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A massage of a partner’s thighs should flow, proceeding smoothly from beginning to end. A massage consists of a sequence of different strokes applied in a rhythmic manner. The various techniques used in a massage are typically categorized as effleurage, petrissage and friction, or light, medium and deep. When massaging the upper legs, you’ll want to cover different areas, such as the inner thigh, outer thigh and the hamstrings. In addition, you can change your stance to massage your partner’s thighs more effectively. Do not attempt to massage anyone with an injury or chronic medical condition. Seek a physician's guidance, first.

The Strokes

If a massage is too light, it won’t release tension in the thigh muscles. If it’s too deep, it can cause pain. The order in which you apply different strokes will also impact the massage. Begin a thigh massage with effleurage, or light gliding strokes applied with the flat of your hands. Mold your hands to the shape of your partner’s legs and sweep up and down the outside of the thighs. As you apply varying degrees of pressure to the muscles, check your partner’s response. Once the thighs grow more relaxed, apply a medium stroke, such as kneading. Use your thumbs and fingers to roll the flesh. If you detect any knots while kneading, you can use a deep stroke, or friction. Press your fingers and thumbs into the knot to release the tension.

Outer Thighs

To massage the outer thigh, stand on the opposite side of the massage table, reach over your partner’s legs and hook your fingers into her outer thigh. Depending on where you are in the flow of the massage, you can use effleurage or petrissage. A medium stroke, such as kneading, is particularly effective for large fleshy muscles. Begin by pressing your thumb into the thigh. Grab the thigh muscle with your fingers and roll the flesh back toward your thumb. As you end the stroke with one hand, start the same movement with the other hand from a different place. Establish a rhythm, alternating hands. Avoid tender spots, such as the back of the knee.

Inner Thighs

Put your knee that is furthest from your partner on the massage table. Bend your partner’s closest knee and place it on your thigh. Turn your stance so you’re facing the length of your partner’s leg. Apply light smooth strokes toward the direction of the pelvis, using the heel of your hand. Bend your elbows slightly to maintain a circular position with your arms, which will help to even out the pressure and depth of your strokes. Because the inner thigh is more sensitive than the outer thigh, avoid applying too much or sudden pressure. To reverse the stroke, change your position so you’re facing your partner’s feet.

Backs of the Thighs

To massage the backs of the thighs, face your partner and place her foot on your shoulder. Bend her knee at a right angle, placing one hand on the front and lower part of the thigh to stabilize her leg. Use your fist, heel of the hand or forearm to apply strong and steady strokes to the hamstring muscle. Keep your back straight and use your legs to help power your strokes.

Ending the Massage

As you finish the massage, gradually reduce the pressure applied on your strokes. Use a releasing stroke, such as rocking, to help ease residual tension in the thigh muscles. To rock the upper leg muscles, place your hands on either side of your partner’s thigh. Facing her, gently rock the leg. Alternate the rocking movement with your hands, moving slowly down the leg to the ankle and back up to the thigh. Try and relax her joints under your hands.