one. kneading because it is like playing with clay. From the age of three onward. 159 .They enjoy percussion movements because they make a noise.

The security given to children through a parent’s positive. Loving and natural touch allows parents to connect with their children in deeper ways than words can express. Some parents may not even realize that they are nurturing a child that will be uncomfortable with touch. Children learn not only from how their parents touch them but by the way their parents touch each other. and kind. Children that are touched are less fearful and more secure. They learn how to be either open and compassionate or withdrawn and defensive. vulnerability. It is important for parents to share their own touch experiences with their children. including their fears and insecurities. Exhibiting openness. loving. unconditional touch stays with them throughout their lifetime. All children naturally crave touch. and a desire to move past any discomfort with touch will nurture a positive relationship with touch in our children. They learn not only to care for themselves but also to care for others.THE GIFT OF TOUCH TO A CHILD Touch is the greatest gift we can give our children. 160 . It is important for parents to exhibit spontaneous affection with their children. Children learn from their parents how to touch and show affection. Parents who were not given touch or were raised to feel uncomfortable with touch may feel like they don’t know how to touch.

Children have never been good at listening to their elders. but they have never failed to imitate them. 161 .

.BONDING WITH SIBLINGS Parents of children who practice home massage have found that there is less fighting between siblings. Sharing home massage gives siblings the opportunity to nurture and be nurtured by their brothers and sisters.

back. and restrictions on their normal activities. the children had fewer attacks and experienced improved pulmonary functioning and peak airflow. heal faster. parents massaged their autistic children every night. and be in better spirits.23 163 . painful treatments. the healing comfort of touch will make him feel relaxed and safe. and improve skin conditions in children with excema. along with an improvement in sleep. symptoms increase. Children with more serious illnesses must cope with hospitalization. after a 10-day period of regular massage there was a decrease in touch sensitivity.CHILDHOOD ILLNESS When a child is home sick with a common cold or something more serious. asthmatic children had less anxiety. He will sleep better. When stress hormone levels rise. or legs. Stress exacerbates the symptoms of all childhood illnesses and perhaps even causes them. The children experienced the same benefits. Over the month. Massage has been found to improve blood sugar levels in childhood diabetes. arms. and decreased blood glucose levels from very high average levels to the normal range.19 In another study. and decreased stress hormones (cortisol) levels.21 Following one month of 20-minute bedtime massages by their parents. a reduction in disruptive behavior. higher insulin and food regulation scores.20 Parents of diabetics who massaged their children daily before bedtime reported lower anxiety and improved mood levels for both parent and child.22 Massage therapy reduced pyschological and physical distress among children with cancer and blood diseases. improve pulmonary function in asthmatics. dietary limitations. In a study on preschool children with autism. an improvement in mood. and an increased ability to relate to their teachers. Give him a gentle massage on his face. thereby contributing to a general improvement in overall quality of life among subjects.

unconditional love. They will be less reluctant to go to bed. Make a back rub part of your children’s routine before going to sleep. sleep better. and end the day feeling your positive. Home massage is an excellent tool to relax kids. some children fight going to sleep. 164 . Wound up from the day’s activities or from a sugar overload.EASING A CHILD TO SLEEP Getting children to sleep can be a draining fight in many households.

HOMEWORk
The demands of after-school homework have increased for students of all ages. They spend many hours crouched over their computers. Give your child a chair massage or a 10-minute rejuvenating break on the massage table.

Preschoolers showed better performance on tests of intellectual and manual skills after a 15-minute massage. They also slept better during naps, were calmer, and had better behavior ratings.24

HYPERACTIVE CHILDREN
Parents of hyperactive children are all too familiar with the phrase, “Would you please just settle down?” Massage takes the same amount of time as yelling but produces incredibly better results in hyperactive children. Give your hyperactive child a mini-massage. Touch is very important to attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder children. Massage their temples, give them a shoulder rub, or lightly run your fingers through their hair to calm these children down quickly.

A study on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder revealed they exhibited less hyperactivity, more on-task behavior, and were happier after receiving regular massage treatments.25

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TEACHING CHILDREN APPROPRIATE TOUCH

While teachers and other adults once felt comfortable patting a child on the shoulder or giving her a hug, they are now advised to avoid all physical contact for fear of misinterpretation. As parents, we must make up for this lack of touch from the world and improve our physical interactions with children at home. How can we teach our children the dangers of improper touch without first teaching them what appropriate touch feels like? Educating children about proper touch works far better than instilling fear in children as a means to protect them from the dangers of inappropriate touch. On the table, children learn that both the receiver and the giver have the right to say no. Just as adults have the authority to say no at any time, so do children. Home massage provides a bridge for parents to talk to their children about touch. If a parent has any doubt about any friend or family member massaging their child, they should not allow it; and if they do, they should be present during the massage. By experiencing loving, safe, and appropriate touch, children naturally learn about proper touch in the home. When kids learn to be comfortable in their bodies and can express touch in a healthy way, it positively affects all areas of their lives.

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Children who learn massage are comfortable with touch and naturally share it with their siblings.

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ADOLESCENCE

CHAPTER TEN

Home massage is a way to connect with your teenager during this turbulent age.

Massaging your teen can help improve body image. Sometimes they become irritable. During this dynamic period. 169 . stress. Massage is good for a teenage body in the midst of rapid growth and development.Adolescence is one of the most difficult stages of our lives. The remaining two-thirds experience symptoms at least once a week. and anxiety. anxiety. One-third of American teens have reported that they suffer from stress-related symptoms—insomnia. which creates emotional stress and conflict. or resort to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope. and depression—daily. Teenagers sometimes shut down their emotions as a method of coping with the unpredictability and change in their lives. and nutritional challenges from a less-than-optimal diet are all part of adolescence. Parents can have a difficult time adjusting to the changing moods of their teenage children. Strains from competitive sports. angry. While teens may be reluctant to get or give a massage. and decrease depression. there are plenty of reasons why this age group should be encouraged to give it a try. teenagers not only encounter awkward physical changes but they also have the added expectation of approaching adulthood. stress from erratic sleep and overloaded schedules. increase sleep.

They learn to enjoy the many benefits of massage with their friends. that sense of comfort will naturally carry over into adolescence. or sex. Home massage is a way to connect with your child during this often turbulent age. Adolescents crave intimacy but often look for it in the wrong places. If children are raised being comfortable with touch. succumbing to peer pressure and experimenting with drugs.CONNECTING WITH YOUR TEEN Parents with the best intentions feel trapped in their own uncertainty about how to deal with the changes going on with their adolescent children. with your teenager. 170 . unwind. The touch they do receive is now different—shoulder to shoulder and elbow to elbow—rather than hand contact. If they experience touch in the home through the natural connection of massage. and connect. they are not likely to seek dangerous and unhealthy avenues for emotional and physical contact. and other sensitive issues. Home massage creates a comfortable environment to discuss proper and improper touch. By the time they reach junior high. they receive only half the touch they did during their younger years. alcohol. CONNECTING WITH PEERS Teenagers enjoy sharing massage with each other as a way to relax.

Negotiating this path between adolescence and the independence of adulthood can be extremely stressful for some teenagers. and lower stress hormones (urinary cortisol levels). Clinical research monitoring brain activity in depressed teenagers revealed that massage therapy had positive effects and indicated that these therapies should be considered in conventional treatment programs for depression. Following a month of massages. and relax their mind.26 STRESS Hormonal pressures. Eating habits improved. and spirit. Although in trying to discover their own identity they seek separation and independence. body. these children still need the security of their parents’ love and acceptance as much as ever. and even their parents about their bodies and what is beautiful. and they developed improved body image. 28 171 . lower anxiety. Home massage takes the focus away from how they look and teaches them the importance of health and wellness. Depression can occur if teenagers don’t have the internal and external resources to cope with their feelings. peer pressure. teenagers begin to feel comfortable in their body. parental expectations. and overloaded schedules create stress for teenagers. adolescents can become confused about healthy body image. peers.27.BODY IMAGE Bombarded by messages from the media. Home massage can be invaluable for teenagers to reduce stress. Through the positive touch and unconditional acceptance of the giver. teenagers with bulimia had fewer symptoms of depression. lift depression. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers.

IDEAS FOR MASSAGING YOUR TEENAGER While your teen is bending over the computer doing her homework. This will ease her tense shoulders. 172 . Set aside a time each week to exchange massage with your teenager. increase concentration. and renew her energy. She will look forward to this special connection. gently lay your hands on her shoulders and slowly start massaging her neck and back.

overworked muscles and strains. then massage their stressed leg and arm muscles. massage their feet. When your teenager is lying on the couch watching television.Many teenagers are involved in sports and suffer from tight. Invite them to lay on the table or bed. Sometimes your teenagers will surprise you with a relaxing shoulder massage as a way to let you know they care. 173 .

COUPLES CHAPTER ELEVEN If you don’t care for each other. who will care for you? —Jack Kornfield .

Couples who bring home massage into their lives find that it has renewed their connection with each other and sometimes even saved their relationship. Touch, so important to emotional connection, is sometimes lacking between couples despite living in such close quarters. Some spouses that have a difficult time communicating with words find they can communicate more easily through the hands-on communication of touch. Home massage between couples inspires closeness and creates mutual relaxation.

NONSEXUAL TOUCH
Sadly, many couples don’t feel comfortable touching except during sex, thus missing out on the healing intimacy of loving touch outside the bedroom. In his definitive book on touch, Touch Heals, Ashley Montague writes, “It is sad to reflect that in the western world the only time that many married couples will exhibit nonsexual physical closeness or genuine intimacy is when a serious illness befalls the one or the other.” Exercises such as Masters and Johnson’s “sensate focus” have been developed to teach couples to lovingly and slowly touch each other everywhere but in the genital and breast areas. These exercises allow couples to give and get sensual stimulation without the burden of performing sexually. Many relationships fail because couples don’t know how to hold each other with this kind of intimate, non-sexual touch. Unfortunately, movies, television, and billboards all suggest that touch equals sex. But even healthy adult sexual touch is based on also receiving the loving, unconditional touch we received as a child from our partner— safe, protective, and nurturing. Home massage offers couples a way to lovingly connect in a nonthreatening, nonsexual environment. On the massage table, each partner acts from the unwritten agreement that the time together on the table will be non-sexual and non-seducing. This allows each partner to totally relax and enjoy the gift of touch without sexual expectation. No matter how little or how much touch we received as children, we all need a steady diet of this loving touch. Learning how to touch through home massage creates a deeper intimacy and renewed connection between couples.

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Some couples have learned to communicate with words, Some have learned to communicate with action, While others have even learned to communicate with silence. Yet there are so many who have never learned to communicate at all. —Javan

IDEAS FOR COUPLES
Many couples find that they are stressed when they return home after a long day at work. Many of them are exhausted and just want to unwind without talking. Giving each other a 10-minute back rub after a long day creates the space to relax and center, offering a positive alternative to silence or withdrawal. Take the massage table on vacation with you. Exchanging time on the table is even better when you can relax before and after the massage.

A great gift for a mate for a celebration is a relaxing massage. Set aside a night each week that is your special time to exchange massage. Use candles, music, and an uncluttered space to set an intimate, relaxing mood. Plan to have time afterwards to completely relax.

Preliminary findings show that couples who massage each other have lower levels of sexual performance anxiety and report increased physical intimacy.29

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elevates the mood. Incorporating massage into the home increases relaxation.30 179 . With the understood agreement that the massage will be sensual rather than sexual. each person can totally relax into the massage. and soothes the symptoms of stress.The pressures and responsibilities of family life can wear parents down physically and emotionally. and increases your sense of well-being. renews connection. New research has found that giving a massage also reduces stress.

vitamins and proteins. babies would rather die. being massaged. is food for the infant. Food as necessary as minerals.INFANTS CHAPTER TWELVE Being touched and caressed. —Frederic LeBoyer . the name of which is love. Deprived of this food. And they often do.

Touch lets babies know that they are loved and are safe.For nine months a newborn is in the protected environment of his mother’s womb. Touch is the first developed sense and therefore one of the most highly developed senses in infants. and stroking are the natural. cuddling. They provide the positive stimulation needed for relaxation and an infant’s continuing development. Touching. and sudden movements.The more a newborn is touched. noise. the better his physical and emotional growth. nurturing ways for parents to bond with their infants. BENEFITS of infant massage Encourages emotional security Encourages physiological growth Encourages alertness and responsiveness Helps infants adapt to their environment Fosters neurological development Boosts the immune system Helps muscle development Improves motor skills Promotes social development Helps prevent colds and infections Eases agitated babies into sleep Increases blood flow Relieves colic and constipation Calms overstimulated infants Relieves physical and emotional stress Promotes a calm disposition 181 . hugging. Birth removes him from this safe environment and delivers him into a strange new world of light.

showed greater improvement on emotionality. Start with your baby face up so he can see you. sociability. Notice what your baby likes and dislikes. or simply when you both feel the need for closeness. Infants who experienced massage therapy spent more time in active alert and active awake states. right before bedtime. Remove your jewelry so it doesn’t scratch your baby’s skin. Make sure the room is kept warm and the area well padded.31 182 . Choose a time when the baby is relaxed to give a massage. If the baby seems happy. Talk to him lovingly as you massage. shortly after waking. the massage-therapy infants gained more weight. try again later. If the baby is fussy. Over the six-week period. and had greater decreases in stress. The best times are between feedings. The length of time of the massage depends entirely on how long your baby enjoys the experience. suggesting lower stress.There are no special sequences for massaging a baby. and had lower cortisol levels. after a bath. Keep your movements slow and smooth. Use your fingertips or thumbs whenever the area you are working on is too small for your entire hand. Make sure your hands are clean and warm. cried less. continue. Do whatever comes naturally. and soothability temperament dimensions. Just adapt your strokes to fit the tiny body.

start at the ankle and stroke from the ankle to the hip and back down to the ankle. Hold the baby’s leg with one hand. Lower his leg. Gently cradle your baby’s head in both hands with your thumbs together in the center of the head. With your free hand.THE HEAD AND FACE A tender way to begin a massage is with the head and face so you can make eye contact with your baby. start at the center of the head at the hairline and trace a heart-shape on your baby’s face. gently squeeze and pull each finger. Caress the baby’s foot in your hand. Spread your hands to each side. Next. ARMS AND HANDS With one hand caress the baby’s wrist and gently stroke from the wrist around the shoulders and back down to the wrist. THE LEGS Give your baby’s leg a gentle stretch. pushing his knee towards his chest. With the pads of your index fingers. ending at the chin. Then gently extend the leg towards your chest. 183 .

Next. slowly rotate the baby’s legs in a bicycle-riding pattern. With both hands on your baby’s back. 32 184 . Babies digestive systems are quite sensitive. Keep your touch gentle and always clockwise. relieve constipation. This can help ease gas pains and has a playful rhythm for both parent and child. Use one thumb. THE BACK Lie the baby on his stomach across your thighs. following the other thumb to massage from the heel to the toes. Massaging counter-clockwise could cause constipation. Move them in a circular motion and then back and forth in opposite directions. and help babies suffering from colic. glide each hand back and forth.TUMMY Massaging the belly can expel gas. FEET Hold the baby’s feet in your hands with your fingers on the top of their feet and your thumbs on the bottom. A pilot study has shown that massage applied to preterm infants with very low birth weights resulted in improved motor skills among those infants who showed especially low motor skills at the start of the study.

185 .Daddy’s turn.

T H E E L D E R LY CHAPTER THIRTEEN A family with an old person has a living treasure of gold. —Chinese proverb .

Due to the fear of aging in our society. but we receive the least in our later years. so do the elderly.Touch is essential for our well-being at all ages. the touch that has nurtured and comforted us earlier in life often dwindles to a token of tenderness or affection. improve circulation. It can relieve them of depression and loneliness. Life goes full circle and. just as infants need touch. Massage can greatly enhance the quality of life for the elderly. and reduce high blood pressure. BENEFITS FOR THE ELDERLY Stimulates the appetite and digestion Improves sleep Reduces joint pain Relieves swelling caused by fluid retention Stimulates circulation Lowers blood pressure Supports elimination Improves the skin and relieves dryness and itching Helps prevent pressure sores Speeds healing from injuries and surgery Increases energy Provides emotional comfort Increases muscle tone Eases and deepens breathing Boosts the immune system 187 . alleviate stiffness problems.

and a changed body. massage them in their bed or wheelchair. or that of an ill person. Caring touch helps the elderly deal with loss. Remind them that they could possibly be light-headed after the massage. do not ask them to move. offering the reason why or assist them to the standing position. tends to be dryer and often loses some of its absorption capabilities. Just remember that an aging body requires extra tender. 188 . take great care in positioning their body and. dependency. The elderly’s need to be touched doesn’t differ from any other age group. Replace eyewear once you are finished so as not to affect their mobility and balance. Use light pressure to insure that no harm is done. If massaging on a table. appreciated. Suggest that they sit for a while before standing. Be soft and gentle—their skin can be fragile and too hard a pressure can tear the skin or cause bruising. which can affect absorption as well. and nurtured. Start with very little or no oil. loving care. light touch. once positioned.CARING TOUCH Often just an embrace. If they are bed-ridden or have limited mobility. Sometimes the skin of the elderly. or gentle stroke will make your elderly relative feel loved. Often they are taking medications.

Before massaging an elderly person. As always. on a couch. or in bed. For further information. Massaging their feet and hands will increase their circulation. The authors ask that you do no “hands on” until you have read this entire section and the Contraindications on page 78. Sometimes family members are so excited about being able to help that they forget one of the most important principles: Honor. refer to our Suggested Reading “for the elderly” section at the end of the book. Rotate and flex the wrist or ankle to help improve the mobility of the joints. one needs to proceed with a little extra caution.INCREASING CIRCULATION Many elderly relatives or friends may have difficultly walking or don’t have full use of their hands due to arthritis. and Listen. It is best to provide support for the limb that is being massaged. 189 . Repect. Always begin gently with light pressure and then increase the intensity only if requested. be sure to check with their doctor if they have any medical conditions or illnesses. This can be done easily with the person sitting in a chair.

and careless grooming and eating patterns. Sometimes we may live out of state and are not often able to give the gift of our healing embrace. those receiving massages. Or our fast-paced lives are consumed with activity and it seems like we just can’t find the time to visit our elderly relatives.33 190 . Elderly relatives in a nursing home may feel physically and emotionally isolated from their family. squeezes. but a hug. memory loss. and other affectionate touches were more alert. A widow after 50 years of marriage might go for weeks and months without being touched. Among 42 nursing home residents more than 70 years old. A research study found a correlation between sensory deficits and traits of senility—irritability. Home massage is a tonic for their body. Young nursing students tend to avoid touching elderly patients. and physically vibrant than those not receiving massage. and a miracle for their spirits. a comfort to their emotions.EASING LONELINESS Often there may be no words to make your elderly relative or friend feel better. and so we often don’t consider the touch needs of an older person. Our culture associates touch with vibrancy and youth. or gentle massage can bring great healing. Their spouse may be required to reside in a different room in the facility. good-humored. pat on the shoulder. Obstacles like wheelchairs and bedside tables may make it difficult to touch our elderly loved ones.

the elderly have been found to actually enjoy giving a massage as much or more because it makes them feel useful.36 191 . and fewer trips to the doctor’s office. nurturance. Research has shown that among hospitalized patients. the elderly caregivers experienced increased self-esteem and cortisol levels. and love. the psychotic and the elderly were touched the least. In fact.TO GIVE IS TO RECEIVE Elderly family members and friends enjoy being the giver of a massage as much as the receiver.34 Following a one-month period in which grandparents massaged abused infants. The touch they did receive was mostly ìnstrumental to carry out tasks rather than touch to express acceptance. improved lifestyle habits.35 A single 20-minute massage and mobilization protocol focused on the feet and ankles of elderly adults significantly improved their performance on balance tests immediately following touch therapy. according to recent research.

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conclusion 193 .

194 .

To close down or open up? To withdraw or reach out? To speed up or slow down? To stay in denial or move into truth? To isolate or connect? To live or merely exist? Touch Communications Home Massage asks us to slow down. It teaches honor and respect. There are always many fingers pointing to the same moon.OUR CHOICE Man’s mind. It connects us with those we love. -Oliver Wendell Holmes. Thank you for your time. It returns us to our natural ability to heal ourselves and others through touch. once stretched by a new idea. Jr. never regains its original dimensions. It reminds us how relaxation feels. connection. 195 . The path to health. and balance has many names but all involve choice.

196 .

Dychtwald. 1987. Nelson. Phyllis. MacDonald..M. UK: Findhorn Press. Ken. 1976. Tiffany. Larry. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company. Frederick.1986. C. CA: Hay House. New York: Harper and Row Publishers. 1950. Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin.D. and Anthony Porter. Nina. Bodymind.A. New York: Kensington Press. Mariana. Deane. The Price of Wisdom. The Gift of Touch. Dawn. 1996. Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage. 1999. Ph. Juhan. LeBoyer. New York: Alfred A.F. Michael P Ph... Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Davis. To Touch Is To Live.D. Tiffany.1984. Carola Beresford Cooke. McIntosh. 2003. Touch. 2008. Arizona: Hohm Press.BIBLIOGRAPHY Caplan. 197 . New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. McMahon. New York: DK Publishing. From the Heart Through the Hands: The Power of Touch in Caregiving. Ashley. Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People With Cancer. 2000. New York: Guilford Press. Field.T. 1999. Massage: Mind and Body. Field. Knopf. 1995. Inc. 1983. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.D. The Power of Touch. Costa. Scotland: UK. James. Scotland. 2002. Lucinda with Sara Thomas. The Lost Art of Listening. Colton. Nichols. M. Tennessee: Decatur Bainbridge Press. 2009. Montagu. Gayle.. The Educated Heart. The Book of Massage. Touch Therapy. Carlsbad. New York: Harcourt Brace. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Ph.D. 2003. Lidell.D. Findhorn Press. Ph. Helen. New York: Station Hill Press. Ph.

The Psychology of Touch. ed. Montagu. 1984. Davis. The Gift of Touch: How Physical Contact Improves Communication. Feeling. Phyllis K. PhD. New York: Harper and Row Publishers. New York: Continuum Publishing. _______. Marcus and Maria. Susan. A. and T. MA: MIT Press. Oakland. Ph.SUGGESTed READING TOUCH AND MASSAGE Barnard. Sidney B. Madison. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Krieger. 1999. Inc. Arizona: Hohm Press. Ltd. Carlbad. 1998. 1996. 1999. Gabriel. Dolores. 1990. Helen. Touching. 2001. Thomas. New York: Churchill Livingstone. Longville. New York: Sterling Publishing Company. Sayre-Adams.. Kathryn E. Touch in Early Develoment. Touch. 2002. The Power of Touch. 1993. The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Touch.1994. Karin Horgan. Morton. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. 2000. Carola Beresford Booke and Anthony Porter.. Barrytown. Tiffany M. New York: Simon and Schuster. Deane. et al. Cambridge. Intimacy and Love. Jean. 2009. New York: Harcourt Brace. Mariana. Care Through Touch: Massage as the Art of Anointing. Kychinskas. Zach. NY: Station Hill Press. Touch Therapy. 1979. 1999. The Book of Massage. Touch: The Foundation of Experience. 1987. Niles. Simon. Field. Josipovici. CA: New Harbinger Publicatoins.. The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. Juhan. Hillsdale. 198 . 1986. To Touch Is To Live. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Lidell. Touch. Colton. New York: Seaview and Putnam. Mahwah. Pleasure and Health. 1983. KY: Westminster John Knox Press.. Ford. 1976. Berry Brazelton. 1995. The Healing Power of Touch: The Many Ways Physical Contact Can Cure. CT: International Universities Press. Heller. The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal. Lucinda with Sara Thomas. Sullivan.N. Compassionate Touch. Ill: Publications International. Healing Touch: A Complete Guide to the Use of Touch Therapies that Promote Well-Being. Clyde W. 2001. Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin.. IL: Argues Communications. CA: Hay House. Webb. Healing Touch: The Church’s Forgotten Language.. Caplan. Finch. Caring. Mary Ann. New York: Prentice-Hall. Lincolnwood. ed. CT: Yale University Press. R. 1991.D. _______. New Haven. Ashley.

Prasad. Suzanne and Milne. The Vital Touch: How Intimate Contact With Your Baby Leads To Happier. Inkeles: Gordon. Henry Holt and Co. WA: All About Animal Massage. Unwinding: Super Massage For Stress Control. Mary. London. Wendy. 2011. 1999. Bantam. Monica. The Dog Lovers Guide to Massage: What Your Dog Wants You to Know. New York. Alan and Nicki Bainbridge. New York: Grove PR. New York: Alfred A. 2006. Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animal in Your Life. Baby Massage: Soothing Strokes for Healthy Growth. 2001. Berkeley Press: Ulysses Press. Staerker. England: DK Adult. WA: Direct Book Service. STRESS Forman. 2006. Reese. Vimala Schneider. 2006. New York. PET MASSAGE Ayrault. 1976. Knopf. Toporek. Bloomington. London: Aurum Press Ltd. New Book of Baby and Child Massage. Kathleen and Fulton. The Traditional Art of Baby Massage. Robertson. Roseberry. PA: Running Press. Singapore: Twickenham Media Masters.INFANT MASSAGE Ady. Hourdebaigt. Tender Touch: Massage Your Baby to Health and Happiness. 2000. London. Ph. Megan. IN: Authorhouse. 2009. Revised Edition. LeBoyer. Physical Therapy and Massage for the Dog. 2003. 2008. Paul. 2009. Mc Clure. Heller. Premature. Sharon. Clifton Park. Kirkland. 2004. and Special Needs Babies.. Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents. Massage: Simple Solutions for Everyday Stresses. NY: Viking Press. NY: Thieme/Manson. Robert. Elizabeth. Canine Massage: A Complete Reference Manual. England: Hamlyn. Jean-Pierre. Managing Physical Stress with Therapeutic Massage. Heath. Stress and Flagging Energy. Frederick. Julia. Healthier Development. Loving Hands.D. Baby Massage: The Calming Power of Touch. 199 . Philadelphia. Massage Basics: How to Treat Aches and Pains. Jeffrey W. Wenatchee. 2005. 1997. LLC. Kavanagh. An Infant Massage Guidebook: For Well. LMP. 1998. NY: Milady.

ILLNESS. Williams and Wilkins.A. M. Waters. Pregnancy: Pre and Perinatal Massage Therapy. Elaine. MO 2010. Massaging the Alzheimer’s Patient. Scotland: Findhorn Press.M.PREGNANCY Osbourne. C. Dawn. L. Chicago. Dvd.D. Florida: Bluewaters Press. 1992.. The Art of Touch: A Masage Manual for Young People. 2009.THE ELDERLY Babcock. Augustine. A Handbook for Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy. LMT. Nelson. 2006. M. 1986. Prescott. Mary Kathleen. National Association For The Education of Young Children. Lippincott. NY: Bantam Books.T. 2009. Rose. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. New York: Prentice-Hall. Comfort Touch: Massage for the Eldery and Ill.F. Chapman. 200 . St. Ann. Philadelphia. Third Edition. COUPLES Horan. 2007. DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute. When Life Becomes Precious: A Guide for Loved Ones and Friends of Cancer Patients. Keith. Peggy Morrison. Carole. Caring For An Elderly Relative: A Guide to Home Care. 1996. Sensitive Massage: Reclaiming the Human Touch in Caregiving. Catlin. Bette.. Findhorn. CHILDREN Carlson. AZ: Holm Press. Chia.S. Illinois: Northfield Publishing. New York. Williams & Wilkins. 2006. Washington. Revised Second Edition. Connecting Through Touch: The Couples Massage Book. Wolter Kluwer. Essential Touch: Meeting the Needs of Young Children. CAREGIVING.M.T. Deitrich and Meiia. Else. Massage During Pregnancy. Meisler. OTR. Stillerman. Findhorn. Scotland: Findhorn Press. New York: Delta. Compassionate Touch. DVD MacDonald Gayle. 2000 Martin. M. Thompson. Brooklyn. Oakland. 1997. M. Frances M. CA: New Harbinger. From the Heart Through the Hands: The Power of Touch in Caregiving. Elise NeeDell. Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer. 2009. Gary. PA: Lippincott. Springfield.

friends and his numerous students. honor. He was an instructor at the University of Irvine and the Shiatsu Massage School of California. retreat. Chuck was a nationally certified massage therapist with a private practice in Long Beach.com Website: www. lecture. his vision continues with family members. acceptance and love. lectures and workshops nationwide to promote relaxation. Although he has gone on to his next jouney. blending her experience to bring emotional and physical health to youth and adults. With Jackie Sloan. respect. professional artist and Tai Chi Sandan instructor. has a background as a licensed psychotherapist. or to order additional home massage products such as: The Path to Zen: Songs of Serenity (CD) by Sonic Zion Enjoy this relaxing music while you exchange massage and relax throughout the day. CMT.The ripples from his “stone” still flow outwards. and the healing power of touch. 201 . touching and transforming many more lives. California. connection.com Please contact us if you would like to schedule a massage workshop.ABOUT THE AUTHORS Co-founder of TCHM. Chuck taught and lived from the heart. co-founder of TCHM. If you would like to get in touch with Suzette and share your thoughts about this book and about your experience with massage and touch: Email: suz4tchm@aol.tchomemassage. His message was reverence. Suzette Hodnett. M.S. She currently works as a Life Coach. she offers retreats.

“Breast cancer patients have improved immune functions following massage therapy. Field. and Ludwig-Maximilians-University.. Kumar..). C. Cedars Sinai Hospital Medical Center. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Franklin Pierce University.. “Hand and foot massages consoled bereaved relatives. I. New Hampshire. S. A. Spain... (1999) “Pregnant woman benefit from massage therapy. & Kuhn. Price.” International Journal of Neuroscience. Biometrics and Epidemiology. Ostrum. 4 5 Prescott. (1996). M. Concord. Issue 7. & J. Authors: Dan Hasson. H. Ironson. “Genetic and maternal contributions to individual differences in rhesus monkey biobehavioral development.” Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Alcorcón. Krasnegor N et al. Violent behavior: Assessment and intervention (Vol. 13 University of Colorado. University Hospital San Cecilio. M. and Field T. Burman. H.. 73. Schanberg S. M. T.” Developmental Psychobiology.. September 2009:32 (7): 527-535. Field T. J.-Reif. Originally published in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2008:149: 369-379. J. 1). Hashimoto.” In Stress and Coping Across Development. Munich. Hart. G. NJ: Erlbaum.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. “Early experience and cross-generational continuity of mother-infant contact in vervet monkeys. Originally published in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.. 1984:10:41-56. Friedrich-Baur-Institute Department of Neurology. Hart. M. 57. Field. Institute for Medical Informatics. 4.. S. Kuhn. 2004. I. J. New York: Academic Press.” In The Many Facets of Touch.. “High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy.” Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology. Fletcher. and Burman.. 31-38. “Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. G.. 202 . & Fletcher. April 4. R. in Uppsala.M. Colorado. McCabe P. eds. M. Diego. (2003). “Maternal deprivation and supplemental stimulation.. Herzberg. 1989:27:669-681. J. 15 16 Dr. S. 20: 31-28. G. 17-24. Krasnegor. 45-52. A. Originally published in the Journal of Child Neurology (April 2009) 24(4): 406-409. Los Angeles. Denver. National Institutes of Health and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. M. Field. The Pet Arthritis Chronicle. W.. Hillsdale.. Concord Hospital.. 12 Hernandez-Reif. Brucker. M. “Spinal cord patients benefit from massage therapy. Schanberg. Schanberg. Field. Fairbanks LA.. 1987:397-420. (2000). M. Volume One. Regis University.. F.. Ironson. Granada.. Kumar. Burman. 84.... H. Bengt Arentz. Field. 14 Health Sciences School.A. Originally published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.. M. I. Karolinska Institute.T.” Journal of Clinical Nursing. Theakston. (2000) “Chronic lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. Tory. Universidad Granada. A. 205-217. M. Brown CC et al.” International Journal of Neuroscience.. eds.. von Haunersches Kinderspital Department of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine. 2 3 Suomi SJ. T. A.Theakston. Diego. Scafidi. Germany. M. and Schneiderman N.REFERENCES 1 Suomi SJ. Great Neck. Hernandez. NY: PMA Publishing Co. B. 1988. Field. Hernandez-Reif.. New Hampshire. 6 Hernandez-Reif. pp. Cronfalk. Katz. S.” International Journal of Neuroscience 99: 1-15. 17 18 Dr. Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Roundtable. (2002).. Patarca. T. Madrid.. Lena Jelveus and Bo Edelstam. 7 8 9 Uppsala University Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.. Goncalves. G.” In Perinatal Development: A Psychobiological Perspective.. (1990). Spain. Roberts Field (Eds. 133-142. Sweden. T. C. Weiss. psychological and religious/ spiritual determinants. T. F. Tetenman... Krasnegor. S. and Burman. Vol..” In L.. Spain. “The role of touch in rhesus monkey social development. I. “Affectional bonding for the prevention of violent behaviors: Neurobiological. Hernandez-Reif. C. & Theakston. Field. 2010. 112. 10 11 Pilot study.

“Preschoolers’ cognitive performance improves following massage. S. Field. (1975).. Hôpital de Saint-Laurent-du-Pont. Grenoble.. E... T. B.M. “Massage therapy reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. S. Mavunda. (1998). Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. Henteleff. O. (1998). Hong Kong. (1996) “Massage therapy lowers blood glucose levels in children with diabetes mellitus. Based on research at TRI.. “Elder retired volunteers benefits from giving massage therapy to infants. Princess Margaret Hospital. Service de Rhumatologie du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble. Henteleff.” Journal of Applied Gerontology 17: 229-239. K. 27 28 Field. Shaw..M. Service de Rhumatologie du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Genéve. (1998) “Children with asthma have improved pulmonary functions after massage therapy. Kuhn. C. and Hartshorn. M. Grenoble.. Field. University of Miami School of Medicine. 22 Field.. D. Tucson. Originally published in Manual Therapy (2009). Hernandez-Reif. C. Hong Kong Polytechnic University. and Department of Rehabilitation Sciences.” Infant Behavior and Development.M. and Burman. Allison. Kuhn. Department of Neuroscience. T. K. N.” Adolescence 33: 103-10 25 26 Field. Valdeon. T. Department of Animal Health and Welfare. Uppsala University. Cullen. France. France.. Richardson. M. Cancer Center. Henteleff. Field. S.... 107-112. S. The Pleasure—and the Power—of Human Touch. Hernandez-Reif.M. Mueller.” Diabetes spectrum 10: 237-239. T. Escalna..M. Mundy.. 23 24 Hart. Larson. and Schanberg. Grenoble. (1996) “Autistic children’s atentiveness and responsivity improved after touch therapy.. K..” Nursing Research 1972. s. F.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 31: 125-131. Field. C. T. T. C. France.H. Fierro. and Schanberg. S. Quintino.19 Field.M. and Kuhn. S.. Originally published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork June 2009 2(2): 7-14. R. A. 21:102-110. K. Couples Massages.M. C. University of Miami School of Medicine. Abrams. C. Scafidi.T. University of Agriculture.. Kuhn. Quintino. 33 34 35 Field. “Sensory deficits and behavioral deterioration in senescence. (2001) “Autism symptoms decrease following massage therapy. “The effects of touch as they relate to nursing. 20 21 Field.. M. Laboratoire Santé Plasticité Motricité. Based on research at TRI. I. Ecole de Kinésthérapie du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble. and Calhoun. Schanberg. Martinez.. 2009). “Adolescents with attention deficity hyperactivity disorder benefit from massage therapy. & Lundy. Gainesville. Kleinman. and Dowling.M. Barnette K. (1996).. Sweden...” Journal of Pediatrics 132: 854-858. (1998). P.. Susan.” Adolescence 33: 555:-563. Talpins.. T. Schanberg. P. C. College of Medicine..” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 84: 579-82. & Schanberg. Hong Kong. Kuhn. Morrow. Originally published in Pediatrics International (Sept.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 27 (3): 333-338.Yando.. Switzerland. and La Greca. 29 30 Shaw. S.. A. Sweden. 143.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disability. T.M. (1992).. S. M. 36 203 . 31 32 Physiotherapy and pediatric departments.. Saint-Laurent-du-Pont. 1265-1269... 15. S....... O. G. Originally published in Acta Paediatrica (2008) 97. Sweden. 19. University of Arizona.. Genéve. Hernandez-Reif. Shaw. K.. “Bulimic adolescents benefit from massage therapy. S.. Grizzle.. France.. Lasko. (1998).. C. R. “Massage therapy for infants of depressed mothers. T. M.” Early Child Development and Care. Axelson’s Gymnasics Institute. T.S. Stockholm. T. Skara.. O’Neil. T.. Singer-Strunk. 59-64. Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble. C. and Koslovsky. Hernandez-Reif.

The forerunners on the subject of touch—Ashley Montague. Lourdes Flamino. Those of you who have taken the time to read this book and begin your touch journey.. and commitment to high standards. connection. for his dedication. Jim Chenevey. for their support of home massage and vision of “healing humanity through touch. Liza Macawili.” who launched our dream to reality.Tim Neighbors. and relationship to our workshops. makeup artist (cover and inserts). Though not an author of this book. our talented friends “across the pond. attention to detail. CEO and Tomas Nani. If it were not for Jackie there would be no TCHM. She keeps the message of home massage alive. —Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett 204 . To Findhorn Press. Jack Ebner for the use of his wonderful yoga studio to hold our workshops and to Nancy Isabel for her warm smile and constant “behind the scenes” assistance. Founder of Earthlite. Tiffany Field and Mariana Caplan—who helped shape our vision to bring massage into the home. Inc. The enthusiastic support of our one-woman fan club. she was always there for support and played a critical role in the development and editing of the massage techniques.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Our TC Home Massage co-founder. and her uncanny ability to bring the right people together at the right time. for her high standards and keen eye. Jackie is responsible for bringing a sense of community. Our heartfelt appreciation. Dr. who continually inspires others to discover that touch is their own innate magic.” Our photographer. Jackie Sloan.

vision. Jeannine. for his many years of nurturing support. My parents... creativity. All my clients. three sisters (Cricket. calm. And for my fond memories of —four people and eight hands melting me into relaxed bliss. My co-author. who continue to show me the limitless possibilities of rediscovering touch through the principles of Touch Communications Home Massage. —Suzette Hodnett 205 . and Kerry). —Chuck Fata A special thank you to those who have touched my life. Molly. I miss you. and unique talents.. students and friends who continually remind me of the importance of loving touch in our lives. Vincent Medici for sharing his wealth of knowledge of the art of healing with me and for bringing me back to health. Kerrigan. and nieces and nephews (Tally. sensitivity. and insight into the many layers of this art. Sensei Frank Mc Gouirk. Thank you for your healing heart and hands. excellent teaching about presence and connection. who inspired me to continue my vision to have massage become an integral part of family life. whose hard work. best friend. and partner who showed me what it feels like to love and be loved. the “octopus” My deep appreciation to my Tai Chi teacher.My loving thanks to. travelling companion. light-hearted humor. My students. My co-author. Dr. and Brian) whose willingness to “take turns” continually allowed family touch through massage to be a part of my childhood and adult life. of the Aikido-ai Institute in Whittier. My children. continue to take TCHM to greater depths. Suzette Hodnett..

165 Audette. 20 draping. 110-115 lighting. relief of. avoiding pressure on. back of. 170 intuition. Hooding. 170 affection. 41 homework. 183 hear t bypass patients. 34 adolescence. Lourdes. 165 hyperactivity disorder. 79 loneliness. 157. 128. relief of. 58 autism. 82 ankle. 128 infants. 45 healing benefits of. massage and. 113-114 knuckling stroke. adolescents and. 148-149 immune system. stroke location on. 184 forehead. 150 L Lao-Tzu. 57 convenience of. Mariana. stroke location on.INDEX A abdomen. Nikki. 180 legs. stroke location on. Inc. 82-83 lower back. 30 indigestion. 103. 31 I illness. 134 compression stroke. stroke location on. 204 elderly. 36 blood pressure. 31. 110. 111-113 legs. see strokes Flamino. Derek R. 55 to concerns. massage. 145 gliding (effleurage). 116. 31. 125 arm massage. 55. 44 low cost of.. physical expression of. 187-190 electronic massager. 183 family life. Bayazid. 174 C calf muscle. 146 body image. 124-127 finger circling stroke. 147. 55 by massage giver. 171 diabetes. 184 contract (agreement). 148 . 116-121 ar thritis. 189 206 G gentle stroke. 137 J Javan. adolescents and. Frederic. 178 K knees. 78. 160 almond oil. 184 collar bones. 122123 hara. 43 benefits of in daily life. elderly and. 109 lubricants. 184. 31 back.. see strokes Ghandi. 183 hands. 128-131. 57. 116-121. see strokes circulation. 142 constipation. 157. 77 B back pain. 57. 156 centering technique. 142-155 feet. 114 legs. 204 Ebner. 26 Goldberg. 163 children. stroke location on. Oliver Wendell Jr. 175-179 cranial sacral. 58 Eliot. 204 Carlson. stroke location on. 111-115 Caplan. 76 Chenevey. 43 D depression. 175 contraindications. 165 hyper tension. 206 foot massage.. 106. 11. 76 head and neck massage. 102-109 Bistami. 33. 171 F facial massage. front of. massage and 181-185 intimacy. S. 29 HIV positive adults. 163 attention deficit disorder. T. 36 Car ter. see strokes Confucius. 132-138. 84-85 E Ear thlite. 146 clothing. 46 ailment relief from. 48 homeostasis.116. 128 abdominal massage. Jack. 149 childhood illnesses. 187 lotions. 76 center of gravity. 43 promoting touch. Richard. 156-167 circling stroke. 184 abuse. 29 gift cer tificates. see strokes Kornfield. 111. during massage. 189 asthma. 31 Holmes. 125-127. 195 home massage M MacDonald. 68 listening healing power of. 31 Hippocrates. 38 grief. 163 couples. Gayle. 163 divorce. Jack. Jim. 82-83. unwritten. 104. 183 arms. stroke location on. stroke location on. massage and. 46. 20. see strokes Giovanni. 43 duration of. 204 chemotherapy. 128. 121-123. physical. 84 colic. 62 LeBoyer. 92 H hand massage.. 171 bulimia. 168-173 intimacy and. Natalie.

39. 37-38 stress adolescents and. 96 petrissage (kneading). 146-147 R Rolfing. 103. Vincent. 30. 164 Sloan. 128 migraines. 41 petrissage (kneading) stroke. 34 inappropriate. 138 compression. 129. 30 W wheelchairs. 104. 104-106. George Bernard. 39 stretching stroke. 152 physical affection. 26. safe/of honor. 111 violence. 181-185 as meditation. 147. 136. 15. 165 illness and. 107. 150 homework and. 32 V varicose veins. 57 deprivation. 111-114 thumb circling stroke. 175 proper. stroke location on. 109 scalp. 88-99 circling. 96-97. of giver. elderly and. 152 pre-discussion of. 107-108 scheduling. children and. 45. 138 thumb circling. 103. 46. 32. Dr. 43 room preparation. 169-173 ar t of. 112 stretching. 58-59 childhood illness and. 111. 175 sensitive areas. 72-76 routines. 157. 71 massage therapists. 59 pets and. 113. 149 Trager. patient benefit. 204 Mc Gouirk. 139 knuckling. 163 as “lifestyle disease. 82-83 . 43 posture. preface touch appropriate. 165 hyperactive children and. 150-151 massage chairs. 122. 94. rates of. Tim. 166 as first language. 38 stress response. 123. 175 Macawili. 31 massage train. 139 effleurage (gliding). 164 communication through. 150-151 207 O oils. 92 sensor y deficits. 125. 152 pets. 109. 67. 204 neck. 183 giver of. adolescents and. 160 communication through. 90-91. 204 music. 122 parasympathetic ner vous system. 70 massage table. 30. Sensei Frank. relief of. 81 spinal cord injuries. 108. 69 P palm. 157 Montague. see strokes massage surface.114 118- 121. 127 131. 169. see massage routines strokes. 152-153. 163 hormone response. 30 physicians. 32 Shaw. 100-139 spor ts and. stroke location on. 155 shoulders. 156-167 children’s bedtime and. 134136. 31. Thomas. stroke location on. 107-109. 127. 54. 86-87 stress. 204 non-tactile society. 102104. 137 finger circling. 109 gentle. 1718 children and. 79 pregnancy and. 24. 148-149 infants and. 187-191 facial.” 37 as positive. Shunr yu. 42. 69 sensate focus. 146-147 receiver of. 68 thigh. 123. 72-76 grieving and. 39 S sacrum. 43 massage strokes. 52 sympathetic ner vous system. 144 Masters and Johnson. America as. 32 healing.massage adolescents and. 163 children and. Jackie. 201. 31 spor ts. 108. 166 non-sexual. 101. 134-136 siblings. 109. 34 touch phobia. 43 symptoms of. 70 massage practitioners. 173 stances. see strokes T teenagers. 138 scapula. see strokes pet massage. 187 sexual abuse. 78. 181 children and. 62 wheelchairs and. 162 sleep habits. 205 Medicine Hands (MacDonald). 55 couples and. 126 suicide. 37. 127. 57 polarity bodywork. children. 171 Susuki. Ashley. 136. see strokes To Touch is To Live (Caplan). 48 compassion through. stroke location on. 175-179 elderly and. 92-93. 205 Medici. 43 N Nani. 29 place. 20 as first sense. 130-135. Greek and Roman. 98-99. 138 Neighbors. see adolescence temperature. bonding with. fears of. 67-71 routines. massage. Liza. 158. 204 soft hands. stroke location on. 43 massage therapy. 132 pregnancy. 148 menstrual pain. 149. 152-153 techniques.

findhornpress.com .Touch is as essential to us as sunlight. findhorn press Life-Changing Books www.

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