Our previous article discussed the Effleurage or stroking movements type massage. This article will deal mostly with the Petrissage or kneading and friction type massage technique.
Petrissage movements include kneading, wringing, thumb friction and knuckling. These type movements are good for stimulating deeper muscles. Wringing involves pinching the muscle between the fingers and releasing intermittently. Kneading is very similar in action to wringing and usually follows in sequence. Compression on the muscle is achieved by altering the direction in which the hands knead. Friction is used only on small areas and is applied by pressing with small circular movements using the pad of the hand or the fingers.
When compressing and relaxing the muscle tissue, blood and lymph circulation increases, which removes lactic acid between the muscle fibers and reduces fatigue and stress. Kneading has also a mild toning effect on the muscles. It can improve muscle condition and is an ideal stroke to complement a fitness program.
Wringing: Start by gripping and pushing the flesh with the thumb and fingers of one hand against the other hand, held slightly open and relaxed but firmly offering resistance. This movement can be done on most large areas such as the back at either side of the spine, calf, thighs and abdomen.
Finger Kneading: Described simply as applying pressure with the tips of the fingers and thumb in a circular motion.
Reinforced Kneading: This is done by placing one hand on top of the other and stroking with steady pressure, drawing a figure eight or circle.
Study and practice this technique, next article we will discuss another basic massage technique.