This one is easy to explain, as opposed to some of the previous ones. Believe me, it is a daunting task to try to explain all of these things online.
Using your body as a prop.
While sitting elevated over the recipient, lift one of their arms, and place your leg under the arm, with your knee 6-8 inches in front of their armpit. After that, rest their arm on top of your leg.
Now, their trapezius is in a shortened position, but is not tense. If you feel it before and after, it would seem like it is thicker in this position, because it is the the same amount of muscle, but now spanning a lot shorter of a distance.
You can do this all over the body, but why?
Many professional massage therapists do not have this “move” in their repertoire, as a lot of them don’t care to experiment and do this just for money.
If a muscle is in a shortened position(but not by flexing) it is less tight, AND easier to “pick up”, as in *technique # 9. You can do a lot with a muscle like this, that you cannot otherwise do.
Detoxification, for one.
There are two effects of massage. *Mechanical, and Chemical. You are welcome to read more.
For now however, think of the trapezius as a rope(which should be familiar language if you are reading these articles in sequence.), with its muscle fibers interwoven like a… rope.
Were you to massage it vigorously, you could certainly dislodge some of the fibers from being stuf to each other, or make this rope become a little frayed. This is good. Knots in muscles are when separate fibers are stuck to others.
When massaging, you can usually only affect the outside of the muscle, and not the fibers on the inside, until after a LOT of sessions when you have softened the muscles on the outside(a lot of clinical applications of massage start off by relaxing the adjacent or superficial muscles before working on the problem spot). If we shorten the muscle like this, we can affect the fibers on the inside of the muscle.
Be careful – this can hurt!
The best way to apply a lot of pressure is to increase the contact area you have with the body. Again, *technique # 9, using both of your hands together, is the way to do it. If using one hand only, your thumb will probably hurt the recipient before you get deep enough to do what we are trying to do here.
What else? FLAIR is the word here.
If you are massaging someone while watching TV, they usually always get the impression that you have incredible skills when you do this one. Not that it feels better to them(although it can have a lot of impact on the muscles).
It gives the impression that you have knowledge about what you are doing, and are making a conscious decision of how to manipulate the muscle. And by now you should. Keep reading.