Please keep in mind that the massage you give should be for nothing more than comfort, and you should never try to use whatever skills you learn to give a massage as if you were a licensed massage therapist.
There are ethical and legal reasons why a license is needed to practice massage therapy, so make sure you only want to give a little comfort and perhaps wash away the stresses of the day for someone you love. Many couples learn how to give a massage so that they can do this for each other.
The first step in learning how to give a massage is creating the right atmosphere. Giving a massage in the middle of the living room with six kids running around in circles is not going to do the trick. Find a very comfortable, quiet place. Turn down bright lights, and if you want to light candles, be sure they’re set in a safe place. You can use massage oils, though some people prefer baby oil-that works just fine, too. If you have some soothing music to play, go ahead and use it. The floor is an ideal place for a massage – make a comfortable spot with blankets beneath. Some beds will work, but not if they’re not quite firm. Be sure to protect your bedding and mattress if you use oils. If you can afford a professional massage table, even better.
When you are ready to start the massage, ask your loved one take off their top and lie down face-first. If you’re using oils, apply them first, but be careful not to use too much. You may even want to heat the oil first, but make sure it’s not so hot that it will burn the skin. Begin by rubbing the oil into the skin, using just enough so that your fingers and hands can move smoothly across the area.
When you learn how to give a massage, remember to use careful pressure so you don’t cause any damage. Use firm yet gentle movements. You can use your palms to press into the back along the sides of the spine to begin. You can then use your thumbs or fingers to press down lightly on the skin. Once you have pressed down, move your fingers in small circular motions to relax the muscles a bit. Do this all over the back, and then do it where your loved one may seem to have stiffness.
If you can’t find the stiff areas, ask if there are any spots that are troubling them. You will have greater success by using small strokes with light pressure all over the areas. Don’t put pressure directly on the spine. This is one key thing when you're learning how to give a massage.
You can then apply other strokes to your massage. You can use the heels of your hands to massage the muscles in a circular motion, and use the pads of your fingers to massage around the neck. Use stroking motions all over the area with gentle yet firm pressure, and remember to add a bit more oil if necessary.
For help with back and knee pain, as well as digestive discomfort, consider learning
which combines the use of massage and several essential oils that have been clinically tested and offer antiviral, antibacterial and anti-,inflammatory properties. Explains Victoria Anisman-Reiner on suite101.com: ”A person receiving raindrop lays facedown as oils are dropped up their back from a height of 6-12 inches. The oils are gently massaged in with the Lakota ‘feathering’ motion. After the essential oils have been applied, a towel soaked in hot water is applied to the back to drive the oils further into the body. Vitaflex, a foot reflexology technique, is used to apply the same oils to the spine reflexology points at the beginning of the raindrop.”
Learning how to give a massage is a process, so ask your loved one to let you know what works well and what they don’t like. This will give you a better idea of what you are doing right and what you should modify.