The most commonly used movements for massaging are effleurage, friction, petrissage and tapotement.
This is how every massage begins. The hands, facing down, glide over the skin,
one after another, constantly and in the direction of blood flow. The movements
are slow and light and the idea is to establish a psychophysical connection with
the patient, improve circulation and calm nerve tension.
Compared to effleurage, this is more energetic. This movement works more deeply,
makes the tissues more elastic and reactivates venous and lymphatic absorption.
The movements are lineal, slow and transversal according to the muscles being
massaged. The fingers touch the outer layer of the skin but the internal layers
of the skin benefit the most.
This movement works on the transversal axis of the muscle and involves alternating
movements. It can remove tension that is deep inside the body and, at the same
time, stimulate a large area of skin. It is mainly performed on areas of the body
that are covered with a lot of muscle like the thighs, hips and buttocks. During
this phase numerous actions are performed, ranging from squeezing the muscles
to relaxing them, which allows for the removal of the waste products that make
This is based on a series of fast and rhythmic taps in the same place. The tapotement
movements on the skin can be performed in one place and with the fingers or the
whole hand. The effects are stimulating since they encourage vasodilatation and
increase muscle contractility. It is usually performed at the end of a massage
to give the skin tone.
See the zones
where these different movements can be applied.