Your guide to giving the best massages

Image credit: michaeljung via iStock

The most memorable and appreciated gifts tend to be those that involve thought, time and love, rather than those with the biggest price tags.

With Christmas approaching at a worryingly fast pace, you're bound to be thinking about what to gift the special someone in your life.

There's a fantastic array of new products in our Celebration Collection, but if you want something that allows you to show your love in a more practical way, a massage could be the perfect option.

Massage technique tips

A massage can be an incredibly sensual experience, but it can also be practical, helping to get rid of aches, pains and niggling knots in the neck and back. Your partner is bound to really appreciate you spending time making them feel better and more relaxed, finding out exactly where their body is bothering them and taking the time to work out those knots.

First of all, you should start by applying massage oil to the area that you are massaging. Our Citrus & Lavender Bath & Massage Oil will help to create a soothing atmosphere thanks to its calming notes of lavender, which are paired with an invigorating burst of citrus and florals. Together, the different components of this fragrance will leave your partner feeling relaxed and refreshed after their massage. Adding a few extra drops of the oil to a bath afterwards will only enhance these feelings.

Using massage oil will help to prevent any friction - and unwelcome accompanying noises! - between your hands and your partner's back. Use the palms of your hands to spread the oil across their back and neck evenly, then start at the base of their spine and work your way up, varying between soft and firm pressure.

When you reach the area that's been causing particular irritation, use the base of your palm to try to soothe the knot. This should help to move the blood and any fluid around, easing the pain. You want to be gentle still, but firm enough that you're actually doing some good, so ask your partner for feedback throughout.

Scented massage oil will help you to create a beautifully relaxing, sensual atmosphere

Create a relaxing atmosphere

Using a scented massage oil will help you to create a beautifully relaxing, sensual atmosphere for your massage, but there are a few other steps you can take as well to make it as calming an experience as possible.

Dim the lights and light a few candles. Use one that complements your massage oil. Our Citrus & Lavender Candle in a Glass will work perfectly with the matching oil, while there's also a stunningly fragrant Neroli & Rose Candle in a Glass to accompany our Neroli & Rose Bath & Massage Oil.

And, especially for Christmas, there's our Frankincense Bath & Massage Oil and matching Frankincense Candle in a Glass. The oil comes in fun packaging that resembles a Christmas cracker, with these products featuring gorgeous notes of rose, jasmine, cinnamon, warm vanilla, earthy oud and, of course, frankincense itself.

Put on some relaxing music too. You could create a playlist as part of your gift too, with songs that are special for the both of you, or you might prefer to use a mix of soothing ballads or natural sounds like whalesong. Try not to include any songs that are too sad or too upbeat, as either could ruin your carefully-created relaxing ambience.

If you want to make the whole experience extra special, practice your technique first using a cushion or something similar - your partner is bound to be impressed and really appreciate the gift.

We have a whole host of gorgeous products in our 2017 Christmas collection. Browse the full range here