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Pressure and Movement: Four Types of Therapeutic Touch

Elements Massage Gilbert Sep 21, 2016

Massage can be a relaxing and refreshing experience. When you enter our studio doors, you carry the emotional and physical tension of life with you, but when you leave after a truly therapeutic session with our talented team, you feel more calm, centered, and rejuvenated. This is not an accident. In fact, our stellar team of professional massage therapists have been studying the art of massage for years. Here are a few more details about the types of touch, pressure, and movement involved in a massage session that yield the revitalizing experience Elements is known for:

Pressure Points
Specific points on the human body tend to knot up more easily than others. The application of static pressure on these areas can help work out deep-seated tension and balled muscles. Typically a massage therapist will dig a strong finger deep into muscle tissue and use a small circular motion to promote release.

Tapping or Cupping
To draw attention and awareness to parts of your body, you can expect your massage therapist to include quick movements that feel like small taps or cupping (similar to squeezing). This movement helps dissolve nervous energy and delivers a physical presence prior to a massage.

Effleurage
Known to be used most commonly in Swedish massage, effleurage is a fancy name for long stroking movements that follow the direction of muscle fibers. This application helps sooth and promotes an overall calmness.

Kneading
This category includes the movements most associated with massage. Kneading involves light to heavy pressure in particular patterns that follow muscles and cross-grain movements to help release tension and stress. Think of it almost as kneading dough: your massage therapist is stretching and loosening your body’s muscles by lifting, rolling, and flattening the deep layers of tension and knots that reside within your muscle tissue.

As always, make sure to talk to your massage therapist about what type of movement and pressure feels right for you in the moment. Communication is a critical component of a beneficial massage!

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