If you want to know how to massage the back, here is an easy way to give a soothing back massage. Though massage therapists usually work on clients on a massage table, you can try to have your partner lie down on couch or bed, or place soft blankets and cushions on the floor.
- A comfortable spot for your partner to lie down, and some space around your partner for you to move around while giving the massage.
- Massage oil or lotion. I like Biotone Creme but you can also see what you have in your house. Some cooking oils (like coconut oil) are appropriate but may not soak into the skin as well. Be sure to protect surfaces from oil stains.
- Sheets and blankets and pillows (or bolsters) so that the person getting the massage is comfortable
- Warm temperature in room, comfortable to person receiving massage.
- Relaxing lighting.
- Relaxing music (optional).
- Aromatherapy (like lavender) if desired. I like using a diffuser, but you can also mix a few drops in with your oil or cream if it is ok with your partner.
- Privacy and enough time to relax (minimum 15 minutes).
- Find out if the person you are massaging has any health issues that are contraindicated for massage. If so, do not massage them and check in with a health professional before attempting to massage.
- CUT YOUR NAILS. (Do not have long nails like in the video. Trust me.)
How to Give a Back Massage
When you are ready to give the massage, have the person receiving the massage lie down face down with their top off / back exposed, while you step out of the room to wash your hands.
Be sure to confirm that they are ready before you walk back in the room.
While you are doing this massage, be sure to ask occasionally if the pressure is ok.
If you are not a massage professional, do not give a deep tissue massage.
Also, do not put pressure on bony areas, like the spine and shoulder blades. Focus on where the muscles are, which will usually have a little softness to it.
1. Warm The Massage Oil or Cream In your Hands
Pour some massage oil or massage cream into your hand and take a few moments to warm it up (along with your hands) before placing them on your partner’s back.
2. Effleurage the Full Back
Start by doing an effleurage massage to warm-up the muscles and distribute the oil on the back.
3. Petrissage the Full Back
A petrissage massage stroke with encourage circulation and movement of lymphatic fluid in your massage partner.
4. Repeat the Petrissage with Reinforced Kneading
Reinforced kneading is similar to petrissage massage but uses both hands for massage movement. This warms up the back even more.
5. Use Knuckles with Petrissage Movement
Once the back is warmed up, you can use your knuckles with the petrissage movement to do a little more focused work.
6. Wringing and Rolling Massage
Wringing and rolling massage strokes can be done before or after the petrissage massage and use a bit more of your thumb area to massage the back. There is a bit of lift to the tissue with this stroke, so be gentle and make sure not to pinch.
7. Figure Eight Movement Around the Scapulas
Use the reinforced kneading you learned earlier to make a figure eight around the scapulas (shoulder blades).
8. Massage Between and Around Scapulas with Thumbs (Moderate Pressure)
Many people hold most of their tension in their upper back and you can help to relax that area by doing a bit more focused work between and above the shoulder blades.
9. Complete the Massage With Some Effleurage Strokes
Finish the massage the same way you started with some effleurage massage strokes. This helps to connect the different areas of the back you might have worked on and is a gentle and relaxing way to complete the back massage.
10. Cover The Back
When the massage is complete, be sure to cover your massage partner’s back with a sheet or blanket or both.
Then you should step out of the room and wash your hands again and the person who received the massage should take their time getting up and redressing.
After the Back Massage
After the massage, there are a few things that the receiver should remember.
- It is important to drink a lot of water after a massage because a massage is detoxing and drinking water will encourage the body to flush those toxins out of the body.
- Try to avoid exercise for the rest of the day, like lifting weights or strenuous workouts, which will tense the muscles that were just relaxed during the massage.
Take it easy for the rest of the day, drink water and enjoy the afterglow of the Swedish Massage! 🙂
This lesson on how to massage the back came from YouTube (Vivid Photo Visual).
Hopefully you found this tutorial on how to massage the back helpful to you and that you are ready to help those around you to relax with massage.