Massage Strokes

A competent masseuse should use ALL of the following 7 massage strokes so that you fully benefit from her treatment.

It is extremely difficult to verbally explain how a stroke is performed.

If interested in learning the following (or educating your therapist), please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link provided.

Massage Stroke 1: Petrissage

The ball of the thumbs are used for this stroke.

  • Localized increase in blood flow – Kneading is an even better stroke than Petrissage for this.
  • De-congestive – Kneading best in this category but also Cupping
  • Aids the interchange of tissue fluids – Kneading is good for this too
  • Helps break down adipose tissue – Kneading best
  • Soothes contracted muscle fibers, releases tension and removes  adhesions / nodules – Kneading best in this category then Petrissage

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Massage Stroke 2- Effleurage

The most common stroke practiced by all massage therapists.

  • Movement is made using the flat of the hands pushing blood towards the heart. Unfortunately many masseuses effleurage moving in opposite direction to the heart and they go against natural blood circulation 
  • Speeds up venous and lymph flow
  • Helps induce a sense of euphoria and well being in the patient
  • Relaxing
  • Familiarizes the client with the therapist’s hands
  • Aids desquamation (removal of dead skin cells)
  • Preheats prior to deeper movements
  • Break down and elimination of waste products (lactic acid and urea).

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Massage Stroke 3 - Tapotement

  • This stroke is similar to piano playing but on the skin. See the facial massage on the Professional Massage Movie  for a demonstration
  • It has a tonic effect on the small muscles, and nerve endings (such as facial muscles) 
  • Hacking is best to tone larger muscles
  • Stimulating to nerve endings
  • Warms the tissues
  • Draws blood to the surface causing hyperemia (cupping is however best for this)
  • Breaks down adipose tissues (not as effective as kneading)

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Massage Stroke 4 - Vibrations

  • This is used mainly on the face by beauty therapists. It is performed with the tip of the fingers when a slight vibration is exercised on various parts of the face.
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Clears nerve pathways
  • Stimulates nerves
  • Warms tissues
  • Relieves tension

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Massage Stroke 5 - Kneading

Rarely performed by therapists who have not been properly trained. This is unfortunate as this is one of the most important strokes used in professional Massage.

  • Helps in the elimination of waste products from deep tissues
  • Breaks down fat
  • Improves body metabolism
  • Improves muscle contractibility
  • Helps the interchange of tissue fluids
  • De-congestive in action

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Massage Stroke 6 - Hacking

This is the most incorrectly performed stroke of all. Most therapist close their fingers to execute this stroke which has nothing to do with hacking and is more in line with the James Bond kill him type of stroke.

When performed properly this strokes sounds a bit like rain falling.

  • Improves the tone of muscular tissues
  • Is performed on large muscles with a bone immediately underneath

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

Stroke 7 - Cupping

This is performed with cupped hands making contact with the client's body. It is almost never used by therapists which is a shame as its properties are:

  • Sucks the blood to the surface of the skin and creates hyperemia
  • Good for the skin
  • Good for peripheral nerve endings and subcutaneous tissues
  • When done properly, it should sound like a horse trotting

Please refer to our Professional Massage Movie or place your order immediately using the link at the bottom of this page.

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