Monday, 16 May 2011

Learning Proper Massage Techniques

There is more to a massage than the ability to perform a good back rub. Any therapist would tell you that there is intense study, formal schooling, and certification involved before you can render a proper massage. You will find professional massage therapists all over Australia have professional therapists who are trained in the art of massage techniques.

Therapists are usually certified in more than one massage technique technique in order to provide whatever service the client would request from them.

Swedish massage

This aims to lessen stress by relieving muscle tension and loosening sore joints. The massage therapist applies soothing, tapping, kneading, and circular strokes on the superficial layers of the muscle using massage lotion or oil. The strokes tend to follow the direction of blood towards the heart, enhancing the flow and assisting in its natural functions.

deep tissue massage

This uses slower strokes, direct pressure, and friction techniques to address chronic muscle tension such as stiff necks, lower back pain, or aching shoulders. It is also useful in addressing pain caused by stress, strain, or injury. While a swedish massage can work on the first few layers of a person's back, a deep tissue massage is required to reach the layers underneath.


Also known as acupressure, this is a technique that originated from Japan. This type of massage applies finger pressure on acupuncture meridians. Therapists use their thumbs to manipulate the flow of "Qi" and energy in the body following the theories of acupuncture, which literally goes back to thousands of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine.


This applies pressure to certain points on the feet, hand, and ears to target corresponding organs and systems in the body. It is meant to promote or stimulate one's internal organs, thereby improving the client's overall body condition.

Sports massage

This kind of massage is adapted from swedish or deep tissue massages, with the intent of meeting special needs of athletes. It involves pre-event massages to warm up muscles and improve circulation, as well as post-event massages to treat injuries and aid in recovery. Massage techniques are typically combinations of different kinds of strokes and pressures. Here are some basic strokes to get you started:


This is a basic open-handed stroke used in swedish massages">swedish massages. Its key characteristics are slow and gentle movements. You start with your fingertips, followed by your fingers and palm until the heel of your hand comes in contact with the body.


This is a kneading stroke that works best on large, meaty muscles. You place both hands down on the muscle with your fingers close together and thumbs extended. The space between your hands should form a triangle. This stroke requires a pinching action as you move your thumb towards your fingers. Take note that you want to pinch the muscle with your palm more than with your fingers.


This involves working thumbs and fingertips in deep circles into the thickest part of the muscles.It is best for treating small knots in muscles.

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