The softening is a surface manoeuvre, addressing mainly the derma and epidermis. The friction addresses mainly the subcutanate tissue, represented by the hypoderm.
In some parts of the body, the subcutanate tissue also contains muscles. For instance, at the face and neck, where the hypoderm is slightly present, the action in the massage through friction acts also on the facial muscles.
The friction consists in the pressure applied to the soft subcutanate tissues on the profound strata, or on a tough plane (bones or cartilages) and in their moving in the limits of their own elasticity.
THE TECHNIQUE ITSELF
We can do the friction using:
– the tips of the fingers
– the face or the back of the hand
– the fist – the nodes of the fist
On small portions use the tips of the three middle fingers: the index, the middle finger and the ring finger
On larger portions – the manoeuvres will be done using the sides of the palms, the entire palm or the fists.
On very large portions: work with both palms and fingers spread
According to the sensitivity of certain segments or areas, we will keep in mind the following:
On sensitive portions we will apply the friction with the thicker and softer part of the palm,
on the larger, less sensitive parts of the body we will work using the closed fist.
On the small areas we will apply the friction using one hand, and on a large ones using both hands, simultaneously and symmetrically.
The sense of applying the friction is different, according to the anatomical particularities of each segment. The movements may be circular or ellipsoidal.
On the ligaments, and tendons, the sense of the friction is linear and the friction will consist in short and rhythmical come-and-go-movements.
The Achilles tendon will be fractioned using the “clench” technique, either with the thumb and index or the sides of both hands.
Another sense of applying the friction refers to a particular case, the “undulate” or zigzag friction which is required down the spine, descending from the neck to the buttocks.
After the intensity applied, the friction is divided into: superficial, medium, and profound.
The pressure can increase or decrease at any moment. We accentuate the pressure of the manoeuvre inclining the fingers or the hand or applying the free hand over the other, to add to the pressure.
Dose the intensity of the pressure after the sensitivity of the skin and tissue and most importantly taking into account your lovers indications. Be gentle on the sensitive areas and vigorous on the less sensitive ones.
From a methodical point of view, the friction is simple when applied with the fingers, sides of the hands, palms, etc. on small areas of the body. It is also stimulating for the nervous central system and for the peripheral nervous system, when applied in a fast rhythm. In the therapeutic activity this method is applied as either stimulating or calming method.