This years tips are simple ideas to give your sweetheart a massage that they’ll love. I can tell you that the best sessions I’ve ever done felt like they were being directed by a higher force when in reality it’s a combination of a plan, experience, purpose and intention. When those things come together the technique of it is a minor detail.
1. Set the intention
Massage is an opportunity to give and nourish. The time before the session is important, almost a little prayer for what you’ll be doing. Know that you are going to care for someone, you’ll be present, and listening to them speak and their body speak.
2. Work on purpose
When I teach professional classes, I constantly ask my students to explain what they are doing. Each stroke and move should have a purpose. Take nothing for granted and move with the grace and dignity of an elephant following it’s calf along to keep it safe. Slowly, patiently and attentively. When working with someone as intimately as massage the recipient is in kind of a vulnerable position and that allowance is a gift to the therapist.
3. Have a plan
Finally, talk to your partner and ask what they like. You are doing it for them after all so it’s nice to ask as many questions as you can. What do they like? What do they want? Comsider your plan as moving from distal to proximal. A nice starting place is the hands or feet then work inwardly. Spend plenty of time on the shoulders.Another great plan is working on the back then finishing with the next.
+Protip: Neck work
The Steve Maneuver:
I learned this from Steve Wemple one of our senior therapists at Bodywork Professionals. When working on a neck reach all the way across the neck with your hand. It’s ok for the person to turn their head into the direction your are working. That slack makes for soft gentle musculature and allows you wonderful access to the neck muscles. The neck can be a particularly vulnerable place so some softness is appreciated.
So many headaches come from the base of the neck. Create a wall with your 4 fingers and and get them right at the base of the neck. Create a wedge or pivot right at the base of the neck. Don’t push too hard but separating the top and bottom halves feels euphoric.Reach your hand to the other side of the persons neck for easy and pleasant neck work Occipital release: Lean your clients head toward the direction your working. The slack in the muscle allows you to access deeper levels comfortably.