Massage therapy is a popular form of treatment for physical and mental ailments, and there are many different techniques that can be used to achieve the desired results. Kneading, or Petrisage, is one of the most basic techniques and involves using the thumbs or palms of the hands to apply pressure to various parts of the body. This helps to separate muscle from bone, reducing muscle spasms. Rubbing is another technique that uses two thumbs to apply pressure in a circular pattern, stimulating blood circulation and treating muscle and joint pain.
Longitudinal sliding is an effective traditional massage technique that is administered in the direction of blood flow, helping to disperse fluids from the site of injury and reduce inflammation. Myofascial release is a manual technique for stretching the fascia and balancing the body, while trigger point therapy applies pressure to sensitive muscle tissue to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Transverse friction is a transverse connective tissue therapy that is applied directly with the fingers, while rhythmic compression in muscles is used to create profound hyperemia and softening effects on tissues. When starting a new career as a massage therapist, it's important to understand and master the most popular techniques.
The four main techniques taught at massage therapy schools are basic massage, Swedish massage, chair massage and trigger point massage. Basic massage includes effleurage (light or deep stroking), petriage (kneading), tapotement (soft slaps) and friction. Effleurage is intended for relaxation and the release of tension, while petrisage helps to separate muscle from bone and reduce muscle spasms. Tapotement involves gently tapping or cupping the skin with your hand to create an effect similar to that of percussion, while friction concentrates pressure at a specific point using small circular movements.
Swedish massage focuses specifically on anatomy and physiology and on how the body's systems work together, making it one of the most popular types of massage in the Western world. Stretching is another frequently used technique in massage therapy this year, although many people tend to skip this.