The Fundamental Strokes of Swedish Massage
Amid the popularity of Swedish massage globally, many are still heedless that the famous massage is compose of 5 unique and distinguishing strokes. Though it may be the last thing you’ll ever worry about when having a relaxing massage treatment, recognizing each stroke is still significant if you want to achieve a quality massage experience.
From a French word meaning “to skim” or “to touch lightly on”, effleurage uses gentle and stroking movement usually done at the start and before the session culminates. Its movements are long, sweeping and circular, performed to warm up the area before deep tissue work. Because of its soothing factor, many massage therapists frequently start a Swedish massage with effleurage to help the clients feel more relaxed and comfortable. Moreover, through this movement, therapists can rapidly locate painful and inflamed areas without causing further damage.
This stroke is likely one of the most familiar strokes we know. Knead, pick-up-and-squeeze, roll, are the words that can best describe petrissage. The rolling and pressing movements help relax muscles and improve circulation to the area.
Friction, from the French word meaning “to rub”, uses a more direct pressure to help relieve pain and sore muscles. It separates and realigns muscle fibers with the use of thumbs, fingertips, heel of hands or a mixture to easy away soreness. It is often done without oil or any lubricant to avoid the fingers slip over the client’s skin.
A rhythmic and short-duration technique, performed generally to more fleshy areas of the body such as the back. Tapotement includes 5 different types namely, beating, slapping, hacking, tapping, and cupping, working best on already relaxed muscles. It is considered as one of the best method of Swedish massage that helps rejuvenate weary muscles and can even assist in loosening build up mucus in the lungs for easy expectoration.
This massage technique includes quick shaking, usually ranges between 5-20 seconds over a specific area with the use of heel or side of the hands or fingers. Vibration is commonly the final stroke of Swedish massage, which touch aids in soothing irritated nerves and consequently develop a sense of revitalization.