1. The Forearm Rest
Stand behind your partner and rest the fleshy part of your forearms on top their shoulders.
What muscle is that?
Trapezius. It helps raise the shoulders
Pro TIP: Begin on either side of the neck & slowly sink down. Lift your forearms, move outward 1 inch, then repeat.
Pro TIP #2: Try to be high enough above your partner so you can sink down onto the shoulders. Have them sit lower before you start standing on something higher.
2. The Thumb On Thumb
Place one thumb on top of the other. Slowly massage the trapezius-starting on the outer edge, then working your way towards the neck.
Pro TIP: Experiment between massaging in a circular motion and a back and forth motion (ear to shoulder). Let your massage-ee tell you which feels better.
Pro Tip #2: Still not enough pressure? Trying using your elbow. Avoid using the pointy part. Instead, use the broader surface just south of that. GO SLOW!
3. The Squueeeeeze
Gently squeeze the trapezius with both hands.
Pro TIP: Try to lean into the squeeze. By using the weight of your body to initiate the squeeze, you use less of your hand and forearm strength.
Pro TIP #2: Try these variations: slowly squeeze and hold (not too hard, Hercules!). With a light/medium grip, move the right side forward and the left side back. Now, gently alternate-moving forward and backward.
4. The Neck Circles
Gently massage both sides of the neck in a circular motion.
What muscle is that? There's actually quite a few. The group of muscles that lie where the head meets the neck is known as the suboccipitals. The splenius capitus and upper trapezius are other muscles along the neck.
Pro TIP: It may help to have your partner lean forward, rest their elbows on their knees, and support their head with their hands. (Leaning forward on a table works, too)
Pro TIP #2: Double your efforts by kneading with both hands-one on top of the other or side by side.