We all have little tricks we use when it comes to relaxing. Whether you enjoy an hour in front of the TV, a good cup of tea or a good long soak, sometimes these just aren't enough to really work out the knots in your muscles.
Some days require a little bit more care to fully unwind, which is why a few massage tips could help you to get rid of any remnants of tension.
You don't need to pay a small fortune for a full massage treatment - although we all wish we could do this regularly - as there are easy massage methods you use to get similar results at home.
Some methods you can use on your own, while other areas won't be so easy to reach without someone else, so it's a good idea to get your partner to try these out too.
Here's what you need to know to enjoy a relaxing massage at home:
Choose the right product
To start with, you need a good product to make massaging easier, as massaging dry skin doesn't have the same effect. While you can use creams, these sink into skin fairly quickly so you'll have to apply some more, which can clog your pores and be too heavy for your complexion.
Instead, use one of our Bath and Massage Oils, which feature two of our best-selling scents to lightly fragrance your skin and create the perfect relaxing atmosphere. The oils are suitable for adding to your bath and also for massaging, as they moisturise but also don't sink in as quickly as lotions and creams.
A little bit goes a long way, so be sure you only apply a small amount at a time.
While getting a massage, it is important to keep breathing deep and even. This will help you relax even more and make sure enough oxygen is getting to your muscles.
If you're finding it hard to breathe deeply, you should stop or adjust the pressure being used, especially if someone is massaging your back or shoulders.
It is important to remain as relaxed as possible while massaging yourself or being massaged. Tension in your muscles can actually make it difficult to massage and could leave you in pain afterwards - as well as cause problems for a few days.
If you can't relax fully, you should stop and try a different position or a different massage technique.
Check the pressure
The pressure of a massage is totally personal. Some people enjoy a hard massage while others only need a soft pressure, so you should experiment with what works for you.
This is easily done if you are massaging yourself, but if someone else is doing it, be sure to tell them if it is too hard or too light. You should also remember that every part of your body is different, so some areas will need a light pressure while others will need a bit extra.
Slow and steady movements
When massaging, you should keep your hand movements slow and steady to really work out any knots and avoid hurting yourself or someone else. Moving slowly will let you tell if there are any areas that need extra work and will ensure you don't pull any muscles and cause pain.
You don't need to use professional movements, but if you take your time, it will help to get rid of tension. Just remember to give your hands a rest too, as massaging for too long can make your wrists ache.
Stop if it hurts
Perhaps most importantly, if you feel any pain, stop. You don't want to injure yourself so don't try and massage painful areas if you don't know what you're doing. It could be a case of just finding another way to relax or you may need to see your GP if an area continues to be painful. It is much better to be safe rather than sorry!
To help create the ideal atmosphere for a massage, shop our range of candles here