Compression uses a quick rhythmic pumping action
to get deep into the muscle. This causes
the muscle to relax and become more pliable and
spreads the tissue. It is generally performed
with full contact
of the hand.
This gliding stroke is used a great deal
throughout the massage session to apply
lubricant to the skin.
It is used to relax
and stretch a client’s muscles.
Kneading is a firm stroke used on a specific
to help release muscle tension and improve
circulation. The therapist gently grasps
an area of the body (i.e. calf) with both hands
and makes a kneading action similar to that of
Vibrating or jostling the muscle helps to get
deep into the muscle.
light-to medium-pressure stroke which relaxes
and stretches the muscles and improves
circulation. The therapist will use either
the heel of the hand on larger areas (i.e.
thigh) or the thumbs on smaller areas (i.e.
forearms). With one hand following the other,
the therapist applies firm and constant pressure
while traveling slowly upward along the muscle.
This stroke can be used to pull and stretch
muscles of the torso and legs. Using
alternating hands in a pulling motion, the
therapist gradually moves her hands up
This stroke is similar to "pulling",
but, whereas pulling is performed in an upward
motion, wringing is performed across the body or
Friction strokes are deep strokes used around
joints and to release adhesions to the muscle.
This stroke is typically performed on dense
areas of tissue by sinking the thumbs deeply
into the muscle and using body weight to gently
rock back and forth or in small circular
Tapotement: Percussive strokes, such
as rhythmic striking, hacking, and cupping with
relaxed hands and wrists stimulate the muscle,
improve circulation, and release muscle tension.
These strokes are primarily used on, arms,
legs, buttocks, shoulders and back (not on