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How To Do A Massage

How To Give Someone Else A Massage

How do you spoil someone else with a massage without ending up with sore hands?

We asked a couple of Ripple’s therapists and here are their top tips.

1. The easiest massage is a head massage.

Ask your partner to either sit in front of you on the floor and massage that way. This will save your arms and stop them from aching from being held up.

Make sure the room is quiet or put on relaxing music, and warm up your hands.

So how do you do it? There are some easy techniques that they will LOVE.

The first is to put the tips of your fingers spread out on the scalp and then firmly and slowly rub the scalp in small circles. Try to keep the pads of your fingers in the one spot when doing this as it will feel better.

The key here is to do it slowly, if you rub fast then it will only irritate your partner. Slow down, the slower the better, less is more. After a minute change the positions of your finger tips.

Ears – yep, I know this one sounds weird but most people love it. In a circular direction, start at the lobes and work your way up.

Relax the pressure points. The temples, the base of the skull, and the crown of the head and particularly sensitive areas, that when massaged, can make someone really relax.

The occipital bone along the base of the skull is also the attachment point for many muscles of the back. Relaxing these points can also help relax the muscles right down the back.

Ali Saoirse from Ripple Massage
How To Give Someone A Massage

There are a lot of benefits to a head massage. 

A head massage can  

  • Reduce Stress - A study conducted by Field et al. (2005) at the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, looked at how a scalp massage could reduce stress. The researchers found that people who received regular scalp massages experienced significant decreases in cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. Scalp massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters linked to feelings of well-being and relaxation.

  • Reduce Headaches - This study, conducted by Moeini et al. (2015) at the University of Granada, questioned how effective a head massage was in reducing tension headaches. The researchers found that participants who received regular head massages experienced significant reductions in both the frequency and intensity of tension headaches compared to a control group.

  • Improves Scalp Circulation - This study found that a head massage increased circulation by up to 120%

  • Improves Your Sleep - yes, a head massage can help not only the quality of your sleep, but also how long you sleep for.

2. The All Time Favourite - Back, Neck And Shoulders

As Ripple therapists, when we ask people where they would like us to concentrate, 99% will say "oh my shoulders and neck, and my back."This is usually where people hold tension.

Do a firm massage into the shoulder muscles and especially the trapeziums from the neck to the shoulder.

Massage firmly the neck, especially down the sides. Use a little bit of oil so you don’t “burn” the skin.

A good tip is to use your forearms. - A beautiful move that will have them begging for more is to place the fleshy part of your forearm over the trapezoids muscle (it’s the big one that goes from the neck along the shoulder and is tense in most people).

Then lean your weight on it for 5 seconds and then release. Super easy, feels fantastic.

Use your elbows instead of your thumbs – press into the fleshy muscles in the shoulders and release

Break it up – everyone wants their shoulders massaged but a couple of minutes of that will make your arms ache. Massage feet, hands and arms in between to give your arms a rest.

3. Feet

Super easy, but remember to keep it firm or it will feel like tickling instead. Rub your knuckles up the inside of the foot, massage the toes, gently massage around the ankle. Use the reflexology thumb walk for the soles of the feet. Just remember to keep it firm.

If you really want to do an amazing foot massage, the Chinese reflexology is very easy to learn, very easy to do, and those who love having their feet massaged will love this one. There are lots of videos online, this is one of my favourites.

4. Calves

If you are on your feet all day, and especially if you wear heels, this is a really good massage, and also easy to do.

Buy a scented massage oil from your chemist or at worst case get some sunflower oil from your supermarket (this makes a great massage oil as long as its fresh).

Sit your partner in a comfortable chair, and slowly and firmly massage their calf muscles. Often just a squeezing motion is a great way to relax these muscles, or even gently rubbing your hands up and down the lower legs. Use upward strokes as you always want the flow to move up towards the heart to help with circulation.

5. Hands And Arms

Gently massage each finger, massage the palm of the hand, and then gently on the back of your hand, rub your thumbs up the centre of each knuckle, starting from the knuckle and moving up towards the body.

On the arms, one technique that is sensational for someone who uses a computer mouse a lot is "stripping" the forearms. Start at the wrist, and with your thumb on top, and the rest of your hand under the forearm, slowly massage up towards the ebow using quite a bit of pressure. Make sure you use some oil for this one.

How To Do A Head Massage On Yourself

“Doln” literally means self-massage, and involves a combination of different techniques to improve the circulation and flow of Chi throughout the whole body.

Chi or Qi being the life force energy within every living thing derived from traditional Chinese therapy and also martial arts.

  1. When doing any self-massage prepare yourself by gently shaking all your limbs, and body.

  2. Shake your arms and hands to release any tension in your upper body.

  3. Now gently shake your legs and feet as well. If you’ve ever done any self affirmation in the past you’ll know by simply thinking and reciting an affirmation and performing these simple actions is healing in itself. Place your feet shoulder width apart and unlock your knees. Straighten your back to allow optimum energy flow, relax your shoulders and close your eyes.

  4. Take a minute to focus internally, and get in touch with how you and your body are feeling before starting the Doln routine.

  5. Empty your mind of any disturbing or distracting thoughts…this is not as easy as it sounds but with practise it really works.

  6. Bend your knees slightly and imagine a string passing through your spine, straighten up your posture to allow for better Chi flow breathing deeply.

  7. Keep breathing deeply to align your Chi.

  8. With your fingertips tap the top of your head

  9. Slowly work your way all around the head, covering the sides, front and back. This exercise will wake up your brain and stimulate blood circulation

  10. Pull your fingers through your hair, this stimulates the bladder and gall bladder meridians on the top and side. (This is also great to do in the shower when massaging shampoo and conditioner through your hair, imagine you’re at a salon and give yourself a good head massage)

  11. Place your fingers on your forehead, and apply a little pressure and stroke out from the centre to the temples

  12. Bring your fingers up to your temples. Drop your elbows, and massage your temples, using circular movements

  13. Massage down the side of your face until you reach your jaw

  14. Squeeze along jaw bone, working outwards from the centre. This is a very good technique for trying to relax

  15. Using your index finger and thumb, squeeze your eyebrows starting from the centre line and move slowly and laterall

  16. With your index finger and thumb, pinch the bridge of your nose and corners of your eyes

  17. Apply your thumbs to the sides of your nose. Breathe in as you stroke down the side of your nose.


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