Effleurage: A gliding stroke used by massage therapists. This is typically used at the beginning and end of the massage. It's purpose
is to warm the tissues by providing increased circulation.
Petrissage: A kneading stroke used by massage therapists. This stroke
is designed to lift and knead the tissues. It helps in removing the metabolic wastes that have built up in muscle tissue. It also
helps to draw new blood to the tissues.
Friction: This stroke is most commonly used by the therapists fingers or thumbs. The
therapist will sink into the muscle with his fingers, then rapidly move them back and forth across the muscle. This helps in breaking
down tight knots that have built up in the muscle tissue.
Nerve Strokes: This is a form of effleurage that involves a light touch.
It is usually done in a manner that is both light in touch and quick in movement. It's purpose is to stimulate the area after it has
been worked with other methods.
Tapotement: This is what you have seen in the movies. The boxer that lays on the table while
some big burly guy appears to be beating on the boxers back. In reality there are many forms of tapotement, from light finger tapping
to the heavy beating. This is generally used at the end of a massage session and it helps stimulate the tissues.
is a stroke used by massage therapist that is designed to help lengthen a muscle. Usually the therapist uses his thumbs and while
applying pressure he glides the full length of the muscle that is being worked on.
Trigger Points: There are several types of
trigger points; active, latent, primary, and satellite. For the purpose of this article we are going to just call them trigger points.
Basically a trigger point is a knot in the belly of a muscle that when pressed on, refers pain to a specific point in the body. Trigger
points are knots that are in a constant state of contraction. Normal massage strokes will not "release" a trigger point. A massage
therapist has to use direct pressure on the trigger point to interrupt the nerve impulse that is causing the muscle contraction.
Points are similar to trigger points with the difference being a tender point does not refer pain when pressure is applied. The method
for releasing a tender point is different also. The therapist must place the muscle in a passively contracted state until the tender
point relaxes and dissipates.
Fascia: is a layer of connective tissue. Fascia is found throughout the human body. Think of it
as a nylon stocking wrapping every-thing in the body. Fascia is what helps hold everything in its place.
term used when a person has a condition that prevents them from receiving a massage.
Drape: The material used for draping, this
can be a sheet, pillow case, towel, etc.
Draping: A technique used to cover a client in order to protect the clients modesty,
which varies from person to person. If you have specific draping preferences, you should discuss them with your massage therapist
before the massage begins.