Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Massage Technique - Vibration and Shaking


Vibration is a fine, gentle trembling movement of the tissues which is performed by your hand or fingers. Shaking is a large: movement performed more vigorously.

To perform vibration place the palmar surface of your hand on the part of the body or the limb to be treated. Vibrate the entire muscle area rapidly. The movement may either be gentle, in which case it is known as 'vibration', or vigorous, which is referred to as 'shaking'. Gentle vibration can be performed using just the fingertips along the course of a nerve.


Vibration along the course of a nerve is helpful for restoring and maintaining the functions of a nerve and the muscles supplied by them, thereby improving their nutrition. It is particularly useful in cases of paralysis or where there is loss of nerve power.

Vibrating and shaking can be performed on the abdominal area to aid digestion and relieve flatulence. It can be used to promote tone in the colon and to combat constipation.

Vibration and shaking over the thoracic area and chest is particularly beneficial for respiratory problems such as asthma, sometimes in combination with the tapotement movements.

Errors to avoid

  • Do not perform vibration and shaking where there is inflammation.
  • Do not apply too much pressure.

Exercises for your hands

  • It is essential to exercise your hands in order to improve flexibility, increase strength, heighten sensitivity and achieve an expert touch.
  • To increase flexibility and strength
  • Hold a small rubber ball in your hand and squeeze and relax your fingers around the ball repeatedly. Now exercise the other hand in the same way.
  • Gently pull and stretch out the thumb and fingers of each hand one by one. Then circle each one carefully.
  • Place your hands face down and shake them out from the wrists as loosely and as rapidly as possible.
  • With fingers relaxed, circle both wrists clockwise and anticlockwise. You can also perform this movement with your fists clenched.
  • With hands relaxed, bend each joint and slowly close each hand into a fist with the thumb outside the fingers. You can also perform this movement rapidly ensuring that a fist is made each time.
  • Throw out your fingers so that they are separated and extended as far as possible. Repeat at least ten times.
  • Tuck your elbows closely into your waist and rotate your loose wrists and forearms quickly in both directions.
  • Place the palms of your hands together in a prayer position. Rapidly rub your hands together in a backwards and forwards motion. Notice the heat produced by this movement.
  • Practise hacking and cupping on a cushion, remembering to keep your elbows closely tucked in and gradually building up speed.

To increase sensitivity

Bring the palms of your hands close to each other so that they are almost touching. Close your eyes and take note of unusual sensations such as tingling, heat, vibrations or pulsation. Now slowly separate your hands until they are about 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Then return them to the original position and again note any sensations. Now expand the gap to about 10 cm (4 inches) and then to 15 em (6 inches), all the time observing any reactions.

Ask a partner to sit opposite you. Place your hands approximately 5 cm (3 inches) away from his or her body, starting at the head. Move your hands slowly and steadily down the body to scan the energy field. You may feel temperature changes, tingling, vibrations, pulsations or electric shock type sensations. Repeat this exercise with your hands about 20 cm (8 inches) away from the person to be scanned.

Place a coin under a magazine and with your eyes closed try to find the coin by careful palpation of the upper surface of the magazine. If this is too difficult at first, place the coin under a few sheets of paper and then try to sense its position. Gradually increase the thickness of the barrier between your fingers and the coin until you can find the coin under a telephone directory!

Place a human hair under a piece of paper and with your eyes closed try to sense it under the page. Once you can do this easily, place the hair under several pages and repeat the exercise.

Place a selection of objects made of different materials (e.g. clay, rubber, plastic, metal, wood) in front of you. With your eyes closed pick up each one in turn and feel the different shapes, texture and flexibility of each item.

Sit opposite a partner at a table. Ask your partner to rest one or both arms in a relaxed position on the table. Place one of your hands on to your partner's forearm and the other hand on the table. Focus your attention on what you are feeling. Sense the contrast between living tissue and non-living. You may even feel your hand being 'drawn' towards a certain area of the forearm, wrist or upper arm - if there has been an injury at some time this will still manifest in the tissues.

When performing these exercises ensure that you concentrate fully and use light and slow pressure to get maximum sensory input. Relax your hands as much as possible - rigid, hard hands are not nearly as effective.

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