Massage is one of the most pleasurable, comforting experiences for anyone and it can be just as pleasant to give a massage to a spouse, a friend or your partner as it is to receive one.
It can also be beneficial to someone who’s undergoing a stressful period or perhaps is feeling discomfort because, done properly, massage reduces tension in the muscles, alleviates sore, painful joints and encourages good circulation.
When to offer a full body massage?
A full body massage is excellent for anyone because of the following reasons:
- A good massage helps with lymphatic drainage, so getting rid of nasty toxins in the body
- A good massage promotes feelings of well-being, lifting spirits and boosting positive emotion
- A good massage helps to encourage relaxation and aid restful sleep
- Massaging a loved one helps you both to feel closer together
- Massage is excellent for soothing tired, aching muscles
- Massage helps to loosen up knots in the back, neck, and shoulders
If you want to give someone you love a massage or perhaps you want to help a friend get out of pain or experience a relaxing treatment, then you’ll need to arm yourself with some useful tools:
What will you need?
- A quiet, warm room with dim light where you won’t be interrupted
- A relatively hard surface (a massage bed or regular bed will suffice)
- Soft, fluffy, clean towels
- A pillow
- A sheet
- Essential oils such as lavender (for relaxation), mint (for rejuvenation) or geranium (uplifting and good for encouraging circulation) or Hinoki (energizing)
- A candle (optional, but great for good mood!)
- Soft music
Prepare your room, dim the lights, prepare the bed area and light the candle. You can also put on some soft, relaxing music. Start by asking the person to undress down to their pants or knickers, allow them time to do this and let them climb onto the bed, lying down on their back.
Make sure the room is warm enough. Put a pillow under their head and underneath their knees, for support. Make sure they are comfortable.
How to give a full body massage
Start by pouring a little essential oil into your hands and rubbing it gently. Top up when you need to throughout the massage.
Start with their head. Gently massage the scalp using firm, circular motions with your fingers and move your hands gently over the top of their scalp, down the back of the head and into the nape of the neck. Work the base of the skull using circular motions up the back of the neck until you reach the hairline.
Then return your fingers back downwards and repeat a few times.
Then move onto the shoulder area. This is good for removing fatigue and tension. Squeeze the trapezius muscle very gently (this is at the base of the neck) and work for your hands slowly outward toward the shoulders. Then, place your hands on either side of the shoulders and roll your hands backward and forwards, applying pressure.
Repeat this a few times, increasing the pressure. Work inward toward the spine, applying pressure using your thumbs, then move back outward and repeat a few times.
It’s now time to move to the upper back muscles. Turn the head to one side and massage one side of the neck and then gently move the head to the other side, repeating the message on the other side.
Now it’s time to move to the hands and arm. Use your thumbs and press firmly while massaging the palms. Press into the palm and use pressure moving outward towards the side of the hand. Then move onto the arms and use long, smooth strokes using fingers and palms from the wrist to the shoulder. The strokes should move upwards. Repeat a few times and move over to the other side’s hand and arm.
Move down to the feet and the legs. Pay attention to feet as they work hard every day, often aching at the end of the day! Use firm pressure with your thumb on the arches and ball of the foot. Stroke the top of the foot with your thumb using long, slow and firm movements from the tips of the toes to the ankle.
Then repeat a few times, lightening the pressure. Repeat underneath the foot. Then, it’s time to rotate the ankle gently back and forth. Turn the foot slowly at the ankle in each direction a few times. This reduces stiffness.
Then, pull each toe gently sliding your fingers in between each toe. Finish by sliding your five fingers in between the five toes and moving them backward and forwards, gently but firmly. Repeat a few times. Change over to the other foot and repeat steps above.
Then move onto the legs. Using firm strokes, massage upwards from ankle to knee and then from knee to thigh. Slide your hands over the shins and work your way up and down the lower leg using your thumb to knead. Then move onto the thigh and press the flesh using your palms, one palm moving outward, while the other moves inward.
Finish with firm strokes moving upward to encourage circulation. Repeat on the other side.
It’s time for your recipient to move onto their back and for you to focus on the big muscles either side of the spine.
Using smooth, rhythmic strokes, apply pressure with both hands and move upward from the lower back all the way up to the base of the neck.
Then change the pressure to circular movements using your thumb and fingers down to the lower back. Repeat a few times. Move down to the back of the legs and apply long, smooth, strokes from the ankles up to the top of the thigh. Make sure the strokes move upwards to encourage circulation. Press the flesh of the thighs using your palm and again, move one palm outward while the other moves inward.
FINISHING THE MASSAGE
Finish the massage with very light movements from the top of the shoulder right down to the base of the foot, reducing pressure until it feels like a feather. Leave your recipient for a few minutes, allowing them to acclimatize.