How To Massage Away Lower Back Pain
Sometimes a soothing massage can be the perfect solution to get rid of lower back pain. Our essential guide will teach you all that you need to know.
Step 1: You will need
- 1 Clean sheet
- 3 towels
- 1 pillow or cushion
- massage oil
- 1 massage table, mattress or mat
- A volunteer
Step 2: Setting up
Most people don't have access to a massage table, so the next best thing would be a mattress or find an open space on the floor, preferably with some sort of carpet or matting for comfort. Make sure the room is warm since the person must have their top off.
Place the pillow where the person's chest will be, leaving enough space to move around the head. Spread the sheet to catch any excess oil. Have the person first loosen their pants to make it easier to access the lower back before they lie face down with the pillow underneath the chest bone. Fold one of the towels and place it under the forehead, allowing the person to keep the neck straight. Be sure to tell them to inform you if there is ever anything that is painful or uncomfortable.
Roll the other towel up and place it beneath the ankles to help support the lower back.
Spread the third towel over the legs and tuck the upper part into the pants to protect them from the oil.
Step 3: Apply the oil
Place a small quantity of oil in a cupped hand and warm it by rubbing your hands together. Come to one side of the person and spread the oil evenly over the mid and lower back to the top of the hips with smooth gliding strokes.
Step 4: Palm circling
Let the hands move down to the hips and place one of your hands over the other with both arms extended. With a motion that comes from your own centre begin making circles with the palms. Be aware that there are no ribs protecting the low back and we should always use a gentler pressure to avoid discomfort or injury. Allow the circling to move towards the head without crossing over the backbone. Once you reach the lower ribs, bring the palms around towards the sides and continue circling down towards the hips. Continue this cycle 3 or four times.
Step 5: Lifting
Without breaking contact, form the hands into "lobster claws” by keeping the fingers straight and spreading the thumbs. Now begin gently lifting the muscles of the lower
back by making a turning motion with the wrist. Now repeat with the other hand. Continue alternating hands, developing a smooth windshield wiper-like rhythm, covering the side of the back nearest you. This is a good time to check in with the person to see if you are using a good level of pressure.
Step 6: Thumb work
Finish the lifting around the lower ribs and turn towards the person's feet. Now with the thumb extended, begin applying slow strokes down the muscles along the backbone. When you reach the sacrum where the spine connects to the hips, allow the thumb to slide off as the other begins again from the lower rib area. Carry on with the thumb strokes as you move away from the backbone, towards the sides. Start again from next to the backbone and repeat the cycle 2 more times.
Now begin muscle lifting along the top of the hip bone. As you get to centre, lay the outside hand on the sacrum and move around the head to and repeat the palm circling, lifting and thumb work on the other side.
Step 7: Knuckling
Once again come to the sacrum, but this time slowly tuck the fingers in, making fists with both hands, and with arms extended, drag the knuckles up along side the spine to the low ribs. From there, roll the fists over so that the larger knuckles are in contact and with light but steady pressure originating from your centre, slowly start moving down towards the sacrum. Then use the knuckles of the index fingers to make circles out along the tops of the hip bones. When you reach the sides, bring the knuckles back to the sacrum and repeat the cycle 3 more times.
Step 8: Back spreads
On the final cycle, when you reach the sacrum, open the hands and maintain a steady pressure on the top of the hips toward the feet. Allow the hand