Back Strokes Massage

This article tells you all about one of the greatest delights in life ­a good back massage. It is one of the easiest types of massage to do, and therefore a great place to start on our voyage around the body. It can have a profoundly relaxing effect, lowering stress levels, easing pain, and inducing a blissful state of repose. After all, most of us get the occasional backache, which is not surprising as we slouch over our desks, carry heavy loads, hunch up our shoulders, and stand badly. Massage can help to relax the back muscles and alleviate accompanying aches and pains.

Simply the back

The benefits of a back massage go well beyond simply relaxing the back muscles – it can enhance the well-being of the whole body. If you are among the many people who suffer from back pain, you will know just how debilitating it can be. The spine is a tower of discs and bones, and the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support it are easily strained by everyday life. A back massage can help soothe and heal.

To help set the tone for your massage, cover your partner’s back with a towel and place your hands on top of it, one on the nape of the neck, and the other on the waist. Breathe deeply and evenly, and your partner will pick up your breathing rhythm and will start to relax. After about 30 seconds, put the oil on your hands and pull back the towel. Stand or kneel by your partner’s waist, facing his or her head, and begin the massage by stroking to spread the oil.

The T-stroke

I call this basic, simple massage stroke the T-stroke, because this is the shape you are making with your partner’s back.

Start with your hands on the lower back, your thumbs on either side of the spine and your fingers pointing toward the head. With relaxed hands, stroke firmly up the back. Lean onto your hands, using your body weight to apply pressure.

Pull back down on the muscles at the base of the neck, then stroke out across the shoulders and the tops of the arms, molding your hands to the curve of the shoulders. Sweep your hands around the tops of the arms and then down the sides.

Glide your hands lightly down the sides of your partner’s body, keeping them relaxed and talking care not to drag the skin. When you each the waist, pull inward and upward. This gives the terrific feeling of having a tiny waist. Repeat up to ten times.