As a massage therapist, I get to hear all of the stories about couples massaging each other at home, the good and the bad. It’s mostly the bad, however. So if you are a giver of sucky massages or if you give great massages but are looking for ways to improve, read on! Here are the three most common reasons that amateur massages suck (and how you can make them unsucky.)
You’re using too much pressure too soon.
The main complaint I hear a lot of people is that their partner is way too rough. Some of these people like professional massages with deep pressure, so what gives? Unlike a professional massage therapist, well a good professional therapist, their partners are going too deep, too fast. One of the protocols of massage is superficial, deep, superficial. This means that you should begin with a lighter pressure and work to a deeper or heavier pressure. If you don’t warm up the tissues before applying a lot of pressure, you’re more likely to a.) cause more pain and b.) do more harm than good. So the next time you want to give your boo a rub down, remember to start lighter and work deeper.
You’re going too fast.
Flow is an important component to delivering an awesome massage. Even deep tissue massage can be soothing if the giver has a good flow. When someone rushes through a massage, it makes it harder for the receiver to relax. The more tension a person holds within their bodies, the less benefit they receive from the massage. One very easy way to dramatically improve the massage experience for your partner is to slooooow down. Take your time and don’t be afraid to hang out in a spot that feels good to your partner.
You aren’t checking in with your partner.
Effective communication is critical to pretty much all human interaction. Poor communication will ruin a massage that could have otherwise been really enjoyable. As the giver, it is your job to check in with your partner about things like pressure, (remember number one?), where they’re feeling pain or discomfort and if there is something you can change to make the massage even better for them. It is incredibly easy for our egos to get wrapped up in receiving any criticism but you must be open to what your partner is trying to tell you. Do your best to adjust your massage technique based on feedback from your partner and you should be giving better massages in no time!
If you are “guilty” of any of these things, fear not! I applaud you for even attempting to help your partner out of their pain and discomfort. These things are all easy fixes and as they say, practice makes perfect. Now go grab your sweetie and use your new knowledge to rub them the right way.