Give a Back Massage Like a Professional

Edited by VisiHow, Dougie-1


Many people love to get back massages. It is often a relaxing experience that can help with other problems the person may have. There are many different types of massages that use reflexology, Thai and shiatsu for example, and most can be performed either at home, or out of the home in a professional environment such as an office or place of work. This usually means that the masseuse and equipment comes to you or to your business. On-site massages for staff can help increase key performance indicator of a business.

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Read on for everything you need to know about a basic on-site professional back massage, and don't forget to watch our video guide at the end of this article for more information.


About Giving a Professional Back Massage

Giving a professional back massage requires knowledge of how to give an effective massage and the ability to be portable.

You are able to offer either a chair massage or a more traditional table massage as long as your table is a sturdy portable one. If not, then you'll likely end up having to improvise when friends and family request your newly developed massage skills. Just keep in mind that the professional tips below will contribute to a more complete and healthy massage while also making sure you're comfortable for the duration you'll be working to massage out tight and knotted muscles.

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Benefits of a Professional Back Massage

  • Increase in workplace productivity
  • Decrease in absenteeism
  • Increased moral
  • Helps lower effects of pent-up stress and tension
  • Faster recovery from injuries
  • Reflexology easily incorporated to help treat chronic issues
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Things You'll Need:

  • Area for set-up
  • Clean sheet to cover your massage table
  • Soft thin blanked to make sure the person is warm
  • Skin friendly massage oils or essential oils

How to Give a Professional Back Massage

  1. 1
    Assume the position
    Have the person prepare for receiving a massage. This may mean that they turn off mobile phones or other communication devices, disrobe (if using oils), and get comfortable on the massage chair or table.
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  2. 2
    Help the person to relax
    This is usually a multiple step process.
    1. Talk to the individual on the table or chair. It is likely that they feel a bit nervous. Ask them questions about their problem areas and how much pressure they would like for you to apply. Also, tell them to let you know during the massage if more or less pressure needs to be applied in any area.
    2. Ask the individual if they would like any music, perfumes, a special oil, or aromatherapy to be used.
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  3. 3
    Warm your hands
    Cold hands may interfere with the relaxation process of the individual. If you are using oil you can use warming oil as long as it is skin safe. Or you can set up a portable heater or heat up a pair of microwaveable winter glove inserts and place them into the gloves to wear between massages to keep your hands warm.
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  4. 4
    Rest your hands on the person's neck or shoulders before you begin
    As you rest your hands on their neck or shoulder area inform them about the type of massage and exactly what you are going to do. They should be able to relax more fully if they know what is coming next and not having to constantly guess. Also, it will help them to trust you.
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  5. 5
    Add oil
    If you are using oil then pour a small amount into the palm of your hand at this time. Rub your hands together to evenly distribute the oil between both hands.
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  6. 6
    Begin kneading
    Knead the person's neck and shoulders. This is done by laying your hand on the individual palm down with fingers together and thumbs straight out. Hold the area in between your fingers and thumbs then gently squeezing. Make sure to completely massage the area.
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  7. 7
    Move downward
    Begin moving the massage area down the back slowly you can keep kneading if the person is on a massage table, or you can begin rubbing if they are seated in a massage chair. Make sure to massage around the spinal cord and not directly onto it. If your hands get tired you can use a chopping motion with the edge of your hands, rub with your palms, elbows or forearms as well as use them to apply pressure to soothe muscle tension.
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Video Guide for Performing a Professional Back Massage

The following video will teach you everything you need to know about how to give a basic on-site professional back massage.

Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • Wipe up any excess oils by covering the area with a towel and continuing the massage.
  • Allow the individual time to come-to after the massage and before they get up.
  • You are free to use any skin safe oil that you or the individual prefers. Some people may like baby oil while others like skin safe essential oils to be used.
  • Ask questions before you start the massage. Be sure about the person's likes and dislikes, areas needed to be massaged, injuries, and problem areas.
  • Try not to completely stop once the massage begins. Starting and stopping may interrupt the person's relaxation.
  • The temperature of the room shouldn't be too hot or too cold.
  • To help avoid hand and wrist fatigue you need to also use your forearms, elbows, and triceps to deliver relaxing pressure.
  • A chopping motion can be used during the massage as well as rubbing with an open hand.

Warnings on Giving Professional Back Massages

  • Don't use too much oil. Excessive oil can hinder friction, which helps make a massage feel good.
  • Avoid putting pressure on the spine as this can lead to injury or aggravate an existing one.
  • Avoid broken skin, blisters or areas of possible infection.

Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Give a Back Massage Like a Professional. (2015). In VisiHow. Retrieved Apr 27, 2017, from

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Give a Back Massage Like a Professional." VisiHow, Accessed 27 Apr 2017.

Chicago / Turabian "Give a Back Massage Like a Professional." Accessed Apr 27, 2017.

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Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: VisiHow

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