Continuing with my YouTube channel clean up, this week I’m going to show you 6 ways to massage your own lower back from the past videos. I would say that lower back is the second most popular spot for a massage after neck and shoulders usually grouped together.
These massages are helpful if the cause of the pain is local to where you are massaging. However, it is possible that the cause of your lower back pain is somewhere else. If that’s the case, you are not solving the cause of your pain and your pain may persist or come back after a temporary release. I will cover such case in another video.
- Using Your Thumb
When you do a search on “lower back pain images” on Google, you see lots of these images with the four fingers covering the problem area. This is good for rubbing and heating up to get the circulation going for the lower back.
To effectively massage this area, flip the hand around and place the thumbs to press the tight, sore area and go up and down. Press as you breathe out. Make small circles but don’t just move your thumbs because it’s the fastest way to tire out your thumbs. Use the entire arm to move your thumbs. I’m exaggerating here but you get the idea. You can also use supported thumbs which is a thumb supported by the side of your index fingers with the tip of your thumb sticking out a little bit. You can press or make circles with the supported thumbs.
To increase the pressure, bend slightly backward as long as it doesn’t hurt your lower back. In fact, if there is any pain beyond where it hurts good during massage you should reduce the pressure because your body will resist it anyway. Hurts good is good but hurts bad is bad so stay at hurts good pressure level.
2. Using Your Fist
If you have long fingernails or want to cover more general area, make a loose fist and press and squeeze your lower back. Start with a flat part of your fist for less pressure. Use the knuckles for more pressure. Make circles by moving your arms and by rotating your wrists. Whenever I make circles I tend to do in the direction of wax on and wax off. Clockwise on the right and counter clockwise on the left but you can go downward too of course.
In case you are too young to know what wax on and wax off means, let’s hear it from the master himself.
That was from The Karate Kid released in 1984. That’s 36 years ago.
Oh my god!
To increase the pressure make a firmer fist and squeeze or circle. And again you can lean back slightly as long as it’s not hurting.
3. Bend Sideways
Either with your thumb or fist, you have to keep working at it. To rest your thumbs, arms and fist, place it on your lower back and bend sideways. This way you can still press the lower back muscles one side at a time without an effort. Move up and down as you wish.
Here’s supported thumbs. And fists.
4. On the Floor
You can do this on the floor too. Lie on your back and put the knuckles on the lower back muscles and move the fists up and down or squeeze by lifting the elbows. Massage becomes easier whenever you use your body weight.
Another way to use the gravity is to lie sideways with the top leg bent at the hip and knee. Press your fist into the lower back muscles from the side. Go up and down as you move your fist to loosen up the tight area.
Besides your fist, you can also use a supported thumb. Move the entire fist to move the supported thumb.
5. Lacrosse Balls
Put two lacrosse balls in a sock and tie the open end. I love this massage tool. Place this on your back with the balls on each side of the spine. Lean against the back of the couch. You can move up and down or wiggle side to side. Adjust the space between the balls to target different areas. I like Lacrosse balls because they are hard and give good pressure but use tennis balls if you like softer pressure. I keep another one in my car and use it while driving whenever I feel lower back pain.
6. Acupressure Points
The following points are safe to press during pregnancy. Press these points for one minute as you breathe deeply. Do these several times a day. If you can’t hold it for one minute that’s fine. You can do shorter intervals.
腰痛点/腰腿点 (EX-UE 7) – The first set of points are on the hands and the easiest to press. There are two on each hand. One is at the end of the groove between the index and middle finger. The other one is at the end of the groove between the ring and pinky finger. You can press these points with your thumb and index finger or any combination of fingers you like. Or one point at a time with a hooked thumb. These are not on the major meridians and they are called Ex-UE 7. Ex-UE means Extra Upper Extremity.
腎兪 (UB 23) – The second ones are two finger widths from the spine in the back at the belly button level. This is called UB 23 or Urinary Bladder 23. Put your hands on your waist at the belly button level and press them with your thumbs.
委中 (UB 40) – The last ones are in the center of the crease in the back of the knee. This is called UB 40 or Urinary Bladder 40. But don’t press these points if you happen to have varicose veins there. Bend your knees and press these points gently with your middle fingers, or middle fingers supported by the index fingers or middle fingers supported by the ring fingers, or whatever that’s comfortable.
So these were the ways to give yourself a lower back massage. But if you happen to have a partner I have a program on how to massage your partner. Or how to get massaged by your partner. You can download a free massage guide from the link here.
Massage Monday #512 6 Ways to Massage Your Own Lower Back http://bit.ly/mm-512