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Massage Sequence for the Back of the Leg

 It will be helpful to use a little bit of vegetable oil as a lubricant between your hands and their skin.

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Before we begin, it is important to know where to massage the back of your friend's leg, and where not to, so that you don't hurt them. Watch out that you don't put much pressure on the red-area directly behind the knee. Also, be careful not to dig specifically on the red-dot-area on the buttock muscles. Both of these areas contain unprotected nerves and are "endangerment areas" and too much pressure here can lead to injury. You'll need to ask your friend if the technique is comfortable for them and take direction directly from their feedback. Be aware that all moderate to deep pressure on the leg should be toward the heart in direction. Never should deep pressure be applied on the leg in a direction away from the heart (you'll damage the valves in the veins).

Begin smoothing oil from the ankle to the buttock area. You can also include the back in the stroke by making a series of hand-over-hand strokes or single strokes that travel all the way from the ankle to the shoulder area. This style is a Hawaiian Bodywork technique.

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Holding the foot with one hand, scoop the sole of the foot with the knuckles of your other hand. Use your thumbs and work the sole of the foot. Include the heel, arch and ball of the foot by direct pressure, small circle strokes and short gliding strokes. Bringing the foot directly up in the air, use one hand to support the ankle and the other to press down on the ball of the foot. Give it a good stretch.

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With alternating hands, begin lifting and scooping the muscle away from the leg. Scooping should be toward the heart only. Work the inside, top and outside of the entire leg length.

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With alternating thumbs, make short "J" strokes up the center of the lower leg starting at the "Achilles" tendon and working toward the back of the knee (careful of the soft spot behind the knee). "J" strokes glide an inch or so and then hook toward the inside (inside hand) or outside (outside hand). In this case we are lengthening and broadening the muscle fibers of the calf area.

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Carefully, use your elbow to smooth up the back of the upper leg. Stay away from the soft spot behind the knee. Keep your forearm fairly level with the leg (don't lift the hand up because it makes the elbow too pointed and uncontrollable). Remember, the deeper you apply pressure, the slower your stroke should be. Finish with smoothing strokes and then "feather strokes". Feather strokes are light finger tips, gliding down the leg, hand-over-hand, from hip to foot.


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