Swedish Shiatsu Massage Flow (Massage Monday #419)

At work, I love giving a service called Swedish/Shiatsu which combines Swedish massage and Shiatsu.

Swedish massage is a relaxation massage using a lubricant such as massage oil or lotion. It’s done on a massage table and it’s a flowy superficial massage with lots of gliding.

Shiatsu literally means finger pressure. It’s an acupressure based massage that is traditionally done over the clothes on a mattress on the floor. There is no gliding since it’s done over the clothes and there’s no lubricant.

This week I’m going to show you the flow of how I combine the two. The flow of the massage is something that you learn at a massage school but every school is different and the teacher is different so people have different flows. Some massage therapists start with the client lying face up while others start with the client lying face down. The flow is different between the modalities too. For example, Thai Massage you start with the client lying face up and you start from the feet.

I customize every massage based on the client’s wants and needs so this is a sample of what I do when a client wants the full-body Swedish/Shiatsu massage but the flow is pretty much the same.

Unfortunately, my laptop is not strong enough to process a long video so I’m going to do part 1 today.

First I start with the client lying face down on the table and I put the lotion in a warmer. I say hi to the entire body by lightly compressing. This is one way for me to physically remember where to massage. If a client wants me to skip somewhere because they have an injury or surgery or sensitivity, I skip that area. Sometimes client wants just the upper body. In that case I usually offer to do it from the glutes and up because tight glutes can cause lower back pain.

I always have a top sheet and a cover which can be a blanket or a thick sheet. I remove just a cover and over the top sheet I do compressions on the muscles next to the spine. Repeat on the other side. Then I do acupressure on the muscles next to the spine. I then do acupressure on the lower back. I press slightly towards the hip bone. Then slightly towards the spine.

Then I do upper back between the spine and the shoulder blade. First feel the spine and the shoulder blade so I won’t accidentally press on the spine. Then I repeat on the other side.

I will then knead to warm up and do acupressure on the neck over the sheet on one side. Then the other side. Then the base of the skull.

I uncover the top sheet to the hip bone and professionally tuck in on both sides. I never see gluteal folds commonly known as butt crack.

The lubricant should be warm by now. Warm up the lubricant between the hands and start with the effleurage matching the breath.

This will be the Swedish massage part. My massage school taught me to start with the upper back but nowadays I start from the lower back. Then I work on the upper back. I repeat this on the other side. Lower back then upper back.

Oh I got a request for a cannabis oil instead so I’m switching to Papa & Barkley Releaf Massage Oil here.

Then some neck and upper back massage using gliding strokes.

Massage Monday #419 – Swedish Shiatsu Massage Flow http://bit.ly/mm-419