How to Give A Back Massage
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.
What do I need to know about a back massage?
A back massage increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. It helps ease pain and stiffness. A back massage can help prevent problems, such as skin breakdown or pressure sores.
How do I give a back massage?
You can use lotion, cocoa butter, oil, or lanolin for a massage.
- Put a small amount of warm lotion or oil on your hands. Rub your hands together so the lotion is spread evenly on your hands.
- Move your hands slowly during the massage to help the person relax.
- Start massaging the back at the lower back. Move your hands upward on both sides of the spine all the way to the shoulders.
- Make a circular motion as you move your hands upward. Press a bit more firmly with your thumbs as you make the circles.
- Move across the shoulders and start moving down the upper arms. Use less pressure as you move downward.
- Ask if you are applying too much or too little pressure as you massage. Ask the person to tell you if he feels pain in any area. Do not massage a painful area, or massage it very gently.
- Apply more lotion on your hands as needed.
What else do I need to know about a back massage?
- Check the person's skin for any sores or redness before you start the massage.
- Use good body mechanics while you give the massage. This will help protect the muscles of your own back, shoulders, and arms.
- Stop massaging an area if the person says they feel numbness or tingling in their arms or legs.
- Stop using lotion if it causes a rash or itching.
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