A back massage is one of the most relaxing gifts you can give a loved one, so long as you are properly equipped with effective back massaging techniques. The good thing is, it is relatively easy to learn, as long as you have an understanding partner willing to give you feedback as you are on your venture of learning therapeutic massage techniques. And, at times when you are not in the mood to give such a massage, you can even turn to back massaging chairs and still achieve the same result!
For a back massaging session, you will need to find a nice, warm, relaxed and quiet environment. It would be best if you could find a comfortable surface, whether a firm bed, a floor mat, or a massage table. Massage oil is also needed, but for a start you can make do with baby oil. You will also need some towels for the person to lie on as well as to cover his body. Pillows or cushions will also help to make the experience more comfortable.
When you use massage oil, be sure to put it onto your hands first so that it would not be too cold on your partner’s skin, and also ensure that you do not use too much of it. Its purpose is to decrease the friction created on the person’s skin, while also preventing the pulling of hairs. When you use less oil, you wind up with greater friction and deeper pressure. Be sure you use slower movements, in a smooth rhythmic stroking movement, as this will give your partner a more soothing, and somehow calming, response. As you apply pressure with your thumb or finger, give additional support from your other fingers and the thumb on the other hand. This will make sure that you do not wear out your thumbs. A good way to do this would be to use the whole surface of both of your hands, stroking in a reasonably firm way moving upwards from the lower back up to the neck. From there, give gentler pressure in a circling motion and head back down to the lower back region in a span of about 5 to 10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also use the heel of your hand instead of the whole surface. This gives a smaller area of contact, resulting in deeper pressure. Work both hands in circles, starting at the lower back. Then, move in a circle, outward first, then upward, returning to the center. Over the course of 5 minutes, progress gradually towards the upper back.
A back massage has many obvious benefits. The first is that it helps release tight muscles, giving the person a relaxed feeling. It also helps provide emotional comfort, and helps in stress management. The massage also results in an increase in body awareness as well as an improvement in circulation. It also improves lymphatic drainage, enhancing the release of toxins.
The relaxation that a person receives from a back massage, especially of the Swedish massage variety, is perhaps the reason why back massaging chairs are increasing in popularity. Instead of a full-sized chair, a back massaging cushion, like the Comfort Products Ten Motor Massage Cushion with Heat, may actually be enough to give the soothing massage that many people crave. Of course, the back massaging techniques that these chairs employ will likely not exactly resemble everything that a human back massage may give, but they are also designed to relax tight muscles.
Typically, vibration-type or air-massage-type chairs will be more relaxing for a back massage compared to shiatsu-type chairs, as shiatsu chairs tend to give greater pressure and may not be comfortable for everyone. Still, there are some shiatsu massage cushions, like the Homedics Shiatsu Massage Cushion, which are found to be very relaxing, too. This particular model comes with 6 programs you can choose from, including a quick heat feature that adds to the comfort. Interestingly, some customers have expressed the wish that this massager come with thicker padding, as it reportedly is not as comfortable, which is perhaps understandable given that this cushion delivers a shiatsu-type massage.
Back massaging chairs can likely serve as a great supplement to a home with members who always need to have their back muscles kinked out. After all, a partner who is skilled at back massages may not always be available or in the best of shapes to work at it, so a back massaging chair can certainly come in handy!