Giving the gift of your time and efforts means more than a physical gift. That is why we have devised a way for you to show love to your other half or someone you care about by giving them a Sports Massage to the neck, shoulders and lower back. You’re sure to be in the good books after this treat!
So first things first, let’s learn some techniques. Follow Nordic Balance’s top Sports Therapist Loic in this short series on how to give a Sports Massage.
Head to your living room, light some candles, queue your favourite Barry White playlist on Spotify.
This simple massage can be performed over your partner’s clothes, so there’s no need for any messy oils. A loose-fitting, comfy t-shirt is all that’s needed to feel the effects of these movements.
Position a few pillows on the floor for a comfortable set-up – you’ll need two or three extras later on, so keep those nearby.
Position yourself as the masseuse sitting on the couch and your partner sitting on the floor, with their back leaning against the couch in between your legs. Cosy!
The designated masseuse (you) should place their hands on your partner’s shoulders, palms down.
Press down, but only with 10% of your strength. Then, move your hands from the outside of their shoulders in towards their neck.
Alternate the pressure – from left to right, left, right, and so on.
Gently squeeze the shoulder muscles as you move your hands back and forth, from the outside of the shoulders to the middle of the neck.
Next-step, place two or three pillows on your partner’s lap so that they can fold their body forward, hugging the topmost pillow while the lower ones still support their back.
Form your hand into a fist, with your thumb across your index finger (you will use the very end of your thumb to perform this next technique). As you do so, press your thumb against your index finger to support and protect your thumb joint. Doing this will prevent any unnecessary tension from being placed on the joint.
Place one hand flat on your partner’s shoulder, then use your thumb to press down on the shoulder muscle with 90% of your force. Slowly draw your thumb across the shoulder, from the outside of the opposite shoulder into the base of the neck and up to where the skull meets with the spine. Repeat this movement on both sides, multiple times.
Using the same technique, use your thumb to press on one side of the spine, starting from the lowest point that you can reach from where you are sitting, and gradually working your way up to the neck, continuing until you reach the base of the skull.
Ask your partner to rock back and forth gently, and use that gentle movement to walk your thumb up and down the spine, applying gentle pulses of pressure as you go. Repeat this on the other side, too.
Next, with both palms lying flat, glide both hands simultaneously up both sides of the spine, up and down. Don’t hesitate to use plenty of pressure for this!
Now comes the tricky bit; place your palm on top of your partner’s head, and the elbow of your other arm onto their shoulder. Gently move their head to the side (away from your elbow) and use your elbow to press onto their shoulder.
Start with a medium level of pressure at first, and then gradually decrease the level of pressure as their head approaches the opposite shoulder. Repeat this step on both shoulders.
Use the blade of your hand (the outside edge of your palm, just beneath your little finger) and lightly karate chop the top of your partner’s shoulders. Do this back and forth, side to side, and up and down the spine, focusing on one area at a time.
Don’t use force here; use speed instead (think Neo in The Matrix!).
After the gentle pummelling, ease your partner back into relaxation. Shape your thumb and your fingers into a claw, then gently pinch the muscles of the base of the neck. Squeeze, and release. Repeat this up and down the neck, until you get down to the point where the neck meets the shoulders.
For the final part of your DIY romantic massage, ask your partner to lie face-down on the floor or on the couch, with their face on a pillow, supported between their hands (don’t suffocate them!).
Use the same karate chop technique along their entire back, right down to the glute (butt) and even carrying on further, down the back of the legs until you reach the foot.
Finish the massage by lightly rubbing on top of their clothing in a circular motion all over their body. Don’t apply too much pressure at this point – imagine you’re giving the final buff-polish to your refreshed and rejuvenated partner.
There you go! Who needs expensive spas and restaurants to feel loved? It’s not a particularly expensive Valentine’s evening, but we think that this thoughtful, romantic gesture will make your loved one happier than any dinners, flowers, or diamonds could do.
Article written by our fantastic Sports Therapist Loic at Nordic Balance Abbeville Road.
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