Perfect Tips to Help You Nail Giving a Killer Massage ...

Laura

Perfect Tips to Help You Nail Giving a Killer Massage ...
Perfect Tips to Help You Nail Giving a Killer Massage ...

If you want to know how to give a massage, you're totally in the right place. A massage is a sensual experience but if you're going to be successful, and want to make your guy (or gal) melt, there are some techniques you should learn. Don't just start pummeling away or digging in your fingers 'cos more.com has shared the best massage tips. Get the baby oil ready!

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1

Benefits for Both

person, man, male, muscle, arm, Who would turn down a good massage? There aren't many things that are equal parts indulgent, relaxing, and good for you. In addition to releasing tension, a massage can help regulate blood pressure and boost your immune system, according to recent studies. And when done right, an at-home massage has serious chill-out benefits for both of you. So grab your partner and relax with our DIY guide.

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Rule 1: Don't Push so Hard

clothing, human positions, leg, thigh, mouth, Depending on your goal, there are times when you need a tiny bit of pain for gain (like when you're putting pressure on a knot). But in general you want to give firm enough pressure that you can feel the muscle move underneath the skin without making your partner grimace or squirm, says Ben Brown, a massage therapist at Bliss, a New York City spa.

3

Rule 2: Work Slowly

face, hair, nose, chin, forehead, Rubbing hard and fast will just irritate your partner's muscles. Instead, use slow, even strokes with the palms of your hands, thumbs, or finger pads (the fleshy part of your fingertips).

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When applying pressure, let it be gentle and build gradually. This approach allows the muscles to relax without resistance, leading to a deeper and more relaxing massage. Let your movements flow smoothly from one to the next. Keep in mind that the pace of your movements can signal either relaxation or invigoration. A massage that's meant to soothe should feature long, languorous strokes. It's all about creating an ambiance of total tranquility, where every touch whispers calmness and care to the body.

4

Rule 3: Avoid Bones and Joints

human action, human positions, sitting, leg, arm, Never push directly on the spine and be careful not to put too much pressure on muscles that run over the ribs and shoulder blades. If someone has thin muscle tissue, you can bruise bones by going too hard, says Tricia Pottratz, massage therapist and instructor in Woodland, Washington. Also be wary of knees, elbows, and shoulders.

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When massaging around bones and joints, it's essential to maintain a light touch. Pressure in these areas should be gentle and soothing, rather than deep and forceful, to prevent discomfort. The tissues here are more vulnerable and usually don't require the same level of intensity as muscular regions. Instead, use smooth, gliding strokes to promote relaxation and circulation. Managing the pressure appropriately ensures a blissful experience rather than an unintended trip to the chiropractor. Remember, the goal is to alleviate tension, not create more.

5

Watch and Learn: Basic Massage Techniques

Sometimes it's easier to learn by seeing the pros in action! Watch to master these basic rules for giving your partner a relaxing massage before moving on to individual body parts.

6

Shoulders

human positions, arm, leg, neck, photo shoot, The lower back may be the number one spot for injuries, but shoulders are where people carry most of their tension. Hunching over a computer screen all day long or carrying an overloaded bag can throw you out of alignment.

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Shoulders: How to do It

face, nose, chin, male, muscle, Most people know the basic shoulder massage move: Grab both shoulders from behind and use the thumbs to push down. Amateurs often mess this up by breaking rule number 2—they work too fast.

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Shoulders: How to do It

human action, person, toddler, human positions, product, If your hands get tired easily, use your forearms. Have your partner sit up while you stand behind him. Place your right forearm on his right shoulder, palm facing up. Rest your left hand on his left shoulder. Then use your body weight to press down on your forearm while rotating it in toward his neck. Repeat on the other side.

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For added relaxation, gently knead the shoulders as if handling dough, applying pressure in a rhythmic motion. This helps release any knots or tension that might be lurking beneath the surface. Don't forget to check in with your partner, ensuring the pressure isn't too firm or too gentle. As you work your way over the shoulders, whisper words of comfort or encouragement, enhancing the calming ambiance with verbal tenderness. Every so often, lightly stroke the shoulders with your fingertips, sending shivers of relaxation down their spine. Remember, a caring touch and attuned adjustments can transform a simple massage into a profound experience of well-being.

9

Shoulders: Pro Tip

skin, therapy, leg, ball, organ, An even easier way to work tight shoulders? Grab a tennis ball. "Simply roll the ball all over with the palm of your hand," Pottratz says. You can't mess it up this way. It saves your hands from doing all the work and it feels amazing.

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To enhance the experience, press the tennis ball against a wall with your shoulder, and gently roll it around. This allows you to control the pressure and target those hard-to-reach knots. For an extra level of self-care, try this after a warm shower when your muscles are relaxed. The heat helps to loosen tight fibers, making the tennis ball massage even more effective. And don't forget to breathe deeply; it's not just about physical relief, it's a holistic moment for mind-body rejuvenation.

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Watch and Learn: Shoulders

See our shoulder massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

11

Lower Back

leg, thigh, arm, finger, muscle, Put your hands on your hips, says Gruver. Those two thick, stiff columns your thumbs land on are the muscles responsible for keeping you upright. They're made to be tight or else you'd fall over, but rubbing them can relax a painful lower back.

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When starting on the lower back, make sure your hands glide smoothly over the skin. Use firm, gentle pressure and wide strokes to work along the muscle columns. Visualize tension melting away under your touch. If your partner has been sitting all day, they’ll appreciate the relief this can bring. Remember to ask for feedback, ensuring the pressure is just right—not too hard to cause discomfort, and not too light to be ineffectual. Gradually, you can increase pressure, encouraging those tight muscles to let go of the day's stresses. This part of the massage can be deeply soothing, leaving your partner feeling refreshed and relaxed.

12

Lower Back: How to do It

face, leg, skin, arm, therapy, While straddling him, position one hand on his lower back muscle, with fingers pointing away from his spine. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Use your body weight to push down slowly, pressing the heels of your hands into the muscle like you're pushing it away from his spine. Try one hand on either side of the spine; rock back and forth. If he has trouble lying on his stomach, place a pillow under his hips to ease the pressure.

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Watch and Learn: Lower Back

See our lower back massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

14

Neck

face, nose, chin, skin, muscle, Anything from how you sit at your computer to the way you sleep can lead to chronic neck pain, which is why so many people complain of tense and overstressed muscles in this spot.

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Neck: How to do It

human action, person, clothing, hairstyle, muscle, While he's on his stomach or sitting up, gently place your palm on the back of his neck, creating light pressure with your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other. Slowly pull your hand toward the back of the neck while squeezing your thumb and fingers together around those neck muscles. (Avoid pressure toward the front of the neck so you don't choke him.)

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Neck: Pro Tip

face, nose, chin, male, muscle, The neck has major arteries, so pressing too hard or holding too long could cause fainting. If you feel a pulse, ease up. Another red-flag spot is the indent behind the ear—pushing hard on it can trigger nerve damage or even facial paralysis, says Kathy Gruver, Ph.D., a massage therapist in Santa Barbara, California.

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Watch and Learn: Neck

See our neck massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

18

Head

hair, face, person, barechestedness, male, What is it about a salon hair wash that feels so fabulous? "You may not notice it, but every time you chew, talk, or raise your eyebrows, the muscles in your scalp are working, so rubbing them can be surprisingly relaxing," Gruver points out.

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Head: How to do It

human positions, footwear, sitting, leg, arm, Brace your thumbs near the top or back of his head and rotate your fingertips in small circles on the scalp, moving slowly from the forehead to the back of the head. "When you're done with the scalp, position your thumbs at the hairline in the middle of the forehead. From here you can use your fingers to rub the temples and also the jaw, which can get really tense," says Brown.

20

Watch and Learn: Head

See our head massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

21

Hands and Feet

finger, nail, arm, leg, hand, If you only have a few minutes, give your partner a hand or foot massage. Extremities really take a beating, and they deserve a little relief.

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Start by warming up some lotion or oil between your palms to enhance the sensation for your partner. Apply gentle pressure with your thumbs to the center of the palm and work your way to the fingers, kneading the webs and tips. Pay special attention to any calluses or sore spots, using circular motions to work them out. For the feet, focus on the arches and the balls, as these areas bear the most weight and tension. Finish with long strokes from the toes to the ankles to promote better circulation and leave them feeling thoroughly pampered.

22

Hands and Feet: How to do It

person, finger, male, leg, arm, Hold your partner's hand in both your hands, with your thumbs on top. Apply pressure to the meaty muscles in his palms with your finger pads and slowly pull down. Do the same to each finger, but don't pop the knuckles. Then take one foot in both hands so your thumbs are on the bottom of his foot. Squeeze and slide your hands from the ball to the heel. Criss-cross or circle the thumbs up and down the sole.

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As you transition to the fingers, use a gentle but firm grip to massage each one, working from the base to the tip as you coax the tension out. Pay special attention to the areas between the fingers, as tension can accumulate there. When focusing on the feet, don't forget the toes—gently pull and rotate each toe. It is not uncommon for tightness to hide in the small muscles here. After you've completed the sole, finish by using both hands to wrap around the foot, giving a harmonious and nurturing end to your touch.

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Watch and Learn: Hands

See our hand massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

24

Watch and Learn: Feet

See our foot massage techniques in action to master these relaxing moves.

***

Our feet do a lot of heavy lifting, supporting us throughout busy days, so indulging in a foot massage not only feels luxurious, but it's also a way to express gratitude to your hardworking soles. By following the video demonstration, you'll learn how to apply the perfect amount of pressure and master strokes that can alleviate tension. Remember, a rhythmic, gentle approach can soothe tired feet, while a more vigorous technique can re-energize. Practice makes perfect; with each attempt, you'll get closer to delivering a foot massage that's nothing short of sublime.

25

How to Get Rid of Knots

human action, person, man, male, muscle, When muscles are overworked, they shorten or get stuck in spasm, resulting in painful lumps. Often when people try to release knots, they push down hard and rub furiously. That just makes it feel worse, Pottratz says. Start with a soothing, total body massage first, using the techniques in the previous slides.

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Step 1: Press and Hold

face, nose, skin, arm, head, Find the lump and rub over and around it with firm, even pressure. Do some long, broad strokes down and up his back using your palms. Then, with a knuckle or thumb, press down on the knot and hold it. (Now is the time to push pretty hard, but take cues from your partner.) Have him breathe into it. Hold until you feel the muscle relax, but don't get discouraged if it doesn't release completely. Stubborn knots can take more than one massage to fix.

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Step 2: Cool down

face, muscle, arm, neck, sense, "Now you want to use light strokes to relax the tissues," Pottratz says. Go back to what you started with: long, broad, soothing strokes.

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Special Thanks

human action, person, human positions, sense, photo shoot, Special thanks to Denise Curtis, massage therapist at Bliss Spa in New York City, for demonstrating how to give a really, really great massage.

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