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MASSAGE STROKES AND PRESSURE

 
There are a variety of different strokes that can be used, ranging from the most delicate touch with the fingertips to focussed deep-tissue work.All strokes can be varied in speed and pressure.

1. Stroking The simplest and most natural of all massage strokes, Stroking is perfect for openers. You simply glide your hands across the body, using flat hands on the back and cupped hands on the legs and arms. The rhythmic stroking movement not only relaxes the person receiving the massage and lets him or her get used to the massager's hands, but readies the body for deeper work.

2. Kneading Kneading is a firm stroke for a soothing effect on shoulders, back, and fleshy areas such as the hips. Gently grasp the area with one hand and release it on your left hand. Repeat several times. Keep your hands working together in a rhythm.

3. Knuckling In Circular Knuckling, often used on the upper chest and shoulders, you press your knuckles into the muscles and use a rotating motion to ease tightness and tension. Straight Knuckling, in which your knuckles are kept in a line and worked smoothly along the muscles, works well on the buttocks and thighs.

4. Friction This refers to a variety of strokes that let you use your fingers and thumbs to work deeply into muscles, using varying amounts pressure. Using the thumbs or fingertips, work slowly and firmly into the area, making tiny circular movements. Feathering is a good end move, and involves lightly dragging your fingertips down a person's back.

5. VibrationThis involves shaking the muscles rapidly, using flattened hands or fingers. Use this stroke sparingly to promote circulation.

6.Pulling This stroke can be used to pull and stretch the muscles of the trunk, and the legs.Use alternating hands in a pulling motion, gradually moving them up the body.

7. Gliding This stroke is used a great deal throughout the massage sequence and is particularly useful for applying oil to the body .Keeping the fingers together and hands outstretched, glide the hands forward along the length of the body.

8.Hacking With hands open and palms facing each other, make an alternating "chopping" motion up and down the body.As a variation on this stroke, curl the fingers into loose fists to create more of pummeling effect on the body.

9. Pinching Or Plucking Gently lift small amounts of flesh and let it slide through the fingers.

 

       
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