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Swedish Massage

The five basic swedish massage strokes explained.

Jodi Vingelen

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of Swedish Massage

French meaning, "the act of kneading"
Definition: a slow, gliding or sliding stroke.
Swedish Massage
Classic Massage
Taken from the French word "Tapoter", meaning to tap or to drum.
A brisk variation of light effleurage intended to increase circulation in the superficial tissues and dissipate body heat.
Dr. Jodi Vingelen, ND, LMP
Johan Georg Mezger
Peter Henrik Ling
5 techniques
French meaning, "skim" or to "touch lightly on"
Purpose & Effects
Apply lubricant.
Assess muscle & soft tissue.
Light pressure: reflexive effect on circulation.
Deep pressure: mechanical effect on circulation.
Enhances venous, arterial, & lymph circulation.
Enhances cellular metabolism.
Decreases muscular hypertonicity/tension, ischemia, & pain.
Open or contagious skin conditions.
Bruised areas.
Moderate to severe varicose veins.
Areas of acute or sub-acute injury, inflammation, infection.
Repetitive application for clients with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, varicose veins or edema.
College of Swedish Massage, Chicago, circa 1940s. Tappan's
Classic Massage
Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts
2 Types
Definition: a stroke that kneads soft tissues with a grasping and lifting action.
Also called, nerve strokes
Performed with short, long, or circular motions with the thumbs, fingertips, or palms of the hands
Definition: a fast rhythmic stroke that uses both hands, like rapid drumming.
Definition: The physical resistance between two surfaces as they rub against each other and create heat.
Definition: A stroke that involves high-frequency shaky hand movements and is capable of deep effects.
Applied with the thumb, knuckles, heel of the hand, interlaced fingers, or forearm.
Stroke applied in uphill direction.
IMPORTANT: Want the client's body relaxed during deep effleurage so deeper tissues may be assessed and treated; therefore, apply stroke slowly to avoid triggering protective muscular tension.
Generally, these strokes are performed at a rate of about 1 to 2 inches per second, and the excursion (length of the stroke along the skin) is about 10 to 15 inches.
First to identify classic massage strokes & differentiate them from gymnastics & Swedish movements.
Developed terminology for massage: "effleurage", "petrissage", & "tapotement".
The qualities of pressure, pacing, and rhythm may be varied for different effects.
Purpose & Effects
Increases circulation of blood & lymph.
Softens skin by stimulating sebaceous gland activity.
Warms the soft tissues.
Enhances pliability of muscles & fascia.
Decreases muscular hypertonicity.
Relieves pain & encourages relaxation.
Compared to effleurage, petrissage is more effective at:
Improving muscle tone,
Increasing the elasticity of muscle tissue, &
Increasing muscle contractility.
Open or contagious skin conditions.
Bruised areas.
Moderate to severe varicose veins.
Areas of acute injury, inflammation, infection.
Typical rhythm:
1 stroke/second, but
faster for smaller or thinner tissues
(face and hand), and
slower for thicker or larger tissues
(thigh and scapular areas).
Variations of Petrissage
Skin rolling/Pinching/Fulling
Intermittent and rhythmic compression of the tissues, but instead of grasping the tissues, push them aside and out of the way, which causes them to lift up to some extent.
Slow application (no >30/minute) that does not include the lifting component.
Grasp a limb with both hands and simultaneously rotate your hands in opposite directions without any slip on the skin.
Applied in centrifugal direction.
One stroke lasts 2 seconds. Like a very slow moving compression stroke that primarily deforms the superficial fascia.
The superficial form of kneading
Superficial fascia is lifted to deform and loosen it.
Rate of movement is 1 cm per second.
Looser fascia can be rolled faster.
More restricted fascia must be rolled more slowly.
No lubricant applied to skin.
Variations: C-stroke & S-stroke
(For example, See p449, Fig11-2)
Petrissage: Two-handed
Petrissage: One-handed
Lift, squeeze and then release soft tissues with hands alternating in a rhythmical motion.
Tissues are lifted with the whole hand.
Works well on larger muscles (arms, shoulders, and legs).
Movement may be described as circular - grasp tissues on the up motion, and relax hand on down motion without losing contact.
Works well on smaller limbs (arms and children's legs).
Hold fingers loosely in cupped position and relaxed wrists
Hollow noise
Variations of Tapotement
Use flat surface of finger pads.
Fingers together and wrists and fingers kept relaxed and loose.
Sound and feel like a light smack.
Use medial edge of open hands.
Hands relaxed, fingers are comfortably spread apart.
Upon striking, relaxed fingers "squish" together to absorb some of the shock.
Use fists.
Keep fists and wrists loose.
Only use this stroke on fleshy areas of body (hips, thighs, gluteal areas)
Almost no sound when fist strikes.
Use fingertips.
Keep fingers relaxed to absorb what little rebound there is.
No sound occurs
Purposes & Effects
Brief applications are stimulating.
Prolonged applications encourage relaxation & have anesthetic effects on hypersensitive nerve endings.
Increased circulation of blood & temperature of tissues.
Stimulates muscle contractions.
Breaks up lung congestion.
Over the spine.
On client's back over the kidney area.
Open or contagious skin conditions.
Bruised areas.
Over moderate to severe varicose veins.
Areas of acute injury, inflammation, infection.
Remember, to constantly move around during tapotement. Avoid striking the same spot repeatedly and be careful of areas where nerves and organs are relatively unprotected.
Swedish Massage Demo
1. Superficial effleurage on back
2. "Nerve Stroke" with fingers from head to toe
Lasts 5-10 seconds.
1. Top of head
2. Shoulders
3. Elbows
4. Hands
5. Hips/Buttocks
6. Knees
7. Feet
1. Heel of hand on back.
2. Knuckling along side of spine.
3. Forearm on back.
1. Deep on back.
2. Wringing on back.
3. Skin rolling on back.
4.Two handed on upper traps.
5. One handed on tricep.
1. Cupping
2. Slapping
3. Hacking
4. Pummeling or Beating
5. Tapping
*Kidneys: posterior inferior to ribcage
Purposes & Effects
Increases temperature of tissues.
Enhances flow of blood & lymph.
Dissipates body heat from the skin.
Breaks up fascial adhesions.
Purposes & Effects
Brief applications stimulate nervous system & organ activity.
Prolonged applications are relaxing.
Decreases pain sensitivity & muscle hypertonicity.
Increases circulation of blood & temperature of tissues.
Open or contagious skin conditions.
Bruised areas.
Moderate to severe varicose veins.
Acute injury, inflammation, & infection.
Open or contagious skin conditions.
Bruised areas.
Moderate to severe varicose veins.
Acute injury, inflammation, & infection.
Also called cross-fiber friction and transverse friction.
Resembles the variation of compression (this stroke applies pressure to soft tissues by squeezing them together without any slip) called rolling (like rolling a pencil back and forth on a table, apply compression and rolling to the structure back and forth under the pressure).
It is a deep, localized application of pressure, without any slip on the skin.
Used to break up fascial adhesions and separate the muscle fibers.
Other types of friction include:
Circular Friction and Longitudinal Friction
2 Types
(length of the stroke along the skin)
is a few inches
Rate of the strokes
Moderately fast
Around 1 to 3 strokes per second
Smooth, rhythmic, intermittent pushes to slowly rock a client's limb or entire body.
Main purpose of rocking is to encourage relaxation.
Grasp an arm or leg, while providing a small amount of traction, and then moving the extremity by wiggling it side to side.
Moves the client's limbs back and forth in a wave-like snaking motion.
Purpose of jostling is to confuse the nervous system and induce relaxation.
2 Variations
If you want the stimulating effects of vibration...
...consider using a machine that is more effective at delivering the necessary high frequencies.
Unfortunately, our hands can move at a rate of about 10 to 12 movements per second, which is not usually fast enough to stimulate muscle contraction.
1. Superficial on back.
2. Deep-fiber,
transverse on erector spinae group.
1. Rocking of entire body.
2. Jostling of lower limb/s.
Palmar, Fist, and Digital Kneading
Palmar Kneading: mainly used on back, chest, and abdomen.
Fist Kneading: mainly used along the course of the colon.
Digital Kneading: mainly used on smaller surfaces, such as the face, hands, and feet.
Limb is rolled centripetal.
For example, client is supine, arm is extended towards ceiling. Start at axilla and as if you had a pencil between your symmetrical hands rub back and forth as you move centripetal.

Repeat 3-4 times, follow with centripetal friction.
Support limb with one hand while other hand firmly grasps fleshly portion and drags it first upward and then downward in the direction of the long axis of the limb.

Useful in overcoming muscular rigidity and stretching contracted muscles.
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