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Greenfield Rd and US 60

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Different Applications of Pressure and Movement in Massage

Different Applications of Pressure and Movement in Massage

Elements Massage South Mesa

We all know that a massage can be an incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating experience. You walk into our studio at Elements Massage South Mesa carrying physical and emotional stress and leave after a therapeutic session with one of our knowledgeable massage therapists feeling calmer and well adjusted. That’s because the art of massage harnesses the unique power of touch to bring a wide variety of health benefits to both your mind and body. Here’s a bit more detail about the different applications of pressure and movement that work together during a massage session to bring about this revitalizing experience:


Probably the most commonly known movement in massage, kneading is excellent for muscles that are too tense. Most massages start out with lighter pressure and then adjust according to needs. Kneading, like working dough, involves stretching and loosening muscles fibers by pinching the skin, lifting, and rolling the muscle between the the therapist’s fingers and thumbs and using a sense of rhythmic movement to ease knots and tension areas out of your muscle tissues.


Rubbing uses friction to boost blood flow to specific areas through stimulation. Either through the use of a flat palm for larger surface area or fingertips for smaller areas, rubbing invigorates the skin and sends warm, energetic signals to your body to oxygenate your blood.

Pressure Points

When working on pressure points, this involves more static pressure than other movements typical to massage. Great for working out deep-seated knots, pressure points are accessed by using a thumb or ring finger and essentially digging deep into the muscle. Communication is key in order to ensure comfort and pain levels are within reason. If static pressure is too much, small circular motions can be used instead.


In contrast to pressure points, effleurage consists of long stroking motions that help bring a sense of calmness. Using flat palms and thumbs, this movement is similar to smoothing out a wrinkled sheet -long stroking motions, that follow the direction of muscle fiber.


To help bring awareness and energy to parts of your body, cupping or tapping motions may be used during massage. Both of these involve small quick movements, similar to squeezing and releasing. An excellent tool to help shake of nervous energy or reassert physical awareness.

Talk to your therapist about what type of movements feel best for you. Also, one key component of any massage is to keep an open line of communication about how the pressure and movements feel, that way you can ensure the best massage to maximize the many benefits of massage!

Elements South Mesa 480.719.7199

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