Today’s massage tutorial video is on side-lying massage. While it’s not a comprehensive course, it should be a good refresher for those of you who haven’t given one in a while, and it should have some useful tips for the long-time therapists in the crowd.
If you haven’t given a massage like this is a while, the general set-up and communication can be a little daunting. What pillows go where? How do I make this a deep massage without shoving them off the table? While I try to give a good overview of the answers in the video, you’ll definitely find it helpful to start with a friend. Find one who’s comfortable speaking their mind, and who’ll tell you when something doesn’t feel quite right.
While it can be tempting to only do light-pressure Swedish on side-lying clients, this is a great opportunity to offer deep massage that just isn’t possible with a prone or supine client. When applying pressure to the low back, you get a rotational component to the technique that’s built in. As you work with the shoulder, you’ll find that it’s quite mobile as it floats atop the rib cage. Use this opportunity to interact with lateral structures that don’t receive a lot of work normally.
In other words, you won’t be able to make this exactly like your normal routine, but that’s a feature, not a bug. Make this an interesting new experience for you and your client!
Is side-lying massage something that you use regularly? How do your clients respond? If you haven’t really done it since massage school, what’s holding you back?