The rhomboid muscles are located along the upper spine and stretch downward connecting the edges of the scapula, or shoulder blade. The rhomboids are important muscles when performing massage, as they tend to hold a lot of tension, causing pain between the shoulders, the neck and even the pectoral muscles. A few tips can help you learn how to massage the rhomboids.
Stand at the head of your massage table with your client face down. Place the heels of your palms along the sides of the neck and push down along either side of the spine, pressing over the rhomboids. Push as far down the spine as you can reach and then reverse the movement, moving up and then following the line of the top of the shoulder blades out to the shoulders. Return to the neck and repeat until the tissues become warm, being careful to never work directly over the spine.
Begin to work deeper into the rhomboids, using the heels of your hands again. This time, press a bit harder and shake your wrists back and forth, moving gracefully down the spaces between the spine and shoulder blade. This will begin to soften the superficial muscles, preparing for deep work on the rhomboids.
Stand on the right side of your client and gently lift their wrist, placing it on their lower back. If they are less flexible and must flex muscles to hold the arm in place, roll a towel and place it under the shoulder to lift the arm. This should allow them to relax completely. Placing the arm on the back will open the space under the shoulder blade, giving you access to the rhomboids in their entirety.
Rest your outside hand on the massage table for support and place the fingers of your inside hand together with your thumb facing up. Place your wrist in the crook of your client’s neck and then slowly move forward, drawing your entire forearm down the spine. When your forearm is directly on the rhomboids, hold your arm in place and rock your wrist back and forth, working the muscles.
Start with gentle pressure and work deeper as the tissue begins to release. You can get even deeper by using the same massage technique using only your elbow. After working the muscles on both sides, finish with a cool-down. Release the clients arm and repeat your first technique, apply gently, flowing pressure.