When offering a massage to a friend or lover, you may decide not to use oil. Some people have sensitive skin and may get a rash from even the gentlest ingredients, while others simply do not like the sensation of oil on their skin. However, it is perfectly possible to give a relaxing massage without any type of lubrication. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
❤ Preparing Your Skin
For a massage without any lubrication, you will want your hands to be clean and as dry as possible. The same can be said for the person receiving the massage. Having any lotion, water or sweat on the skin can cause your hands to drag uncomfortably against skin and body hair. This is not relaxing, and will be irritating to both parties.
❤ Warming the Skin
As with almost all massages, you will want to begin by warming up the skin and muscles for the upcoming manipulation. Without any type of oil to create ‘glide’ across the skin, you will want to go with a light touch. If the person receiving has any body hair, be careful not to pull it. Be extra careful with the sensitive skin around the neck and the upper shoulders. Use firm, sure caressing motions to warm up the skin before applying true pressure.
Instead of gliding your hands in long swoops as is often common in oiled massage, dry massage is often carried out by using a kneading motion. Much like a person would knead bread dough, gently manipulate the muscles and underlying tissues before lifting your hands and moving on to the next area. You will want to be firm when employing this method, as a lighter touch may simply be ticklish or annoying to the receiver. Of course, ask for feedback if you are unsure.
❤ Skin Color Changes
As you massage, you may notice that the recipient’s skin is becoming a bit red. This is due to the inevitable friction on the skin and cannot be completely avoided in dry massage. If the receiver is a very light-skinned individual, you may be alarmed by this. Don’t worry. As long as the recipient is comfortable, this blush will disappear rapidly after the massage and will leave no lasting marks.
❤ Avoid a ‘Digging’ Motion
Some people who are new to dry massage may think that using pressure from their thumbs will be helpful in causing the recipient’s muscles to relax. While this thought seems to make sense, as the thumbs are quite strong, it is actually not pleasant for most receivers. It feels as if you are ‘digging’ into the flesh, especially if the massage is dry and you cannot use a gliding motion to spread the pressure. Use the strength of your fingers and palms for manipulation more than your thumbs.
Giving full body healing-touch massages without any type of oil can be a challenge at first. Once you become comfortable with the different motion and pressure techniques of dry massage, both you and the receiver will have no problem adapting to this alternate modality.