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Top 10 tips for the perfect massage at home

Massage at home

Whether your giving someone a treat or helping them to relax and reconnect with themselves, a massage at home can provide the perfect tonic to a long week brought on by stress at work or home.  Let's face it, today more than ever we need to unwind, get away from it all, even if just for an hour!  So if you're looking to give some a massage at home, or want one yourself, then read our top 10 tips on how to create the perfect massage.

1. Understand why your giving the massage
It's often said before you know where you're going to, you need to know where you're coming from.  When giving a massage you need to understand what your partner or friend want from the massage.  If they have a chronically sore back or neck and need it fixed - don't!  Unless you're qualified then don't try to fix someone otherwise you might make it worse.  Leave it for a suitably qualified professional, and instead, give a nice massage that they will appreciate.
2. Create the perfect atmosphere
Oftentimes people who want a nice relaxing massage like to have the lights dimmed (or off), with a few candles in the background to provide just enough light.  This is not only lovely for the person receiving the massage, but also the person giving the massage.  It allows both parties to relax and unwind, forget their worries and focus on each other.  A word of caution, for some people this might not be what they want, they may want full light, so please ask because everyone is different.
3. A little bit of music
Most people when they ask for a relaxing massage they like some soft gentle music in the background.  There are loads of choices online via youtube and other streaming platforms such as google, spotify, apple and amazon.  Again, ask the person receiving the massage because they might not want panpipes or forest sounds.  
4. Choose your surface carefully
So, it's easier if you have a massage bed of course, but how many people at home have them?  Having said that, there are some brilliant providers in the UK and if you're giving frequent massages then it might be worth it.  If you become proficient at massage and give your partner a relaxing massage once a week or even once a fortnight then it may prove very economical to do so.  A typical massage can cost anywhere between £25-60 per hour.  You can get beds from ca. £130 from massage warehouse UK  We don't have an affiliation with massage warehouse UK, but we do buy our tables from them and they are excellent.  
If you don't have a massage bed, then consider using the bed you sleep in or the floor if you can get down and be comfortable kneeling for a long time.  I would advise if using the floor then to use blankets and duvets to soften it up.
You could always have your massage partner sitting up in a chair and give them a neck and shoulders massage, with a little work on the head.
5. Use the right massage wax or massage oil
At PB TwentyFive we have a wide range of massage wax and massage oils, and the reason is because the essential oils give different types of treatments.  It goes without saying that don't pick an uplifting product such as recharge wax last thing at night, otherwise your partner will not thank you when they're wide awake at 3 am.  Instead use a relaxing massage wax or oil, or even a neutral one that won't interfere with the senses before bed.
6. Keep your massage partner warm
Massage can have an overall cooling effect on the body due to the increase of blood around the body.  Massage increases blood flow, and that's why you often see a nice red glow in the skin during a massage.  This means that the blood is distributed more evenly around the body, which can make some people feel a little cool at the end of a treatment.
Use blankets and turn up the heating a little and you'll help your massage partner feel a little more comfortable.  As well, your partner is most likely going to be wearing less clothes in order to give access to the body.
7. To talk or not to talk?
This is a tricky one, some people love to talk during a massage and this can be a wonderful time for people to connect with each other.  Some people however don't say a word.  You'll have to judge it yourself.  If it's late at night and your partner hasn't slept well in ages, then some soft music and lighting, along with a nice 'quiet' massage might be enough to provide the tranquility required to send them to sleep.
8. Get your partner to stay hydrated
Dehydration following a massage is common, so get them to moderately hydrate in advance and maybe a glass of water afterwards.  Not too much if it's late at night of course otherwise they'll be awake all night back and forth to the toilet.
9. Help your massage partner to be comfortable with a towel
If you get a nice big bath towel and roll it up then it can be used to keep your massage partner comfortable.  If they are lying on their back, then put the rolled up towel under their knees, and if they are lying facedown, then put it under their ankles.  This makes all the difference to their levels of comfort.
10. Massage techniques
If you're doing this at home then you don't need to know the correct terminology or the difference between petrissage and effleurage.  What you want to know is what techniques to use.  Long soft strokes help increase circulation and relaxation.  When doing so, use the palm of your hand, keep it open and all the contours of your hand to follow the muscles.  Use your strokes over the muscles only, and not bony prominences or places like the back of the knees.  For shorter more concentrated areas, such as the top of the shoulders and neck, then use your fingers and maybe a thumb.  Be careful, don't use too much pressure, and if using your fingers, then protect yourself and keep them in a straight line and don't bend them backwards.
For more information on massage or to get a visual there are lots of ideas online, but again, unless you're qualified do not attempt to do sports massage or deep tissue massage or you could potentially cause issues.
Enjoy your massage and massaging!

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