How to massage: What is the right way to do it?
If you feel stressed and your body reacts with tension, a massage is just the right thing. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a professional massage from a physiotherapist or in a wellness center knows that this type of relaxation can be addictive. Unfortunately, you have to dig deep into your wallet for regular massages. But that doesn’t have to be the case-with a few tips on the right massage, you can also treat yourself to this luxury at home. In our instructions, you will learn how to properly massage the shoulder and neck areas of the back.
Before you start, the basics
Ensure a pleasant atmosphere:
A successful massage is not only based on the right grip – the atmosphere must also be right for absolute relaxation. A warm bath before the massage is particularly beneficial. The body is then warmed up, and the subsequent massage is particularly effective. It is important that the person being massaged lies comfortably. Find a quiet, comfortable spot, such as on the bed or a mat on the floor. For example, if only the back or shoulders are being massaged, the remaining parts of the body should be covered. Soft music provides additional relaxation. It doesn’t have to be the obligatory sound of the sea or the CD with the birdsong-the main thing is that the music isn’t too restless and, above all, not too loud.
Choosing the right massage oil:
Since the ingredients of the oil are worked intensively into the skin during the massage, it is particularly important to pay attention to high-quality and natural ingredients. It is best to choose an organic oil—there is a good selection of different oils in the drugstore or pharmacy. Scents such as lavender or rose have a relaxing effect, while sandalwood or rosemary have a stimulating effect. Before the massage begins, the oil should be warmed up between the palms of the hands and first applied over a large area of the relevant part of the body. So it is now optimally prepared for the subsequent pampering program.
The right method for a shoulder and neck massage
- To prepare the shoulder and neck area, first gently rub your thumbs over the transition from head to neck a few times. Always work from top to bottom—this way you avoid headaches.
- Slowly continue working downwards with light kneading movements: gently knead the small neck stretcher and slowly move on to larger kneading of the shoulder area.
- You can devote some time to the shoulder area; this is where most of the tension is located. But always work gently, make sure that no sharp fingernails scratch, and respond to the needs of your partner. Ask more often where the massage is particularly good and where it should be a little gentler.
- Stroke now and again in between—like at the beginning of the massage. This not only relaxes the person being massaged but also the active partner.
- Finally, gently stroke your back a few more times – you can apply more pressure here, as long as it doesn’t hurt.
The last stroke goes from top to bottom over the buttocks or from bottom to top over the shoulders to the arms and hands.
The right method for a back massage
Unlike the neck massage, the massage starts from the bottom up, then alternates from the bottom up and back again.
- First, the entire back, from the coccyx up to the cervical vertebrae, is stroked several times with flat hands—gently apply some pressure.
- Then slide in the opposite direction from top to bottom along the spine with your thumbs and gentle pressure.
Now slowly work back up to the cervical vertebrae. Every single vertebra is carefully (!) massaged with light pressure.
- On the way down, gently glide down the entire back with spread fingers.
- Now put your palms on. The fingertips point inwards and touch each other; the elbows point outwards. Then, slowly stroke outwards from the center – over the entire back.
- Finally, to relax, rub your back a few more times with the palms of your hands and only apply light pressure.
Back massage for beginners: 5 golden rules
1. The spine is forbidden!
Pressure must not be applied to bones or kidneys, as this can be very painful for the person lying down.
2. A good trick is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
You can think about what would be good for you now or where the massage would be most pleasant-that can’t be wrong with the other person either.
3. Don’t rush!
It is not particularly enjoyable for the person lying down if the movements are carried out too quickly and fleetingly. A good massage thrives on slow, deep, and firm movements in an even rhythm. It is best to repeat each move three to five times and try to enjoy pampering the other person yourself.
4. Symmetry is everything.
It is also important to work symmetrically, i.e., the same grips are used on the right shoulder in the same order as on the left.
5. The massage is not only limited to the back.
The shoulders should definitely be included, as well as the neck and scalp. Here, you are often particularly tense without noticing it. Depending on your mood and time limit, you can extend the grips to your upper arms, forearms, and hands. Particular attention should be paid to the individual fingers, palms, and joints.