Who doesn’t love to feel strong hands smoothing over tired or sore muscles? It’s a great way to unwind after a hectic day, as well as help you recover from injuries. There are different types of massage. Swedish Massage is gentle and uses long strokes and circular movement to relax you. Deep Massage uses force to get down into the layers of muscle. Trigger Point Therapy zeroes in on those knots and other issues that arise when you overuse certain muscles. This is typically what you’d receive in physical therapy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are ten medical issues that can benefit from a good massage:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Of course, massage isn’t just a medical modality; it can set the stage for a romantic evening. If you’re interested in scheduling a massage for Valentine’s Day, make sure that you seek out a practitioner who is certified. If you want to give a massage to your partner at home, there are plenty of books and videos on the Internet to give you tips on giving a great massage.
Here are some of our tips for a do-it-yourself massage and what you'll need:
Sheets to protect your bed
Pillows to support your partner’s head and knees
Soft music to get you in the mood
Make sure that the room is dark and warm, that your fingernails are trimmed and filed, and that your hands don’t have sharp calluses that could scratch your partner’s skin. Heat your oil and test to make sure it’s not too hot. Remember to use long, gentle movements and don’t concentrate on one area for too long, which can irritate the tissue. Read up on reflexology, which uses trigger points on the feet to relax various points throughout the body. If you oil the feet, make sure you wipe off the oil before your partner stands up, to avoid slip and falls.
After the massage, allow your partner to relax for a few minutes and drink a large glass of water to flush out the toxins released during the massage.