Massage is something we recommend having every other week, or even weekly if you are very stressed. This doesn't always mean paying for a massage. You can exchange a foot rub or back rub with a friend, and you can give yourself a massage. Obviously your back gets a bit difficult, but you can manage a foot or a hand massage on your own. Jacqueline Young's book Self Massage gives great guidance. Or you can do a weekend massage course such as Chua Ka massage, which is a technique that you can use both on others and on yourself.
What Kind and Where?
There are many different kinds of massage, ranging from Swedish massage and sports massage, which are relatively physical, to aromatherapy massage, which is more aesthetic. Therapeutic types of massage such as Hellerwork, Rolling and Chua Ka are specifically designed to release stored tension. These deep-tissue massages can be truly transforming. Reflexology massage works specifically on the feet.
If you'd like to try any of these forms of massage ask in your local alternative health centre or health club.
If you are having a massage make sure the massage therapist is properly qualified. The basic qualification required is an ITEC award. For those practising deep-tissue massage much more extensive training is required. Be prepared to shop around until you find someone you like working with.
Try this simple exercise Hold your partner's hand in both of yours, and become aware of the warmth, the shape and feeling and the subtle pulse of blood vessels. Now start to benevolently explore your partner's hand, rubbing quite firmly, tracing the finger bones, front and back, all the way down towards the wrists, feeling each bone, each joint, muscle, tendon and nail. When you're done let go and ask how his or her hand feels, compared to the other one.