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Body massages have many benefits, in addition to releasing tension, a massage can help regulate blood pressure and boost your immune system.

The below tips can help you give a fabulous in-home massage.

  1. Don’t Use Too Much Pressure. There are times when you need a tiny bit of pain for gain (like when you’re putting pressure on a knot). But in general you want to give firm enough pressure that you can feel the muscle move underneath the skin without making your partner grimace or squirm, says Ben Brown, a massage therapist at Bliss, a New York City spa.

  2. Not So Fast. Rubbing hard and fast will just irritate your partner’s muscles. Instead, use slow, even strokes with the palms of your hands, thumbs, or finger pads (the fleshy part of your fingertips).

  3. Avoid Bones and Joints. Never push directly on the spine and be careful not to put too much pressure on muscles that run over the ribs and shoulder blades. If someone has thin muscle tissue, you can bruise bones by going too hard, says Tricia Pottratz, massage therapist and instructor in Woodland, Washington. Also be wary of knees, elbows, and shoulders.

  4. Watch Videos on Massage Techniques. Oftentimes it’s easier to learn by seeing the pros in action! Watch to master these basic rules for giving your partner a relaxing massage before moving on to individual body parts.

  5. Pay Attention to the Shoulders. The lower back may be the number one spot for injuries, but shoulders are where people carry most of their tension. Hunching over a computer screen all day long or carrying an overloaded bag can throw you out of alignment.

These steps will put you on a good starting path for giving relaxing and beneficial body massages.

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