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How to Give a Shiatsu Back Massage

Learn how to give a shiatsu back massage from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


So this is how to give Shiatsu for the back. As we all know, that is one of the most common areas of the body that needs some attention.

What I've done is just placed some small bolsters underneath the front of the ankle. That just makes it really comfortable to lay prone on the floor. She has turned her head to one side.

We're going to just work along either side of the spine. So I'm getting myself really nice and comfortable. I want to make sure that my spine is really long and aligned as I work on her so that I take care of my body as well. That's really important in Shiatsu that it's as much for the giver as for receiver.

I'm just going to place my bottom hand on either side of her sacrum. That's the triangular bone at the base of the spine. Just place my hand, cupping it, so that's nice and secure. Then I'm going to start by sending some pressure along either side of the spine. As I do this I'm sending my weight forward. It's really important that as I move my weight into her, she's getting nice pressure on either side of the spine.

I'm using the palm of my hand as well as the fingertips. So there's space. I'm being very careful. I'm not [sending] pressure directly on the spine. I'm just rotating my body forward and back while keeping a nice steady pressure over the sacrum. This is a great technique to use for the whole back of the body.

Then I might want to shift my attention more towards her head and just go down one side of the spine. Again, I'm keeping nice pressure over the sacrum and I'm doing a little bit of a circular motion with my body. So sending the weight in and then rotating back to my knees. So, in to my palm and back to my knees. You can just see that I'm getting a lot of movement in my own body as I go along working in this way.

Then I'm going to come over to her head. I'm just sending some pressure between the shoulder blades. I glide my weight into my hands all the way down again to the sacrum. Then I'm going to pause here. This gives a really nice stretch for the whole spine and a sense of length. This is great for realigning all of the curvature in the spine. I'm letting that release and then coming back up. Then I might just do a few brushes here. Actually sending the energy out the body is great for dispersing any held tension.

Then I'm going to do into my right hand, a little bit of pressure into my left and just kind of as if I was crawling down either side of the spine.

Then, finishing with a little rocking motion, fingertips on either side of the spine. This is just a little push-pull all along the sides of the spine. This is a great way to finish working on the back.

Coming to a stillness with one hand over the sacrum again and one hand in between the shoulder blades.

So those are some great ways to work on the back using Shiatsu.

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