Back Massage Techniques for Complete Relaxation

Back Massage Techniques for Complete Relaxation

The back bears the weight and tension of the body from daily activities or intense physical activity. That is why neck and back pain is a prevalent complaint for millions of people all over the world.


Fortunately, common back pain symptoms are something that a back massage can handle. While going to a professional therapist is the best way to get a lower back and back massage, it’s not something that everyone has the privilege of enjoying. For many people, a back massaging device or a personal back massage from a loved one is the next best thing.


This best back massage technique will help you understand what a back massage is, how it benefits the body, and the most common technique you can learn at home.

What Do I Need to Know About a Back Massage?

back massage benefitsA back massage is more than just a means of relaxation and pain relief, but it actually promotes improved health and wellness. It can relieve all kinds of ailments, from physical pain to easing anxiety, improving flexibility, improving sleep, reducing overall fatigue, and enhancing the immune system.


Any type of massage that focuses on the back part of the body, which is the area above the buttocks and below the neck. It is important to note that it does not involve the spine, as well as not ideal for anyone who may be suffering from a fever, or other chronic diseases. It is best that you consult your doctor if it’s safe for you to get a massage if you’re suffering from any form of cancer, nursing a fever, recovering from surgery, or currently have any injury from sports or an accident.


A massage is non-invasive and generally safe, and typically conducted by a professional therapist who undergoes training and qualifications to be able to provide professional services.


The benefits of a back massage include reduced tightness in the muscles, improved blood circulation, reduced neck and back pain, relaxation of the back muscles, realignment of the back muscles, relieves headaches, soothes anxiety and depression, as well as helps individuals correct their posture.

6 Most Common Types of Back Massages

There are many kinds of back massage techniques that aim at relieving back pain and tension. These massaging techniques or styles are commonly offered in salons or by professional therapists. It is highly important to know them so you have an idea about the technique used and the benefits they provide.

Here is a list of the 6 most common types of massages that can be done on the back:

Swedish massage

1.  Swedish Massage

This is one of the most common types of back massages. It is a gentle massage with an aim of promoting overall relaxation. It is great for anyone who’s new as it involves simple movements. Some of the techniques include kneading, deep circulation motions, long, flowing strides, as well as tapping or vibration.

It is ideal for anyone who’s looking for a relaxing massage, as well as for easing minor aches, neck and back pain.

Deep Tissue Back Massage

2. Deep Tissue Massage

This is another common massage type, which is used to release muscle tension and relieve chronic back pain. It involves a more intense and stronger pressure on the back, using slow strokes with the fingers to relieve tension from deeper muscle and tissues.


It is ideal for anyone suffering from muscle soreness, injury, or imbalance.

Trigger Point Back Massage

3. Trigger Point Massage

This type is ideal for those who may be suffering from injuries, a specific condition, or chronic pain. Trigger points are areas of the back with tightness in the muscle tissues. Trigger Point Massage can reduce pain by providing broad and flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing.

Shaitsu Back Massage

4. Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage is a Japanese style that promotes overall body relaxation to relieve stress, tension, and pain. It is also known to help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as helps to relieve tension headaches. It is a massage applied to the whole body but can also be used to emphasize the back. Movements include pulsing or rhythmic pressure using the hands, palms, and thumbs.

Thai Back Massage

5. Thai Massage

This type involves stretching that helps to improve tension, muscle pain, improve flexibility, and reduce pain and stress. It is also known to improve blood circulation and increase energy levels. It is a whole-body massage but works to improve neck and back pain through assisted stretches and twists.

Remedial Massage

6. Remedial Massage

Remedial massage focuses on a specific need. Therapist would ask about your back problems and tailor a plan that targets this problem. It can involve different technique or movements with the aim of working on a specific problem, such as an upper back or lower back soreness.


It is more of a targeted massage that promotes treatment of the problem area.

What are the 5 Manipulations of Massage?

To be able to perform a back massage, you must learn about the 5 manipulations of massage, or the 5 different movements used on most types of back massages.


Here are the 5 manipulations of massage:

Choose a good location at home where there are no distractions. Set a soothing atmosphere that is conducive to relaxation.

This is performed by using the part of the hand between the thumb and fingers. It can be gentle or heavy and involves kneading or rolling of the muscles on the back. It is known to promote deep stimulation of the muscles, skin glands, nerves, and promotes circulation of the lymph nodes and blood to the problem area.

This involves shaking the areas of the back to stimulate blood circulation and loosen tight muscles. As you touch the area of the back with your fingertips or palm, you simply shake the muscles. This movement is highly stimulating and offers a relaxing sensation.

Tapotement comes from the word “tap,” which is a technique that involves slapping or light tapping the muscles with fingers. It helps to stimulate the nerves and promote muscle contraction and improved blood circulation.

This technique involves circular movements and applied using the fingertips or palms. The technique is more of rubbing movements rather than a flowy glide.

These are the most common manipulation of massage, but of course, the use of other movements and techniques can also be done. Some other forms of techniques involve the use of cupping tools, stone, and aromatherapy to promote relaxation and muscle relief.

How To Do a Back Massage at Home

How To Do a Back Massage at Home

Now that you have an idea of the basic types and manipulations of massage, here is how you can do one at home to a loved one, friend, or partner. But before we get started, here are some precautions you need to know so you can prevent doing more harm than good:

Let’s get started with the steps to giving a basic back massage at home:

Choose a good location at home where there are no distractions. Set a soothing atmosphere that is conducive to relaxation.

Let the person lie down on a supportive surface such as a bed, with his body face down, arms on the side, and face turned to one side. Place a pillow or rolled towel under his shoulders.

Apply oil on the back to warm up the body. You can also begin your massage at this point, creating soft, gliding strokes as you apply the oil, warming up tired and sore muscles.

Start applying gentle Effleurage motions from the lower back to the upper back. Long, gliding motions using your palm and fingers will help to relax the back. From this point, you can apply stronger pressure on the different sections of the back muscles, from the base to the shoulders.


From the lower back, roll your knuckles and gently glide them up and down either side of the spine. You can roll your knuckles in a circular motion from the upper back down to the lower back and repeat again.


If there are specific points on the back that are painful, such as muscle knots on shoulder blades or lower back, apply more pressure and spend more time in this section of the back.


If there are painful muscle knots, slowly apply pressure on the spot until the pain subsides or reduces. You can use a variety of manipulations, such as tapotement or vibration techniques.


End your massage with long, gliding strongest that are gentle.


An effective, relaxing, and typical duration for a massage is between 60 to 90 minutes.

Also, if you’re looking to use massager for your home relaxation, please check our Best Back Massager guide. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, a back massage is one of the fastest, simplest, and easiest ways to relieve back pain. As mentioned earlier, some of the most common causes of shoulders and back pain are muscle tension and soreness. These conditions can easily be remedied by a 60 to 90 minute session when done properly and efficiently.


A back massage can release muscle tension, as well as boost circulation to the area. A boost in oxygen to painful muscles of the back nourishes them with nutrients that help to improve healing.

Yes, massage oil will greatly help in applying pressure as well as when doing long, flowy glides. Jojoba oil is most ideal because it does not have a scent, does not irritate the skin, and is quickly absorbed. It also helps to protect the skin’s lipid barrier, retaining more moisture.


Oil prevents friction between the hands of a masseuse and the back of the person being massaged, while also making it possible to apply strong pressure without pain on the skin.


If you have a massage with your clothes on, then oil may not be necessary. Some individuals also prefer a scented oil, such as eucalyptus or lavender oils – the preference for the kind of oil to be used in a back massage differs from person to person.

A back massage is more than just offering relaxation and stress relief but frequent massages can be helpful in the overall health and well-being of an individual. Stress is one of the factors of ill-health, and massage is one of the best ways to reduce stress from the mind and body.

Back massage can also be done even without the help of another person. There are back massage devices that you can use to enjoy a relaxing and pain-reducing back massage at home even when you’re alone.

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