To become a qualified and licenced massage therapist, you have to go through a therapeutic massage programme after graduating from high school or getting the equivalent credentials. Then, if the massage therapist passes the programme, they can apply for their licence and, if they want to work on their own, a business licence.
During this process, a massage therapist never stops learning, because there are so many different ways, styles, and tools to use when giving massages. Also, training to become a massage therapist is no joke; you have to learn a lot of these techniques and keep getting better at them.
Giving a massage is an art form, just like any other kind of art. When done well, the movements and pressure are similar to brush strokes on a painting. Both can be appreciated when done well.
But not everyone wants to do massage therapy as a full-time job. Some people just want to learn a few techniques well so they can give a certain kind of massage well. For couples, families, and friends, there are many simple techniques that can be done at home without putting the client’s physical safety at risk.
This article will tell you about the most common and effective massage therapy techniques, which you can try on your partner after a long day at work. On the other hand, you can use these techniques to relax and recharge on hard, stressful days so that the next day will be better.
So, without further ado, here are the five most common techniques used in massage therapy today.
Using your thumbs or palms to put pressure on different parts of the body is what makes kneading one of the easiest things for beginners to do. The idea is to pull the muscle away from the bone, which can help stop muscle spasms. Kneading has a technical name, “Petrisage,” which is mostly used in massage therapy textbooks.
Kneading is one of the first massage therapy techniques that students learn, so it’s a little easier to get the hang of than the others. But it’s also important to learn how to control how fast and hard you press on the skin and muscles.
When giving a massage, one way to figure out how much pressure and how fast to use is to ask the person what they want. If not, you can start by changing the pressure and speed of the massage based on how the client reacts to it.
As a masseuse, you should always make sure that the person you are massaging is not hurting or feeling uncomfortable. Start with light pressure and slower speeds and work your way up based on what your client says.
2. EFFLEURAGE (LIGHT/DEEP STROKING)
This is another method that is often used in salons, spas, and at massage stations. It involves putting small amounts of pressure on the skin with your hands. In this method, the hands stay flat as they glide over the body. Oils or creams can be used to make the massage more comfortable.
Effleurage is usually done at the beginning and end of a massage to help the client feel the most comfortable and relaxed. The goal here is to loosen up the muscles so they can handle other, more intense techniques, and to get more blood to different parts of the body.
If you want to use this technique in a massage, just start by using light, soothing strokes on the body while your hands are flat and open. You can gently massage the skin with circular motions and add a little more pressure if the client wants.
When the technique is used with a little more force, it can be used to get rid of muscle knots and tension in the body. This technique is often used in different kinds of massage, like the Swedish massage.
As the name suggests, the rubbing technique is mostly done with the thumbs, which are usually moved in a circle while pressure is applied. This method is used to get more blood moving through the body and to treat pain in the muscles and joints.
When you rub your skin with your thumbs, you are treating small areas of your body, especially places where your muscles are tight or your joints hurt. Rubbing can be used as a technique in a deep tissue massage, with more pressure, to relieve stiffness and/or pain in the deeper layers of muscle tissue.
As long as you use two thumbs, the rubbing technique can be used with different kinds of movements. Even though these moves are similar in many ways, they may be called something different depending on how and when massage therapists all over the world use them.
For example, rubbing can be thought of as a type of kneading, which is also known as effleurage, which is a deeper type of kneading.
4. TAPPING OR TAPOTEMENT
Tap massages are often used in sports massages because they are one of the best ways to get more blood flowing through the body. In this massage, the therapist taps different parts of the body quickly with their hands, especially the back, thighs, and buttocks.
For a tapping massage, the hands can be cupped so that only the edges of the palm and the tips of the fingers touch the skin, or the hands can be laid next to each other and tapped on the skin. Depending on how your client feels, you can change the method to use a different way of tapping.
When using the tapping method, another thing to remember is to tap quickly and in a rhythmic way. You can also bend your hand or keep it straight, depending on what your client likes and how much pressure you use.
You might sometimes focus on one part of the client’s body that is especially stiff and painful. You might want to combine the tapping with a motion called “hacking,” in which a lot of pressure is put on a small area of the body.
5. VIBRATION OR SHAKING
Lastly, this technique has a lot in common with tapping because it is also based on rhythm. You can use your hands across a large surface area (like the back) or your fingers across the face to lightly shake the muscles at a fairly fast speed to make it feel like there is a vibration going through the area.
Most of the time, this technique doesn’t involve a lot of pressure because the main goal is to calm the muscles and nerves in the body. A lot of therapists have also said that this technique can be used to massage around and even over scar tissue.
So, if you are massaging someone who is sensitive to more intense pain, the vibration technique is the best one to use. It won’t be uncomfortable for the client, and it will also calm their nerves, which they need badly.
As with the other techniques listed above, a massage therapist needs to make sure that the person getting the massage is not in any kind of pain. The best way to do this is to talk to the client right away.