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Everyone loves a good massage and many people enjoy giving a massage as much as getting one. These tips will help you learn the proper way to massage. To begin, you will want to be totally relaxed. Your body weight and not your muscles should be providing the pressure when you massage. Each stroke should be repeated several times, with special attention paid to areas where you sense tension. Be sure before you begin a massage that you warm your hands. You can do this by rubbing them together briskly or running them under warm water. It is also a good idea you use oil when you are massaging. This will allow you hands to move smoothly over the area you are massaging without sticking to the skin.

The person you are massaging should lie face up on a firm padded surface when you are working on the upper body. Start by stroking their face with your finger tips. Move from the center out and end with a circular motion at the temples. Work along the jawbones and cheeks, using a firm press release motion at the upper ridge of the eye sockets. Massage the scalp with your finger tips using enough pressure to move the skin on the scalp. When you move to the neck area, cradle the person's head with one hand. Be sure to give extra attention to the base of the skull where you will usually find large bulges. When you finish the neck, slide your hand out and press the tops of the shoulders down toward the feet. Work the shoulder muscles in a kneading fashion and then move to the collar bone area. Stroke downward in gliding strokes using medium pressure on the chest and light pressure on the stomach area. When your downward strokes reach the stomach area work firmly back up the sides, one at a time.

To begin the arms, start at the wrist and use a firm gliding stroke toward the armpits. Move back down the sides of the arms and continue out to the finger tips then repeat this action. Massage the inside of the arms with your thumbs and then grasp the arm in both hands vigorously rotating it back and forth along the entire length. Use this same stroke for the legs giving the knee caps a circular massage with your thumbs. The feet and hands should be massaged from the ankles and wrists out. Extra pressure should be applied in the center and around the pad areas. Use a circular motion to work down the length of the fingers and toes. Be sure to include the areas between these digits.

When this is finished have your subject turn over on their stomach with the head turned to the side. Start by kneading the buttocks, twisting the knuckles of your index fingers into the hollows. Beginning at the shoulders, move in long, gliding strokes down the back, working up the spine with your thumbs in the furrows on each side. Knead the upper back muscles, working out to the sides of the shoulders and finish by rubbing your palms quickly over the back in downward strokes. Rake the body with your finger tips and then drum the muscles with the outer edges of your hands. You will get better results when doing this if you relax your fingers enough to allow them to bump together as you gently strike the back. This will create a vibrating effect that feels wonderful to the person being massaged and improve circulation to the area being worked on. When you finish have the person lie quietly for a couple of minutes before getting up.