If you’re wanting to give that special someone a massage, you may need to brush up on your skill set and learn some effective massage techniques. Unfortunately, it can be difficult knowing where to start when it comes to learning the best massage moves.
While many professionals are certified and have studied how to give a good massage, you may not want to jump into full-fledged massage classes just yet.
Luckily, once you learn the massage tips listed below, you’ll be well on your way to giving a proper back massage. Additionally, there are also some great shoulder and neck massage tips that you can use at home to give a great neck and shoulder massage.
Read on to discover these 9 easy to use massage tricks and tips.
How to give a killer massage
If you’re ready to do a perfect massage at home, there are a few general points you should keep in mind when using the simple massage techniques below.
For one thing, make sure that you don’t rub too hard or too fast as you may risk irritating your partner’s muscles. Perform slow even strokes with the palms of your hands, thumbs, and the fleshy part of your fingertips.
Also, don’t just focus on the upper back. Make sure to hit other sore spots such as the lower back, the neck, the back of the head, and the hands and feet.
Massage Patient Comfort
Some particularly tense people may be uncomfortable with getting a massage and have difficulty fully relaxing, even at home. There are a few ways to make your partner more comfortable.
When giving massages, you should consider adding some ambiance to the area where you will be giving the massage. You may choose to add some aromatherapy and essential oils to your massage session.
If your partner is lying on their stomach, don’t forget to give them a proper face rest. You may try positioning some pillows comfortably.
You may also choose to place a hot towel on your partner’s back. This will help support the shoulder and back and will ease the muscles.
5 minute massage
If you and your partner don’t have time for a full-sized massage session, you can still give a great massage in just 5 minutes. There are several steps to follow when giving a 5 minute massage.
Use forearm compression. Rest your forearms on your partner’s shoulders, close to the neck. Keep your palms down and let the fleshy part of your forearm lie on their muscles. Let your weight go straight down onto their shoulders. Don’t push forward.
Hold for several seconds and then lift your arms slowly and move them along the shoulder one inch. Push downward again. Move along until you get to the bony part of your forearm, then repeat from the starting position.
Rub their shoulders. Move to your partner’s side. Touch the tip of their shoulder with your fingers and move slowly toward their neck until you feel soft muscles. Place your thumbs on the soft spot. Place one thumb on top of the other for reinforcement. Press straight down with your thumbs, slowly.
Hold the thumbs on the muscle for a few seconds, then slowly ease the pressure. Move a thumb width towards the neck, and repeat. Once you reach the neck, go back to the starting position and repeat. Then, repeat on the other shoulder.
Massage their neck. Stand on your partner’s side. While standing to the right, make a C-shape with your left hand. Place it on the back of your partner’s neck. Press gently into the neck with fingers and thumbs.
Maintain a small amount of pressure while doing a soft circular kneading action with your hand. Do 5 motions for each spot, then move up and down the neck and repeat. Don’t pinch the skin or slide your hand excessively. Most of this technique should consist of finger movements.
Use gentle brushing motions along your partner’s head and back areas, as though you are picking lint off. Use both hands at the same time or alternate the two, creating an even feeling on your partner’s back areas.
The above technique should take approximately five minutes.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage techniques help to relieve tension deep in the body’s musculature. When giving a deep tissue massage you should know basic human muscle anatomy. You should know how to apply intense pressure without causing pain.
Professional massage therapists have a lot of training, but you can still do a great job at giving a deep tissue massage at home.
First, read up on basic muscle anatomy of the back. Visualize the back muscles when performing these techniques.
Apply massage oils to your partner’s back. Position your forearm crossways on your partner’s back and run up and down. Lean in with your weight, letting your forearm slide down. Slide it back up. Avoid pushing down on the bony surfaces and the spine.
Use fingertips and thumbs to check for individual muscles and boundaries which your partner says feel tense. Start applying pressure. Find areas where muscle mobility is limited and there are tense knots.
Apply gentle pressure to problem areas. Lean into fingertips and thumbs, but do not push with your shoulders. Don’t move too quickly.
Be communicative with your partner, and make sure that what you are doing feels good. If they are experiencing pain, stop.
A sports massage will target specific areas that an athlete uses regularly and has a specific goal in mind. This massage will help to develop a larger range of motion with muscles and aid recovery. Various techniques will help with a sports massage, but there are three main principles to keep in mind.
Consider the intention. What is the intention of the sports massage? The intention may be to promote blood flow, stimulate neurological pathways, increase strength, increase flexibility, or improve posture. The massage may be used as a warm-up or a post-game recovery.
Consider the techniques. What techniques will be used? You may choose to include a range of techniques including friction, vibration, shaking, compression, direct pressure, or cross-fiber friction.
Consider the timing. When will the massage take place? You may choose to give a sports massage for a pre-event warm-up or post-event recovery. The athlete may need a sports massage during a maintenance period or for an injury rehabilitation.
If you follow the three principles above, you will be well on your way to giving your partner a massage that will help their body and their game.
Trigger points are tight spots on the body that create pain in another area. A trigger point on the neck may cause pain in the back, for example. It is often easiest to perform a trigger point massage yourself.
When you identify a trigger point, it can be quite simple to begin. Rub the trigger spot with your fingers, thumbs, fist or elbow, whatever is most comfortable. Use a tennis ball or foam roller if you find it hard to reach an area. Press directly on the spot and hold down for 10-100 seconds. You may also apply small kneading strokes.
Pay special attention to pressure. Trust what feels right to you. Rub hard but not too hard. A little “good pain” is okay. By doing this correctly your trigger point should feel satisfied, and your body should feel more relaxed and relieved.
A massage oil is a great way to improve a massage and will allow your hands to glide smoothly over your partner’s body. A massage oil will work much better than body lotion.
The main use of massage oil is lubrication and the reduction of friction, but you may also choose to use a massage oil as a base for aromatherapy and essential oils.
When buying a basic massage oil, consider its properties. How much does it cost? How easy is it to clean? Consider its nourishing, moisturizing, and absorption properties.
Also, consider how it is processed. A great massage oil will be extra virgin cold pressed and will have a high level of purity, retaining natural nutrients.
Don’t push too hard
When giving a massage, apply the right amount of pressure. Find that sweet spot that allows some pressure without causing pain.
The best way to find a good middle ground is to communicate with your partner clearly so you will know exactly what they are feeling. Be sure to exert less pressure on bony spots and the spinal cord.
Swedish massage therapy goes beyond simple relaxation benefits. In addition to relaxing the entire body, Swedish massage can have the benefits of increasing oxygen levels in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving flexibility, easing tension, and promoting circulation.
When giving a Swedish massage, there are five main steps.
Start with sliding and gliding motions and long sweeping strokes to soothe the muscles. Alternate between both firm and light pressures to break the tension of muscles and eliminate knots.
Knead the muscles for deeper massage penetration. Use thumbs and knuckles to knead your partner’s muscles and prepare their body for other techniques.
Use rhythmic tapping. Tap the sides of your cupped hands on your partner’s muscles. This will help to relax, loosen, and energize the muscles.
Rub your partner with the palms of your hands for friction. This technique will create heat and relax the muscles.
Use vibration and shaking techniques. Utilize your fingertips or the heel of your hand to shake your partner’s skin and muscle areas. Use a back and forth motion. This will loosen their muscles.
These are the best easy massage techniques to use at home to help your partner relax. Be sure to be careful and gentle when giving back massages and encourage communication to be sure that your partner is having the massage of their life and will thoroughly enjoy the relaxation you provide.