Massage tend to make people feel special because it's not just time-and-chocolate-and-flowers kind of attention; it's wholesome attention minus the conditional satisfaction. It's automatic reciprocation: You gain as much as you give. That's why it's so much better than psychotherapy in improving the quality of life for both giver and recipient of the massage.
About the Missus' complaints; it's probably not your hands to blame; It's never about sizes either, it's always about the way you do it. By all means, I could have the smallest and most callous hands on a masseuse, yet effective nonetheless.
- For maximum health effect, natural oils like sesame and olive are great. Unfortunately, using only those will make both of you smelling like lettuce in a salad bowl. So, mix some sweet-smelling baby oil into your lubricant for aromatherapeutic kicks.
- Heck, put some Vicks Vaporub for all-in-one benefits. Then watch where your hands go. NOT on your face!
- Apply just the right amount of lubricants on your hands; not too much that it becomes slippery, not too little that you end up with scathed skin.
- Before you touch anyone's skin rub your hands together to warm them up. You know how doctors warm their stethoscopes in their hands before tuning in to your your chest? Same idea here.
- Wash your hands before and after a massage. Shamans believe that, as the massage giver, you are going to take in some of the recipient's illness through your hands. Washing your hands breaks the cycle.
- Massage givers, say your graces. Starting with Bismillah, Ohm, or anything that ends with Amen is A. Good. Thing.
- Both recipient and giver should not be too full or too hungry when massaging.
- Start any massage with caress. Massage is basically a step further from caress. Be compassionate to the person you are massaging. Don't massage when you're mad at the recipient. Keep your fingers open, but more importantly, your heart and senses.
Go along the lines. Look at any muscular anatomy picture, and you'll get what I'm talking about. You don't need to know the details, just the major ones. While you're at it, avoid glandular areas and bones.
- Press with the base and side of your palm, using your body weight, not brawns. This saves the giver's energy, and lessens the stress on you hands.
- Unless you're sure about what you're doing, don't apply pressure with the tips of your fingers, elbow, knees, tailbone or feet (Yes, some of us have to!). At least not until you know your wife's pain threshold just from the sound of her breath.
- For muscular aches: Start stroking from the base of that aching muscle, to the end of it. For example: Bicep area, start from the shoulder to the elbows. Stroke downwards three times, then go the other way once. Repeat.
- For quick calm-me down: Get into a normal hugging position, then do this: Open your hands, and begin strokes from the base of the neck, towards the shoulders, from the base of the neck, to the small of her back, etc.
- For quick giddy-me-up: Scalp massage: Place your thumbs on both temples, the rest of your fingers on top of your head, then pull back so that your palms meet at the back in Namaste position. Increase pressure and add circular movements as you get better at it (see how base and sides of your hands can be so useful?).
- If those don't work, try here.
Other posts on massage:
Happy loving, and enjoy giving your massage.