You have probably heard of many different types of massage such as Japanese massage, Yoni Massage, Thai Massage, Swedish Massage, Tantra Massage, etc.
This is type of back massage to relax a person and relieve stress.
Hi, I’m Athena Jezik and I’m going to be talking to you about the back massage work today and giving a demonstration of that technique.
So to begin with we are putting oil on, just a regular organic olive oil that I’m using. It’s unscented and I’m going to apply it to the back, Not too thick, just enough to get it slick so that my fingers slide easily, gliding along the skin.
To begin with I take my thumbs and run down with the thumb iron down either side of the spine, the vertebrae, to begin to loosen up these muscles, the erectro spinae muscles, the muscles that hold us erect, and they tend to get a little tight, particularly in the upper back.
Sometimes the lower back is affected by that as well.
So I’ll run my fingers up and down here feeling for any tension, any points that need to be maybe held a little while so the muscles can relax out, soften.
Another benefit to massage is just being relaxed, being able to let the body go into a relaxed state and find a new pattern.
What occurs when we keep it in a tension pattern too long is we begin to develop a muscle memory, which is going to be always in a tension pattern, so it’s good to give your muscles a good, deep quality of relaxation. Then from there I move up to the shoulder area and work the muscles from the opposite direction from the shoulders to the neck opening up each little fiber, softening each fiber and checking for any crepitus or any tension that might be in that area. Hold it and work it out if need be.
I’m coming around to the side and I’ll be working the neck area, the trapezius muscle, and how I work that is getting at the base of the skull and draw my fingers deeply into the trapezius muscle, again it’s more of the thumb iron technique, a deeper effleurage technique, and I go along each little band of fiber, and pull from the neck down into the scapula where it’s attached.
Holding onto the shoulder with my hand, having the client soften the shoulder and not hold onto it, I’m able to lift up the scapula and take my fingers underneath the scapula to open up the muscles there, give it a little stretch, and take out any tension that is in that area. When we sit for a long time this is the area that gets very tight, so sometimes this work takes a little while, and sometimes the scapula is so tight that it doesn’t lift very high.
We have a pretty good lift in this scapula. Another benefit of massage is just general well being. People feel so much better when they are able to relax. They feel better when the little pain patterns are moved out. They feel better when they can move a little more flexibly.
(That’s not the right word)
They feel better when they can move with more flexibility and there’s just a greater sense of well being through that experience.
There I just worked the attachment points along the hips, little short little strokes to feel primarily for any tension that’s along that area, and I worked it across, with the fiber as well as across the fiber. Then I start at the base there where the SI joint is and work first along the spine doing a thumb iron all the way up the back.
I’m going to do three of those. I do it close to the spine and then in the belly of the muscle and then on the edge of the muscle, so there are three strokes going up the back from the SI going up to the occipital base. One of the reasons a person may want to get a massage on a regular basis is to maintain and control the levels stress, especially the physical parts of the stress that show up.
By getting regular massage as mentioned earlier the muscles have a chance to relax and the pattern will not continue to stay in a fixed tight pattern.
From there I move along to the side of the body and I’m working across the erector spinae in a cross fiber type of work. Cross fiber friction, although it’s not done quickly, I do it and as I’m doing this I’m stretching open the fibers and allowing for spacing to come in between those fibers.
It’s a very nice and relaxing movement, and I work that all the way up the spine and then work all the way back down with longer strokes going back down to the bottom to where the hips are to the bottom of the back.
And then take my fingers and glide up with one last deep thumb iron to feel inside there if there’s any tension, any knotting, anything left in that backstrap muscle other than relaxed tissue.
I’m going to repeat this same thing on the other side.
It’s just medically when we’re able to deal with our stresses and be able to relax to a higher quality of relaxation then the stress levels aren’t as high, and as we all know stress will bring in a lot of other symptoms and a lot of other conditions, so we can alleviate that possibility by taking care of ourselves through a simple method of relaxation.
What I like about being a massage therapist is I like the fact that very few people get upset with me in my job because I always make people feel better so that’s a big bonus, believe me. But the other thing is I really do enjoy being a participant and a help in getting people to understand the simplicity of good health.
I start up at the neck and I put my fingers in a V position, one finger on each side of the vertebrae. This is a bit of a vibrational move where I’m vibrating slightly down each of the vertebrae with my fingers down each side of it.
I’m right along side of the vertebrae, not on it, and I’m working to go deeper into the tissue there where the attachments are and loosening up even more. This takes it a little deeper into the actual vertebrae itself where the attachments are so we can get more flexibility in each individual joint.
Then I’m taking my finger, my thumb and I’m going to be going underneath the backstrap muscle, so I’m kind of pressing toward the vertebrae and lifting it up and rolling my finger underneath so that the fingers will lift up, the thumbs will lift up the erector spinae, working up the body like this.
Then at the top when I get to the neck I do one little circular movement around each of the vertebrae. So I’m going circular around each of the vertebrae all the way back down the spine, which again is going to give more flexibility into that vertebrae.
And from there I take my hands and do a long sweep along the side of the body, just opening up, relaxing, checking everything in the intercostal area, making sure that there are no major tension points, repeating the same thing on the other side and then coming back to the first side and doing the sweeping upward from the center of the side of the body upward to the back and that opens and loosens any last little parts of tension that might be involved there.
If you’ve never had a massage before what you’d want to do is either check with your friends for a referral or check in the phonebook, and be sure to ask questions like how long have they done it, and just go in and experience it. If you like the way the person’s technique is then you might want to stay with them.
If you don’t it’s a good idea to check around and see what fits your needs the best, because there are a lot of people out there and there are a lot of different techniques and it’s very open.
The main thing is to find the work that works best for you.
As I work the back the way I do it is I spend a lot of time paying attention to the vertebrae, along the vertebrae and the muscles that are attaching into the vertebrae, because those are the muscles that seem to take the biggest amount of load through our daily activities.
So we’re finished with our massage today and I am going to be just covering her up and then just giving her a little time to rest and collect herself.
Athena Jezik is a Cranio Sacral Therapist, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Lymphatic Drainage Therapists.