While some people are uncomfortable having the gluteals massaged, the buttocks are one of the most important areas of the body to work. Your gluteal muscles work to stabilize your hips, move your legs and support your back. Often pain in the hips, groin and back are actually caused by tight gluteal muscles. A few Swedish massage techniques can help you work the gluteal muscles comfortably during your next session.
Drape the gluteal area well before beginning the Swedish massage so that your client feels comfortable and unexposed. It is extremely important, particularly in this area, that your client is calm and can relax. When a person feels tense or nervous, the muscles of the buttocks tend to clinch, working against the purpose of your work. While this technique works better on bare skin, it can be performed with the client fully draped if they cannot relax with their buttocks partially exposed.
Knead gently into the thick gluteal muscle, warming up the tissue. Take note of tight areas; however, do not work too deep as this area can be extremely sensitive.
With your lower hand, grasp the clients ankle and lift their foot to 90 degrees. Instruct your client to relax the leg completely into your hand so that you may rotate the leg. It is imperative that they remain relaxed and do not try to hold up their own leg, so ensure them that you have a firm grip on the leg and remind them once in awhile to let the leg go.
Place your upper hand on the client’s hip bone, turning your wrist so that your fingers face towards you. You may need to turn your body a bit to make the movement comfortable; however, it can be more uncomfortable for your client if your fingers are pointing away from you.
Cup the hip bone, the insertion point of the gluteal muscles, and apply firm yet gentle pressure as you rock the leg back and forth, or even make small circular motions with the leg. You will feel the upper hip bone rotating under your hand, making the bone massage the muscles.
Move the heel of your palm up so that it is centered over the thickest part of the gluteal muscle and apply firm yet gentle pressure. Continue the shaking leg Swedish massage technique on the muscle belly. When the gluteal area becomes warm, use a few brushing strokes down the leg to complete the gluteal massage.