Photo gallery of massage techniques
Click here for the full
100-minute massage video
Depending on your situation, up to a quarter of the massage can be spent on the back. The body settles down relatively quickly once we start working muscle away from the spinal region.
An effective way to loosen muscles straddling the spine (spinae erectors) is with
twisting fists (left), though
precise thumbwork (right) may be appropriate for troublesome spots.
Some masseurs insist (with good reason) on using their elbows on these 'back straps', but if I'm going to use my
elbow anywhere it's going to be on your gluteals or feet.
Forward presses with either the thumbs or the webbing next to them can also help undo shoulder tension. Presses are never to be underestimated, and mere grams of pressure can produce results.
A few moments at the juncture of the lower back and the pelvic ridge
(quadratus lumborum) can produce a
surprising degree of looseness in your step the next morning.
Conservative downward pressure for a few
moments on the lower back (ilio-sacral joint) can help alleviate that annoying
stiffness we might experience when getting up out of a chair.
Rapid hacking (right) or
pummeling (left) of the back simulates the Russian tradition of slapping a person all over in the sauna with birch leaves, a process that helps shake off
excess energy that can be
annoying to the heart.
Main page: Pocono-Scranton massage