Swedish Massage- Part V – Friction (continued)

Finally, we have come to the end! Friction is one of the most diverse movements in Swedish massage. Friction can be applied superficial or deep. The direction of friction can be applied cross-fiber, circular, or longitudinal. Here are the different variations of form for using friction in Swedish massage.

Friction: Variations of form

Compression– Compression is a rhythmic pressing or pumping action of the palm of the hand or fist. Compression is directed into the muscle perpendicular to the underlying bone. Compression movements increase circulation, create a lasting hyperemia, and prepare muscle to exert energy quicker and for a longer period of time. Compression movements are often used in pre-event sports massage.

Rolling– Rolling is a quick back and forth movement with the palmar surface of the hands on either side of a particular body part. It shakes and moves the tissue around the axis of the body part. It warms the tissue and encourages deeper muscle relaxation.
Wringing- The wringing movement is so named as it resembles the act of wringing out a washcloth. Both hands hold the body part side by side and move in opposite directions. This movement gently stretches and warms the fascia.

Chucking– Chucking is accomplished by holding the tissues firmly in one or both hands and moving the tissue up and down against the axis of the bone.

Shaking– Shaking is used to allow the therapist to observe where the tissues move freely and where there are restrictions in movement. Shaking is down laterally so that the therapist can see the tissue move around the bone. Arease that are stiff or rigid are possible sites of tension that will require more attention form the therapist. Shaking is an integral part of the technique known as Trager.

Jostling– Jostling is performed when the muscle is in a shortened position. The muscle is lifted and gently shaken across its axis. Jostling releases tension and increased circulation. It is most effective in post-event sports massage.

Rocking– Rocking is done as the therapist gently pushes the client body away and lets it gently roll completely back to the starting position. The body will rock at a rhythm that is unique to each person. The therapist can quickly identify the rhythm and mimic it in other massage movements throughout the massage session.

Vibration– Vibration is sometimes used to desensitize an area such as nerve trunks. The therapist can create vibration form their fingertips or hands by moving back and forth as quickly as possible without moving over the skin. Vibration is used in small areas of larger muscles and avoids bony structures. Vibration is stimulating when applied with pressure or anesthetizing when applied for a long period of time.

Now we have covered all there is to know about friction movements in Swedish massage. Friction has pressure, direction, and varying movements. Hopefully you are beginning to appreciate the great variation that can be found in Swedish massage. Each therapist has their own unique style and abilities. This is what makes Swedish massage so versatile and popular. Swedish massage can treat a wide variety of clients due to the diversity and complexity of massage movements.