Keep the room warm. Maintain a temperature of at least 21ºC (70ºF) during the massage and check there are no draughts. Play some relaxing music.
Use massage oil to help prevent friction. Massage with gentle, controlled movements.
Check your massage technique. Use the pad of your thumb and rub in small circular motions. Massage the muscles on either side of the spine, rather than the spine itself.
Ask the person you are massaging what pressure he or she finds most comfortable. Find out which areas you need to focus on.
Find the knots in the muscles and focus your massage on them until you feel them start to loosen.