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How To Give The Best Massages

Have you ever wondered how to give a good massage? It can be a bit intimidating, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be that scary. Everyone has their way of doing things when it comes to massaging someone else, as long as you’re not hurting them. However, if you’ve never given a massage before, then reading this article is for you too!

This blog will teach you everything you need to know about giving a good massage. The tips here may seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you take your time and follow the instructions step by step, then you should be good to go. Let’s get started!

What Is A Massage?

A massage is known as the art and practice of releasing tension in the muscles of the body, using the actions of rubbing and kneading the body using hands. If you go to a trained professional massage therapist, they will apply strongly gentle pressure to the joints and muscles. This will ease any pain or discomfort you have, this can even help with prior injuries you’ve had where the pain has never fully disappeared. There are many different types of massage that all help with different aspects of the body. Here are some of them:

Swedish Massage

This is described as a very therapeutic massage type for most people, it is a delicate full-body massage experience to relieve tired muscles and get rid of muscle knots. Swedish massage techniques will usually last around an hour to 90 minutes. If you are new to massages and want a gentler approach, to begin with, this is perfect for you! A massage therapist will typically use a combination of kneading, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart, tapping to increase vibration, joint movements and circular motions that go deep throughout the body.

Hot Stones Massage-

A hot stone massage is usually desired by people who want to ease muscle tension whilst using gentle motions for deep relaxation, a similar technique to a Swedish massage. Again, this is also beneficial for tight muscles. The added element of the hot stones help improve blood circulation, relieve muscular tension, and create a deep sense of relaxation. The hot stones are placed on a variety of areas located on the body in combination with Swedish massage techniques. 90 minutes is the usual allocated time for this type of massage.

Sports Massage-

As mentioned previously, a massage for injury-related pain that you get from athletic activities and sports is extremely beneficial. Prevention of any further injuries is almost always guaranteed when getting one of these massages too. In a summary, a massage to help with sport-related injuries can relieve pain from broken muscle tissue, reduce feelings of anxiety and increase flexibility and improve performance in athletic activities. A full body massage is usually performed along with specific parts of the body where injuries lie. Like the majority of massages, this also lasts around 90 minutes.

How To Give A Massage

massage table in a spa room

Step one is to find a massage table. If you’re going to give someone a massage, they will want to be able to lie on their back comfortably. They might also want the table raised off the floor so it is easier for them to get in and out of the position. It can be helpful if your massage table has armrests so it will be easier for you or your client to hold onto them during the massage.

red speakers on white background

Next, before anything else, you can choose to have some music on or some kind of background noise that won’t distract from what you are doing. This can make it more relaxing for your client and help them focus on feeling good rather than focusing on the noise around them.

hands under running water in sink

When you first start, ensure that your hands are warm by running them under warm water first! You want the temperature of your hands to be similar to the temperature of your clients’ skin (between 37 degrees Celcius and 38 degrees Celcius). Or even better, use an ice pack in between each session!

Next, decide what type of massage you want to give based on their needs. There are many types of massages such as Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, sports massage and aromatherapy massages among others!

 Basic Massage Techniques

Before you can start giving a good massage, you will need to know what goes into a basic massage. When giving a basic massage, you must use your hands and arms to provide medium pressure on the muscles that are affecting the target person. You should also make sure that your target person is relaxed before proceeding. The two most common ways of doing this are breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques. A significant part of giving someone a massage is using your hands to work the muscles in the back, the shoulders, the arms, the feet and the legs. You can opt to use massage oil too, the benefits of massage oil are the ability to retain moisture and protect the barrier of the skin. This offers a more relaxing approach to the massage and will make it easier to perform slow strokes and gentle strokes without the annoyance of friction due to firm pressure.

Learning the strokes is a key element to giving the best massage. A full body massage typically uses 4 stroke types.

  • Effleurage- Relaxes muscle tissue with smooth strokes, hands should glide over the surface of the entire body smoothly and steadily. 
  • Friction- This requires deeper movements from the hands and a steady pressure amount, this will cause soft tissues to rub against each other and increase improved circulation for joint pain. 
  • Petrissage- This typically involves rolling and squeezing of the muscles, which results in the loosening of muscle tension.
  • Tapotement- This is performed with the heels or sides of hands.

To begin the massage, you will want to knead the muscles of the back, arms and legs with the use of your fingers, heels and palms the hands. Firm pressure must be applied to increase circulation, without using the weight of your full body though as this may cause more pain to a person’s muscles or injury. When applying the pressure, there should be an indication of muscle movement under the skin. Then using slow motions with your hands, press into the muscles with medium and gentle pressure whilst rubbing upwards and downwards on different parts of the body. You can split the massage times by parts of the body. For example, if the massage lasts for 60 minutes, you can do 15 minutes on the neck, 20 on the shoulders and back, followed by 10 on the legs, 10 on the arms and five on the feet, you can extend the time to 90 minutes if you want to take your time.

Foot Massages

Foot massages are an underrated type of massage that not many people choose to have done often. It has practically the same benefits as a shoulder or back massage. With the improvement of circulation, muscle stimulation and reducing tension in areas of moderate pain and muscle aches. The great thing about a foot massage is that it’s considered a lot easier than a normal back massage. Here is a suggested, step-by-step method on how to massage feet with the highest quality of care.

foot massage on white background
  1. This is optional, but you can start off by applying a generous amount of lotion or oil to your hands, to increase the smoothness when massaging. Once you’ve applied the oil, you can rub it into the feet gently. 
  2. Then you can begin with a simple technique, place your hands around the front of the foot and rub your thumbs into the back of the foot in circular motions. Moving from the tip of the toe and moving towards the bottom of the ankle. This technique can be repeated and should last approximately 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Then, you can continue to hold the feet with both hands and move towards the bottom of the heel/ankle and massage in a downwards movement, again moving from the top of the toes to the bottom of the heel, repeat this around 3 times for the best results. 
  4. If you want to massage the toes, you can do so by pulling and sliding. Many licensed massage therapist use this technique in massage sessions. You can hold each toe one at a time, with the index finger and thumb and pull to stretch the muscles slightly.

Foot Care

Foot care is more crucial than most people think. If the feet are not taken care of properly, then they are susceptible to problems such as; verruca’s and ingrowing toenails. However, if you do find yourself suffering from these issues then you can always visit your local podiatrist. Podiatry treatments include treating fungal nails, cutting the nails, the removal of corns and the removal of ingrowing toenails.

Conclusion

Massages are more significant to the body than most people think. Something as simple as going to a massage therapist once a month or every 3 months could improve your quality of life. For example, massage therapy has been proven to control the blood pressure of women who suffer from slightly elevated blood pressure. If you suffer from any kind of joint pain or chronic pain this helps too. The fun aspect of massages is the day you can make out of them! You can choose to attend a couples massage with your significant other or you can go with family and friends! As for massaging other people, we hope this taught you some useful tips as a beginner or someone wanting to learn more!

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