Illustrations of back massage techniques are available at WikiHow.com, along with written instructions. The illustrated techniques include effleurage, petrissage, muscle lifting and fanning. Try to move from the waist, rather than the shoulders, when applying pressure. This helps you to avoid fatigue.
Effleurage refers to a smooth, rhythmic stroking motion. Using the whole hand, work oil smoothly around the back from bottom to top for five to 10 minutes. Petrissage is more of a kneading motion that uses shorter strokes and slightly more pressure to enhance circulation. Fanning focuses on the muscles that run alongside the spine and uses gentle pressure to help relieve tension.
It is important to set up a comfortable space for the massage by using a good surface and ensuring the room is warm. Scented candles and music also help to create a relaxing atmosphere.