Lately, I’ve been working on people who for a number of reasons can’t lay face down. However, they want a full body massage or they want some area on their backside (back, hamstrings, gluteus) addressed. The solution is to do a side-lying massage. Side-lying massage is commonly associated with pregnancy massage but in reality anyone can get a side-lying massage.
1. Side sleeper
If you are a side-sleeper more than likely you’d like a side-lying massage. It’s a position you are naturally comfortable with. In my experience, many side sleepers have difficulty laying face down for long periods of time. They are often adjusting their position on the table. If this is you, you may want to consider getting a side-lying massage for your next session.
2. Recent back surgeries
Back surgeries are pretty common. One of the best things you can do during your recovery time is get a massage. A lot of times people are hesitant too because they think they have to lay face down. This is not the case. I recommend many of my people who have recent back surgeries to go side-lying. With proper pillow placement which I’ll get to in a bit. You can have a thorough and beneficial massage.
3. Low back pain/stiffness/arthritis
It’s not uncommon for people with low back issues to stiffen up from laying face down for long periods of time. When one lays facedown, gravity and the weight of your body pulls that lumbar spine into and even more exaggerated curve. Which someone with a bad back will really feel after a few minutes of laying facedown. That’s because you’re putting so much pressure on the lumbar muscles and core muscles that support the back. As a result the muscles and spine will lock up to protect itself. One way to alleviate this all together is to do a side-lying massage. Going side-lying takes that unnecessary weight/pressure off the spine.
4. Heavy set
If you heavy set simply going side-lying will be better for the reasons mentioned in the section above. It will also help with breathing.
If you do decide to do your massage in the side-lying position make sure you have pillows placed between your knees and under your head & neck for support. In some cases a wedge under your side may be needed.
Check with the therapist first
Not all therapist do side-lying massage. If they do pregnancy massage, you can be assured they do side-lying. In all other cases, check with your massage therapist first.
Last thing I’ll mention on this topic. Because of the positioning of you and that the therapist has to work in, the pressure may not be as strong as if you were laying face down. In my experience this has not been a problem. The people who have received side-lying massage for the reasons mentioned above have thoroughly enjoyed their sessions and found them beneficial. They have also continued getting side-lying massages.
Side-lying massage is an excellent option for anyone who falls into any of the categories mentioned above. It’s a very practical to receive a massage.