7 TIPS: How to give an incredible massage

Wouldn’t you love to have a professional massage therapist right there in the room with you showing you and your partner how to give an incredible massage at home AND giving you lots of tips and trade secrets?

Getting a massage from a professional massage therapist might be the very thing you need because they have been trained to work on your muscles, but they may not be available when you need them. For example, at 11:00 pm when you have an awful kink in your neck from working at the computer all evening, you ask your partner to rub your neck, but they don’t really know how, or their hands are simply too weak to get the job done.

Taking care of yourself is more important than ever. Stress affects your health. Watch this fun video that explains what happens to your brain when under too much stress: VIDEO: The Effects of STRESS

Here are a few tips to get you started.


Do you have raggedy talons and sandpaper palms? Since the person you’re massaging has their eyes closed and are at the mercy of your hands, make sure your skin is soft and your nails are trimmed short and filed smooth. You can make your hands much softer with the following technique: put some salt and olive oil in the palm of your dry hand and rub your palms together for a full minute. Then rinse with water till all the salt is gone. This makes your hands super soft and yummy.


When you give the massage, your ONLY focus is going to be on getting your partner to relax. This is about showing them that they are important to you. This can’t happen if you’re in a hurry. You need to be really committed to spending some time here. Don’t think about laundry, dishes, paperwork, kids, Facebook updates, Instagram, yada yada yada. Take this valuable time to invest in your relationship.


For total relaxation I recommend music that has no vocals. Music with vocals makes it hard not to listen to the words and that, in turn, makes it hard to completely relax. You want them to get lost in your touch and drift down Happy Lane to Destressville! Play something that is very slow and without a strong beat. Allow the person getting the massage to choose what they like. Hopefully you can decide on something you both like.


One of the complaints I hear from my clients when they try to massage at home is that their hands are not strong enough. The SPABALL® Massager and golf ball will help you apply more pressure to those tight muscles, if that’s what your partner wants. They will be happy that they can have the deep pressure they need, and you will be happy that it’s not as much work as it used to be.

I invented this tool because I wanted a way to push the golf ball deeply into muscles but also disperse the pressure of the hard golf ball in my palm. Furthermore, it needed to be small enough to allow my hands to continue to glide on my client’s skin. Use it all over their whole body. It feels surprisingly wonderful. Win win win!

Side note: My clients often ask me “What is a knot in a muscle?” This quick video will explain: VIDEO: What is a knot in a muscle?


If you both want a massage, avoid doing both in one evening. Chose one evening to focus on your partner’s massage, and a different evening for you. This prevents the ol’ “I massaged you for five minutes and now it’s my turn” type of situation. Plus, it helps you focus.

“The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention”. – Rick Warren


I prefer massage lotion instead of oil. I only say this because oil can be hard to wash out of sheets and can actually make your sheets smell rancid after a while. If you have special sheets just for massage, and prefer oil, then go for it. Coconut or jojoba oil is really nice if you prefer oil. Choose actual massage lotion, not hand lotion. Hand lotion absorbs into the skin and dries up quickly. It gets sticky and loses its slipperiness, which becomes annoying to the person being massaged, since their skin will experience friction.


I can’t stress enough that when you are massaging, take your time. If you think you are massaging slowly already, go just a little slower. When you move your hands slowly it communicates that you are not in a rush. It feels, to the person getting massaged, absolutely wonderful. If your partner is really stressed out, and their mind is going a mile a minute, your unhurried hands will start to slow their racing mind down. The human touch, especially from someone who loves you, is down-right therapeutic.

FYI, Even though massage can be very therapeutic, make sure it is medically safe to massage your partner. Have them check with their doctor. Some conditions are worsened by massage. A few contraindications include fever, inflammation, high blood pressure, infectious diseases, hernia, osteoporosis, varicose veins, broken bones, skin problems, and some cancers.


I have recently released a “Learn To Massage Yourself At Home” kit that contains the SPABALL Massager, a golf ball, a 45-min training DVD, massage techniques & trigger point guide, and a velour travel pouch. I’m very excited about this because it’s all the info I teach my private clients in one kit. The SPABALL Massager is the same tool used by therapists worldwide, so it’s the real deal.

You will learn …

  • how to give a relaxing therapeutic massage.
  • how to set up your bed at home for comfortable and effective massages.
  • how to use the SPABALL Massager to apply more pressure in tight muscles with less effort.
  • benefits of cooperative massage from psychologist Christopher Burr, PhD.
  • tricks that massage therapists use to relieve stubborn muscle knots through “trigger points.”
  • how to give a massage without hurting your back.
  • tips that will put your partner in an extremely relaxed state.
  • self-massage tips that address the most common muscle issues.


To purchase visit: spaball.com/shop

Please contact me with any questions or comments. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Heather Karr, LMT


STRESS and how it effects your BRAIN

Your brain is your prized possession and you pride yourself on handling stress and your accomplishments and how hard you work. You think “relaxation is for the weak and unmotivated.” Friends and family marvel at how you operate on so little sleep.

You are a SUPERSTAR?

Chronic stress, and not taking time to relax, kills brain cells. Literally!  The same way a smoker hurts his lungs and an alcoholic hurts his liver, a workaholic hurts his brain.

When you are under stress, lots of oxygen-rich blood moves faster than usual to your brain and muscles, just in case you need to “fight” or “flee.” And this is good. But long-term stress overloads the body with adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones that are supposed to be for “emergency use only.”

Your poor automated system doesn’t know you are the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf … once again. You are an adrenaline junky!

This awesome survival system is not meant to be activated all the time.

Adrenaline causes a super-speedy release of glucose and fatty acids into your bloodstream. Your senses become super-awesome, your memory is sharp as a tack, and you can handle pain. This is a lot of very important activity in your body that prepares you to fight what you’re facing or run away from it. So your body makes a decision to shut down other functions that are not necessary, such as reproduction, growth, and immune systems.

Your body’s stress response can be too much of a good thing. If your cortisol levels are raised for weeks, or years, it can damage and kill brain cells.

Too much stress can also raise your blood pressure and the fats in your blood make it more likely you will have a heart attack or stroke … AND make you crave fatty foods.

Here’s the good news … not all stress is bad.

A little stress releases norepinephrine, which is necessary for new memories and good mood. You start thinking creatively and problems feel more like challenges, which helps your brain grow new connections.

Stress management is the winning ticket. Not stress elimination It’s all about balance.

Here are a few unhealthy ways of coping with stress:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating
  • Using pills to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Being busy all day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others

Healthy ways of coping with stress include the following:
(It only takes about 20 min a day to benefit.)

  • Go for a short walk … without looking at your cell phone.
  • Workout and sweat, even for a short time
  • Play with your dog… or whatever you have.
  • Get a massage. My fav!
  • Meditate. This is harder than it seems, but hugely beneficial. You can do it anywhere and it doesn’t cost any money.
  • Watch a comedy. Another one of my favs!
  • Slowly take 3 really deep breaths. Try it right now. Stretch out your lungs!
  • Don’t take on more than you can handle. Learn to say NO. (I’m finally mastering this.)
  • Limit the time around people who stress you out.
  • Delegate items on your to-do list.

Everyone has his or her own way of de-stressing. It’s more important than ever to take care of our brains and health, and take care of our loved ones.

I’m a massage therapist and not only do I help people with their muscle pain, but also help them to relax and get their minds off the hamster wheel … if for only an hour or two.

I also teach them how to take care of themselves at home when I’m not around. Teaching people to take care of themselves AND their loved ones is VERY important and rewarding to me. Because of this I’ve created the “SPABALL Massage Kit” with tips, techniques, and tools. The DVD in this kit is the same information that I’ve taught my private clients to enjoy at home.

It teaches you:

  • how to give a relaxing therapeutic massage.
  • how to set up your bed at home for comfortable and effective massages.
  • how to use the SPABALL Massager to apply more pressure in tight muscles with less effort.
  • benefits of cooperative massage from psychologist Christopher Burr, PhD.
  • tricks that massage therapists use to relieve stubborn muscle knots through “Trigger Points.”
  • how to give a massage without hurting your OWN back.
  • tips that will put your partner in a SUPER-relaxed state.
  • self-massage tips that help with the most commonly complained-about muscle issues!

I hope this information helps you! Please feel free to contact me personally!

cura ut valeas

Heather Karr, LMT
Thousand Oaks, California

5 Reasons Men Should NOT Get a Massage

There are a lot of you guys out there that have never had a professional massage before. People keep trying to talk you into it, but we BOTH know you shouldn’t bother. Am I right or am I right? As a favor to you I’ve listed 5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T so you can be armed with hard–core facts to get those nags off your hairy back.

1: The guys will think you’re a girly man.
Even though many elite athletes consider massage an essential part of their training and recovery routine why should you do it also? Heck, you aren’t an elite athlete and you never will be. I’m sure there is a good reason they do it (they probably think it makes them perform better, HA SUCKA) but you don’t want the guys thinking you are a pampered lap dog. Don’t risk it!

2: It’s a waste of money.
Why spend money on a massage when you could use that for a good bottle of tequila? Even though Health & Fitness Magazine says massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time, doesn’t mean YOU’LL see any cost savings. Visiting the doctor when you have injuries or back pain isn’t THAT expensive. Plus, doctor’s visits are way more fun than getting a massage. Ol’ Dr. Jelly-Finger hasn’t seen you in a while anyway.

3: You lose out on that sweet sympathy from your partner!
Massage can help break down adhesions (scar tissue) and prevents injury, so no more special treatment from your loved ones from getting hurt during sports! You will just have to FAKE an injury if you want your honey to feel sorry for you.

4: Your mind will be muddled and you won’t be able to think.
People are so relaxed after a massage, right? They say that massage improves mental focus and helps the mind with problem-solving and coping with stressful situations. But, by the looks on people’s faces when they just had a massage, there is NO way that’s true. It’s probably best to go through your week with things on your mind and being stressed out because if you were actually focused and relaxed people would start to talk.

5: No Pain No Gain.
Everyone knows that! Massage reduces pain, anxiety, and stress because it releases endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. Massage feels GREAT so how are you supposed to gain if you have no pain? Sure, sometimes a deep massage on those tired and sore muscles kind of hurts but it’s a good hurt. The kind that dreams are made of. So for SURE don’t get a massage

I hope this helps you out. Let me know how it goes!

5 Tips For Your FIRST Massage!


So, you haven’t had a professional massage? Unsure of what to expect so you just don’t try it? Boooo!

I think the main reasons why people don’t try a professional massage is because they are too embarrassed by their bodies, or some just feel creepy about having someone touch them, or just think it’s a waste the time and money. Take my word for it, getting a massage from someone that understands how to make your muscles relax and helps you distress is worth it! Just because it feels good doesn’t mean it’s not good for you.

Here are 5 tips that will help make the most of your FIRST professional massage:

Try not to chat during your massage! Just RELAX! If you have to warn your therapist that you have an ingrown toenail or that you don’t want anyone to touch your face, PLEASE tell her/him before you get on the table. It’s really common for first-timers to chat because they are nervous, or they feel like its impolite to just lay there and not socialize. You’ve earned some quiet time and you will benefit much more if you don’t chat.
Sometimes, though, the THERAPIST is too chatty. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I get a massage. I personally don’t want to pay good money just so the therapist can have a trapped friend to socialize with for an hour! The way to nicely “warn” your therapist that you want to chill quietly (without hurting anyone’s feelings) is to say “Ahhhhh, finally ONE hour where no one is talking to me! I’m so looking forward to this.” Or “I’m so tired, I hope I sleep during my massage.” If they STILL ramble on, just do a fake snore. Or there is always the true-blue method of simply saying, “Please shut your pie hole during my massage, Ma’am.”

Guys, you don’t need to worry that you have a hairy back. It IS kind of fun, though, to make shapes and patterns with the lotion-packed hair, so it’s a “win-win” no matter what. Most of us therapist really don’t mind and are happy you came to see us! And gals, you don’t need to worry that you didn’t shave your legs. Women ALWAYS apologize for this, but it you have a hairy back please give us a warning.

NOOOOOObody is. Even professional models apologize for various “deformities”. I’ve seen MANY webbed toes, veiny legs, bald spots, potbellies, and deformed toenails and I honestly don’t even think about it. It’s all COMMON. We probably have seen more bodies that you will in a lifetime so take my word for it … you probably are very normal, and even if you aren’t our goal is to make you feel better, not to judge you.

It depends on the therapist. Ask them “Do I take EVERYTHING off?” We’ve been asked this question many times before, so no need to be embarrassed. Usually we will let you know ahead of time. When I worked at a spa one client of mine used the top sheet to make himself a knotted up “diaper” before I came back into the room. He was lying there with just him and his diaper. THAT was odd, and a little unnerving, so PLEASE don’t do that. Another client lay on TOP of the sheets with nothing on but a Speedo. Please, God PLEASE don’t do that either.

Some therapists are great at a relaxing Swedish massage but not at a deep therapeutic one, or visa versa. Some are good at both! Be aware of what you want and ask before you schedule with a specific therapist. You also might want the massage firm (or deep) on your back, but more relaxing treatments on the rest of your body. Tell them! They want to help you, but they won’t know unless you tell them!

Of course you can try getting a massage at home from your partner, but it’s nice to have a little help from a therapist first. I created the SPABALL Massage Kit for just that reason. The training DVD is the same information that I’ve been teaching my own private clients for years, and it’s a fantastic start. Keep me posted how it goes!

Massage Trigger Points For Pain Relief

Would you like to know some massage therapist secrets for pain relief? I thought so! Knowing where some common trigger points are can be super-helpful. There are hundreds of trigger points in your body and when these trigger points have direct and steady pressure applied you can find relief in the muscle, as well as in the referred pain areas. As a massage therapist I use a golf ball to do this!

I LOVE to help my clients feel better, and some of my techniques can be performed at home by my clients on themselves and their partner. Why am I revealing these secrets to you? Because, frankly, if you have a tight muscles and it’s 11:00 at night, odds are your massage therapist will be sleeping and can’t help you.

Just so you know, pushing on a trigger point can be a little painful, or you may get some twitching in that muscle.

The trigger point chart shown here are just a few of my favs. It shows the trigger points (indicated with a golf ball) as well as their referred pain areas (shown in the green). If you have pain in the green area, push and massage the area where the golf ball is.

Now relaxing your muscles knots doesn’t happen overnight! I’m guessing it took some time to get there in the first place, right? Even if your muscles loosen up a bit they can go back to contracting again. Muscles have memory. This is why massage therapists want you to come back to see them more often at first until your muscles can be “trained” to be relaxed, simply put.

There are many other areas on your body to massage that feels good but don’t forget to work on your partner! This can make them really happy, which in turn, can make YOUR life less stressful! And, they might return the favor! It’s a win-win!


Heather Karr, LMT