Everyone loves getting a massage, but appointments with a therapist can be expensive and hard to fit into a hectic schedule. That's why Steven and Chris invited Registered Massage Therapist Michael Lott to the studio to teach us the fundamentals of simple massage. Before you start, get into a giving frame of mind. Feel happy toward the person you're treating to a massage and make sure you feel limber and relaxed yourself. Make sure your hands are warm and lotioned. Then, here's how to get started.
If you don't have a proper massage chair, you can improvise at home. For the following techniques, have the lucky massage recipient sit on a chair with a low back or no back. Set the chair a comfortable distance from a table and lean forward with arms around a pillow on the table. This will produce the same posture as professional chairs so you can do it at home.
Massaging the Neck
The neck is very sensitive and, as a rule, you should be careful massaging this area and never try something you're not sure of. Point compressions work well here: this involves pressing down on the neck using your fingertips and palms. You can also use the soft part of the forearm to massage the neck.
Massaging the Hands
Try spreading the muscles of the hand and pulling the fingers gently to ease those tired digits.
Massaging the Back
Many people suffer from sore backs and nothing feels better than just having someone give it a good rub by pushing the muscles back and forth. You can also try chopping, lightly pounding and tapping along the back.
Why it's Good for You
Physical, non-sexual touch is very important. It helps your body eliminate toxins by moving the blood around. Having a good rub can also detect early warning signs of injuries and illness.
Massage also gives you a chance to lie down during the day. With more blood in your stomach, you digest your food better after a massage. And it takes you out of the fight-or-flight stress mode that busy people often experience. People aren't touched enough in our culture.