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How to Give a Shiatsu Lower Back Massage

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


Shiatsu is great for the lower back, as it is for the whole spine. But in particular, the lower back is an area of the spine that we have to be really careful not to use as a joint. It's the area of the spine that is shaped like a C-curve here, and we often bend from it, which causes a lot of tension in the low back. To relieve that tension that might be accumulated, or just to balance out that area of the spine in general, we're just going to do some rocking here. I'm cupping just the front of my fingers and the base of my palm here on either side of the spine, and this just really helps to relieve any built-up tension in the low back.

Another great thing to do is come to the head here and give a little bit of a torsion. I'm going to just lean my body weight down through that curve in the low back, and I'm just going to hold here. This is giving a nice stretch and release to that lumbar spine which composes the low back, then releasing that.

Another great thing to do is a little stretch. The psoas muscle, which connects the low back to the front of the hips, is a contributing factor to low back discomfort.

So, we are going to do a little stretch here by bringing in both the feet. I'm just going to place my knee perpendicular to her body, and then I'm going to take both my hands and just give a little downward motion through the low back as I stretch the feet in. That is a nice stretch for the front of the hips, which helps to relieve the low back as well. So, releasing the legs.

Another thing that's great to do is a cupping action, bringing the hands together like this, and placing them over the lumbar spine here. Then I'm just going to do a little squeezing in towards the spine. I can do a little rocking here, too. If you just notice that I'm keeping my own spine really long and in alignment as I work rather than doing this, so that I don't get low back pain as I'm working.

It's really important to think of my head moving out, and my tail moving towards that wall as I work on the giver's low back. So great to place to focus energy on, to balance, for the whole spine, and really for the whole body's alignment, is the low back.

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