Healthy Beginnings

4 At-Home Massage Moves for Your Valentine

There are only four massage moves you need to know in order to give a sensual and relaxing massage to your partner this Valentine’s Day. Learn these moves and apply them to any part of the body – in this order.

Effleurage (a circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand)

Example: Begin at the top of the shoulders and glide your palms down both sides of spine and over the buttocks, returning up the sides of the body without ever breaking contact with the skin. This is a warm, nourishing stroke that feels wonderful and introduces the receiver to your touch. You can also use this technique on the legs, beginning just below the buttocks. Make sure you include the feet.

Petrissage (lifting and kneading of the skin)

Example: Working your way down one side of the back and onto the buttocks. Gently lift and knead the soft tissue. This should be graceful and rhythmic and provide a lifting sensation to the skin. It is a great move for the shoulders, back and buttocks. Think of those moments when someone was rubbing your shoulders as you sat in a chair. This is a form of petrissage. Too hard and it’s no fun, too light and it’s just weird. Check in with your partner to find the right pressure.

Friction or Deep Tissue (compression of the muscles with a gliding stroke)

Example: Using a lightly closed fist, begin at the shoulder at the base of the neck and follow both sides of the spine down until you pull up as you come into contact with the buttocks. The trick to this stroke is not thinking you must press hard – lean into your stroke and let gravity do the work. Check in with your partner about the amount of pressure you’re using.

Effleurage (yes… start as you began)

Example: As you finish your last friction strokes, transition into effleurage again beginning with more pressure and lightening up as you go, until you are just barely touching the skin. You don’t need to master these strokes to give a great massage. If you give your partner your full attention while you are massaging, the strokes will come naturally.

Remember to use warm oil and make sure your partner is comfortable before you begin.

For more information, call Patrick Hicks at 775-453-0099 or visit