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Valentine's Day Special - How to give your partner a massage by Megan O'Donnell

This Valentine’s Day is going to be unlike any other: no fancy restaurants, no movies, no concerts, just a lot of time in the comfort of your own home. To break up the monotony of the day to day, you could give your loved one the gift of touch this year. A massage is not only a great Valentine’s Day gift but also an excellent way to relieve stress. This is the year to learn how to give your loved one a safe and effective massage at home. I will lay out some simple and straightforward tips and techniques for giving your partner a massage they will remember:

Find a safe and stable surface to provide the massage: If you have a massage table lying around, great! (Ha!). But, the couch or a bed will work just as well. Have lots of pillows so that your partner can get comfortable and not have to hold their head or limbs rigid. They should be nice and relaxed. Also be sure the person giving the massage has enough room to move around the person receiving the massage.

As the person giving the massage, gather information on where your partner may be carrying stress or tension: You can ask questions like “where do you feel like you carry your stress?” or “are you noticing tension anywhere in your body right now?”. Whatever the answer, that is where you want to begin. The majority of people will feel the tension in their back, shoulders and neck, but you may get a few curveballs like “my feet” or “my hands”. Tension can creep in anywhere.

Practice hand hygiene and have your massage oil ready: I know we’ve heard it enough this year, but always wash your hands before laying your hands on your massage partner. Also, have your massage oil handy. We recommend Lover’s Oil - This all-natural massage oil is made of 10 of the most sensual essential oils to create a non-toxic rich and moisturizing base for a heightened massage experience.

Follow the broad 🡪 specific rule: As the person giving the massage, you want to make sure you follow this simple massage rule. Begin by massaging a broad area - like the entirety of the back - and then hone in on more specific areas like between the shoulder blades or the muscles of the low back. This is to promote circulation and warm up the muscles before working a little more specifically and perhaps a little more intensely. You always want to make sure you check in with your partner. I always describe muscle work as feeling sometimes a little sore, but always productive. If they are feeling anything that is too painful, you should stop immediately.

Once you have finished giving the massage, be sure that your super relaxed partner slowly gets up off the bed or couch and have a glass of water ready for them. Now it’s time to swap (if you choose to do so). Happy massaging!

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