Last Stop: Head, Scalp And Ear Massage
Whether you do a complete body massage or not, finish the job with the head—which starts at the neck, a place where everyone holds tension.
Have your partner lay face up. Ciardulli swears by this technique: Position yourself at the top of his or her body, facing the feet, and slide your hands under the shoulder blades. Draw your fingers up along them to the base of the skull, and hold your fingertips there at the base of the skull for five seconds. Do this five times, letting the neck relax.
Move to the scalp. Using both hands, start draw large circles that gradually get smaller over three sections of the head: the temples, the front the skull, and the bottom of the skull or back of head. Do this for a few minutes, and then proceed to the hair pull: Slide your hands under the hair and grab a portion of it; then pull, gently but firmly. This stimulates the scalp and releases more endorphins. Do the whole scalp just like that (depending, of course, on how much hair you're working with.)
Finish up with the ears. This is the icing on the cake, says Ciardulli. You're not going to be put your fingers inside his ear, of course. What you want to do is stimulate all the nerve endings along the ear. Take your partner's earlobes gently between your fingers, and make like you're counting money. "He'll be toast," he says.