OK, it’s date night, why not try some basic massage strokes to help relieve both your body and your mind. Just grab a bottle of massage oil, or your favorite lotion, and enjoy some together-time pampering each other.
These are three basic massage techniques. Not only are they great for your partners body but they’re easy on the hands, and the wrists, helping you stay relaxed as well. The different strokes and techniques are each effective on different areas of the body. Gentle strokes are used to begin and help relax the superficial (outer) muscles, well more vigorous, stronger strokes help to stimulate the deeper muscles.
Effleurage is the most gentle of the three strokes. It is mainly used to begin the massage and is designed to sensitize your partner and prepare the body for later, deeper strokes. It is particularly effective on the face, scalp and neck.
Place your hands on your partner’s cheeks, fingers facing downward, and then stroke, gently, towards the ears. Use just enough pressure to maintain contact with the skin. Maintain the same contact and pressure, and repeat the stroke on different parts of the body. The face, scalp, down the neck and continue down the body, until the person is completely relaxed and at ease.
This is the most effective and stimulating way to ease both you and your partner. If you are methodical and concentrate hard enough (meditate) during this portion of the massage it may be all that your partner and you need to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Circling is a medium pressure stroke that helps to stimulate the deeper muscle tissue. This stroke is a bit more taxing on the arms of the massager (if you are the one that gives the massage make sure you also stay relaxed and flexible). A couple’s massage is supposed to be relaxing for both involved, if it anytime your body feels uncomfortable giving a massage speak up to your partner, you may need to try a different stroke or pressure to ease the work of your hands and arms.
A few inches apart, place both of your hands on your partner. Use a wide circular movement and press upward, into the stroke. Then, using the same pressure, glide back down as you make the circle. Your arms will cross, just lift one hand over the other and continue on. As you complete the stroke be aware of the pressure, try to keep it even through the entire circular movement.
This stroke is best used on the larger parts of the body including the back, upper and lower abdomen, buttocks and thighs. (Added bonus: when used directly over the stomach it aids in digestion).
The most well-known stroke of massage used to stimulate the deeper muscles. This technique is best used on the extremities and joint areas including the arms, calves and shoulders. When carrying out massage the best practice to adhere to is- if you do not feel comfortable doing it, change your technique. You should not be straining or stressing your own muscles and joints in order to relieve another person. It may be beneficial to try a different position or stroke.
To knead your partner, place both hands on the area to be massaged with your fingers pointing away from you. Just like when kneading dough, press into the body with the palm of one hand. Pick up the flesh between your thumb and fingers and press it towards the resting hand, and release. Repeat with the other hand, switching back and forth, slowly move from area to area.
Now you know three basic massage strokes! Grab your partner, a bottle of wine and plan a DIY spa date night. Experiment and see which strokes you like best. You could even add in a little aromatherapy to not only stimulate the body, but relax and calm the mind too.
Your turn! If there are any tips and advice you would like to share about basic massage, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you’ve got!
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