Massage has been practiced in the East for millennia, but was introduced into Western Europe and America through the work of Per Hendrik Ling, who studied in China and then introduced the practices of massage into the west. It is a very intimate way to be in touch with your partner, and to help her as well. It is a skill that can be learned, and you can take courses, and attend seminars where you will be shown what to do. For a man on his own, he can practice on his own hands and feet, and partially even on his own shoulders, and discover how to do it properly so it can be available for a future partner.
Massage works through touch on the skin, and deeper pressure and kneading of the muscles beneath the skin. We all tense up our muscles when we are tense, and with many hours sitting at a computer, it is common for all the shoulder and neck muscles to become tense and hard. When we are on our feet all day the feet become stressed, and the wearing of heels only makes this worse. As a result so many of us come home in the evening with tense and stiff muscles, tired and swollen are sore feet, and a feeling of being out of sorts. If this happens day after day the muscles may remain tense and then joints get more difficult to move because of the tense muscles and this makes everything worse and can lead to chronic paid and discomfort.
It is possible to reduce these problems through a variety of methods of which massage is only one. Feet that are sore and swollen from being stood on all day benefit from being raised up, to allow excess fluid to drain away with the aid of gravity. This is what is happening when we put our feet up to relax them.
Muscles that are tense relax in a bath of warm water, so soaking the feet, or having a hot bath to relax both help if you are dehydrated or have drunk an inadequate amount of water during the day then muscles will complain.
Athletes often receive massage immediately after a match or a run to reduce the risk of cramps which may damage their muscles, and often require more specific massage therapy to keep them active and help keep joints mobile. This is usually done by professionals who know what they are doing.
Many people, more often women than men, go to professional masseurs for help with specific problems of strain and stiff muscles. Massage can help. If you have a partner with stiff shoulders or sore feet after standing then learning to massage these areas and help relax them will be seen as something of great value.
Touching some one and massaging them is such an intimate act. Massage can also be applied to other areas than the shoulders or feet, and become ever more intimate. A massage that gradually covers the whole body can include the breasts, buttocks, and thighs, and stroking and massaging these areas is so intimate and can be so pleasurable when done as your partner wishes it that it may often go on to more intimacy and full sex as a result. Of course it may relax your partner so much that all they are able to do is to sleep, leaving the massaging partner awake and aroused.
As in anything intimate, the rules that should apply are clear:
- You only do it if she wants it
- You only massage where she wants to be massaged
- You do it how she wants it to be done
- If she wants you to stop or to keep to one area only that is what you do.
The act of massage starts by setting up the right environment, where the person to be massaged can be comfortable and relaxed. This means finding somewhere to do it that is convenient and comfortable for them. You might want to give them a massage on the couch but if they cannot get comfortable or worry about the massage oil or cream getting on the fabric covering the couch they will not be happy.
They may want soft lights, and relaxing music, and need the person doing massage to keep quiet whilst they are doing it, to make sure they are not disturbed. They may even want to wear a travel blindfold so they are in the dark to allow them to relax further. Aromatic candles and pleasant odours may enhance the experience further.
One thing that is certain is that the person doing the massage needs to be fully mindful of the person they are massaging. They need to watch them to look out for signs that the massage is causing discomfort. They need to listen to instructions of what to do and where to press and how hard. They need to feel the effects of what they are doing and watch out for pressing too hard, causing discomfort, or increase in tenseness of the muscles.
You need to learn what to do. You can learn from books, for there are many which have pictures of “how to do it”. There are DVDs and videos on “how to do it“ sites as well. If your partner is used to seeing someone professional they may take you along so you can be trained on how to do it, or there are evening classes, seminars, and even residential classes to teach the various forms of massage.
Some things are common to all forms of massage.
- Position the part to be massaged so it is relaxed with the subject undressed so that area is clear of all clothing, and other parts are covered to prevent them getting cold
- Make sure the environment is right for the subject
- Know what part you are going to massage
- Make sure the surface is clean and the skin is not broken or any infection
- Find out in advance what oil or cream your partner wishes used
- Wash your hands and make sure they are not cold, and you do not have any buttons, zips or other things on you which will catch on them. Make sure that your nails are cut short so they do not scratch
- Now apply some of the oil or cream to your hands and warm it by rubbing your hands together so it is not cold when applied to the skin of your subject
- Lightly touch the skin area to be massaged to apply the oil or cream and gently rub it into the skin
You are ready to begin. Once you have applied the material to the skin your hands will be able to slide over the surface and not stick, so you should lightly rub them over the whole area to be covered. Once this is done check that your partner is still comfortable with what you are doing. Now start to push against the skin deeper to massage the muscles. Always massage along the length of each muscle group, so that you stretch it and do not cause pain by going against the run of fibers. You should increase the pressure you apply to the muscles according to what your subject says and desires from you.
You can reduce swelling by this method, and it is particularly useful in massaging the feet and lower leg. Once you have relaxed the muscles with the massage you should then start to move the joints to free them up so they can move more easily. For this you move them passively so the subject allows them to move and keeps their muscles relaxed. This allows you to freely move the shoulder blades in shoulder massage, which otherwise get fixed in position by tense muscles or to freely move all the joints in the feet when you are massaging that area. When you do move a joint always make sure that you are supporting it ,so the subject does not have to move a muscle of their own, and your support removes the effects of gravity.
Once you have finished massaging an area to the satisfaction of your partner you may ask if there is anywhere else they would like massaged, and then you need to clear anything you have used away, and to wipe the skin clean and ask if they would like a drink or anything else they might want, which might include a rest or a bath.
This is only a very superficial description of how to massage, so it is vital to find out how to do it properly, both from your partner and from all the other sources as well. Being able to massage feet or shoulders can be so useful to your partner, and is very intimate in its own right that you may both find it a good way to increase intimacy in your relationship. If the man is the person who is giving the massage it may be a good idea for his partner to give him a massage of the area she wants massaging, and show him how she wants it done. The motivation for learning massage is to please your partner, so you need to take all opportunities to find out how she wants it done. You can always practice on your own feet and calves, so when you do it on another you do it right. Practice to do it right. Practice, practice, practice is the message, and check at every stage that you are doing what your partner wants you to do.