As requested I have written out a simple hand and arm massage which I use on my husband. This has helped to relieve symptoms of pins and needles, stiffness and aches dramatically during the night.
Hope it helps.
Simple Arm/Hand Massage
Difficult to explain without pictures but I'll do my best!
I tend to massage my husband's arm when he is lying on his back in bed.
It is important that the arm is supported so that the muscles are resting.
The way I do this is to sit facing my husband with one leg bent on the bed.
I then use my leg to support the arm just under the elbow so that there is space beneath the arm to allow me to massage round it without him having to lift it.
You need some sort of cream or oil. I prefer oil as it glides more easily. Grapeseed oil is probably the easiest and cheapest to get (from the supermarket in the cooking oil section!)
Place a small towel under the arm and shoulder to protect the sheet from oil!
Put a small amount of oil in your hands and rub to warm.
Resting the arm on the crook of your leg, lightly hold the arm under the wrist with your nearest hand (depending whether you are massaging right or left arm!)
Using the other hand, glide your hand up the arm from the wrist, up the forearm, over the front of the shoulder to the back and back down to the wrist in a slow steady movement. Do this two or three times to spread the oil and gently warm the muscles.
Swap the hand that is holding the arm under the wrist and using your near hand, glide over the back of the hand and the fingers. At this point I tend to gently envelop each individual finger and the thumb in oil.
Swap the supporting hand over again.
Repeat the action of gliding the hand up the front of the forearm and over the shoulder. My husband often has some tight knots in the upper arm just below the shoulder. If you feel any 'lumpy bits' rub them gently with circular movements using your thumb as you go up the arm. Let your partner guide you as to how hard you can rub these areas. Another movement you can do at the top of the arm is called 'picking up'. By this, you support the arm under the elbow with your outside hand and bend your partner's lower arm slightly. This makes the bicep (muscle at top front of arm – like Popeye!) and tricep (top back of arm) show up more. Make a 'cupping' shape with your near hand and starting at the base of the muscle, move your hand up the muscle in a repetitive circular movement. Your thumb will be rubbing one side of the muscle and your fingers the other.
You can also use this movement on the forearm. To do this, rest the arm back on your leg at the elbow and support the underside of the wrist.
Another movement is called 'rolling'. Bend your partner's arm and rest it across his/her chest. (you may need to use your knee to support the elbow and stop the arm falling down as you want your partner to remain relaxed and not use the muscles). With the arm bent, the tricep (top back of arm) will be more accessible. Using both hands, hold the top of the arm as if it was a rolling pin. You thumbs should be underneath the muscle. Gently roll your thumbs towards your fingers at the top of the muscle. You can also do this in reverse, ie fingers roll down to the thumbs.
Gently bring the arm back down to rest on your leg.
Supporting the underside of the wrist again (and keeping the arm slightly bent and at rest), glide up the whole arm again and round the shoulder (you can do a few extra sweeps around just the shoulder if you want to) and back down again. This will keep the arm warm. Swap supporting hands to glide over the hand and fingers.
Move on the massage the wrist.
With your partner's arm resting on your knee, cup their hand in yours, knuckle side up. Using your thumbs on both hands, do symmetrical, small circular movements around the wrist bones. Turn the arm over and gently do small circles with your thumbs from the wrist and up the inside of the forearm and back down to the wrist. Repeat circles to the wrist.
Looking at the hand face down, from the wrist to the knuckles, there are thin bones going to each knuckle. Using your thumbs, supporting the back of the hand with your fingers, make small circular movements down the spaces between the bones to the knuckles (there are four gaps – between each finger and the thumb). Do these individually. Next, using a finger and thumb, take a finger and gently press your way down the sides of the finger from just below the knuckle to the tip. This seems like a strange movement but my husband finds it really helps relieve aches. I tend to do this two or three times per finger and thumb.
Next lightly grasp each finger in turn and the thumb and 'twist your hand around it, moving your hand down so that it comes off the end of the finger.
Turn the hand over and do light circular movements around the base of the thumb, the base of the hand and the 'pads' behind the knuckles. Holding the hand in yours, do some criss-cross movements across the main part of the hand. I also do some little 'pressing' movements along the edge of the hand and between the back of the fingers.
When you have finished with the back of the hand, you could do a few more circles on the front and gently circle your partner's fingers.
I would finish with a few more gliding movements up the whole arm, round the shoulder and down again.
It is best to reapply oil once or twice to aid the flow of movement.
That's about it!
I really hope that this makes some sort of sense.
It is so difficult to explain movements without being able to demonstrate or use massage vocabulary.
Anyway, I hope this helps in some way.
If you have any questions re positioning or anything, I'll try and answer them.
PS: I've written this from one friend to others, not as a massage therapist (although I am qualified) so if you have any doubts or concerns, please take professional advice.
PPS: I know this post looks long-winded but after you have tried it a couple of times, it is really quite simple and straight-forward. I just needed a lot of words to try and explain in writing!
thank you for this.........as Ive bribed my OH to massage my arms for 5 mins before bed and we were just making it up as we went along this has really helped
I really appreciate your reply.
I really appreciate your reply.