Blog > Massages > Back massage: Discover the benefits and techniques used to relieve pain and tension

Janine Tavares

published in 23 de Outubro de 2020 | 5 reading time

"Back massage: Discover the benefits and techniques used to relieve pain and tension"

Much of the pain and tension is in the upper part of our body – the back, caused by a poor posture, excess weights, use of inappropriate shoes, muscle contraction in situations of tension and, inevitably, stress. Often the pain is relieved with a simple back massage.

Looking for a back massage is not a luxury, but a real necessity for most people.

Back pain is quite annoying

But how is a back massage beneficial?

When a back massage is carried out, the entire spine area is worked – back, neck and shoulders.

The spine must be a whole, for the results of the massage to take effect. For example, a pain in the lower back can be a consequence of muscular tensions at the dorsal level – contracted muscles, which do not allow the correct movements of the spine, and vice versa.

The applied techniques are varied, from circular movements with the open hand, to digital pressure, slips with the thumbs, kneading, stretching, etc. The use of the therapist’s elbow and forearm can also be used, if the intention is to apply more pressure, to work more deeply the muscles of a certain area.

In this way, the back, shoulders and neck massage aims to relax the muscles first, increase blood circulation and then work the affected areas locally with greater or lesser pressure, depending on the level of pain and associated inflammation.

The benefits of a back massage are not limited to muscle relaxation, we are counteracting incorrect positions, relieving muscle pain and tension, calming and alleviating amongst other symptoms states of anxiety and depression.

Can I have a back massage at home?

Unfortunately, a back massage is something we cannot do ourselves, and it is not recommended asking a friend or mother to do. The most we can ask non-specialized people is to apply a gel or cream for pain relief. This application must be exceptionally smooth and only to spread the product in the affected area. Nothing more should be done by a non-qualified therapist.

The risk is enormous of massaging an inflamed or sensitive area with the wrong techniques. Despite the large number of articles that you can read about this subject, it is strictly not recommended to risk damaging your spine even further with amateur techniques. It is not a good choice to try this at home.

If you do not have access to a massage therapist, try some stretches at home. In the shower let the hot water run down the spine for 3 to 4 minutes. For inflammations, apply ice or a bottle with very cold water in the affected area and change your posture on a day to day basis. As soon as you can, and if the pain persists, see a professional.

Nowadays, we can find massages that use instruments to facilitate and increase the general benefits of back massage, which is the case with the use of hot stones, bamboos, from the famous Tok-Sen (an ancient Thai technique that causes a vibration along the muscles) or the use of pindas based on medicinal herbs, which when heated increase circulation and help muscle relaxation, among others …

Hot Stone Massage

Where can I book a back massage?

Even though it is can be painful, you will feel the relief once the massage has terminated. This holistic experience complied with essential oils, therapeutic and relaxation techniques and also the use of the water circuit at your spa will help to treat the body and the mind.

Choose places that induce relaxation …

Here are our suggestions:

Back massage session at CitySpa (Restelo):

It is an intimate and exclusive day spa, a true wellness retreat. It has since 2014 been voted as the Best DaySpa in Portugal (World Luxury Spa Awards). Its philosophy is to have the best rituals from the best brands, relying on the expertise of the internationally leading brand in aromatherapy – Aromatherapy Associates, which guarantees the effectiveness and purity of the oils and products you work with. Try the 45min back massage with a specific focus on the back. The packs of 6 back massage sessions are the best seller of this spa.

Back massage with Thai techniques at Mandalay Spa (Porto, Lisbon and Obidos):

Immerse yourself in the ancient knowledge of Southeast Asia and try the 45-minute Thai back massage Siam Healing Back Massage that uses the technique of “tok-Sen” – wooden hammer-type instrument that distributes deep vibrations at the muscular level. Specifically concentrated on the back, shoulders and neck, the results are fantastic in relieving muscle tension and pain. Feel renewed and make this routine your weekly remedy for back pain.

Tok Sen Massage

Deep Tissue massage at Bspa by Karin Herzog (Lisbon):

With an impressive 100m2 of area in the Spa, BSpa by Karin Herzog (Belem) has a refreshing and modern atmosphere, with straight lines and is covered in white marble. Take advantage of the fantastic indoor pool, sundeck, sauna, and Turkish bath before your massage. Ask for a deep tissue back massage – B Alive where therapists use their thumbs, elbows, and forearms to create greater pressure. Ideal for unlocking muscle tension points – 30-, 55- and 80-min version. If you can book twice per week. The result is astounding.

Customized massage to relieve any tension at BluSpa (Lisbon and Algarve):

With a concept inspired by the cosmetic benefits associated with marine biotechnology, BluSpa has an exclusive 30-minute back, shoulder and neck massage, where you can choose the focus area, type of pressure, and let the therapist adapt the technique to your needs. BluSpa works with marine ingredients and has a thermal mud treatment that is fantastic to complement any back massage. Try the back the 30-minute back massage or even the 55 minute for longer lasting results.

Do not let the tension build up. The tendency is to always get worse, and today it is a pain in the lower back and tomorrow it may be a pain in the neck that is a consequence of the tension in the lower back. Take care of yourself and let the expert take care of you.

Janine Tavares

Com uma longa carreira internacional, a Janine é formadora e coordenadora da área Wellness da TOPSPA Consultants. Com formação inicial em cosmetologia, desenvolveu a sua carreira em dayspas, cruise line spas, resort & hotel spas. O desafio na área de gestão iniciou-se nos Emirados Árabes Unidos, onde teve o privilégio de liderar equipas de várias nacionalidades em vários spas emblemáticos dos quais se destaca o Armani Spa - Burj Kalifa ou o Emirates Palace Spa. No processo de crescimento pessoal, alterou hábitos de vida para viver de uma forma mais consciente e saudável. Participou em vários retiros na India e em Bali, e formações de Yoga incluindo a certificação como professora da modalidade, aprendeu e conheceu várias pessoas inspiradoras, para hoje poder também inspirar e consciencializar outros para a importância de procurar e seguir uma vida mais plena.

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