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Four Tips To Giving a Great Massage

Updated on February 5, 2018
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Alex has taught at two public schools, been accepted into two honorary societies, and traveled the Americas and Europe.

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One: Be Receptive

One: Be Receptive

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Being receptive to the body language of the person whom you are massaging is essential. Being aware of a person's body language and responding to it appropriately is not only important when giving a massage, but it is also pertinent within many areas of life (such as in romantic relationships and childcare). That all being stated; pay attention to the person who you are massaging. No two people have the exact same body at any given time. Some people want to be massaged in a rough way in certain bodily centers, whereas many people experience pain when a spot is massaged with too much strength applied. Remember that the goal is to make the individual feel like royalty and to forget their worries momentarily, and not to hurt them. When experimenting with a new body for any reason, there will sometimes be bad action. Don't let accidents bother you. These are learning experiences that we all have to go through. As you learn your new massagee's body, you will most definitely make some mistakes. The goal is not to massage perfectly the first time, but to improve constantly as you learn the person's body. As in any part of life, focusing on what you did wrong will only make things worse. In fact, if you focus on the negative, then you are more likely to make bad decisions again. Instead, note what the person does not like, and make efforts to replicate what the person clearly does like. Although this may seem like common sense, many may be surprised how often such details are overlooked by the masses.

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Two: Their Pleasure

Two: Their Pleasure

The reason one needs to be giving a massage is for their pleasure and not your own. This is not only important for married couples to keep in mind, but also for close platonic relationships too. If you need to put yourself at some discomfort in order that you may comfort your massagee; then, I think you know what you should do. Of course, you should never do anything that would cause serious pain to yourself. You should be weary of things like your own spine and lungs. That doesn't mean, however, that you cannot take some pains if this is to make the person whom you are massaging to temporarily feel like a divinity. Basically, you need to find a balance between being selfless and being selfish. Either of these things as absolutes are bad. Life always begs for equilibrium, and with practice you will be able to apply this philosophy when you are giving someone a massage. Remember that anyone can give a massage, but people remember a great massage!

Three: Ask Permission

Three: Ask Permission

Always find multiple ways of asking for permission whenever doing anything with a new massagee's body. The more familiar you are with an individual, the more you should know how much permission to ask and how to ask it. Sometimes it is necessary to ask for permission with verbal and bodily cues, and sometimes only body language is needed. If you want to be great at giving massages, then you need to know how to read people and how a person might be reading you. Some people will not want their feet massaged; whereas, some people (myself included) love a well-given foot massage. It's very common for some people, especially females, to not want their feet nor their belly touched. You have to respect what an individual wants and does not want in order to make that individual feel good. Making a person feel good is, after all, the goal to giving a wonderful massage. One should also be aware that some people have ticklish ears. Earlobe massaging can give great stress relief and relaxation to many people, and physical discomfort in many others. All of these reasons, and more, are why you need to find ways of communicating "can I?" and perceiving "yes, but be careful", "no way", "of course!", and so on. You never want to be rubbing a person's sore spot, nor rub off makeup that someone just spent the last hour applying. Communication is key in many an area of life, but it is a crucial consideration when giving an awesome massage!

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Four: Recognize Norms

Four: Recognize Norms

Although it is impossible to know a brand new massagee's body without personal experimentation, one can posit educated guesses. Generalizing people is not a preferred application when interacting with familiar individuals, but it is sometimes helpful when getting to know unexplored territories. It is key to be extra gentle when we begin massaging a person for the first time. The softest of touches not only saves us from potentially causing unwanted pain and/or discomfort in this unfamiliar's body, but it can be a wonderful way to communicate that we are worthy of this person's trust. How does all of this relate to generalization? It is quite common for individuals to be sensitive in even the more common massage areas. Feet and shoulders will hurt with too much pressure for a lot of people, young and elderly. Earlobes and palms are usually safer places to give more pressure, but heels and calves can be more prone to easily being hurt. All of this considered; one should be especially gentle when massaging someone's heels, calves, or shoulders for the first time. Another regularity that is frequent in a number of massagees is the desire to have the "knots" just below the neck kneaded. When done correctly, such kneading can cause waves of relief to a person. We can usually presume that our male or female recipient will want this portion of the upper back attended to. We may also note that a great quantity of individuals, especially young women, are tickling in the pits of the arms and around the sides of the rib cage. It is therefore advisable not to massage near these locations when beginning to massage a body that we are not yet well-tuned to. One should never rely on assumptions, even educated ones. However, when confronted with new individuals to massage, making such generalizations can provide critical aid especially when little more detailed context is given.

© 2017 Alexander James Guckenberger

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