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4 Massage Techniques You Can Try at Home

| 07/05/2022

Illustration by Sophi Gullbrants

Massage Techniques You Can Try at Home

There are plenty of reasons why a person may want to try out a massage at home, whether on themselves or another person.

Through a self-massage, you will use your hands or tools to manipulate your own muscles, but pressing, rubbing and kneading the skin to get mental and physical benefits, that can include pain relief and relaxation.

Massage can help release many feel-good hormones and endorphins, including dopamine which helps us relax and feel happy, serotonin which helps uplift mood, as well as helping lead to a higher chance of orgasm, and oxytocin which helps us connect and bond with a partner, explains Ness Cooper, a clinical sexologist who works as a sex and relationship coach.

Rhythmic tapping methods have also been shown to help relax individuals, and help relieve tension in muscles, explains Cooper. It can encourage blood flow and even allow people to explore more energetic sex positions and activities easier, and allow for greater sensitivity to the vulva or penis if focusing on a sensual massage.

When it comes to massaging another person at home, Jessica Alderson, Co-Founder & Relationship Expert at So Syncd, praises their ability to bring people together. Alderson explains how massages are special experiences because they enable couples to spend quality time together. There are so many distractions in the modern world, that it’s rare for two people to fully focus their attention on each other. During a massage, you aren’t checking your phone or logging in to do after-hours work. It’s just you and your partner. Another benefit of massages is that they create a peaceful ambiance that can help both of you destress and relax. This is important because it puts you in the right mindset for deepening a connection. 

Is it safe to perform massages at home?

Yes, it is safe to perform massages at home, explain the team at the Massage Company. According to the Massage Company, a significant part of the industry works on at-home massage therapy, especially in larger urban areas. Anyone can try massage therapy on anyone, and the Massage Company says there is almost no chance of injuring someone, as long as you keep to the main body areas and avoid the neck and throat regions.

Self-massage has also been known to help ease digestion, muscle strain and tension, headaches, and anxieties. And although massage at home should not be used in place of thorough medical treatment,  it can also help to manage chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis.

What do you need to massage at home?

There is a significant number of massage options out there that are ideal for self-use, with both tools and also the use of your own hands, gravity and regular household items, explain the Massage Company. If you’ve got a tennis ball lying around, you can try to use that.

However, for high quality massage – training is key, with significant practice of hundreds of hours and a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology.

Techniques for self massage at home

Soft massage techniques are good to perform at home to get rid of muscle tightness and trigger points throughout your body, explain the Massage Company. Some of these techniques can be performed with your fingers, hands and elbows, or using equipment such as a tennis ball. 

1. Head self massage: A stressful day or staring for a long period of time at a screen, as many of us do in day-to-day life, can come with a throbbing headache and tension in the temples. You can try to relieve some of this tension by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones, on the side of your face by your ears, and gently applying pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples, slowly in repetition until reaching the centre of your forehead.

2. Shoulder and neck self massage: If you’ve experienced sitting in an office chair all day long, then chances are you’ve got some sore tension in your neck and shoulders. We hunch over so much and can create a build up of rounded shoulders, which causes a lot of strain.

By placing a few of your fingertips on the back of your neck, where your shoulders begin, you can apply firm pressure before holding for 10 seconds, releasing and moving around your shoulder blades. You can also position your fingers over your shoulders and move your fingertips in a rolling motion, starting from further away and rolling inwards to the base of your neck.

3. Techniques for giving somebody a massage at home: This can be performed in the same way as a self massage, with your fingers, hands and elbows, with the ability to reach areas you are unable too. “Massaging directly on the spine may lead to injuries so is best avoided,” explains Cooper.

However massaging softly around the lumbar spine may help encourage genital stimulation as the nerves from here link to the vulva or penis. Some individuals have been known to even orgasm through lower back stimulation.

4. Techniques for partner massage at home: This can be performed in the same way as a self massage, with your fingers, hands and elbows, with the ability to reach areas you are unable too. It is important to keep checking in with the person you are massaging, to ensure that you aren’t applying too much pressure or touching in injured or sore areas.

For a more sensual massage, Cooper explains that there are many ways that somebody can engage in a massage with a partner, at home. “Long sensual stroking over the body can wake up nerve endings, allowing the body to respond to stimulation easier,” says Cooper. As the hands glide over the body they also produce heat that can help partners both become more relaxed. Long sensual strokes aren’t exclusive for just the back, but can be done from the hands to the shoulders, and feet to the thighs, meaning that the whole body can be stimulated sensually and softly.

“Using breath in massage can be very erotic,” says Cooper. Matching your breathing with your partner can lead to a greater connection with them and make you both feel present in the moment. Blowing on a partner’s skin can offer a cold or hot sensation as the breath hits the surface depending on how an individual breathes. This is a quick way to offer some basic temperature play to massage by experimenting with breath. Breathing can also help relax the pelvic floor which may benefit those who normally tense their pc muscles during consensual touch.

Overall, the impact and effect of massage at home should be performed carefully, due to the lack of skilled training the person may have, explains the Massage Company. Self massage will only achieve a very small and short-lived level of pain relief or relaxation. The skill is knowing exactly what to press, where, how and how the body is connected together.

For a more thorough massage and relief of pain, giving you the highly effective therapy your need needs and substantially greater results, it may be worth visiting a trained massage therapist.

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