LaRae Verros, spa director at Scottsdale’s Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, takes the intimidation out of at-home massage with these “no-pressure” guidelines:
- Communication is key. The partner receiving the massage should be comfortable asking for what they want and need and give positive reinforcement, while the partner giving the massage should ask for feedback and listen with an open mind. Bonus: The benefits of communicating better will last long after the massage ends.
- In particular, communicate about pressure. Not everyone enjoys the same amount of intensity in their massage, so be sure to give and accept feedback as you work together to find the perfect level of pressure.
- A massage table is great but not necessary, and the same goes for creating a quiet massage space. Instead, keep it flexible and fun—think snack, foot rub, and a favorite TV show while you relax on your couch in your comfiest clothes.
- When it comes to massage technique, slower is better. Also, don’t overuse your thumbs. It’s not sustainable and your strength will burn out quickly.