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How to Give a Body Massage

Learn how to give a body massage from massage therapist Renee French in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Renee French and I'm here at Practical Massage Therapy in Nashville, Tennessee, and I'm going to be talking about massage therapy. One of the things I like to start with are the feet, and this just helps the person become really nice and relaxed by the time you get to the back. One thing that I do is, I only uncover the area that's being worked on in that moment, so I just kind of roll the sheet back, to expose that part of the body. I'm going to start with the foot and the leg, using a good amount of massage cream, I start with the foot, dragging my hand up and pulling them back, and then at that point you can judge whether you need a little more massage cream; if so, just grab a little more and apply. So I like to start with the flat parts of the hands, not focusing too much on any one particular muscle, but just kind of overall getting a nice kind of drag and increasing the circulation. As you feel the muscles and the skin start to warm up, then you can focus on each particular muscle, and I always end with going up the body towards the heart. For the most part you want to massage going towards the heart, and this just increases circulation. Cover it back up, and then I move up the body to the back, and when you are working on the back, it's great to be at the top of the head. You can do this massage on a massage table, or you can do the massage on your bed at home. Have the person lay on the bed with one side of their body close to the edge, and work on that side, and you can have them turn around so that you can work on the other side. So I just then work on the back, do any of the specific muscles that you feel need some attention, and I always end with some nice closing strokes, at that point you can do a little bit of the neck here, while they're face down, up into the head, you can even work on the arm, just pull it out from underneath the draping, exposing the arm and hand, you can work on that here, and then just tuck everything back under, cover the person up, and I would start on the other side.

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