Massages are not limited to full-body treatments at a spa, in fact, you can give someone a good, simple massage in a chair. Massages loosen up the muscles and help alleviate painful knots. They can also help the person feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Here are some simple steps that anyone can follow to give a good chair massage, whether or not he has reflexology experience.

Things You'll Need

How to Give a Good Chair Massage

Focus on the areas you can massage. When someone is sitting in a chair, it is next to impossible to massage his lower back. But the limited area you can work with is not a hindrance: It actually lets you focus better on areas that can be neglected in a full-body massage. Massaging a seated person can give you more access to the clavicle area, the deltoid and the nape. Thinking of areas to focus on makes massaging easier.

Use oil. It makes things easier not only for the masseuse, but also for the person receiving the massage. Oil lubricates and hydrates the body, allowing the masseuse to glide over the skin with ease and less pain.

Knead the nape, the base of the neck and the shoulders. These areas need a good amount of gentleness and pressure, because they are where a lot of knots tend to occur. Caress in varying amounts of pressure, as these areas tend to be sensitive, and strong pressure may startle the person or cause her pain. The thumb can create a good amount of pressure that you can control, so when going through the length of the neck, use your thumb to add more pressure and the fingers create less. It’s a good contrast.

For the upper back up to the shoulder blades, use the heel of your palm to apply pressure in a circular motion. The back contains large muscle groups, which makes it easier to perform circular motions with the palms. Pressure on these muscles and gentle pounding of your fists on the back area also loosen up the muscles.

Stretching is a great way to massage the limbs. Starting from the shoulders, run your hands around the arm and pull it gently, repeating from the shoulders when you reach the fingers. Take the arm, stretch it toward you and make gentle wringing motions. Don’t forget the hands and fingers. Holding the person’s wrist, gently rotate the hands clockwise and then repeat counter-clockwise. Do this on both hands. Stretch the fingers one by one, and close and open the person’s hands to stimulate the hand muscles and improve circulation.


  • If the person receiving the massage has long hair, ask her to tie it in a bun. That way, it will be easier for you to give the massage.

  • Don’t use your nails when you give a massage. A good massage not cause extreme pain and/or scratches.

  • Always ask the person receiving the massage how he or she is feeling. A good masseuse likes getting feedback so that he or she can adjust the pressure and improve the massage.