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Massage

Massage is the manipulation of tissue and muscle with the purpose of relaxation, healing, and general well being. Learning to give massages can be an amazing hobby, whether you choose to do it as a business or simply to give your friends and family quality massages.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Massage resources. We have a Massage forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Massage how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Massage books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Introduction


Giving Massage is the act of rubbing, hitting, stroking or kneading another person’s body (superficial layers of muscles) using a massaging oil, lotion, cream or gel so that the functionality can be enhanced and the person feels relaxed. Massaging improves the circulation of body by bringing various nutrients as well as oxygen to the body tissues.




The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle" or from Latin massa meaning "mass, dough".




Massaging is one of the oldest forms of therapy which is practiced on human body. Massages have different types and a number of massaging techniques and methods nowadays exists. Massage can be given to anyone regardless of age. It can be given to relax the body or may be used for treatment. Massage is a common practice seen in intensive cares, health clubs as well as clinics and hospitals. Massaging can be easily done at home as well.


In order to give massage a person can lay down on a massage table, in a massage chair or by lying on a mat floor. Giving a massage can be done using fingers, hands, knees, elbows, forearms and even with the help of feet. Receiving a massage depends on the method as well as why you are receiving a massage. For instance, if it is to treat a problem, then massage method depends on the problem. Typically, a massage session can last between 15 minutes and 90 minutes in which the person receiving massage may be fully or partially clothed or completely unclothed. Using sheets or towels, parts of the body may be covered with only those parts revealing where a massage is to be given.




There are many advantages of receiving a massage. It helps a person to relax, relieve tension, helps in reducing pain in joints and muscles, increases mobility and flexibility and so much more. A person feels a lot calm and relaxed after receiving a massage.




Equipment


For giving a massage you need to have following basic equipment with you:




Massage Chair: It is used for giving a seated massage to a person. Massaging chair should be able to bear any weight as well as should have stable and an easy to adjust frame. It allows giving a neck and back massage. No clothing is required to be removed in order to give massage.




Massage Table: Without a massage table, a massage therapy is incomplete. It should be able to hold person of any weight. The table length should also be able to accommodate person of any size.




Massaging Oils: In order to give a massage, different oils can be used which can be coconut oil, pecan oil, almond oil, mustard oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, hazel nut oil and many more. Massaging oils allows working smoothly over the skin.




Massaging Lotion: It is an alternative to using massaging oils. Different types of massaging oils are available in the market. These lotions don’t penetrate into the skin quickly but conditions the skin, thus a great option when giving prolonged massages. Alternatively, one can also use massaging creams or gels.




Towels: Different sized towels are available in the market. You should definitely have a towel with you when giving a massage. A towel can be used for many purposes for instance the person receiving massage may need it to remove excess of oil.




Purchasing the Equipment


The most important massaging equipment which requires attention is massage tables and chairs. There are variety of massage tables and chairs available in the market so you need to do some research in order to get the right equipment. Make sure you shop around and get to know the options available to you. Remember don’t jump on buying the first equipment you stumble upon and feel is the right one. Make sure you take a complete round of the market before deciding which to purchase. You may come across a better option.




You can also do this via internet as well. Shopping is becoming more and more convenient with internet availability. You can purchase the massage equipment or shop around easily via the internet. All you need to do is search around and visit online shops. This all can be done while sitting at your home. Make sure you do a lot of research and compare prices as well as features. You should keep in mind your budget limit while doing this.




When considering a massaging chair, you should keep in mind few factors. You should be able to adjust the massaging chair according to the person receiving a massage. Remember, people vary in size as well as weight. Hence, you should be able to make adjustments to the chair depending upon height, head supports, chest pads or arm rests. It should feel comfortable to the person receiving a massage. Also, make sure the chair is strong enough to support any weight.




For massage table, length is very much important. Table should be comfortable for a person of any height (or size). Another thing which you should be considered is the face cradle adjustment. The face shape of every person is not same so make sure the table has this feature and you can adjust accordingly. Massaging tables have cushioning. Make sure the cushion is really soft and plush. Remember, feeling comfortable and relaxed is very much important in massaging. You don’t want the person receiving a massage feel uncomfortable.




Massage table should be durable as well so choose a table which is made from a durable material. The last thing which should be considered when considering a massage table is to see whether it is hard to assemble? You should opt for a table which is not hard to assemble at all. Also, the table should be portable i.e. you can easily move it from one place to another.




Always remember you need to do your homework and search around a lot before making a purchase. You can easily do research via internet. You can also ask friends or people you know who have bought a massaging table or chair and take their advice.




Giving a Basic Massage:


After you have purchased the proper equipment, you are ready to give a proper massage. Here are some steps of giving basic massage:


 



Hand and arm Massage


1. Take the dominant hand of the person. Apply massaging oil, cream or lotion.


2. Rub the hand’s top very gently.


3. After this, give massage to the palm. For this place the thumb in the center of the palm and press it gently. Your four fingers should be placed on the back side of the hand. Start from each finger’s base and work downward towards palm to the wrist.


4. Also, massage the thumb. Using your hand and finger to massage the thumb from hand’s top and the palm. Then begin small rubbing movements at the thumb top.


5. Now move your hand downwards towards the knuckle, to the palm. Repeat the same on the area which is between point finger and the thumb.


6. Also, rub between the fingers. You should also stretch area in between the fingers by opening it gently.


7. Next, give massage to the fingers. For this place your fingers on the top of the person’s finger. Rub the top as well as squeeze it and then start moving towards joint and the knuckle. Do this with each finger.


8. Once you are done, place both your hand on this dominant hand and give a final overall rub. Repeat with the other hand.


9. For giving a massage arm then make stroke patterns smoothly along the arm. Also, rotate in circular motion to loosen up the joints.


 



Face, Neck, Shoulder Massage


1. Stroke the face completely.


2. Using your hands work up towards the neck, to the cheeks, gently gliding inwards and then working with the forehead up and out.


3. Now, apply pressure on temples gently.


4. Use your hands’ back to stimulate the skin and let the fingers roll up the cheek loosely.


5. Do the same with neck and below the chin.


6. You can also pinch (gently) the skin under the chin or along the jawline using your forefingers and thumb.


7. For massaging eyes, squeeze firmly, using forefinger and thumb, the eyebrows. Work your way up from Nose Bridge towards temples.


8. In order to relax neck and shoulders, start by making circular firm movements up along the sides of the neck and then moving towards the shoulders.


 



Back Massage


1. First warm up. For this massage the back gently with the help of fingers’ tips in a slow circular motion. Move your way up and down the spine’s side. Next move towards the shoulders and apply pressure on the shoulder and neck.


2. After the warm up session, apply lotion on the back.


3. Now start by slow strokes over the lower back, applying slight pressure at the same time and then moving upwards slowly, to the shoulders.


4. Massage in specific region, pressing slowly the spots which are tight and have knots.


5. Once you are done, you should do a warm-down session.


6. It is similar to the warm up session with only difference that you keep on reducing pressure. Reduce pressure till you are only rubbing the back.


 



Leg Massage


1. Start by gently stroking one leg from ankle and work your way up thighs. Make sure that your fingers are stretched out in the opposite direction.


2. As you reach thigh, more pressure in downwards direction should be applied.


3. Move back towards the feet from thighs using strokes.


4. Now, bend the leg from knee with foot on support from thigh.


5. Place the hands on the back side of the calf.


6. Now, turn your hands in opposite directions to twist the muscles. Do this till you reach the knee.


7. After this, with leg in same position, knead the knee and thigh’s back. This can be done by pressing or pinching muscles using forefingers and thumb. Work your way back and forth from knee to thighs.


8. Once you are done with one leg, do the same with the other.


 



Foot Massage


1. Rub the lotion on foot, ankles and the legs.


2. Start rubbing deeply so that the lotion penetrates completely.


3. Do Strokes or rubbing circles to give comfort.


4. With the help of circular gentle motions rub the toes.


5. Give a massage to the soles by rubbing your thumb in circular motion completely over the bottom of the foot.


6. Gently twist the foot by using both of your hands, in an upwards and downwards motion.


7. Use the fingertips for gently smoothing out the rough edges.


8. Give a soothing stroke to the foot.


9. Repeat the same with the other foot.




In order to learn specific massage method or learn to do it the professional way, you can take help from CDs/DVDs, books or the internet. There are lots of CDs/DVDs as well as books specifically available on this subject matter. Similarly, there are a number of websites available which offers free guidance on how to give a massage. You can even learn different massaging techniques and methods right at your home.


This all is a part of self-learning. You can also enrol yourself in a massage school and get to learn the techniques or how to do a massage. Do some research and find out schools nearby your location which offers massage programs.




Conclusion:


Massaging is fast becoming one of the most popular activity or therapy. It is not only healing but also relaxes a person’s body and mind and frees him from all the stress. There are hundreds of massaging methods which can be quite beneficial. With the help of a message therapy one can promote a healthy, quality and relaxed mind. Giving a massage can be quite easy, if one learns it with all the heart and practice it regularly. Once you have mastered this skill, you will see how easy it is to give a massage and how many will be waiting for you just to give them a relaxing massage.