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It’s Calming Home: Experts Design New Massage Technique To Cure Football Nerves Whilst Watching A World Cup Match

Nervous Football Fans

With football fans all over the world bracing themselves for three weeks of nail-biting matches, spa booking site Spa Seekers has created the world’s first massage that specifically targets football match nerves.  

Working with massage and relaxation experts at The Spa at Laceby Manor spa, the ‘Football Fears Massage’ uses bespoke massage techniques to help the body de-stress and encourage a more relaxed state of mind, so that fans can watch their national team without being overcome with nerves.  

Each part of the massage has been chosen for its relaxing properties. For example, the ‘hand of God’ aims to relax your shoulders, an area that often carries a lot of tension when stressed, by applying pressure in circular motions to release the muscle tension. 

To promote a feeling of calm and steadiness, the ‘4-claw-2′ involves massaging the head in a claw formation to target scalp and neck strain, often brought on by nerves.  

Shaking, throwing up and diarrhoea are all experienced by fans from ‘match stress’ 

Getting nervous or stressed before or during ‘the beautiful game’ is extremely common, with eight in 10 (82%) footy fans saying they experience anxiety and unease when watching a match. 

The most common symptom of football nerves is feeling restless, with more than a quarter (28%) of fans experiencing this, followed by stomach butterflies (27.5%) and sweaty palms (16%).  

One in six (15%) fans experience stomach issues, such as stomach aches or even diarrhoea, and 7.5% of fans suffer from nausea or vomiting due to nerves when watching football. 

In fact, one in six (16%) football fans found watching a match more nerve-racking than taking an exam – 15% say it’s more stressful than having a job interview, and one in seven (14%) say it’s more anxiety-inducing than public speaking – showing just how stressful live football can be for fans.  

Top 15 Most Common Effects Of Football Nerves

  1. Feeling restless – 28% 
  1. Stomach butterflies – 27.5% 
  1. Sweaty palms – 16% 
  1. Tense shoulders and/or neck – 15% 
  1. Sweating – 14% 
  1. Heart flutters – 13.5% 
  1. Faster breathing – 11% 
  1. Shaking – 7% 
  1. Headaches – 7% 
  1. An upset stomach – 6.5% 
  1. Stomach aches – 5.5% 
  1. Nausea – 5% 
  1. Short of breath – 5% 
  1. Diarrhoea – 3% 
  1. Vomiting – 2.5% 

How to cure footy fears 

The newly created ‘Football Fears Massage’ is designed so it can be performed anywhere, and without any equipment, so whether you watch the big game at home or at the pub you’ll be able to experience the benefits.

Importantly, the massage has both a ‘solo’ and ‘for mates’ version – meaning you can perform the massage on yourself or help your friends destress if you’re all watching together. 

Massage method to de-stress yourself: 

  1. ‘Tiki taka’ temple rubs: Place two fingers on your temples and apply light pressure and massage in circular motions for 10 seconds. 
  1. ‘Nutmeg’ neck slides: Apply either 2 or 3 fingers to the side of your neck, starting at the base of the scalp. Gently slide them round to the back of the neck, then repeat again slightly lower until you reach the bottom of the neck. Repeat on the opposite side. 
  1. The ‘hand of God’: Cup your hand and place over the opposite shoulder and start to rub in circle motions, apply pressure with your fingertips to work the muscles. Do this for 10 seconds on each side. 
  1. Face ‘tap it in’: Gently and lightly tap over your face, one finger at a time and increasing speed so your fingers flow. Start at the top of your head and work your way down past your temples and cheeks until you reach your jaw.  

Massage method to destress your mates: 

  1. 4-claw-2′: Spread your fingers apart and bend slightly, so your hands are like two claws. Then place on either side of their head, with thumbs near the base of their neck and little fingers near the temples. Firmly move your hand in small circular motions, doing five slow circles.  
  1. The arm ‘slide tackle’: Hold their hand with one hand, and with the other hand use two fingers to firmly slide up their arm – starting from their wrist and ending just before their elbow. Repeat three times. 
  1. The ‘fingertip save’: Place your thumb and first two fingers around their knuckle, then firmly work your way to the tip of the fingers. Then gently pull on the nail area.  
  1. ‘Get stuck in’ squeezes: Make a C with your hands and place them over their shoulders, so your thumb is on their back and your fingers are near to their collarbone. Start close to the neck and gently squeeze once, then move slightly down the shoulder. Repeat this until you reach the end of their shoulders.  
  1. ‘Liquid football’ swipes: Then use your thumbs to follow the shoulder blade round in a swiping motion. Repeat three times. 

Jason Goldberg, Director at comments: “As experts in relaxation, we wanted to do our bit for fans around the world so they don’t need to feel the stressful effects of watching matches. 

We’re thrilled to be able to provide a vital tool for those who feel sick with nerves when enduring every free kick, yellow card, or dreaded penalties, and hope that it makes a big difference to nervy football fans during the World Cup.” 

To see the full massage technique and detailed instructions on how to perform the expertly curated massage, visit: