Massage can be defined as the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body performed by the hands for the purpose of producing effects on the systems of the body. For therapy purposes general massage can be seen as a means of either inducing relaxation or invigorating the system depending on the choice and combination of massage movements.
Massage movements come under four main headings
These main groups can be further divided and most movements used will fall into one of these main groups.
Video clips are available of the different movements - see
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of stroking movements. Effleurage movements commence and complete a massage
routine and also linking in other movements. they are applied with the
entire palmar surface of the hand and commence with superficial strokes.
As the pressure used is light the direction of the strokes may be towards
the heart or away from heart. the hand should contour to the shape of
the area under treatment and exert equal pressure over the entire contact
Effleurage on leg
Back effleurage leading to thumb kneading on neck.
of compression movements. These include kneading, skin rolling, frictions
with finger or thumb and wringing. Petrissage movements are performed
with intermittent pressure either with one or both hands. The pressure
is smoothly and firmly applied, then relaxed. The movement is then progressed
to an adjacent area and is then repeated.
Tapotement movements include beating, pounding, cupping and hacking. all these movements a stimulating and should only be used if a general toning effect is required from the massage rather than relaxation. Cupping the is performed with hands forming a loose cups which rhythmically strike the body. Beating is when the hands are formed into loose fists dropping from shoulder level to strike the client's body. hacking is a light and fast movement performed with the hands at right angles to the wrists. The fingers touch and leave the skin's surface very rapidly with the outer three fingers of each hand the most involved. Hacking his very stimulating both to the circulation and to the sensory nerve endings.
Hacking on gluteus
|Vibrations include thumb vibrations and finger vibrations. They are fine trembling movements performed on or along the nerve path by the fingers of the thumb.||Feathering on back|