I love getting massages, but I can’t always afford to go for one. It helps if you have somebody on hand to give you a massage, but it’s no good if they don’t know what they’re doing. Usually, they’ll ask you to return the favour too. Whether you’ve roped a friend or partner into giving you a massage, make sure you both read this guide first. These tips will make your experience much better – almost spa style!
Make Sure You’re Well Equipped
First, make sure you’re well equipped to give a massage. You should have a suitable cream or oil to use. Body lotion is something many people reach for, but it can absorb quickly which can knock you off your massage ‘stride’. You can buy reasonably priced massage oil and cream from lots of health shops.
Never Massage a Bone
I realise how hilarious this sounds. I’ll let you giggle like a schoolgirl for a sec before I carry on…ready? Stay away from those bones people! The goal of a massage is to manipulate the muscle, releasing tension and easing any aches. Massaging a collarbone, for example, will feel very uncomfortable. Pay attention to the areas you’re touching rather than just massaging willy nilly. You should also steer well clear of the spine, as any damage to this can be fatal.
Ask How the Pressure Is
Instead of just massaging away thinking you’re doing a great job, ask the person how the pressure is. Would they like it lighter, or harder? Everybody has their own preferences when having a massage. Massage places like Bodyworks would never give a massage without asking about the pressure!
Keep Your Movements Smooth and Flowing
The key to a good massage is to keep your movements smooth and flowing. Focus on making them nice and fluid. Take your time with them. If you rush the movements, the person having the massage will feel this and won’t be able to relax. Really take your time. There are plenty of different moves you can use, so I recommend watching a few YouTube videos and then practicing them. Don’t try to remember too many, or you’ll get confused. Just remember a handful and then alternate them. Effleurage movements are a must, as that’s what you start and finish every massage with. You can then learn movements like chopping and pinching which can be great for easing tension.
Always Push Towards The Heart
A major rule of massage is that you always push towards the heart. Let’s say you’re massaging the leg; you’d always massage from the foot, upwards. If you need to get back down to the foot, you’ll use a light sweeping movement and then begin your technique again. You should never massage away from the heart, as you want as much blood there as possible. When massaging the face, you’ll always use upward, sweeping movements to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
I hope you love these tips and put them to good use. Leave any tips you have in the comments!