Counseling Sheet

Face and Scalp Massage

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

The face and scalp massage can be performed with the subject sitting or lying preferably on the back. This massage should be preceded by the 10-minute Tune-up Chair Massage, or, if time does not permit, a brief 3-5 minute massage to the shoulders and neck muscles. Heat to the neck and back and/or a hot foot bath can also be used in conjunction with the face massage. This massage will reduce tension in the face and head, and increase circulation to those muscles; and it will, in many cases, help relieve headaches, sinusitis, tired eyes, sore scalp, etc.


Standing behind and to the side of the seated subject, place one hand on the forehead to stabilize head. With the other hand, using the index, middle and ring fingers, begin at one end of the occiput—give three friction rubs (finger rotations) just below the occipital ridge then pull up on that bone to stretch the muscle tissue at that area. Hold pull for 5 seconds then release. Move across occiput to the other side in 1/2 inch increments; 3 rotations/5 seconds stretch. Repeat sequence twice over occiput (See Diagram 2-1).


Place both thumbs side by side just above the center of occiput, four fingers resting on either side of head. Press in firmly with thumbs, hold for 5 seconds, then release. Move approx. in 1/2 inch increments, until you reach the middle of the head. Here it might be difficult to continue using thumbs. Instead, place tips of four fingers of each hand side by side on mid-scalp, heels of hands resting on sides of head. Give firm pressure with finger tips holding for 5 seconds, then release. Continue this to the hairline, (see Diagram 2-2).


With fingers spread apart, place hands opposing each other on the back of head. Give firm pressure to scalp with finger tips; hold for 3 seconds, then release. Progress to hairline then reverse hands and proceed from hairline to back of head.


  • Place heel of hands (part above wrist) firmly on both temples. With fingers and thumbs apart, do three or four finger rotations (frictions). Progress from hairline to back of head and back to hairline again. Adjust hands in order to friction both sides of the head, always holding firm placement with heel of hands. Repeat sequence two times.
  • SCALP RUB (omit if subject prefers not to dishevel hair)
  • ~Standing to the side and a little behind subject, stabilize forehead with one hand, with the other hand, using finger tips, vigorously scratch the scalp beginning from hairline to sides to occiput. Repeat three times.


Standing behind subject, bring the head backward to rest on your chest or abdomen. Place tips of four fingers side by side on the center of the forehead, heels of hands resting also on forehead. Give firm pressure for 3-5 seconds. With fingers, now progress in half inch increments towards temples. At temples, switch to heels of hands and give firm pressure for 3-5 sec. also. Repeat 2-3 times. Soothe with finger strokes from center of forehead to temples.


Using index, middle and ring fingers, give friction rubs beginning at the top of ear lobe (lower temples), and proceeding in a clockwise direction close to ear in a complete circle. When circle is completed, proceed with finger pressure using index and middle fingers in the same area. Repeat sequence 2 or 3 times (friction rubs followed by finger pressure). Soothe area with finger strokes.


With subject's head still resting backward, place thumbs on orbital bone (below eyebrows) near the inner aspect of eye, place index fingers under orbital bone close to eyeballs). With thumbs and index fingers in this position give firm alternating strokes from inner eye to approx. mid-orbital bone. Stroke 3 times then give simultaneously finger pressure in inner orbits using index finger over same area previously stroked. Soothe with finger strokes.


Place tips of index fingers at corners of eyes, thumbs resting on forehead and other fingers resting on sides of face; from this point stroke downward on nose bridge with index fingers, then slide back to starting position. On the downward stroke be careful not to pass the nose bone. Repeat downward stroke 3 times. Using index fingers, give pressure over area just massaged followed by soothing strokes.


Head position same as above; place four fingers under cheek bones (begin close to nose). Give friction rubs, and then progress to outer cheeks. Repeat 3 times. Using three or four fingers give pressure (3-5 seconds) over massaged area. Finish with soothing strokes.


Using index, middle, and ring fingers of both hands give firm but gentle finger rotations progressing from chin to lower cheeks (Head placement same as above). Repeat 2-3 times. Give finger pressure in same area followed by upward smooth strokes.

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Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875