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Beginner’s Guide to Giving a Massage

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this article is aimed at giving a few pointers for those of you that would love to give your partner a massage, but just don’t know how, or you just get too tired after 10 minutes.

  1. Use your body weight for pressure
  2. Form straight lines of force
  3. Applying oils
  4. Pay attention to what you feel

Use Your Body Weight for Pressure:
The biggest secret to performing a massage for longer than 5 minutes is to use the weight of your own body to provide the pressure instead of using your hands and fingers. The key is to lean up over the person’s body and lean down on top of your arms. If we used our hands and fingers to do the work, we couldn’t make it 10 minutes either! It is much easier to just lean over more instead of using more brute force.

Form Straight Lines of Force
So now you are leaning up over your massagee, but now what. It is still possible to use arm strength even though you are in the right position. The key here is to keep your arms straight into your body such that you are still using your body weight to do the work. If you are applying pressure from your finger tips, keep your fingers in line with your hand, wrist, and arm so that all of the weight is distributed onto your subject. This will also ensure you do not injure yourself.

Applying Oils
Choosing the right oils can be tricky enough, but it may be all for nought if you don’t apply them properly. Oil should be applied a drop or two at a time. It is better to have too little than too much! Everyone’s skin is different and may require vastly different amounts than the next person.

Pay Attention to What You Feel
So now you’ve got the right position and form, you could probably do this all day. But just being able to massage as long as you like is only part of the battle. It is critical that you pay close attention to what you are feeling, what to watch out for, and what to downright avoid. It is possible to injur someone while giving a massage, and we’re pretty sure that’s not what you want. As a general rule of thumb, do not apply direct pressure to the spine or rib heads. It is good to work muscles off of the spine, but never apply direct pressure to any bony processes of the spine itself. The rib heads are located generally 3-4 inches to the left and right of the spine. When these rib heads are out of place (which is common) the rib head may protrude and feel like a knot. Although it might feel like a knot, it is actually part of a bone. You may do more harm than good trying to massage this “knot”. You may try applying minor lateral force to the rib head (push away from the spine, softly) while rocking the rib cage. Other than this, it is best to leave this “knot” alone and let a professional handle it.

If you found this article helpful or have any questions, please leave a comment.

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