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[alt.backrubs] Frequently Asked Questions (FAQL), (3/5)

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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       * This FAQ list will not be posted after January 2003 *  
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Section 3 -- Novice Questions

        This posting contains answers to the following questions:
    3.1)  How should I start?
    3.2)  Where can I find people to give/receive massages? [See also 4.3]
    3.3)  What can I do about ticklishness?
    3.4)  What oil should I use?
    3.5)  How can I get oils?
    3.6)  Is there anything I can do about my tired hands?

        The complete lists of subparts of all questions is in part 0 of
this FAQ list.

        Each question begins with `Subject:' on a line of its own.  Users
with suitably equipped newsreaders can automatically skip to the start of
the next question, e.g. trn will display the start of the question when you
press ^G (control-G).  Of course if your newsreader doesn't do this
automatically, you can still use a search command to find the next
        To find the answer to question 3.2 search for a line beginning with
`Q3.2)', there will be only one.


        Your suggestions for changes to these articles are welcome.  Please
see section 0 (entitled Administrivia and Acknowledgements) in the earlier
posting for information about whom to contact and what changes are planned.

        The questions are divided into the following general sections.
Questions from each section are answered in articles of their own.  A list
of all questions appears in the first article (section 0).
        Section 0  Administrivia and Acknowledgements
        Section 1  General Questions
        Section 2  Basics of Massage
        Section 3  Novice Questions
        Section 4  Professional Massage
        Section 5  Other Sources of Information


Section 3 -- Novice Questions

Subject: How should I start?
Q3.1)    Practice.  Practising bad technique will have a bad effect,
practising good technique will have a good effect, so do some reading
first.  Read about technique often as you are starting out to help you
correct yourself.  The archive (see question 5.1.2) contains
recommendations of books to read (in the file `books') and techniques to
try (in the file `technique').
        Do not restrict yourself to a few recipients.  You will learn much 
more from giving one massage each to 20 people than you will by giving 20
massages to one person.  Even if there is a primary recipient you have in
mind, the quality of that one person's experience will be severely limited
if your experience is limited to that one person.
        Receiving a massage can also be a learning experience.  You may
better understand variations of touch, pressure, etc. as well as learning
new techniques and strokes from others.  Caroline Knight adds: you can
learn a lot by applying strokes to yourself.
        As you massage another person, be aware of the effects that your
touch is having both on the person you're touching and on yourself.
Temporarily put aside anything else you might have going on, and focus your
attention on the massage.  What are your fingers conveying about the
tension and texture of the recipients muscles?  Be aware of how both of you
are breathing.  Use your body weight to gently and smoothly apply pressure,
instead of muscling the pressure.  Learning to give a good massage is only
partly about learning technique.  
        Much of what you need to learn is about being present in your body
and present in the current moment.  You can learn a lot about superficial
anatomy just paying attention to what your fingers are feeling.
        Question 3.6 is about tired hands, a common affliction among
newcomers to massage.  You might also find the `advice' file in the archive
helpful.  The archive is the subject of question 5.1.2.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM