Getting or giving the perfect massage is one of life’s great pleasures. It helps let the daily stresses melt away and can bring couples closer together. There are a number of helpful tips to help improve a person’s massage skills. Read on to learn all about massages, both giving and getting one.

If you decide to get a massage in the comfort of your own home, take a hot shower first. The hot water will help relax your muscles through the penetrating heat. This will ensure that your massage is more comfortable and any aches or pains are eliminated before the start.

One great massage technique that you can do for your partner is called raking. Raking means that you spread your hands out, and using your fingertips, you rake up one side of the back right by the spine while you rake downward on the other side with your other hand.

If you suffer from back pain, especially in your lower back, having regular massages could be very beneficial. Having a professional relax your muscles can really work wonders and prevent you from further back injuries. It can also help with back spasms, which can be very painful and sometimes debilitating.

If you often experience chronic muscle pains, do some research on trigger points or find someone who can give you some information on neuromuscular therapy. Trigger points, or tiny knots, often reside in tight muscles. Trigger points may relay pain and other problems to their surrounding area. Ask a masseuse, look up information online and/or read a book to learn about trigger points and what you can do to relieve them.

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If you suffer from stretch marks from excessive weight loss or gain, or from carrying a baby you have probably tried everything to make them go away. Massage in a good amount of cocoa butter every day, and they will start to fade. The tissues will regenerate as a result of the massage and the stretch marks will fade over time.

One simple way to give a massage is to use a “raking” technique. This is done by spreading your fingers and using your fingertips. Start in the shoulder area then move your fingers in a raking motion down the back. Make sure the fingers move along the spine not on top of the spine. While one hand moves up move the other one down in alternating motion.

Your massage therapist needs to be capable to get to your skin in order to do the massage, so you need to be prepared to disrobe. You will be able to do this in the room alone, and you can leave on your underwear. Once you are undressed and face down on the massage table under a sheet, then the therapist will return to the room.

If you suffer from PMS each month with excessive water retention and cramping, there just might be some help for you. The power of massage has been shown to help reduce that unsightly water retention so that your pants will fit a little easier. It also can help relieve the pain that comes with cramps.

If you need help with stress or pain, you should get a massage from a professional. Asking someone you know to give you a massage can be helpful but keep in mind that a trained professional will be able to use technique your friend or relative does not know about.

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Deep tissue massages are a great way to treat injuries, both old and new. These go against the grain, which is very beneficial for healing. This will help out with muscles that are tight, painful or injured, as well as issues with posture.

If you’re pregnant, you can still enjoy a massage if it is given by a license therapist. This is a great way to deal with morning sickness, stress, back pain, sore breasts and swollen ankles. You can continue it after birth to deal with postpartum depression, weight loss and baby-carrying pains, too.

There is no real dress code when you decide to go out and get a massage. If you are concerned about dressing appropriate, speak with the spa or your message therapist beforehand. By addressing clothing concerns, you can ensure that you won’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable during your massage. If there is an area you also don’t want massaged like your behind, tell the therapist before starting.

Don’t swear off using a massage therapist of the opposite sex. You may initially be weird about it, but get over it! Men may have the height and strength you need to work out the kinks from a really bad back, and women may have the relaxed touch you need to de-stress. Be open to whoever may best fit your current need.

One of the most enjoyable bonding activities between baby and parent, or other loved one, is a massage. Just grab a bottle of baby oil, take off your jewelry and make sure your hands are warm, and start at the top or bottom. Anything you do is likely to be enjoyable if you’re gentle.

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Aromatherapy massage uses scented therapeutic massage oils along with gentle kneading motions. These scented oils add another dimension to the standard massage by incorporating the sense of smell into the massage therapy. Aromatherapy often uses lavender, eucalyptus and chamomile. This type of massage is perfect for people suffering for stress related pain.

If you are someone who exercises, give yourself a mini-massage both before and after you exercise so you encourage blood and oxygen into those muscles to speed up recovery. Prior to exercise, use your hands in a pommeling motion so that blood starts to flow in your arms and legs. When you are done working out, use your hands to rub down your muscles towards your heart.

These tips should help you find the perfect massage, teach your partner what to do or even improve your own massage skills. Whether you and a partner do it yourself or you find a professional to do it, a good massage is one of the most pleasurable things you can enjoy. Good luck.