One thing our new socially distanced way of living has done is make some clients rethink getting a massage, or still get a massage but space out the time in-between appointments longer. Do you know how to give a good massage? Giving an at-home massage is not that hard. Here are some tips to help you out.
First remember, Presentation MATTERS
You can create a five star ambiance for your partner right in your own home. It’s all about your presentation. Set up in a quiet and cozy space in your home or if you’re surrounded by nature take your massage outside. With the right lighting, scents, temperature and calming music you can create your own home zen den that has the ambiance of the Ritz :) Be creative and have fun with creating your home spa ambiance.
Pick the right massage oil or lotion
You will want something with a little glide but also not super greasy. Sweet almond oil is a great oil and you can purchase at any local health food store or amazon. Lavender is a great essential oil to blend into your body oil for relaxation.
Use firm pressure, but not hard
People get confused about pressure in two opposite ways. If your partner is smaller than you, you may have a tendency to use very light pressure. This is okay to a point (you probably won’t hurt anyone), but can be a little frustrating if your partner is tense or sore or, even worse, ticklish. On the other side are the people who come from the “no pain, no gain” school of massage. Don’t buy into this myth! Massage should be pleasant. If your partner has to tense their muscles and clench their jaw in order to get through, it’s not helping.
There are absolutely occasions where someone might want a fast-paced, vigorous massage. But unless your partner is getting warmed up for a race or break dancing competition, this is probably not one of them. Take your time.
Practice good body mechanics
If massage shouldn’t be painful for your partner, it also shouldn’t be painful for you. If you are hunched over, if your wrists are bent at an awkward angle, if you are using your thumbs or fingers in ways they weren’t designed to work, you will end up regretting the day you ever offered to give a massage. Use bigger muscles in place of small ones whenever you can: use your back to provide pressure instead of your arms, and your arms instead of your fingers. When you move to a new part of your partner’s body, adjust your entire position, not just your hand placement.
Really, you probably don’t need to talk to a massage therapist to learn that open communication between you and your partner is key to anything you undertake together. But it’s especially true in a situation like a massage, where one of you is more vulnerable than the other. As the massage giver, it’s important that you check in regularly: How does this feel? Would you like more or less pressure?
Learn from the pros
As with any skill, one of the best ways to learn to give a massage is by watching the people who are already great at it. Getting regular professional massage (hello again!) and taking a couples massage class are both helpful. YouTube is a fantastic source of tutorials for beginners. You can search for a style like Swedish Massage to get you started with some basic techniques.
If you can give a caring, relaxing massage without hurting your partner or yourself, you’re way ahead of the curve on this one. Taking the time to gift your partner your time, massage, and sharing a time with them with the full intention of making them feel better with massage is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. Nurturing the wellbeing of your partner's mind, body, and spirit is a beautiful gift.
PS: We're putting the final touches on our new Couples Massage room so if you would rather leave the massage work to us...we're always here for you!