We asked two licensed massage therapists what their top five tips are in giving your main squeeze a spa-caliber massage at home. Miriam Benatti, licensed massage therapist at Euphoria Spa , and Edan Harari of Kinetic Massage Therapy, both in New York City, share the key elements, many of which go hand in hand, in making your special gift of DIY couples massage a success on Valentine’s Day and beyond!
1. Clear Space, Clear Mind
“Create a peaceful and loving environment,” Benatti says. “Sometimes our homes (especially city apartments) are anything but peaceful. Make sure candles and scented oils accent a warm, tidy environment.”
Be mindful and present by taking five minutes or so to clear your mind chatter and to prepare to work on your partner, Harari advises. “Remember, the mind is very powerful, so focusing on providing your partner with relaxation is key to helping them relax, let go and feel good,” he explains.
2. Use Simple Essentials Found around the House
Be sure you have all the items you’ll need around you to give an uninterrupted massage.
- Oil (almond or grape seed, even that olive oil you have in the kitchen) is preferable to lotion, which tends to absorb too quickly.
- Have a towel handy to pick up any spills.
- Use a pillow under the ankles and one for neck and face when he/she is prone (face-down) and prop the pillow under the knees when he/she is supine (face-up).
- Make sure your fingernails are not too long. And if you just got a perfect manicure, use your knuckles, fists, and forearms. You can still apply the right strokes with most any part of your hand.
3. Intuitively Indulge the Senses
“Remember that the massage is all about your partner and what they want or need,” Harari says. “Just because you like an elbow in your back doesn’t mean they do. Practice using your intuition to figure out what they like and what their body/muscles needs. If you can’t figure it out while being mindful, then just ask!”
On the same note, create an environment to invigorate the senses, Benatti suggests.
“Pick out some music you both love,” she says. “Use essential oils; they stimulate the brain’s limbic system, our most animalistic sweet spot of emotional memory.”
Choose your scent:
- Sweet orange and neroli will brighten the mood
- Ylang ylang and rose will
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