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How to Give a Neck Massage With 11 Simple Steps

how to give a neck massage all the steps

The benefits of massage are immeasurable. It doesn’t only slow down the aging process but promotes continual relief from tension. That, in turn, reduces aches, pains, and stiffness (source).

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Massage improves physiological and psychological responses. For instance, it will relax, soothe, and stimulate all areas of mind and body.

A lot of us have a stiff neck. It gets a lot of pressure and that’s the reason why it’s good to learn how to give a neck massage to your beloved ones.

Benefits of a Massage

Basically, massage is the most positive health-bearing harbinger of all practices. The art of kneading, rubbing, pummelling, stroking, squeezing, tapping, and manipulation of muscles has a lot of benefits.

This grand stimulation treatment effectively promotes and almost instantaneously improves blood circulation. That, in turn, allows for easier transportation of all necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

That’s not to mention life-bearing oxygen, to all parts of the body. We all know the adage, ‘healthy body healthy mind’ and this is indeed true.

Massage relaxes muscles and thus mind. Performing massage onto any part of the body will help with mood and make anyone a little bit happier. Here is a little guide on how to perform a full body massage (in case you need it)!

1. Improves Body’s Vitality

Recurring massage will lift, firm, tone, balance and improve all underlying processes. It stimulates and increases healthy movement in all areas.

The massage can relieve tightness, increase vitality, ease headaches, improve mood, and give an energy boost (source).

2. Brings About Emotional Uplifting

The miracle of the massage is in the deep subtle nuances. When gentle friction is applied to various parts of your body, it activates them. It can release the tensions that have been hindering your life (and you didn’t even realize that).

It doesn’t matter whether it is self-applied or delivered by another human being.

3. Detoxifies Body

By utilizing massage, you’ll encourage the breaking down of waste by-products. Besides, you’ll increase blood circulation. It can only have a positive knock-on effect on your total well-being (source).

4. Relieves Tension

One of the major causes of discomfort is the stress and tension experienced around the neck and shoulders.

Thus, this is an area to focus on bringing some natural respite and liberation.

Steps on How to Give a Neck Massage

Here’s a quick ‘how-to’ for performing a neck massage to any friend, family member or work colleague. It’s pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of time to learn at all! In case you have no one to massage you, you can always use an electric neck massager or a back massager to relieve the pain.

Step 1

Have your recipient either sitting on a stool, a low-back chair or a comfortable recliner chair. Make sure you can easily reach the back and neck.

Step 2

Ensure your recipient is wearing a light piece of clothing, either a vest or non-restrictive garment. Long hair should be tied up so as the neck is exposed. Remove all the jewelry (necklaces and earrings) as well.

Step 3

If your friend or whoever it is that your massaging is up for it, burn some relaxing incense and/or essential oil. It’ll bring about a relaxing mood.

Step 4

Play some relaxing/meditative music in the background. I’m sure that can be enjoyable for both of you.

Step 5

Wash and warm your hands before applying light strokes to the back of the neck. Cold hands can make the whole procedure unpleasant for the recipient. So, that’s quite important.

Step 6

Take 3-5 minutes to continually warm the neck and upper shoulders with light strokes. Use the fingers negotiating where any knots or tight spots of tension are.

Take your time as there’s no need to rush. Avoid applying too much pressure too soon. Gently increase compression as the muscles of the neck and upper back become warmer.

Step 7

When you have found the tight spots, then apply some added pressure here. Use massage stroke techniques as listed below.

Give gentle gliding strokes along the trapezius muscle of the neck (to both sides). Applying pressure will enable the breaking down of the knots of tension.

Step 8

Ensure you apply balanced technique/stroke and pressure to both sides of the neck, shoulders, upper back. You need to keep it balanced.

Step 9

Increase the application of massage into any knots of tension by utilizing your thumbs. Rest your thumbs into the tension spots and keep your other fingers resting each side as stabilizers.

Work your thumbs in gentle circular motion aiding the breaking down of tension. Repeat the action for a few minutes until you feel the hard spots releasing.

Step 10

Once the tension spots have softened a little, begin to glide your hands away from the troubled zones. Imagine it as a ‘brushing away’ action.

You’ll effectively rid the area of the tension and wipe it out to the edges of the shoulders.

Step 11

You can work on each shoulder individually by standing to the side of your recipient. Again, proceed with rhythmic stroking/sliding of your hands.

Aim to ‘draw out’ the tension, sweeping it into the atmosphere. Using both palms of hands, place one on the front of the shoulder (clavicle) and the other to the back-shoulder blade (scapula).

That’ll give a broader even rotation of pressure. Once you have completed one side, apply to the opposite side with equal content.

Tips for Giving a Good Neck Massage

  • Avoid pressing too hard on any of the bony areas.
  • Remember you can use all parts of your hands to effect differing amounts of pressure and scale of stroke/glide. Use your fingertips, palms, heels of hands. Even knuckles (for getting into tight pressure points)!
  • Communicate with your recipient to allow for feedback as to whether you are applying correct pressure in the affected areas.
  • Generally, a 10 – 15-minute neck massage will help give relief. And, this can be repeated two to three times a week.

Massage Techniques You Could Use

neck massage techniques

When it comes to massage, most of us really have no idea what we’re doing. It’s always good to know what massaging techniques you can try to improve the experience.

Trying these techniques definitely helps to relieve tension in muscles better. Thus, worth a read!


A rhythmic stroking/sliding of the hands – normally toward the heart. The word itself means ‘’to touch lightly on”.

The technique is very soothing and is usually used for the beginning or the end of the massage. All you need to do is stroke your palms in a circular motion.


A gentle circular lifting and squeezing – helps to eliminate waste products from the muscles. The applied pressure is usually very deep, and it quickly heats up the muscles.

You can use your thumbs, fingers, and palms to achieve those results.


Rhythmic tapping with the fingers / short rapid movement. It’s best performed on areas of the body where there is no bone protrusion.

There are five types of tapotement: cupping, tapping, beating, hacking and slapping. For cupping, all you should do is make a cup with your hand and tap on those muscles.

For tapping – use fingertips, beating – softly hit the area with your fists. Hacking – use the edges of your hands on the pinky side to apply pressure to your skin and slapping – gently slap with your fingertips.


The gentle lifting of a concentrated part of skin then letting go, sliding back through the fingers. If you do it right, you should be able to pick up tissue between the thumb and other fingers.

That’ll be quick and brief. Use both hands to exert the movement, one hand at a time. But, don’t grip too hard as it might be unpleasant.


Utilized on the back and sides of the body particularly the ribcage. The technique is particularly relaxing and very soft.


Now that you know how to give a neck massage, you should probably get going! Make someone happy today by relieving some of their neck stiffness. That cannot hurt, definitely.

In case you have questions, please comment below, I’ll do my best to answer them. 

But, do remember that when it comes to massage, it’s also very important to know how the recipient feels, what he/she likes and make the most out of it. At the end of the day, a light touch on someone’s skin is always a very relaxing and fulfilling experience.