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How to Give a Lower Back Massage

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
How to Give a Lower Back Massage
Move hands upward during massage to maintain good blood flow.

Lower back pain is a common complaint among athletes and non-athletes alike. According to the Massage Tools website, lower back pain can result due to poor posture, a strain from lifting something the wrong way, an injury from a fall or stress resulting from too little exercise. Massage can loosen and help to realign tight, strained muscles. Stretching and deep muscle massage are the most effective treatments for lower back pain and discomfort. Consult your doctor before receiving a massage to make sure it won't interfere with any ongoing condition or other therapies.

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Step 1

Rub your hands with a lotion or oil to prevent friction as your hands move over the back. You also can squirt some of the oil directly onto the back to lubricate the skin more efficiently.

Step 2

Apply light strokes at the beginning of the massage to warm up the lower back. Called effleurage, the light touch can include rubbing oil gently with your fingers. According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, effleurage should last for about five minutes to acclimate the person to your touch and prepare him for more intensive rubbing.

Step 3

Push your hands upward, toward the heart, because that's the direction in which the blood flows. As you begin with the light strokes and move to stronger rubbing, keep the strokes moving from the tailbone up through the lower back. Return your hands to the bottom by sliding them gently along the person's sides.

Step 4

Use circular kneading rotations with your hands after you warm up the back. Press with slight pressure, using your palms and your fingers to break up knots and move toxins that have accumulated in the muscles. Called petrissage, you can alternate this kneading with the initial light strokes for an additional three minutes before engaging stronger strokes.

Step 5

Work your thumbs over the top of the buttocks with increasing pressure. Press your thumbs in the center of the lowest part of the back and move them in circular motions outward toward each side, then upward toward the center of the back.

Step 6

Place your thumbs in the center of the lowest part of the back and splay your fingers out to the sides. Press down and maintain the pressure as you slide your thumbs up toward the middle of the back. Run your fingers lightly down the sides and repeat the upward sustained motions five or 10 times. Finish the massage with additional effleurage to cool down the muscles.

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