One of the most indulgent treats you can give yourself is a trip to the spa for a massage. Whether you're experiencing pain or tightness in your muscles or are just feeling the effects of too much stress, a massage is the ultimate relaxation technique.
Receiving one from a professional practitioner can relieve stiffness in the muscles and promote a sense of total calm and well-being, as well as put you back in touch with your body in a positive way. And there are so many kinds of massages out there — from deep-tissue treatments to hot-stone therapy (in which warm stones are used to melt the tension right out of your muscles) — that you're sure to find one perfectly suited to your needs, taste, and comfort level.
Whichever treatment you choose, try these tips for getting the most out of your massage:
Make sure you're comfortable. For most massage treatments, you will need to be unclothed and draped with a sheet. When a part of the body is treated, it is uncovered — though it's standard for women's breasts and genitals to be covered at all times by a sheet or towel. If modesty is a factor, let me try to ease your mind a bit: It's nothing they haven't seen before. Still, if you're not comfortable, you should let the practitioner know. There are a few massages that can be done with the client fully clothed, that are more spot-specific treatments — such as those offered in a massage chair or foot reflexology. Also, think about whether you have a preference for a male or a female massage therapist. If you do have a preference for either, then be sure to express that when you make your appointment.
Be specific. If you're experiencing pain in a specific area, let your massage therapist know so he or she can focus on where you need the most attention.
Speak up! If the massage is too light or too intense, ask your practitioner to change the pressure. And if you're uncomfortable in any other way (the room is too hot/cold, the light is shining in your eyes, the music is driving you crazy, etc.), say something! The point is to enjoy yourself to the fullest.
Breathe deeply. Taking deep breaths can help you relax in the capable hands of your practitioner. Breathe in to let every cell of your body calm down and allow your mind to wander. As your massage therapist locates areas of tension, your breath will help you release the stress.
Relax. You'll get the full effect of the treatment if you allow yourself to relax as completely as possible. Be a rag doll — simply receive the massage.
And remember: You can enjoy massaging each other as well! After all, massage can be one of the most sensual and bonding parts of foreplay. The trick to maximizing eroticism is to focus on the way your partner’s body responds. Notice when his muscles relax, how he breathes, when he sighs in pleasure. Move slowly, lingering over every erogenous zone and enjoying the sensation of his skin. Touching like this will make you both a better masseuse and a better lover.
So, what are you waiting for? Surprise your partner with a seductive massage at the end of the night — he will be so blown away, he won't know what to do with himself!