5 Steps to Giving an Awesome Massage

Massages are a fantastic way to connect and bond with your partner. Not only will giving them a rub down make your partner more relaxed, studies have also suggested that massages may be able to help regulate blood pressure and give a boost to the immune system.

If you’re ready to give your partner a personal, relaxing massage they will absolutely love, follow these five steps.

Set the Mood

Setting up a relaxing environment is a great way to kick-start the unwinding process for your partner. Ways to do this include lighting some candles, burning incense, turning on some relaxing music, lowering your voice, and making sure the room isn’t too hot or too cool for your partner.

Use Oil

Although your hand or body lotion may seem like a good idea, natural oils work best, as they will stay on the skin longer and allow your hands to glide across your partner with ease. Coconut oil is perfect for this, as it’s great for the skin, has many health benefits, and many of you probably already have it at home. Other popular choices include jojoba oil, apricot oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil.

Focus More on Certain Areas

The neck, shoulders, and lower back are the most common areas where people hold tension. Focus more on these areas, rather than trying to cover the whole body equally.

Around the neck: Starting at the base of the neck, place your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other, gently squeezing the neck muscles, and working your way slowly up and down the neck. You can also use your thumbs to press gently across the upper neck, under the base of the skull. Pressing into these acupressure points is thought to relieve neck tension, irritability, and headaches.

Massage closeupAround the shoulders: Grab your partner’s shoulders from behind and press down with your thumbs, working slowly from the bottom of the neck to the upper arms. If your hands get tired, you can use your forearm to press into the shoulder, resting your opposite hand on the corresponding shoulder for stability and support. Rolling a tennis ball around the area and applying pressure is another great way to work out tight shoulders.

On the lower back: Press one hand into your partner’s lower back with your fingers pointing away from the spine. You can apply more pressure by placing your other hand on top of the first one. Do each side separately, and then place each hand on opposite sides of the spine at the same time, using the heels of your hands to push away from the spine and then up and down.

Avoid Certain Other Areas

For the safety and comfort of your partner, make sure you work around bones and joints as you massage, never pressing on them directly, this includes the spine. Also, try to take it easy on the muscles that run over the shoulder blades and ribs. These tend to be thinner, more sensitive, and prone to bruising.

Take Your Time

Just like you wouldn’t want a professional massage therapist to rush, do you partner the same favor and take your time. Trying to rub muscles hard and fast can cause irritation, and might make your partner feel like you’re trying to just get the job done. Focus on long, smooth, strokes, and enjoy the experience and connection with your partner!

-The Alternative Daily


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