This is the most asked question that clients have. Our answer is yes, of course we massage the buttocks, gluteals, derriere or whatever one calls these very large and very important muscles in the body.
My question is how can a Massage Therapist do a good job without massaging the glutes. These muscles are used when walking, when lifting, when sitting and actually with most of our daily tasks. I know that the schools today are teaching their therapists not to do massage over the gluteals for liability reasons. Lets get this straight now, there is nothing sexual about massaging the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus or the piriformis(a deeper muscle in this area). These muscles hook into the top of the pelvis and sacrum and then into the femur. When the low back gets tight it pulls the pelvis up and then the buttock muscles get tight trying to keep the pelvis aligned. A tug of war starts to happen as each of these muscle groups tighten up. The only way to properly affect the low back muscles is to massage the derriere and vise versa.
The sciatic nerve is often pinched in the gluteals causing the dreaded leg pain due to Sciatica. The piriformis muscle sits right on top of this nerve and when the musculature gets tight and presses on the nerve pain and sometimes numbness will start. In some very lucky people the sciatic nerve actually passes through the piriformis muscle, you can guess how that makes these lucky people feel at times. I have been able to give many people relief from sciatic pain by massaging the buttocks and then stretching the area. It is usually not a pleasant part of their massage but a necessary one.
When under stress and the sympathetic Fight or Flight response starts to occur, the three areas most affected with rigid muscles are the jaw, shoulders and gluteals. We tighten these areas to get ready to either Fight or Flight. As our society is more and more in a constant state of stress these areas rarely get relief. Massaging the jaw, upper back and derriere greatly help to restore a sense of well being in the body. The stress hormone Cortisol elevates when the body is under stress and the massage will help to decrease this hormone, another bonus for massaging the buttocks. Too much cortisol in the body can eventually affect all of the body systems.
In conclusion, if you ask your Massage Therapist if they massage the gluteals and they refuse, run fast if you can and then give Breathe…Deeply Massage a call!