The mistake most people make with a massage is to grab a friend and knead the shoulders with their fingers. "The tips of your fingers are really tiny," says Ed Moffett, bodywork specialist at El Monte Sagrado, a spa in Taos, New Mexico, "so they don't do a good job." To give a knockout back rub, follow his technique:
You want to use the big parts of the hand—the palm and the heel. You can use even your elbow. For instance, if you're standing behind someone sitting in a chair, put your elbow on the shoulder muscle, where there is always a lot of tension. Lean gently, very slowly, applying pressure for three or four breaths. Then move your elbow an inch or two away and put pressure in the next area.
The key to a really good massage is long, slow, deep. Just think 'LSD.' And feedback is very important: Ask your partner, 'How is the pressure, on a scale from one to ten? How deep am I now?' You want a seven or an eight. Most important is: 'Does this feel good?' Ask again and again, and adjust your technique accordingly."
An Overnight Guest
Charles Kaval, guest specialist at New York's Four Seasons Hotel, is the authority on how to make a room feel inviting:
Tuck a sachet bag between your guests' linens a day before your friends arrive, in a subtle scent like lime, cucumber, or melon. Or spray L'Occitane's linen water in verbena on the sheets—everybody loves it.
Four pillows are ideal, so your guests can prop themselves up in bed to read or watch television. Lay out slippers, because who remembers to pack slippers? You can buy inexpensive terry cloth ones at Price Club or Costco. They can be a gift for your guests to take home.
Always put a light snack such as fruit and a nice bottle of water by the bed, because a lot of people feel funny about asking for something to eat. Also, put an alarm clock in their room. If your guests have to catch an early plane, they won't have to ask you to get them up.
Printed from Oprah.com on
© 2014 OWN, LLC. All Rights Reserved.