How to Use Circling in Massage


Circling provides a soft, round movement over the body. The stroke can be used both for far-reaching release, as over the sacrum, or as a soothing, relaxing stroke, for example, over the abdomen. You can either circle with both hands, in alternate directions, singly, or with one hand placed on top of the other. Always keep your hands flat against the skin and very soft, even when you are circling over the bone. Circling can be used either to release or to gently diffuse the effects of kneading, and can often be used to replace pulling strokes up the body or to return the attention, and your hands, from one area to another. It also gives a sense of movement and expansion, such as circling over the ribs, and brings a pleasant sense of softness to the body massage and to your partner.

The lower back

Place one hand on top of the other over the sacrum (the bony triangle at the base of the spine). Circle the hands in an anticlockwise direction over the socrum and lower back, keeping the fingertips flat against the body. Keep your strokes precise and avoid straying from the centre of the back.

The buttocks

Lean over your partner. Place one hand over the hip and circle in an anticlockwise direction, then circle with the other hand the opposite way. Keep your hands flat and the movements firm. Make broad circles over the hips and buttocks, alternating your hands so that your strokes flow continuously.

The abdomen

Position both hands over the abdomen, one to either side of the navel. Slowly begin circling in a clockwise direction, hands flat against the body. As you circle, lift one hand to cross the other, so that you remain in continuous contact. Always circle gently, especially near the solar plexus.

The ribs

Sit at your partner’s head. Lean over as far as you can reach and put your hands flat against either side of the body. Make big circles toward you with both hands at the same time, working up along the sides of the ribs. When you reach the shoulders, return to the bottom of the rib cage and repeat the circles twice, this time adding a slight stretch to the movements.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Massage the Abdomen
  2. How to Do an Effleurage Massage Stroke
  3. How to Use Pulling in Massage
  4. How to Massage the Chest
  5. How to Massage the Back

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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