Giving and receiving a relaxing back massage is one of the nicest things in my opinion. I had my very first professional Swedish massage whislt travelling from Stockholm to Finland by ferry. I was hooked and studied massage in London, initally as a tool to enhance my nursing practice. Further study followed and when i returned to NZ I set up a small clinic and by that stage had alos completed qualification in aromatherapy, Shiatsu and Hawaiian massage.
ideally massages should be given on a massage table at the right height so the giver does not starin their own back. However with care you can adapt home massages to be given on a bed or on the floor. Try and create a relaxing environment, remove distractions, have the room warm, nice smelling towels etc. As a massage assessor that is one of the most important things apart from the actual massage. No one wants to bury their head in a smoky or dirty towel!
The following sequence is taken from the Dr wendy's training manaual and can be adapted. the key points are to try and limit breaking contact with the skin, keep pressure firm and consistent according to what the reciever. Relaxation massage should not cause pain so if it hurts you need to adjust your pressure. Fianlly avoidputting direct pressure on any bony parts.
- Set up the massage area.
- Check for any allergies or prefernece swith your massage medium (oil, wax, cream, skin sensitivity or allergies)
- Client removes top half of clothing and lays face down on massage table.
- lower underwear to expose buttocks 9as much as perosn feels confortmable with) and tuck in towelso that oil does not get onto clothing
- Cover back with warm towel and check comfort level
- Place one hand at base of neck and other at base of sine and and genlty rock left and right and run the plams of hands from centre of back outwards
- Remove top towel to expose all of back and palce a small amoutn of warmed massage oil into the cupped palm of one hand (avoid making sloshing noises)
- with sweeping effleurage moves apply your palms to the lower back and move up the whole back in a continuous sweeping otion (repeate 4-6 x and youmay need to add more oil as it disperses)
- Alternatie with blocks of petrissage (kneading) movements over major muscle groups, interpseed with blocks of 4-6 effleurage strokes
- Apply gentle pressure up each side of spine with balls of thumps to stimulate soinal nerves
- If you are working on a localised area (e.g shoulders) cover lower back with awarm towel and vice versa
- Apply firming kneading over the buttock muscles- this can be done through the towel if preferred
- Stand at the head of the bed and repeat the efleurage stroking movements down the back moving your plams down the spine and fan outwards and then gently bring hands back to the neck area
- Finish off massage with some kneading into the neck or a gentle wringing motion where each hand is moving in the opposite direction to the other as if if you are wringing out a towrl and laternate back and forwards to educe neck tension
- If the perosn is happy to ahve their head massaged findihe off with a gentle scalp massage using the pads of fingers working into muscles- especially at the base of tehs ki=ull where there are lots of muscle attachments
- Generally a back massage should last at least 30 minutes.
- Apply a warm towle at the end and reapeat the gentle rocking through the towel
Posted: Sunday 30 June 2019