Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck (2015).

Neck Deep Pressure Massage: Step by Step – Contacts

Even perfect body mechanics cannot eliminate all physical stress to your body when doing massage. Ideal body mechanics merely minimize the stress. For this reason, when doing massage, especially deep pressure massage, it is wise to alternate which treatment hand contact you use during a session.

Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Manual Therapy for the Low Back and Pelvis - A Clinical Orthopedic Approach (2013).

Deep Pressure Massage to the Low Back – Tissue Tension Barrier

Being able to feel tissue tension barriers is the one most important hands-on skill that an orthopedic manual therapist needs. Clinical orthopedic manual therapy (massage and stretching) only effects change if we reach tissue tension and then apply slightly more force beyond it.

Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Manual Therapy for the Low Back and Pelvis - A Clinical Orthopedic Approach (2013).

Deep Pressure Massage to the Low Back – Choosing the Treatment Contact

When working the low back, a good strategy is to begin with a smaller treatment contact such as thumb or finger pads to assess and begin treatment of the lumbar region, and then switch to a larger contact such as the palm or elbow to deliver deeper pressure.

Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Manual Therapy for the Low Back and Pelvis - A Clinical Orthopedic Approach (2013).

Deep Pressure Massage to the Low Back – Positioning the Feet

Make sure that the feet are not too far apart. A wide stance may feel more stable but creates a static position that makes it difficult to transfer weight from one foot to the other. With a narrower stance, it is easier to shift the center of weight of the body from one foot to the other as a stroke is done.

Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Manual Therapy for the Low Back and Pelvis - A Clinical Orthopedic Approach (2013).

Deep Pressure Massage to the Low Back – Client and Therapist Positioning

A common body mechanics error is for the therapist to stand above the face cradle at the head end of the table. Standing here only distances you from the client, causing you to lean over the client to reach the low back; this compromises body mechanics and does not allow for the efficient use of body weight.