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How to Give a Great Massage and Promote Health and Relaxation

Updated on August 27, 2012

Do you know someone who is stressed? If you answered no, then please, share your secrets. The truth is, more than likely everyone knows someone who suffers from mild to extreme stress.

If you have a loved one or a friend that you feel could use a little relaxation, why not give them a massage? It costs little to nothing and it may be just what they need to find their escape from the stresses of life.

Even if you're not a massage therapist, you can still give someone a great massage like a pro and it's so easy to do.

Massage is good for a number of things. It promotes health, relaxation and can even create more intimate marriages. All you need to know is the right techniques to use in the right situations.

Use Massage As A Stress-Buster!

If you're wanting to help someone reduce stress through massage, first create a relaxing environment for the recipient.

  • Play soft music Remove any noise distractions and replace them with relaxing sounds such as trickling water from a fountain, soft music or a nature CD.
  • Use scent therapy Sit out sachets that have been scented with aromatic oils or burn scented candles.
  • Make the massage area comfortable Use a padded massage table or another comfortable surface that will make it easy for the recipient to relax. Place pillows and rolled towels nearby so they can adjust to their personal comfort.
  • Make the massage recipient feel comfortable as a person Respect the fact that most people will want privacy. Be courteous if they want to be covered. Although a bare back is best for massage, they will feel stressed even more if they feel self-conscious. Give them privacy while they remove clothing and allow them to lay down before entering the room. If they still feel self-conscious, give them a sheet to cover up with.

After they are situated, strike up a soft and casual conversation that is light-hearted and stress free. This will help loosen their nerves. Once they begin to relax, take a vibrating massager and/or massage tools and run them over their back and shoulders a few times to help loosen the muscles. If this is a very familiar person, such as a parent, a gentle back rub may work in the place of these.

Once the muscles are loosened up, begin the main massage. First gently rub their neck with one hand applying more and more pressure until you get a gentle kneading motion. Now, take your thumbs and gently work the neck muscles. Move slowly to the shoulders and down the spine using the same method. Then move to the sides and give soft karate chop like beats up and down. Now, follow the kneading motion with fingertips working your way again to the middle of the back (the spine) and down to the lower back. Apply firm pressure just above the hips and work the back in a circular motion. Process may be repeated as necessary. A good massage lasts about 30 minutes to an hour.

Use Massage For Health!

If you wanting to help someone improve their health, massage is a great way to do it! Follow the steps above for a relaxing massage but add a few more techniques. It is important to bare the back for this massage, for reasons that I'll share in a moment. If you are really comfortable with the person to whom you are giving the massage, it may be a good idea to work the buttocks, thighs, calves and feet as well. This type of massage usually works best with people that you are more familiar with or in a setting where they'll feel like they are receiving a health treatment. (Such as a private room that has been set up for this purpose only at a health store). Whatever the case, give the person coverage for private areas with paper sheets.

  • Begin with a gentle back rub As you begin this particular massage, may help to use a little oil or lotion. Make sure the oil or lotion is warm but not too hot. Aromatherapy oils or lotions will add to the benefits. First, gently rub the back feeling for any hard places or knots. This is why a bare back is necessary. If you find a knot, gently begin working it out applying increasing and steady pressure. This may be painful for the recipient, so explain that you are helping to release toxins and kinks and remind them that this will ultimately improve their health. If the pain gets to be too much, lighten the pressure slightly but continue working. Try to work these spots until the knot goes away and the pain is gone.
  • Begin the main massage After working the knots, begin the massage using the sames methods as above. Listen for grunts and groans that may be expressing pain. Although you don't want to hurt the recipient, these are signs of areas that need worked out. Pay extra attention to these spots. If you are working the hips and legs, use the kneading motion putting the most pressure on the palms and the thumbs. Don't forget to check for knots and painful areas here as well.
  • Repeat therapy Once this type of massage is started, it's a good idea to do a series of similar massages tho continue the benefit and remove toxins. Once or twice a week at least would be a good idea.
  • Encourage them to drink to their health It may sound strange, but when you're massaging for health, you should encourage the recipient to drink lots of water, and get a lot of fiber. An herbal laxative may also be beneficial. The helps to flush the released toxins out of the system. The recipient may feel slightly ill or excessively tired at the beginning of treatment. This is both completely normal and a good sign. This shows that the toxins are moving out. This should go away after a few treatments.

Massage and Marriage

Don't worry, I'm not going to say anything inappropriate.

The techniques above can be used to help enhance a marriage as well. Help your spouse relax with the relaxation techniques or better their health with the health massage. This can be a way to enjoy each other's company and set the mood for romance. Some tips to try...

  • Light scented candles
  • Play soft music
  • Use scented massage oil
  • Use a misting fountain
  • Take a relaxing bath before or after the massage

Whether you are giving a relaxation or health massage to your spouse, gentle kisses and sweet talk will help them to relax even more. Tell them how special they are and of your desire to make them happy and healthy. This will probably spoil them, and they will want more of it. Be happy to oblige as this will help to keep you close. Ask your spouse to return the favor as well and you'll receive dual benefits!

Babies Love Massage Too!

Even babies can enjoy the benefits of massage. This may even reduce fussiness and help promote sleep. To massage a baby, first give him a warm bath. After his bath, get lavender-scented baby lotion and gently massage it into his skin for about five minutes. Put on some comfy jammies and he'll soon be out like a light!

More On Massage

There are also many other types of beneficial massage such as scalp massage, facial massage, and reflexology. Many of these techniques you will be able to perform on yourself. For more information on reflexology, click here.


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