Skip to main content

How to Give Someone a Back Massage

Learn how to give someone a back massage from massage therapist Renee French in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Renee French and I'm here at Practical Massage Therapy in Nashville, Tennessee, and I'm going to be talking about massage therapy. So, you want to make sure the person is draped and in a comfortable position and you can bring the draping down to the base of the spine, just so you have access to the entire back. It's good to start with a small amount of massage lotion, or oil, or cream of your choice, whatever you like. Get some nice, long, opening strokes, to start to warm up the back. So, you can make your way down the length of the spine, making sure not to press directly on the spine. Down the muscles, towards the hips. And pull across. There's a muscle here at the lower back called the Quadratus Laborum, and it feels really nice to kind of drag your fingers over that. And you'll feel a little, kind of a soft little area below the ribs that you can pull your fingers across. And then you can take your thumbs, or forefingers, and starting on the side that you're working on against the spine and push away towards the shoulder blade. Get some nice pressure. This is an area where a lot of people hold a lot of tensions. This feels really, really nice. And this is really just an important area to focus on. If you're going to give someone a back massage, I would definitely say all along the shoulder blade here is really great. And really, thinking about what would feel good to you can let you know what would feel good to someone else. You can do little circles along the spine. This feels really nice. You can even take your thumb, and walking down, so, here's the spine and the muscles along the side here, you can just walk your thumbs down the sides of the spine, on the muscles, and this feels really great, too. And then, once you've done the other side, I would say, you know, just try to pay attention to what you do to one side and repeat it on the other side, so that the person feels balanced, and even. And this way, leaning into the massage and using your body weight, with a flat hand, you're able to give a longer massage and not make your hands too tired. Do a couple of closing strokes, or finishing strokes, and this just indicates that you're kind of pulling it all together and ending the back massage. It's nice to do three to five of those, get a nice drag here, and then you can even just place your hands on the back of the person. Just rest for a second. It feels really supportive and just kind of indicates to the person that you're finishing up, and those are my tips for how to give a back massage.

Popular Categories