Valentine’s Day can be stressful, so why not relax your significant other with a sensual massage? Stimulating blood flow to tissues helps calm and relax the nervous system and muscles. Certified massage therapist Whitney Cornell gave us the rundown on how to give a decent rubdown.
To warm up your partner, rub massage oil between your palms.
Then, using long, slow strokes along the spine, begin with a featherlight touch, and gradually increase the pressure. Communicate with your partner about how much pressure they are comfortable with.
Straddling your partner, begin at the shoulders.
“Avoid poking with your fingers,” said Cornell, who has been practicing massage for four years. “The heal of the hand is the easiest to use.” After kneading out the area between the shoulder blades, slowly work your way down to the base of their spine.
On broader areas, such as the lower back, elbows or forearms can be used. “If you plan on using your forearm, make sure it’s flat,” said Cornell. “No one likes something pointy shoved in their back!”
Massage oil can be found at most health food stores, such as the Co-Op or Whole Foods.
Some personal lubricants can be used as a substitute, however they do not soak into the skin as well.
In a pinch, lotion can also help reduce friction, though it won’t last as long as an oil.