By massaging your friend or living partner and let him or her do the same to you, you will both get emotionally closer to each other, and both get several health benefits. Massaging will benefit the mental state of the person you work on, the muscular condition, the blood circulation and the lymph drainage. However, what you want to achieve, will determine the exact technique you use.
MASSAGING ACROSS THE MUSCLE FIBRES
This type of massage is very good for relaxing tense muscles and a stressed mind.
You perform this massage by rubbing or gripping across the direction of the muscle fibres or across tendons. You take one area after the other. You begin by massaging each area lightly, superficially and slowly to warm up, and then proceed by massaging deeper, firmer and more swiftly.
According to the size and conditions of the area you treat, you can use different types of manipulation. You can use a couple of fingers at a small area, or to reach deep into a tense point. You can rub with all your finger tips or with the palm of your hand at greater areas. To get a harder effect, you can use your finger knuckles.
MASSAGE ALONG THE MUSCLE FIBRES
This type of massage will give the following effects: Stiffness will be reduced or cured, and the muscles will gain in mobility. The muscles will get better blood supply and drainage. The muscles will get a better drainage of tissue fluids into the lymph system, and thereby swollen muscles will normalize. These effects will in turn make tired muscles faster regain good condition.
By this massage you stroke along the direction of the muscle fibres, and always in the direction of the blood stream towards the heart.
Also now you take one area after the other, but try to reach the whole length of a muscle or muscle group at each stroke. Also by this massage, you begin massaging at each area lightly, superficially and slowly to warm up, and then proceed by massaging deeper, firmer and somewhat faster.
Also by this longitudinal massage, you can press down and stroke with your finger tips, with all your fingers, or grip around a muscle or muscle group with your fingers.
MASSAGE WITH AN ELECTRIC MASSAGER
Most electric massage devices are vibrating up and down. This vibration mostly gives the same effect as the massage across the muscle fibres. If you also stroke with the device head along the muscle in the direction of the blood stream towards the heart, you will simultaneously also achieve the effects of longitudinal massage.
COMBINING THE MASSAGE WITH STRETCHING
The effects of the massage can be increased by also stretching the limbs and body parts of the person you work on. Stretch in the natural movement directions of the limb or body part until you reach some resistance. Do not stretch hard to go beyond the resistance point. However, by holding the limb some time at the resistance point will often cause the limb to relax, and then you can go some way further.
HOW HARD SHOULD YOU PERFORM THE MASSAGE?
Tired and stiff muscles are often tender and aching. Working at a tender point will always cause some temporal pain. However, if you use the right degree of firmness, the effect of the massage should cause an immediate release of pain and tenderness when you have finished working at a point. You should never work so hard that the pain is felt nearly unbearable, or so hard that pain remains after the massage is finished. If you do so, you can hurt or aggravate already existing tissue damage.
To achieve the right firmness you should monitor the reactions of the person you work at and listen to his comments. You should also never perform a massage on an area with a distinct inflammation or a distinct injury.
USE OF MASSAGE OILS
By applying a massage oil or ointment at the area you work at, you ease the massage work and increase the effects of the massage. Your fingers glide more easily upon the skin covering the area. The blood supply of the skin and muscles will be stimulated. You get a sensual and exciting scent on the area and in the air. Ingredients in the oil will ameliorate muscular ache and pain. According to the composition of the massage oil, there will be various stimulating effects upon the muscles, for example faster regeneration of tired or hurt muscle tissue.
MASSAGING FOR MUTUAL JOY AND PLEASURE
You can use each of the two main techniques, but you let the pleasure of the person you massage decide the technique, the area you massage and the firmness of the massage. Usually gently touching and caressing will be the right manner.
Also your own pleasure shall decide. Do not work so hard that you get tired out yourself, and the person that you give the massage should be willing to repay you by doing the same favour to you.