At-home massages are about to get a lot better – partly thanks to this blog, and partly due to our new chemical-free lavender sage massage oil.
We’ve all had to get really creative with our homes. Dining room tables are now desks, basements are home gyms, and bathrooms are personal hideouts. It brings up some interesting points about what we fill our homes with. For instance, how are the products we use everyday affecting our air quality? What about the cleaning products we use on our clothes, sheets, and kitchen surfaces? Indoor air quality (outside of mold testing) is a hot topic right now. We’ve also had to get pretty crafty and make up for all the appointments we’re missing out on, whether it’s a very necessary hair cut, or the monthly spa visit we always looked forward to.
If you can’t get an appointment with your favorite masseuse and have to resort to your partner for help, take a read through this article and maybe send it their way to learn all about how to give better massages at home.
Set the Scene
If you’ve ever visited a spa or had nice deep tissue massages, you know that 70% of it is all about the masseuse, but at least 30% (and it’s a very important 30%) is about the ambiance. If you’re in a stressful environment, your body tenses up and it can make massages painful. If you’re fully relaxed with your head on a pillow that smells like lavender and feels like a cloud, your massages will be ten times better. So before you start practicing your masseuse moves, help to create a soothing and relaxing environment with these tips:
- Turn the lights down: Turn off the lights and put your brain into rest mode. Leave a couple candles or a warm himalayan salt lamp for a romantic and relaxing ambiance.
- Aromatherapy is your friend: Light a candle or diffuse essential oil to help calm your mind and loosen your muscles. Lavender is known worldwide for its ability to help us calm down and relax.
- Sip some tea: A nice warm mug of tea is good for the soul. The moment it hits your lips, you know you’re not leaving the house again – it’s “me” time.
- Use a massage oil: A nice chemical-free massage oil can turn a good massage into a great massage. Massage oil helps to reduce friction on the skin so the hands can glide across the body. It leaves the skin feeling hydrated, smooth, and moisturized. And if you pick the right scent, like lavender and sage, it will help you to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
- Turn on some music: Sometimes having a good playlist can help take your mind away from your day to day stressors and help you immerse yourself in the experience. Just remember that your mind and body will sync to the beat of the music, so keep it slow and steady!
The best way to give a good massages is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think about how they spend their time and use their bodies throughout the day to find areas to target. For instance, if they are constantly sitting at the computer, their shoulders are probably tense. If they spend a good portion of their day on their feet, their legs are probably worn out and sore. If they are complaining about lower back pain, it can be caused by tight glutes, hips, and hamstrings, so you can focus there. If your partner has a particularly sore area that they need worked out, try applying a relaxing CBD cream first.
Most importantly, communicate with each other! It’s a nice gesture to give someone a massage, but when you’re not doing it quite right it can cause more harm than good. Keep the communication flowing to direct you to areas that feel the best.
In most cases, long, drawn-out strokes are better than short jabbing motions. This helps to loosen the muscles. After that, you can really go in with the palms of our hands, fingers, and even elbows to target smaller areas in kneading motions.
For the Back
Have your partner lay down flat on their stomach with their arms at their sides and head tilted to one side. A firm mattress or couch is best. Position yourself over them by straddling their back (on your knees) so you can use your bodyweight to apply pressure. Use a small amount of massage oil and spend about half a minute working on each section of muscle, using long strokes, from the base of the back to the shoulders. To target the lower back, use your knuckles to rub along either side of the spine or target the glutes, hips, and hamstrings as mentioned above. To massage the limbs, use long smooth strokes and avoid the bones and joints.
For the Neck and Shoulders
Start by warming a very small amount of chemical-free massage oil in your hands. Your massage partner can be laying in the same position as above or be seated in a chair. Begin to stroke the neck from top to bottom with both hands and apply pressure. Then, use your thumb to massage where the head meets the neck. Begin using your fingers to make small circles from the top of the neck, following it down and across the tops of the shoulders. Remember to check in with your partner to see how much pressure is comfortable and to see if there are specific areas that need a bit more work.
For Hands and Feet
Have your partner sit upright. Again, with a small amount of your chemical-free massage oil, have your partner lay their forearms out with the palms facing up. Begin to gently pull the fingers from the base to the fingertip. When massaging the entire hand, focus on the fleshy “pads” such as in between the thumb and index finger. With your thumb in their palm and the rest of our fingers on the top of the hand, make gentle circular motions. Be careful not to pinch or squeeze too hard, especially if your partner has arthritis or achy joints.
Similarly for the feet, begin by gently pulling the toes then begin massaging the sole of the foot with your thumbs. You can use your knuckles to apply more pressure along the arch of the foot if desired.
To end the massage, use long strokes along the back or limbs. Use a towel to pick up any excess oil and let them relax and soak in the endorphins! That is, if they are still awake. If you’re stuck at home for birthday, Valentine’s day, or any day where you’re feeling generous, nothing makes for a better gift than a nice massage and good night’s rest.