Pages have been posted on how to give a guy a backrub, covering every angle of the subject. The flipside, however, is left mainly uncovered and maybe even tainted by the "backrub for a guy" nodes, since the processes are completely different.

That said, all of the muscle groups of the upper and lower back are the same between the sexes. It is wise to start with a soft rub of the entire back area, placing your fingers on her shoulders and rubbing the balls of your hands along the muscle located directly under it, towards her neck. When the balls of your hands reach her neck, move them downwards towards the base of her spine in a lightly pressured, wavelike fashion. (Sort of in-out-in-out.) When you reach the base of the spine (close to where the pants start,) move your hands apart, as if to squeeze the pressure out of that region. (If she sits for any part of the day, there will be a lot of stress in that area - we'll come back to it.)

At this point we return back to her neck and rub the muscles supporting it (on the lateral side of her neck, seperating sideways into her shoulders.) Be aware that these start at the hairline. The idea is always to move tension to the outside, where it dissipates into skin tissue.
By now you're well into it. With a little bit of practice you can feel out where the tensions lie and are able to rub them out. Just remember to use broad, evenly pressured strokes. A brief rundown of the major groups that attain tensions follows:

  • Neck Muscle - connects the head to shoulders, use the side of your thumb and the ball of your hand to rub from the top to the shoulders to the neckline.
  • Lower shoulder - runs above the shoulder blades, gently pull up and release
  • Outside shoulder - softly knead, as if you were trying to pull it out / lengthen it to the outside
  • Erector Spinae - This muscle runs along both sides of her spine, rub it down and out (wavelike motion, again.)
  • Back Base - The muscle mass where the belt lies, you can use a bit more force on this one. Use your flattened hands to rotate it outwards, away from the spine.

Thanks to JessicaPierce and icicle for complaining about not getting any good backrubs lately and inspiring this node =)
Addendum to pig's thoughtful node:

The Neck & Shoulders:
The muscles supporting the breasts lead up to the neck. If your lady has large breasts or spends her day active, etc., her neck and shoulders will be very sore from all the shock absorption (hey, I know). Each side of the base of the neck is a great place to start and will make her very happy. Don't be afraid to massage the front part of her neck, but not around the vocal chords, the front side of her shoulders, and around the collar bone.

Shoulder Blades and Upper Back:
That breast pain can go all the way down here, especially inbetween the shoulder blades. This is also a prime massage area if the massagee carries a bookbag around all day.

The Lower Back:
By this I mean the area of the back just above the butt. If your girlfriend is having her period and you want to show how receptive and caring you are, massage this area. This is where those damned cramps are. We do not enjoy them. Please make them go away.

Put four fingers on each hip with thumbs facing in at an angle as if you were going to make a 'W'. Using your thumbs, make a soft but firm upwards and outwards circular movement. Start at her spine and move out. When you feel experienced and comfortable with the massagee, use the four other fingers on each hand to massage her simultaneously with your thumbs. The four fingers can do a lighter version of the thumb movement, or you can try just pressing in with your fingertips (please trim your nails!) in a pattern and slowly pushing outward. Another variation is to use the four fingers and NOT the fingertips and rub upwards and outwards as one. You can even try using the base of your fingertips or the base of your palm, but be careful with the amount of pressure you apply.

As always, be very receptive and ask what feels good and what does not feel good (if she doesn't make it readily apparent). Make sure she is in a comfortable position and comfortable with the situation. If she says 'no' or 'stop', listen. The same goes with guys.

And finally . .

Secret Massage Spot for Girls Who Work Out:
The muscle on the outside of each breast, the one in front of the armpit. If you lift weights, do chest presses, etc., then you know how sore this can get. If you are giving a massage while both of you are in the sitting position, reach under the arms and, using your thumbs, massage the area with the upwards and outwards movement. It might be better, as in more comfortable, to have her lie down on her back and you sit by her side and use your pointer and middle fingers to massage the area. The same goes for the chest muscles just above the breasts.

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