The Top Techniques Used in Massage Therapy

The five basic massage movements are effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, and vibration. Each of these movements is designed to provide a different type of massage experience.

The word effleurage is derived from French, meaning to skim. It involves stroking movements of the hands sliding over the skin and is always the first and last technique as well as being used between other techniques applied in a massage session. Effleurage is a light friction technique commonly used to begin a massage treatment. Effleurage is made up of long, stroking movements which are performed using a flat hand or fingers. Effleurage is used to increase the flow of the lymphatic system. Effleurage is used to increase blood circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainage and promote relaxation. Effleurage is used to increase blood circulation and lymphatic flow in the body.

Petrissage is an effective technique in which pressure is applied to tissues and muscles. Petrissage uses stretching, kneading, and squeezing techniques to improve blood circulation, relieve knots and muscle spasms and improve muscular function. Petrissage is a French word that means “to knead” and this is a massage therapy technique that involves- literally- kneading the body. These massage movements are usually deep and compress the underlying muscles. Petrissage enhances blood circulation by increasing lymphatic and venous return. It accelerates the delivery of oxygenated blood and nutrients to major parts of the body such as the heart, arteries, and muscles. Improved blood circulation also helps to eliminate waste products from the body.

Tapotement uses different techniques, sometimes called percussion that uses the fingers, cupped hands, and loose fists. It includes hacking which strikes the body with the outside edges of your hands in line with your little finger, as well as cupping where you strike the skin using a cupping shape of your hands. Tapotement. Tapotement describes techniques such as hacking and cupping which have their place in massage aimed towards relaxation. Hacking is a technique in which both hands alternately strike the skin with the lateral borders of the fifth finger of each hand. Tapotement or Percussion massage is very beneficial. It stimulates nerve endings, aids in decongestion, and increases local blood flow. It also tones the atrophied muscles and relieves pain. This form or massage gives you access to deeper structures, such as the hip rotators.

Friction causes an increase of blood flow to the muscle and the temperature to increase. Vibration helps restore circulation to the muscles and it increases the amount of new blood cells to the area stimulating the healing process. Massage relaxes the muscles, separating and loosening muscles fibres. Friction massage consists of motions on local areas, applied gradually and deeply, and is known to have the effect of stimulating circulation through the joints and alleviating contractures. Vibration massage technique is a fine, gentle, trembling movement performed with hands or fingers. Vibrations can be used to stimulate soft tissues in the body. Vibration movements can help stimulate nerves, relieve muscular tension, and decrease stress. The benefits of vibration massage techniques are relieved tight muscles, reduced stress, and improved circulation. A vibration massage delivers a shaking motion to the muscles to soothe or stimulate. Lighter vibration can help the muscles relax and stronger vibrations can boost circulation and loosen tight muscles.