Safe back massage techniques include effleurage, petrissage and friction, which are all used in a Swedish massage. Other safe types of massaging include hot stone massaging and deep tissue massaging. Massages tend to be safe as long as the recipient doesn't have any medical conditions that the massage can aggravate and the masseuse avoids bony or sensitive areas.
In effleurage, the masseuse uses his palms or fingers to apply soft and strong pressure in long, sweeping strokes. In petrissage, he uses his hands to knead the muscles like a dough. Friction involves rubbing the hands together and then rubbing them onto the muscles. Other Swedish massage techniques include rhythmic tapping of the muscles and shaking the muscles.
In a hot stone massage, the masseuse places hot stones on the recipient's body. He also massages the recipient with other hot stones.
In a deep tissue massage, the masseuse applies deep pressure to one specific area using his knuckles and elbows. This massage treats troublesome areas of the body, but it isn't relaxing like other types of massages.
Conditions that a massage can aggravate include blood clots, bleeding disorders and skin problems. Areas to avoid when massaging the back include the spine and the kidney area of the lower back.