A good back massage can really do wonders for your health and stress. While back massage devices do exist, nothing beats an authentic back massage from an experienced masseuse or RMT
What Makes A Good Back Massage?
- Set The Mood and Location
It is important to make sure to get the right location and mood. No distractions, a dimly lit setting, calm relaxing nature music all are important to create before even getting started.
Light a scented candle or two or put on the humidifier to make the entire experience as authentic as possible. Offer a small tea or drink before getting started as you want to make sure they are well hydrated for optimal blood circulation.
- Use The Right Lotion
The right lotion is important when it comes to a great back massage. Cocoa butter has a rich and distinctive smell with a heavy texture that is good for deep tissue massage on the upper and lower back areas.
Jojoba oil is also great as it has known antibacterial properties and is good for the skin especially amongst those that suffer from back acne.
Fractionated coconut oil is less heavy than its counterpart due to the chemical properties of the triglyceride chain. This one is also good if you don’t like a strong coconut oil smell.
- Get The Right Motion
Make sure they are lying on the stomach. If you do not have a massage table, a small pillow under the chest will help make it more comfortable. Choose the right location and start at the shoulders to signify a beginning and slowly work down to the upper back.
Use the base of your hand and the pads of your thumbs in a circular motion on the upper back. Keep your hands separated on both sides of the spine and press firmly with the thumbs. Apply pressure as needed. There a several back massage techniques that you can use
- Effleurage (long smooth strokes) is applied at the beginning of the massage and encourages relaxation and blood circulation. It is applied at the beginning of a massage and with light pressure. It comes from the French word meaning “to touch lightly”
- Petrissage (kneading, rolling, and lifting) This is done with the palms, fingertips and even the knuckles. Movement should be from the hips and core, not the shoulders as you will get tired quickly.
- Wringing consists of lifting and squeezing the muscles forwards and backwards to relieve tight muscles
- Tapotement uses repeating and rapid strikes with the side of the hand used for waking up the nervous system and energize the muscles during the end of a massage.
Avoid cracking the back and avoid rubbing the spine as those are sensitive areas and can do harm unless you are a professional Chiropractor.
- Ask for Feedback and Ready Body Language
A massage should be relaxing and should not cause numbness or tingling or pain and discomfort. Ask the person if they are experiencing any discomfort. You can also read the person’s body language. Their muscles should be relaxed and not tensed or flexed. Make sure they are breathing in and out slowly and not holding their breath.
Are You Looking for a Massage Studio in Edmonton?
If you’re thinking of getting a massage anytime soon, check out Soul 2 Sole. We are one of the top massage studios in Edmonton, offering various treatments, including prenatal massages, deep tissue massages, sports massages, and more. Book an appointment with us today!