For the beginner, giving a massage may seem a daunting task. There are few courses in schools on this subject, and it takes years of training to become a masseuse. Giving an amateur massage may sometimes harm more than help. Fortunately, the following tips can help you give a massage that will comfort and thoroughly relieve your partner:
Acquire a Feel for Muscles
You can’t give a proper massage until you know what you are massaging. Take a look at some anatomy books. Note the layout of muscles, tendons, and bone in the affected area. Then plan your massage accordingly. Knead around bones with your hands. Massage tendons and muscles directly, but be careful not to push tendons too roughly. If you are massaging the back, always be sure to knead around the spine. Pushing directly on the bone will hurt your partner.
Use a Firm Grip
A common complaint from beginners is that their hands cannot knead for more than a few moments. If this is a problem, you are kneading the wrong way. Face your partner with your hands palm-down on their skin. Apply light pressure with your fingers to anchor them in place, they begin to press and circle with your thumbs. This technique does not require too much muscle movement in hands, because hands are almost resting on the skin. You will be able to apply as much pressure as you like using this technique.
Vary Your Hand Positions
You can massage with many different parts of your hands, and with varying degrees of pressure. A good hand position beside the spreadeagled position mentioned in Tip #2 is the knuckle position. Make a fist with your hand, and then press firmly into the area with the top of your index knuckle. Other relaxing moves include placing hands palm-down on the affected area and simply pressing and pulling them towards you, pressing and alternating tips of fingers into the skin, and turning hands on their sides and drumming in an alternating pattern across an area. (Think Swedish Spa Technique.)
Experiment with Oils and Lotions
Certain oils and lotions can create an incredibly relaxed atmosphere. Pour a small amount of oil or lotion into your hand, and make sure that your palm and the bottoms of your fingers are completely covered. Then slide your fingers into position and knead in circles. The good news about using a lotion or oil is the gliding motion you’ll be able to use. That bad news is that used in quantity, it can simply make the skin slippery. Use it in moderation!
Talk to Your Partner
One of the best ways to learn how to massage is to ask your partner for feedback. Try as many hand positions and as much pressure as you like, then ask them what they think. Have them guide your hands over the massage area and tell you where they would like pressure. This is perhaps the best technique for the beginning masseuse, because it can lead to expert massages in no time.