Couples Massage

We live in a touch deprived society, and the most common place for some of us to receive touch is at home, from a partner, either from a hug, kiss, holding hands, etc. At the end of a long day, we come home from work mentally exhausted, maybe out shoulders are aching, maybe the new fitness routine we have started has caused some minor muscle aches and soreness and all we really want is a massage. You ask your partner and they're willing to help, but their hands get tired quickly, and you're left feeling a little bummed and still achy and sore.

Here are some fabulous techniques and movements you can do as a couple to help alleviate the stress of the day, and score some bonding time.

STOP! READ THIS FIRST!

Contraindications for Massage!

Certain people should not get massages, if you are uncertain call your doctor first. I'm serious! There are many medications and limitations from diseases and illnesses that prevent people from getting massages every day.

Here is a great reference of whether or not you should give or receive a massage.

https://www.massagetherapyreference.com/massage-contraindications/#relative-contraindications-to-massage

Sensitive areas to avoid:

Temples, front of neck, armpits, inner elbows, stomach, the entire spine, floating ribs(look it up!), backs of knees, kneecaps, bruises, cuts, new scars.

Using Your Hands

Try to keep your hands relaxed, drop all your fingers, make sure the joints in your fingers and wrists are all facing the same direction. Never overextend your palms or fingers, they should stay straight.

Effleurage

With a light oil or lotion, use these slow, gentle strokes,

with little to no pressure.

This is about initiating relaxation,

not proving how strong you are.

You can use the heel of your hand, fingertips, and full hand.

Feathering:

Using your fingertips, and applying gently apply the oil to the skin with long sweeping motions.

Gliding:

Using your full hands, move them parallel down either side of the spine, never work on the spine.

Chasing:

Move one hand in a long stroke and follow it with the other hand.

Using Your Forearms

Its perfectly acceptable to use your forearms, in fact, it can help you give a longer massage! Let your arms to the work!

Make sure you don't have too much oil applied to the skin, you don't want to slip and cause an injury.

Drop your hand, relax your wrist, do not use your elbow. You're probably not ready for that, unless you know all the specific area of a human body that are dangerous to massage or apply too much pressure to.

Petrissage

Typical rhythm is 1 stroke per second, Speed up for thinner tissue, slow down for thicker or more "dense" tissue.

Try to keep your fingers together and use them as one large surface to scoop the tissues. ​

Kneading

the oil is distributed to the area, start to slowly pick up the muscle under the skin. This shouldn't hurt. You're just lifting and warming up the tissue a little.

Compression

Here's where you can apply pressure if your partner wants it.

Set up a pain scale, typically 1-10, 10 being the most pain imaginable.

I highly recommend for non professionals to stay below a 6, 7 max.

Check in with them, "would you like me to go deeper or lighter?"

**Again, you aren't proving how strong you are, but how well you can make your partner feel.

You can use thumbs, finger pads, palm or heel of hand, knuckle of fist, or forearm.

Pincer:

Squeezing the tissue between your fingers and thumb to compress them. This can exhaust hands quickly!

General:

Gradually applying pressure by placing your thumb or whatever on an area and sloooooowly leaning into it. Back off immediately if its too much pressure, its easy to apply too much.

You can hold static pressure in an area for 10-90 seconds, ask on a pain scale of 1-10, ask every 20 seconds or so.

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© 2020 by Cheryl Fisher LMT Renew Massage mtrenew.com