Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Are you looking for some simple massage techniques you can try at home? With the stresses and anxiety of everyday life, it is not uncommon to find yourself feeling tense and strained. Massage can help you to relax and feel good not just emotionally but physically and spiritually too. So, why is it we often think of massage as a treat and not part of our regular self-care routine? Is it because it usually costs money or because we believe it will take precious time out of our day. Whatever the reason, we want you to be able to treat yourself or your partner regularly to a feel-good, simple massage.
Always set the atmosphere
To show yourself or your partner that little bit of extra self-care, it is crucial to set the atmosphere. Just as you would if you were taking a luxurious, relaxing bath; this doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It can be as simple as drawing your curtains, lighting some candles, and turning off the light. You may want to play some soothing background music or diffuse some essential oils. However, it is essential to remove all distractions to allow you to concentrate fully on the massage and the feeling of relaxation.
Using massage oils
Massage can be made more enjoyable with the use of massage oils. Not only do they reduce friction and allow your hands to glide smoothly over the skin giving a more relaxing experience. But most, most usually have the extra benefit of introducing aromatherapy to the massage session, with specific scents such as lavender and chamomile adding to the feelings of tranquility. Have a look around and find a massage oil for you, there are many to choose from.
Easy self-massage and massage techniques
When using these techniques, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Don’t apply too much pressure. Begin lightly and build up to a pleasant and tolerable pressure.
- If you or your partner experience pain during the massage, stop and seek professional advice.
- Please don’t overdo it. Begin by massaging the area for just a few minutes. You can always build up the time as you become more experienced.
- Explore the muscles gently with your fingertips to find the tight spot in the area you want to massage.
- Always stretch the area afterward if possible.
To begin a head self-massage, place two fingers on your third eye (this is where the bridge of your nose and forehead meet). Gently apply pressure while moving your fingers in a small circular motion. You can close your eyes while doing this for added relief. Next, place your fingers at the top of your cheekbones, by your ears. Once again, apply light pressure while moving your fingers in a circular motion and close your eyes.
For a classic head massage, which you can do on yourself or a partner, begin by placing both hands on your head with your fingers applying light pressure to the skull. Then gently move your fingers in a circular motion through your hair and over your scalp. Once more, having your eyes closed during the massage can improve your relaxation. You could also add a scalp rub massage oil for an extra treat.
Start a neck self-massage by sitting upright. Place three fingers on the back of your neck, where your neck meets your shoulders. Then apply gentle pressure while moving your fingers in a small circular motion. You can close your eyes while doing this for added relaxation. After a minute or two, open your eyes and roll your shoulders forward and backward to ease the muscles.
When massaging a partner, they too can be sitting up. Begin by sliding your fingers up and down the sides of their neck to warm the muscles up. Next, using three fingers, gently massage where the head meets the neck (around the hairline area) using a small circular motion. You can do this along the hairline up to both sides’ ears before repeating the sliding of hands up and down the neck.
To continue massaging your partner’s neck, place your hands on their shoulders near to their neck. Applying gentle pressure, kneed your thumbs in a circular motion at the base of the neck. Use your fingers to stabilize your hands. If you feel any tension knots, work this area a little longer. Once you have finished, ask your partner to roll their head side to side and their shoulders forward and backward.
Shoulders often take the brunt of our stress, with tension and strain often leading to aching and pain. For shoulder self-massage, begin in a sitting position and place your right hand over your left shoulder. Using your fingers, massage your trapezius using a gentle squeezing motion, moving your fingers towards the base of your neck. For extra relaxation, close your eyes and enjoy the feeling of tension being released. Then repeat this on the other side using your left hand on your right shoulder.
When massaging the shoulders of a partner, get them to sit upright with their back to you. Place your hands in a c shape over their shoulders with your fingers and thumb facing downwards. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb and fingertips and roll the trapezius muscle up from both sides by gently squeezing and lifting. Do this for a few minutes, keeping to a gentle and soothing rhythm.
Next, place your hands near where the neck joins the shoulders before smoothing along the top of the shoulders out towards the arms while applying gentle pressure. Repeat the same movement, moving from the top of the arms toward the neck. Continue this technique for a few minutes until your partner is feeling relaxed.
Finally, you can massage the shoulder blades. Move your hands down the back, placing them flat with your thumbs near the scapula (this is the shoulder blades’ inner groove). From here, gently glide your thumbs over the flat of the shoulder blades in sweeping circles. It would be best to take care not to apply too much pressure as the scapula is surrounded by sensitive connective tissue. And ensure you keep away from the spine at all times.
Many jobs involve using our hands repetitively; this can cause aching and tension. So giving yourself a hand self-massage can do wonders to ease tightness in your hands at the end of a busy day. Face the palm of your left hand towards you with your thumb pointing upwards. Then make your right hand into a c shape and place it over the top of the left hand with the right thumb resting on the left palm.
Begin to apply gentle pressure to the heel of your left hand with your right thumb. Next, slowly work your way along the base of your left hand from your little finger to your thumb using circular motions. Follow this by gently holding the web of tissue connecting your left thumb and index finger and gently massaging it up and down. Moving around the hand, gently massage the base of each finger where it joins the palm. Use small circular motions for tension relief. Continue using these small circular movements as you move up each finger.
To finish, turn the hand over and gently rub side to side the back of your hand with your right thumb. Repeat with the whole process, on the other hand. When giving your partner a hand massage, you can follow the same techniques as above; remember to support their hand and wrist during the massage. You can even finish the massage by using some long sweeping strokes from their wrist to the tips of their fingers.
Easy foot massage techniques
One of the easiest ways to give yourself a foot massage is by using a tennis ball. Begin by sitting comfortably and removing your shoes and socks. Place the ball beneath one of your feet and apply gentle but firm pressure on the ball. Next, roll the ball backward and forwards along the length of your foot, starting at your toes and ending at your heels. If you come across an area holding tension as you are doing this, roll the ball in circles around this area to help relax it.
Follow this by using your thumbs to move around the base of the foot in small circular motions. Ensure you include the toes in this process. If your partner feels there is still tension held in their foot, you can apply a different type of pressure by making your hands into loose fists and using your knuckles to apply gentle pressure to the foot’s arch. You can end the massage using some long gentle strokes starting at the lower leg and ending at the toes for added relaxation.
Massage is believed to release impurities in the body, so it is always good to drink some water after trying any of these massage techniques. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will also help to flush out any impurities released. Remember, massage can be made more pleasurable and relaxing when using massage oils, so take a look around and find one suitable for you. And for more information on why self-care is so important, click here. Don’t forget we love to know how all our readers are getting on, so please tag us your pictures of you using the massage techniques above on Instagram @surrender_to_happiness.
Use At Your Own Risk: This blog is for informational purposes only. Consult a medical expert before performing any massage techniques, including the ones in this blog. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your partner, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this website. Any massage technique could result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any massage technique displayed on this website, you assume the responsibility and risk of any resulting injury.