Basic techniques 2
Effleurage is performed in a slow, rhythmical, controlled manner using both hands together with a small space between the thumbs. If the therapist wishes to use only light pressure he or she will use the palms of the hands or the tips of the fingers with light gliding strokes, working away from the heart. Light gliding strokes have a relaxing effect on the nervous system. For increased pressure the knuckles or thumbs will be used in an upwards stroking motion to wards the heart. Stronger pressure has more of an effect on the blood circulation and the nervous system.
Effleurage can be used on the upper leg as far up as the hip on the outside of the leg. Once the person is lying face downwards (with support under the chest), continue to use effleurage movements on the back of the lower leg. Continue as before but work on the upper leg , avoiding the knee. The muscles in the buttocks can be worked upon with both hands to squeeze but making sure that the hands are moving in opposite ways.
Petrissage is ideal for unlocking aching or tense muscles, in particular the trapezium muscle between the neck and shoulders. Both hands work together in a rhythmic sequence, alternately picking up and gently squeezing the tense muscle.
The kneading action gets deep enough to stimulate the lymph into removing the build-up of lactic acid.
As the therapist works across each section, an area of flesh is grasped and squeezed, and this action stimulates the flow of blood and enables tensed muscles to relax. People such as athletes can have an accumulation of lactic acid in certain muscles, and this is why cramp occurs. Parts of the body on which this method is practiced are along the stomach and around the waist.