In the previous article, 4 essential steps for a good Californian massage, we detailed some key points to position the person to be massaged on the massage table and establish the right connection between therapist and client. Now, with that work done, we will move on to the massage itself, starting with the long strokes, the hallmark of the Spazio Californian Massage ®.
What are long movements?
In the Basic level of Spazio Californian Massage® we try to make the student internalize the pillars of Californian massage, which are simply: conscious contact, breathing and presence. All this, integrated with various body techniques, among which the main one is the application of long movements. These gentle, harmonic and integrative movements with which the therapist guides the patient, produce a sense of unity and wholeness.
This is how kinesiologist Ingrid May, founder of Oasis, a massage school in Argentina, and one of our frequent guest teachers, defines it in an interview for Discovery Mujer magazine:
«The fluid and circular rhythm is particularly nourishing for the nervous and endocrine systems, the great regulators of muscular tension. This is why, regardless of the particular characteristics of each patient, whenever we want to promote the sensation of rest and nourishment, the dance of massage transits the rhythm of circular fluidity, like the waves of the sea.»
According to the patients, the sensation generated by the long movements is above all one of containment and coziness. So that this rich sensation of being sustained is not broken, sudden changes of rhythm during practice should be avoided. Only in this way, the blocked energies are released and the body returns to its equilibrium. These virtues of Spazio Californian Massage ® distinguish it from other techniques as it is considered a healing art in continuous evolution.
How is the long movement performed?
After having followed the introductory step-by-step, the massage recipient is now ready for the long strokes to really get to a deep place. Not forgetting that in the Californian Massage, the movement arises from the Hara, it does not start or is not performed mechanically from the hands or arms, but from our center. The therapist works effortlessly by involving himself with his body in each pass.
Let’s get started:
Step 1 Spread oil
Make long strokes gently while applying the oil with the contact of the whole hand. Put oil on your hands and let them rest very relaxed for a moment on each side of the spine. Slide sweeping the paravertebrals to the sacrum.
There you open to the sides, go back up through the paravertebrals and then open by separating the shoulder blades, skirt all the shoulder forms and join to come out through the neck. You always have to be attentive to your breathing and be very comfortable.
Step 2 Start the enveloping wave
Again slide sweeping the paravertebrals down to the sacrum. There you open towards the sides, go up again through the paravertebrals and then open by separating the shoulder blades but this time you continue towards the arms and finish when you come out through the hands.
Step 3 Repeat to the other side
You can repeat these two movements a few times varying the pressure and thus begin to create the enveloping wave, without forgetting all the elements listed at the beginning.
Step 4 Down from head to feet
Now you move to one of the feet,uncovering the lateral half of the body. Put oil in your hands and start going up from the foot towards the back following all the shapes, skirt the shoulder blade and end up the arm. You re-enter through the hip and return to the foot again. You can repeat this movement a few times, also varying the pressure.
Step 5 Rise from the feet up to the head.
You do the previous movement on the other side starting from the foot as well.
Step 6 Cover with the sheet
Cover the patient with the sheet again and do a still touch so that the energy we have moved settles. These are some very simple touches in massage so that you can learn to touch with presence, awareness and develop your sensitivity. Normally by being focused there will be no particular sequence to follow, where to start, where to move or how long I am going to work on a particular area; all that information you will get in contact with the person.
In the Californian Massage, the movement arises from the hara, it does not begin or is not performed mechanically from the hands or arms, but from our center. The therapist works effortlessly by involving his body in each pass.
This is greeted with a feeling of greater spaciousness and freedom. It helps to generate confidence, totally necessary to let go of the control of our body and give it to the masseuse/therapist, surrendering more and more to a deeper relaxation.
We hope that this small introduction to the long movements in Californian Massage will inspire you in massage and invite you to practice. If you want to go deeper into this technique and even become a professional, do not miss the
start of our basic training courses