Giving your partner or a friend a chair massage is a great way to help them relax and to loosen their muscles after a long, demanding day. While you may not quite have the skills of a licensed massage therapist from a center like Body Well Mobile Massage, you can give a very good chair massage at home -- especially if you follow these pro tips.
1. Choose a relaxing setting.
If your "patient" is relaxed, their muscles will be more relaxed, which will allow you to work them more deeply and more effectively remove knots and adhesions. So, take the time to prepare a relaxing environment before beginning your chair massage. Dim the lights, light a scented candle, and play some soft music in the background. When you talk to your "patient," do so in a soothing, low voice to help keep them relaxed.
2. Start gently.
While deep massage can feel good, the muscles really need to be warmed up before you really work them this hard. So, start with gentle strokes. Long, gentle strokes down the neck and along the back will warm up the muscles, loosen them, and help your "patient" start to relax. After two or three minutes of these gentle strokes, you can begin massaging with more of a gentle, circular motion. Then, over the next ten minutes or so, slowly build up the pressure until you're digging more deeply into your "patient's" muscles. Be sure to ask them, from time to time, if you are pushing too hard -- and back off on the pressure if they request that you do so.
3. Use oil or lotion.
There are a few reasons why professionals always use oil when massaging. First, it helps the fingers glide more easily across the skin, which allows you to more effectively work out knots in the muscles. Second, the oil helps keep the skin from getting too warm and uncomfortable, passing more of the heat from your hands on to the muscles. If you don't have massage oil on hand, any type of lotion makes a decent substitute. You could also use olive oil from the kitchen in a pinch.
4. Have a strategy so you don't miss spots.
It's common for inexperienced masseuses to jump around from spot to spot; as a result, you might miss an area. Instead of randomly jumping from spot to spot, start your massage with a strategy in mind. Once your long strokes are done, work your way down from the top of the neck to the middle of the back. Then, move right back up to the top of the neck before beginning to work downwards again.
With the tips above, you'll give such a great massage that your partner will ask you for a repeat every weekend.