By Bart Freibert
Giving a massage at home is rather simple - put your hands on your partner's shoulders and neck and gently squeeze, release, and repeat.
Ok - there's more to it than that, but don't overthink it. Making massage a part of your routine at home with your partner doesn't require candles, CBD massage oil, aromatherapy, or the perfect playlist, although these are all great ideas!
If you want feel connected to your partner but notice that sometimes you feel like you still need to break the ice after a stressful week or an argument, the following scenarios are fantastic and simple ways to show love and care for each other. You'll break through that stuck energy and get back to feeling in love and connected.
When your partner is working from home or bogged down at the computer, this is a great opportunity to remind them that you have their back. Without being too distracting, you can quietly approach them from behind and place your hands on their shoulders. Take a slow, audible, deep breath as you begin applying light pressure. This breath, like a yawn, will be a contagious invitation to let out a big sigh of relief. Keep in mind the 5 Love Languages - you're already hitting physical touch and acts of service. Now use this moment to offer some words of affirmation, "I'm so proud of you," "I admire your focus," or whatever may be appropriate and deserving of praise. After a few gentle squeezes on the shoulders, lightly and slowly tug on their ears, pinching and pulling the lobes and then the cartilage area. Now - if they need to keep working, give them a kiss on the head and move along.
Time: 0:30 - 2:00
After a long day in dress shoes, you might like to unwind with a glass (or bottle) of wine and vent to your partner about that particular colleague. Pour the wine and slip off the shoes. Prop her ankle up on your lap and sit across from her on a stool or ottoman. Listen to what's going on with her (guys: don't try to fix it or be her psychologist - just listen). With both hands use your thumbs to apply pressure rubbing from heel to toe, thumb over thumb, along the arches of her feet. Now take her heel in one hand and place the other on the top of her toes; stroke downward so her toes get a nice pointed stretch. Now switch directions so your palm is flexing foot and toes towards her. She'll love you for that - now, switch feet.
Time: 5:00 - 7:00
This is a great way to stay connected and get/give massage while watching your favorite Netflix series. The position allows you to address the neck and shoulders as well as the upper arms and triceps area. If you're the big spoon, grip the backs of the arms as if you had oven mitts on. Get a nice deep grip below the deltoid so your thumbs are under the armpits and your fingers wrapped around the outer arms. Squeeze, release, and repeat. This technique is one of the most overlooked yet appreciated. When you apply it properly, your partner will likely ask if you ever had formal massage training.
Time: As long as you're comfortable
The dual foot massage is one of the best ways to share equally in at-home DIY massage. It makes it easy to keep eye contact and hold a conversation while you're both working on each other. This can easily be done on the couch, the floor, a yoga mat, or two chairs. Maintaining good posture, take each other's right foot to your right hips and follow the instructions from #2 on massaging the feet. Add this technique too: firmly rub your thumb up the tibialus anterior,the muscle that runs along the shin bone (tibia) from ankle to knee. Using Reign Together's CBD massage oil will release tensions and enhance the glide and overall effectiveness of this technique. If your partner is a runner or athlete, they'll love you for it.
Time: 5:00 - 10:00
Although massage doesn't need to start in the bedroom, it often finishes there. This is the time to take off some clothes and give your attention to the whole back, from neck to waist. Clear the pillows and have your partner lie face down, topless, with face to one side. Sit butt to butt and lean forward to allow your body weight to create the pressure through your palms. Do a few presses like this along both sides of the spine, from hips to shoulder blades. This will increase blow flow to their back and prime them to receive some deeper tissue work.
***Important*** Remind your partner to breathe. Allow them to take a deep inhale and then apply the pressure during their long exhale.
Now - prepare for the massage. Using a massage oil is highly recommended here. Reign Together's CBD massage oil provides a warming sensation and the perfect glide and friction to release tight muscles. The broad-sprectrum CBD and Arnica Montana both offer analgesic effects (pain relief) to assist with recovery.
Pump the oil into your palms first and rub it between your hands to heat it up before applying it to their back. Now use both palms to applying gliding pressure up and along both sides of their spine. Repeat a few times and then use techniques from #1 and #3 to address neck, shoulders, an upper arms. Once you feel like your partner is relaxed and melting into the bed, get creative and ask for feedback. Continue setting the example for them by taking deep, audible breaths.
If you're truly connected and aware of their body you will get the urge to take and release a deep breath when you hit areas where they are holding extra tension and stress. Congratulations, you're a healer!
Time: 10 minutes +
As you'll soon experience, incorporating massage into your time at home is an excellent way to honor each other and stay connected. Take love into your own hands and Reign Together!
Bart Freibert is the Co-Founder of Reign Together