It seems like whatever type of lifestyle you lead, most people accumulate stress in their backs and shoulders, which explains why people from all walks of life frequent chiropractors and massage therapists. Unfortunately, many of these beneficial services can be costly or difficult to pencil in. Developing a basic set of massage skills can be super useful to practice on yourself and others. 

I have always practiced massage on myself, learning mostly by intuition and practice. In the past couple of years I have focused more on developing my skills by incorporating different oils and techniques on both myself and a lover, who I practiced on. A definite lesson that I now abide by is that massage is always better with a lubricant. You want to make sure that before you begin your hands are well oiled and your recipient (even if it’s yourself) is relaxed. My go-to oil for nearly everything, including rub downs, is coconut oil. It is super moisturizing, silky, and naturally fragrant without leaving extra residue or stains. 

Recently I received a sample marijuana-infused topicals, including “Flow” by Fairwinds, a cannabis grower/producer in Washington. Flow is a super concentrated CBD topical extract. In terms of texture, it is somewhere between petroleum jelly and olive oil. You just need a small amount, since it glides on and does leave a slightly filmy residue that disappears after a few minutes. Since this product is super potent, it’s pain-alleviating effects are felt immediately upon application. A little dab on the temples does wonders for a stubborn headache and on your belly with a heating pad cramps soothes even first-day period cramps. When using it to massage I like to mix it with a generous amount of coconut oil so that I do not burn through it (literally as it tingles as it works). After about 15 minutes of slow, deliberate strokes up and down the back, and focused pressure on knots with Flow, you might feel the lucky recipient slipping into a hypnotic state of Nirvana.

If you are not sure of how to practice on yourself, start first using the same coconut oil formula on your feet and legs. Doing this alone can greatly improve your circulation, stress level, and overall health. Regularly eliminating stress and other toxicity from ourselves is essential to living our fullest lives, and if it has the added benefit of being relaxing and sensual, even better!