If spa treatments are busting your budget, learn back massage techniques you can use at home instead. Grab some massage oil and try the five basic Swedish massage techniques to relax and reduce pain and tension fast.
Start with long gliding strokes. Use your entire hand or the thumb pads. Start from the shoulder and slowly and firmly glide your hand down to the fingertips, or from lower back to upper back. With the exception of the limbs, all effleurage strokes should flow back toward the heart to increase blood flow and circulation. Start with the largest muscles first and work your way to areas like the arms and legs.
The next back massage technique is a rolling movement. Use gentle pressure to knead or squeeze the muscles to get deeper into tension and clear out any toxins. This Swedish massage technique actually lifts the muscles up and away from the bones. Just be careful not to pinch.
For the deepest Swedish massage stroke, try friction. The penetrating circular movements should be done using your fingertips or thumb pads. This stroke is best for bony areas or near joints. The deep, circular motions of friction can break down knots and help achieve more flexible muscles and joints. To create warmth, and friction as the name suggests, do this movement rapidly. As is the case with all Swedish massage techniques, do not apply this pressure directly to the spine.
Now for a quicker back massage technique, try the percussion movement of tapping. At a fast pace, use the side of your hands one after the other to strike the muscles. A closed fist is also an effective way to deliver this technique. The invigorating movement can relieve tension and help muscle spasms.
Warn your subject before you try this shaking Swedish massage movement or you might surprise them. You'll press your hands on the back and simple shake. The vibration is said to increase circulation and can reduce lower back pain.