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How to Give a Massage

Learn how to give a massage from message 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. So I'm here to give you some tips on how to give a massage. So one of the things that you want to do for the person receiving massage is to give them a bolster under the feet. You just slide this right under the ankles, so that their feet are elevated. It's just more comforting in that position than putting a lot of pressure on the tops of the feet. And then I always make sure that they have a blanket, and that they're covered. And then, as I work on each body part, I undrape or uncover that area of the body. Work on that area of the body. And once I'm done, just cover and move on. So I do the 2nd leg. Then I come up to the back. You can uncover the back. Work on the back in this position. The arms, the neck, and the scalp. Once you're done with that, you can cover the person back up. And at that point, grabbing the blanket on the opposite side that you are just to create some privacy for the person receiving. You can create a little blanket tent, holding up the blanket so that they can turn over to face up. So allowing them to turn over, just pull the blanket down so that it's covering right at the top of the shoulders. And then you can adjust the pillow that you put under their feet earlier. And that's really nice to put behind the knees. And this just helps to relieve some pressure from the low back. So have them lift the knees, slide the pillow up under the knees, and then just straighten out the blankets at that point. From this position, you can work on the fronts of the legs. you can work on the tops of the shoulders. You can undrape, and work on the arm. Just pull the arm out. Work on the top of the arm, the shoulder. You can even get underneath the head and neck here for a nice traction, and you can work on the face. So one of the other things that you'll want to know about giving a massage is to have some good massage cream or lotion on hand. Whatever you like, even an oil. Maybe some nice candles, some music. And then the other thing that you really want to focus on, and this is for your own safety and your own body, is your posture. So when you're giving a massage, you don't want to hunch over, or bend over the person. This will create a lot of tension in your back. You actually want to create a nice lunge position with the legs. And bending at the knee, use your body weight to lean into the massage. And this just protects your spine and your posture. When you're at the head, instead of leaning over the person, you can actually have a stool to sit, so that you're right at the level where you can reach the shoulders. And then just making sure that you protect yourself, and that you're comfortable as well.

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