The One Where We Discuss Butts
Buttocks, Glutes, Dierriere, Heinie, Booty. We all have our own name for our backside. The idea of “my butt being rubbed” (or not) can be a very sensitive topic for many people. Sometimes the sensitivity is mental or emotional, for others it’s physical.There are many different reasons discussing it may be awkward. Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard from friends, family, clients, and colleagues.
- The pain seems to be coming from my butt, but is it appropriate to ask someone to rub it?
- I don’t want you touching my butt because another therapist did it and it hurt. They just dug right in.
- I don’t want anyone grabbing my butt.
- Are you going to touch my crack? That would just be weird and wrong.
- I don’t want anyone looking at my butt because it’s … <-- insert whatever description you think applies here. Ie. fat, lumpy, flat, hairy.
What exactly does it mean when a therapist is talking about your gluteal muscles?
- They are a group of 3 superficial muscles, gluteas maximus, gluteas medius, and gluteus minimus.
- These 3 muscles originate from the ilium (pelvis) and sacrum (tailbone) and insert (attach) on the femur (thigh bone).
- They work to extend (lift your leg behind you), rotate, abduct (raise your leg to the side), and stabilize your pelvis
- The tensor fascia lata, piriformis, obturator internus, and the gemelli are also in the same region. The tensor fascia lata is more to the side of your pelvis. The other three muscles are a set of deep muscles. It’s doubtful we can directly impact them, but they are there.
There are also many valid reasons that massaging the glutes is a good idea.
- Low back pain. The glutes are major movers that help in allowing us to rotate our trunk. Muscles that work hard especially benefit from massage.
- Prenatal massage. As your body changes to make room for the baby and to go through labor stress is placed on our pelvis and hips, exactly where the glute muscles attach.
- The gluteal muscles are a major muscle group. They are involved in both lower body movements and upper body movements.
In my opinion, it’s an important muscle group that needs to be massaged, even if the goal of your massage is to “just relax”. (Which by the way is perfectly acceptable!) When back pain is involved, I find it to be a necessity. When women are pregnant, it’s definitely needed. The amount of time spent on the glutes can certainly vary. A lot of time may not be needed but all of my massages include some sort of touch on the glutes. Unless, of course, the client specifically requested them to be skipped.Here’s some things to keep in mind when it comes to getting your glutes massaged:
- It’s OK to leave your underwear on.
- You will be appropriately and professionally draped at all times.
- The intergluteal cleft, your butt crack, will not be exposed.
- Your drape will not be tucked into your intergluteal cleft. (Yes I’ve heard of this happening.)
- There’s no “groping” in a professional massage. The most common way we use our hands during a glute massage is with a soft fist or with the heel of our palm. Sometimes we’ll throw an elbow in there, it just depends what you need.
- Massage therapists are not judging any dimples, cellulite, or wrinkles.
- There may be some stretching involved to help with movement.
With a professional, confident, and caring therapist, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to gluteal work. It will help ease your symptoms, and make you feel better. Let’s face it the phrase “a pain in my ass” is common for a reason, with massage you can get rid of that pain.