The movements used in the manual massage – known as manual techniques – are very numerous and varied. Some masseurs modify and combine old methods or try to create new movements to impress through their diversity and complexity.
The massage techniques have suggestive names according to the type of the movement or its influence on the tissues.
According to the effects of the organism, the massage techniques have been divided in two great groups:
1. Main or fundamental techniques
2. Secondary, helping, or completion techniques
THE MAIN OR FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES OF MASSAGE
They are named main or fundamental because regardless of the characteristic of the area they work on, they are indispensable from the massage session. Working the soft parts of the body is methodical, one after the other, from the surface to the depths.
The sequence of the five fundamental techniques is the following:
1. the softening (effleurage)
2. the friction
3. the kneading
4. the battement
5. the vibrations
THE SECONDARY TECHNIQUES OF MASSAGE
They are called secondary because they complete the action of the main, fundamental techniques. The secondary techniques are usually intertwined among the fundamental ones. Some of the secondary techniques derive from the fundamental ones, and come to complete the basic techniques.
The most important secondary techniques are:
1. sifting and rolling
3. tractions and tensions
THE FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES
THE SOFTENING (EFFLEURAGE)
This technique normally targets the teguments. It consists of rhythmical, soft sliding over the body, applied either with the back of the hands or with the palms, in the sense of back-turning blood flow of the venal and capillary blood-vessels and in the sense of the blood flow of the lymph in the space and lymphatic vessels.
THE SUCCESSION AND THE RHYTHM OF THE MOVEMENTS
The initial, introductory softening – is named like this because any massage session will begin with this technique. The variations it allows range from long, lingering gliding of the hands up to short and more vigorous movements.
However, keep in mind that this is an erotic massage. The rhythm and the intensity of the work will grow gradually, as the movements have a stimulating character. They aim to “warm up” the receiver for the next techniques.
The final softening should be performed in the very end of the massage session. It has the following characteristics: the rhythm and intensity will decrease gradually, so the effect will be calming and relaxing.
The succession of the movements will be reversed from those of the introductory softening – the masseur will start with short vigorous movements and will end with long lingering movements.
The massage should be circular, in the sense that it should begin and end with the same technique.
The rhythm of the gliding should be a bit faster than the flow of blood through the veins. As we indicated in the definition of the softening, their sense is determined by the superficial blood circulation or the return of the blood in the veins through the capillary veins, and the flow of the lymph in the spaces and lymphatic vessels.
Thus, the gliding on the arms and legs will be from the extremities to the joint point with the body. On the trunk, the gliding follows the sense of the circulation towards the heart. On the throat and neck the movements are from the head to the shoulders and shoulder blades.
THE TECHNIQUE ITSELF
The softening is performed with:
The fingers – use the tips of the fingers. This technique is addressed mainly to small round surfaces.
The palms or the back of the hand – the fingers may be either spread or held together. It is applied to plane, straight surfaces, such as the back.
The pressure of the movements will be superficial and it will be exercised strictly on the nervous endings and vessels of the skin. When you desire to act more forcibly on the blood circulation in the deeper tissues, especially in the muscles, you need to use stronger methods, performed with:
– the hands
– the exterior sides of the hands
– the fists
Consequently, in the softening methods, the pressure applied is adjusted to the nature and consistency of the tissues and especially to the needs of the person receiving the massage.
PART 1 | PART 2