There are two main massage techniques: effleurage, which means ‘light friction’ and petrissage. Effleurage uses gliding movements in long, even strokes while petrissage uses more pressure and shorter, circular strokes. You can find a YouTube video or follow WikiHow’s guide.
However, the best way to learn to create a rhythm with your hands and give a good massage is to practice and ask for feedback, and to receive massages so you know what you like and can interpret what the therapist/your partner is doing. While I was training, I had to practice loads on people who regularly have massages and ask them for feedback.
To find a good therapist, it’s best to ask around – you can’t beat a personal recommendation. I found one through my personal trainer – someone who knows my lifestyle and what I was looking for (I lead a fast-paced life so I like an intense massage). You can also ask for a discounted trial massage when it’s a first booking (I offer a discount on a first booking if the customer books another massage in advance).
If you’re not sure what type of massage to book, then consider your lifestyle. If you’re stressed and want a relaxing massage, then a remedial massage, which targets specific problems is a good, relaxing massage. However, if you’ve over exercised or lead a hectic life, then a sports, deep tissue or pressure point massage offer a more intense, targeted massage.