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Learn How To Do Back Massage

Updated on December 25, 2012

Hello, do you ever thinked "I wanna learn how to do back massage" ? If yes, you hit the right place! From long strokes to proper pressures, read this guide on how to give a really good back massage. You will find all you need here.

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Effleurage - stroking moves

Step 1

Using Whole Hand Effleurage

Warm the massage oil in your hands, and apply a modest amount with whole hand smooth rhythmic stroking: Use the whole surface of both hands. Stroke reasonably firmly upwards from the lower back all the way up to the neck, then gentler pressure, circle around and then back down to the lower back region. The massage should last for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2

Using Heel of the Hand:

This has a smaller area of contact, so the pressure is deeper. Both hands work in circles - start at the lower back. Move in a circle, first outward, then upward and return to the center. Gradually progress to the upper back. The massage should last for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Using reinforced Fingers:

Again this is a smaller area of contact, so deeper penetration. Stand on the opposite side to the one that you are working on. Stand on the right side first. Push with the flats of your fingers one hand on top of the other away from the center line, then glide back toward the spine. Start at the lower back, and work up to the upper back. The massage should last for 5 minutes.

Step 4

Stripping, using the Reinforced Thumb:

Glide with deep sustained pressure up the full length of the "sausage shaped" muscles either side of the spine. Back off the pressure a little as you cover the neck. Move slowly and deliberately, feeling for knots or sensitive spots as you glide from lower to upper back. Three times each side; alternate with a couple of minutes of effleurage (techniques one to three above), and repeat the stripping.

Step 5

Frictions, using the Reinforced Middle Finger:

Place your fore and middle fingers together and make firm deep movements either side of each spinous process. Start to the side of the lower spine and move upward. Apply 5 frictions at each spot - more if over a sore spot.

Step 6

Using Forearms:

Place your forearms on the patients back. Apply firm downwards pressure, and move the arm closest to the head up to just below the shoulder blades. Do this for 6 strokes. For the first stroke, be aware of the possibility of lower back pain.

Step 7

Trigger point release using sustained pressure of the reinforced thumb:

Place your thumb over any tender spots or knots that your patient may have told you about or that you may have felt, and press firmly and with increasing pressure thus: Gradually increase the pressure until the pain is 6 or 7 on a scale of one to ten. Hold that pressure until the pain lowers to about 4/10 (takes about 5 seconds). Immediately (don't stop the pressure), increase again until the pain is 6 to 7 on the scale of 10, and again hold until the pain subsides to 4/10. Repeat step two.

This is painful, but you can't do much harm to the patient - quite the reverse: muscle and back pain (upper or lower)may miraculously disappear. Your thumb is more likely to suffer, so make sure that you back it up with the fingers of the other hand, and after each trigger point release, give your thumb a bit of massage too.

And the Final

Apply effleurage (stroking moves) with supported fingers (technique 3 above), then effleurage with the heel of the hand (technique 2 above), then full handed effleurage (technique 1 above). This will enhance the good that you have done with the stripping and trigger point release. Then leave the patient to relax for a few minutes.

For the five days after the massage, encourage the patient not to sit, stand still or run, for longer than half an hour at a time; but rather to take a short walking break, and to sip water frequently.

The benefits of regular home massage are: relaxation, releasing of tight muscles, emotional comfort and stress management, increased body awareness, improved circulation, and improved lymphatic drainage for release of toxins.


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    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 5 years ago

      I like back massage because it lets me feel relax

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I also want one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Lens you have here. Thanks for this information about the basics of doing massage. This is very helpful. Pinnacle Lawsuit

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      A good massage makes the whole body feel wonderful. My husband has a bad back and massage really helps him manage the pain.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done and yes, I want a back massage, too!

    • howards522 profile image

      howards522 7 years ago

      I want one!!