A back massage is one of the best ways to relieve stress and tension. This best-ever back massage will have your clients zoning out in no time. 


An amazing back massage is a great skill to have.
An amazing back massage is a great skill to have.


Start with oil

This may be obvious but everyone has different skin so the amount you need will vary from client to client. Experts have told us, it’s a feel thing, so apply, then add more if you need.


Go light at first

Start with wide, light strokes to warm up the body and see what your client is feeling on the day of the appointment. Are they feeling tight and stressed? Do they seem emotional? This will gauge the type of massage you will give.


Talk to you client

Ask what kind of pressure your client likes. This may depend on the area of the back you are massaging. Some clients may like firm pressure on the shoulders and medium pressure on the lower back, others may want the complete opposite. Best to ask gently at the beginning of your back massage.


Start with open fists

Using your knuckles, work your open fists down the spine with medium pressure. Then work your thumbs along the ridges of the shoulders to deepen the relaxation.


Warm up the spine

Using your fingers in a rhythmic pattern of outwards strokes, work down one side of the spine, pulling the muscles away from the spine. Once you have finished one side, even things up by doing the other.


Add pressure

Now is the time to start adding more pressure. Using the flat part of your elbow, start in the mid back then work down on one side towards the buttock, holding the stretch for a moment, before working your elbow back up towards the neck.


Release shoulder tension

Standing at the head, use your elbow to apply pressure on top of the shoulder (the rhomboid muscles); this will cause the shoulder blade to rise. Next, work your elbow between the shoulder blade and the scapula. Mobilising the shoulder will really help to relieve tension. You can also use your thumbs to add pressure at the top of the shoulder if muscles feel tense.


Use a “saw” motion

Placing the two thumbs tips together, start at the top of one side of the spine then “saw” both thumbs left then right down the spine before “pulling” the muscles away from the bone. This will break up any adhesions the muscle might have with the bone. Once you get to the mid back you might want to add all your fingers, still using that saw and pull motion down the spine. Look for any knotted areas, and work them a bit more.


Place the two thumbs together to work down the spine and the scapula
Place the two thumbs together to work down the spine and the scapula


Work the scapular

Using your two thumbs, starting at the base of the scapular, run your thumbs over the muscles that run over the scapular towards the shoulder. Then using the same saw and pull motion as before, work the muscles from the scapular inwards towards the spine. Use your thumbs to add pressure to   release the muscles of any knots


Pay attention to the neck

Many people hold their tension in their neck, so make sure you pay attention to it by massaging along both sides of the neck and up to the base of the head. Sweeping your fingers around the curve of the neck and pulling gentle on the base of the skull away from the body will help relieve tension headaches.


Finish with long kneading strokes

Finish the massage with long sweeping effleurage strokes to flush out the toxins brought to the surface from the massage.



Have your say: If you have any  massage tips you’d love to share, let us know!